Trying to write a future business plan? Every business plan, in a sense, is trying to predict the future, or at least to lay out some of the basic metrics that are true today so that readers can make intelligent assumptions about what the future might hold. To this end, you should collect as much market research as possible. Who are your competitors? You can probably find out more about them than you might guess—Dun & Bradstreet can tell you their sales levels and the number of people they employ, and Manta will give you their classifications and other "business basics." Online searches can yield strengths and weaknesses in the consumers' eyes. From here, answer these questions:
• What will make your business different from these companies going forward?
• What marketing can you use to help drive sales?
• What industry trends are emerging that could impact your market opportunity?
• How do you plan to attack new market segments or enter parallel markets (if applicable)?
• How many people do you plan on bringing aboard, and when?
The business plan for future growth should also include a complete financial pro forma, which means showing the use of proceeds (typically in a start-up summary format) that shows where you will allocate your capital and what the balance is between liabilities and investment. The model also needs to have a revenue forecast section, balance sheet, profit and loss, cash flow, and a break-even point that you believe is attainable. Assumptions are great to include, and should be pinned to market data as much as possible. Need help? MasterPlans can develop this whole plan for you. We have been planning for the future ever since we got underway in 2002, and we now have more than 9,000 clients to our credit. Call today: 877-453-2011.
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