Not to idealize things (no pun intended), but the ideal business plan is by its very nature a work in progress. You never know when you have arrived, and your document -- a living plan, not a static entity -- continues to change as your business evolves. Most business plan writers have a singular goal for the document: get a project funded or meet a deadline to present a new idea to the board of directors, for example. But the ideal business plan is a little trickier than this. It is not meant to be a one-time event so much as a work in progress. That said, no matter what you intend your business plan for, you need to ensure that it addresses these questions in full:
• Who is the intended target for what you offer?
• How does your product suite or service differ from what is on the market?
• What are the competing businesses that pose the most direct threat?
• How will your sales shake out over the first 12 months?
• When should break-even occur?
The ideal business plan accomplishes an end-goal, to be sure, but it also stays relevant for an extended period of time. Choose market research sources that can be updated at set intervals and stick to a timeline for ensuring that the document still describes what your goals are even well after start-up has ended. Factor in a past performance table once you have enough history to warrant it, and show how the investor's stake in the company -- or your loan repayment plan -- plays out over the years. The pro forma can be a challenge but the experts at Portland, Oregon-based MasterPlans.com have you covered. Call us today at 877-453-2011 to learn how we can help.
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