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Starting or Growing a Business? earth citizen design can help

Business Plans

How much do you need to earn from you business? If you don't have a clear target goal for your finances, then you are probably destined to have a "hobby" that takes up your day but but doesn't fill your wallet.  If you start out with a "hobby" that grows, that's great, but if you don't take the time, or hire someone to fill important information gaps, you might as well enjoy the landscape as a tourist, not a "business citizen".

The time spent in researching the "landscape" of your business might be tedious, or uncomfortable, or even be worse than having a root canal...but it is necessary. Even if it takes you many months to gather all the information that you need.  You don't need to "run" but you should at least "stroll".

A good business plan takes time to do.  If you have done some research, some of the facts needed are already at hand.  The key is to create a document from the pieces of information you have and carefully fill in the gaps where your knowledge is lacking.

According to most experts, there are a number of topics which need to be included in a business plan:

Executive Summary
An overview of your business and why you think it will be successful. It may include a mission tatement, personnel, financial highlights, target markets, your products and or services, financial info, and future goals and plans.

Company Description
This tells your reason for being, includes the nature of your business and what needs you are trying to satisfy.
Market Analysis
This section of your business plan talks about your industry and market knowledge regarding your product, your competitors, the total marketplace, how you would place your business, what hurdles you need to overcome and so on.
Organization & Management
Here you show your company's organizational structure, profiles of your key personnel and their roles, your board of directors.

Ownership Information
This section is about the legal structure of your business along with names of the owners, their form of ownership, etc.
Management Profiles
If you can show off the track records of your personnel do so here along with the Board of Directors' Qualifications if you have one.
Service or Product Line
Here is where you go into detail describing your service or product, making sure that the benefits to potential and current customers are explicit.

Marketing & Sales Management
Marketing, some would call it a necessary evil.
But you should talk about how you would penetate a market, what your strategy for growth is, what your
channels of distribution are, and how are you going to reach your customers.  A sales strategy is how  you plan to actually sell your product or service, the people you will require and their activities.

Funding Request
This should include your current funding requirement, future funding needs and what you will use the funds for. 
Financial Projections
You can develop your financial projections after the market analysis has been done and you've set financial objectives. This section will require a huge amount of detail, some would say painful details regarding anything financial, finacial ratios, charts and graphs and more.

Credit history, resumes, letters of reference, and more can be written here. It is not always included with the business plan proper but is available upon request according to the need to know.

This is a brief overview of a typical business plan's format and necessary information. If you'd like to discuss your needs, call Colleen at 608-669-0800 or email For more on business services go here.

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