By D. Connie Garzon – M.B.A., C.B.A.
The preparation of the Business Plan is one of the most important tasks that any entrepreneur who wants to start a company needs to follow. It will be worthless if you don’t follow the plan that you developed before getting into the messy task of starting a company. Business plans are a roadmap for success.
To get the plan started, each company needs to define the main characteristics of its business by focusing on the big picture. The business plan itself will help them to consider and weigh the risks involved, prepare for any contingency, and learn to anticipate a variety of possible situations or “scenarios.” The entrepreneur will need to lay down plans and create a budget for the key activities of the business for development, production, marketing, distribution, and financing. Naturally, they will need to make many decisions, such as which customers or segments should be the right target, the price for their product or service, defining the best location for their businesses, and defining if production will be done by them or outsourced to third parties.
The process of thinking and writing the plan provides clarity for the business. In addition, will help the founder to develop a budget, so the financial situation of the business is planned and prepared for future growth.
When to use a business plan? ALWAYS! Here are some examples:
- If capital is needed from outside sources, investors want to see a plan that demonstrates a solid understanding and vision for the business.
- The plan will help prioritize the tasks that are most important.
- With growth, the plan offers a common understanding of the vision to new leaders.
A simple business plan for a start-up company can be completed rather quickly. Make sure the flow is consistent and easy to understand. As a former banker, I don’t recommend long and complicated language. We focus on the numbers, executive summary, and marketing plan. It is all about how you are going to make money to pay the loan or the credit card back to the bank.
The plan needs to be understandable, readable, and realistic.
Business Plan Outline:
- Executive Summary
- Company Description
- Products and Services
- Market analysis
- Strategy and Implementation
- Organization and Management Team
- Financial plan and projections
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training, and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has provided vital business development resources resulting in over 300 local startup companies reaching their potential faster and graduating into the community where they continue to grow and positively impact the local economy.
With eight facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Kissimmee, Orlando, and Winter Springs. For the 2017/2018 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped to sustain more than 6,725 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of over $725 million on regional GDP and over $1.3 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned more than $12.00 in state and local taxes for every $1.00 invested in the program. In addition, for every $1.00 of public investment, the firms also produced $118 of additional regional GDP and $226 of regional sales. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.