Developing a business plan begins with the development of a business plan framework. They are not the same thing. The framework represents a broad overlay of the details that will go into the final document. Before entrepreneurs write business plans, they need to step back and consider the entire business process from concept and purpose to setting business goals and identifying supporting strategies that will drive the business to profitability as quickly as possible. Too many business owners try to develop a detailed business plan without defining the vision and mission of the operation. They jump into trying to write a business plan without a framework and quickly find themselves in a state of confusion or an ill-prepared final document. Without a vision, the business can easily find itself getting off-course through poor decision-making or pursuing strategies that do not fulfill the mission of the business, wasting valuable human and capital resources. The business plan framework includes:
• Identifying the vision of the business in a concise statement that clearly delineates the long-term direction that will drive decisions and activities (note: the vision will not change over time)
• Defining the overall mission of the business (note: a mission may change over time, leading to business plan redevelopment)
• Establishing the business goals that reflect the vision and mission
• Developing the strategies that enable the business to reach its goals
• Defining the major functions needed for success, following by developing operating plans for each function
• Developing a process for business plan execution
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The final business plan will contain the traditional sections that include the market analysis, management description, marketing and sales plan, funding requirements, and proforma financial statements. However, the first step in developing a business plan is not writing it. The first step is actually taking a step backwards to objectively describe why the business startup or expansion makes sense. The framework that emerges drives the rest of the business plan development process. The vision and mission statements are developed first and before any other work is done on the business plan.
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It is easy for experienced investors, like equity partners or private investors, and lenders, like banks and investment firms, to spot a business plan that has been piecemealed together. The road to success begins with the development of a business plan framework that concisely and clearly presents the importance of the business existing. The planning process for developing a business plan is every bit as important as the actual writing of the details. In addition, developing a business plan framework is just as critical for sole proprietor startups as it is for existing corporate businesses that want to expand or are ready to refocus their mission, goals and strategies.
OGS Capital consultants can help entrepreneurs and business planners develop a business plan framework that leads to a well-prepared business plan able to attract funding. Completing the simple online form is the right first step towards developing a critical road map for success.
Illustrative business plan samples
OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.