Thursday, August 8, 2013

8 Tips For An Effective Business Plan

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a dream that many of us go-getters aspire to reach. This journey in building a successful business can be exciting, yet at times can also be troublesome. Building your own business is most definitely a risk; but if done correctly, your business can be a successful one. 

Let me introduce you to MaryEllen Tribby, a business consultant who has coached some of the most successful entrepreneurs, such as New York Times best-selling author, Michael Masterson

Her many years of experience in the corporate world and passion for a successful life have motivated her to write an informative book, Changing the Channel: 12 Easy Ways to Make Millions for Your Business. Aimed at helping entrepreneurs looking to develop and grow their business, Tribby suggests that in order for a business to be successful, one should create a solid business plan. 

"I know so many entrepreneurs and business owners who make excuses for all the failures within their business. Sadly, so many of those failures could have been avoided with the construction of an effective business plan," states Tribby on her website.

Most people agree that creating a solid business plan is important, however, sitting down and actually doing it seems to be a weak spot for many business owners.  

Business Plan Development Tips
  1. Execute A Summary- The summary is usually followed by the title page. This summary should consist of a general synopsis of your business plan. The summary should be able to tell the reader what it is that you want. Don't worry, you don't have to make the summary lengthy like a book; that's why it's called a summary! It should be no more than one page and should be put together in a professional and businesslike manner. 
  2. Market Analysis- There are two important things that a market analysis can do. It can familiarize you with all aspects of the industry your business is in. It can also enable you to establish pricing, distribution and marketing strategies which will allow your business to grow in today's competitive markets. Start your marketing analysis by defining the market in terms of size, structure, growth aspects, trends and sale potentials. Before a business can begin and become a successful one, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the market that you will be competing in. 
  3. Company Description- This description should include the nature of your business and the important elements that you believe will make your business prosper. 
  4. Organization and Management- In this section, you should include your company's organizational structure, the details about the ownership of your company/business, descriptions of your management team and the qualifications of your panel of experts of board of directions. For any business to be successful, organization skills are extremely important. Sometimes a business can fall apart entirely if it is not performed in an organized manner. 
  5. Marketing and Sales Strategies- MaryEllen Tribby emphasizes the importance of creating effective marketing strategies for your business. "This is the lifeblood of your business. Marketing creates customers and customers generate sales." In this section, you should define your marketing strategies. These strategies consist of a wide array of methods that you can apply to grow popularity and sales for your new business. Tribby suggests using both direct marketing (when a customer hears about your product or service directly through a salesperson that is representing your business) and indirect marketing (when a customer learns about your product or service via third part entities, such as internet, newspaper, advertisements, television, radio and/or billboards.) A combination of both direct and indirect marketing would lead your business start up to great success!
  6. Service and/or Product Line- This is the section where you describe the product and/or service that you want to sell. State the benefits of your product or service, not the features. You want to tell your customers why they should invest in your product or service. What will they get out of it? 
  7. Funding Requirements- Funding is one of the main reasons why businesses fall apart. So be smart, and plan your funding requirements ahead of time. In this section, you should state the amount of funding you will need to start your business. But don't just stop there; also lay out the amount you will need to expand your business. Always think of the next step, especially if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.    
  8. Financials- This consists of your company's balance sheet, income statement, annual report and all other indicators. Tribby suggests creating financials AFTER you have analyzed the market and set clear objectives for your business.  
Keep in mind that an effective business plan should always be written more than once, in fact many times. An aspiring entrepreneur, like yourself, should understand that this business plan will evolve and change as you further invest yourself in your business. Marketing strategies can change, environments can change and so can your funding capabilities. So don't put a final stamp on the first business plan you develop, be prepared to create revisions on that plan.

Mary Ellen Tribby is confident that after following these steps in creating your business plan, that sky will be the limit for you! Don't be discouraged if your previous efforts in starting a business did not go smooth. You have this chance to get it right and reach your dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur! All your needed was the right advice from the right person. Forbes magazine, here you come! 

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