Chapter 4

First Things First: Crafting Your Business Plan

In This Chapter

arrow Drafting a mission statement

arrow Recognizing the importance of business plans

arrow Creating a business plan

arrow Updating your plan

After you’ve made the commitment to start your own business, you need to embark on your first meaningful hands-on task: developing and writing your business plan. But before you get started, you need to write a mission statement to set the stage for that plan. Over the life of your business, you’ll use that mission statement in many ways, from creating a vision for your business’s future (that is, the big-picture overview) to developing a year-to-year strategy to setting annual goals for you and your employees.

Your Mission: Impossible If You Fail to Define It

A good mission statement is a written, easy-to-remember sentence, a short list of bullet points, or a paragraph illustrating your business’s goals and purpose in life. Or, as coauthor Jim believes, it’s what makes your company special. Mission statements come in many sizes, shapes, and forms, but they all have one common purpose: to guide ...

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