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Questions & Answers

Posted by Gene Como on 2015-06-11 12:42:00
Title: Creating a sound business plan
Category: Design

Hello experts, I have a website concept that I am looking to get off the ground that will involve students and jobs. I have never created a business plan before but I have been given advice on 4 levers I need to focus on... revenue, client base, expenses and churn. If anyone has any resources to help me cobble together a potential business plan so I can get my idea off the ground, I would appreciate it. Thank you.

Answer:

Kenneth Maclean
2015-06-24 09:31:00

Writing a detailed business plan will provide an excellent foundation for raising capital or to help lay out your path to success. Two things to remember about business plans:

  1. It is a living document that should be updated based on changes to conditions of the market you are serving and your customer value proposition.
  2. Planning is nothing without great execution – so be prepared for all the hard work, sacrifice and determination required to turn your plan into reality

The 4 levers mentioned – revenue, client base, expenses and churn – are important elements in a plan. However, rather than detailing them here it’s worth your time to check out some fee-based and free resources to help you write a winning plan for your business.

HIRING THE PROS (FEE)

Hiring an experienced business planning professional to write or assist you in writing your plan can be a smart investment. This is especially true if you intend to secure financing from private or government investment. In addition to providing a well-structured template they can also deliver a detailed set of revenue and EBITDA forecasts that demonstrate your capital requirements and the market opportunity for your business.

Local venture capital and angel investment groups may have a list of experienced professionals in this area. Ideally you will find an individual who believes in your business idea as much as you do and is willing to take on a mentoring role to help guide your success over the long term.

BUSINESS PLAN WRITER (FEE & FREE)

Purchasing business plan writer software is a cost effective way to access a range of planning templates that align with your business. Liveplan and Business Plan Pro are two the market leaders but it is always best to do some research on review sites.

FREE RESOURCES

In North America, federal governments websites including Industry Canada and the US Small Business Administration offer excellent advice and sample plans.

Universities and colleges like Harvard run annual business plan competitions and may have an extensive library of winning submissions.

Major financial institutions offer free business plan writing resources including BDC, which specializes in helping entrepreneurs secure financing. Scotiabank has a biz plan writer. Also meeting with a small business advisor at a bank is free and the advisor can offer valuable advice on what elements they will be looking for before approving financing for your business.

Best of luck!

Kenneth Maclean
Director, Product Development, YouInc