Business Plan Definition → A road map that describes how a business is going to achieve its goals. It lays out a plan from a marketing, financial, and operational viewpoint.
What is the purpose of a business plan?
A business plan provides a way to manage starting or development a business. The business plans reduces risk by forcing evaluation of:
Market demand for products & services
Benefits of a business plan:
Exposes risk and opportunities
Increases knowledge of customer needs
Increases knowledge of competitors strengths & weaknesses
Places focus on marketing position/competitive advantage
Provides bankers/funders evidence to support a startup business
Serves as an internal planning tool
Breaks the business into understandable pieces rather than one complex idea
Creates a timeline for business growth and evolution
Identifies when and where conflicts of resources may exist
Supplies a method for developing logical financial projections
When do you need a Business Plan?
When a bank or other funding source is involved
Major suppliers & leasing companies may require a plan
When a source of risk exists. Such as:
Leaving current employment
Undertaking debt from any source, including personal
Market is uncertain due to:
New product or service
New geographic area
Market size & ability to support business
General outline of a business plan:
Market observations & analysis
Products and/or services
Management & operations
Attachments & additional documentation
To get started building a business plan for your dream, contact the Marshall Economic Development Satellite Iowa State University Small Business Development Center at 641-753-6645. Services include succession planning, business plan development and market research, and analysis. Services are provided at no cost.