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Preparing Your Business Plan

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Preparing Your Business Plan

Whether you are writing your business plan for the first time or rewriting it for the twentieth, there are certain steps you can follow in order to make the process easier.

Step 1 - Identify your objectives. The first step in preparing your business plan is to determine who your audience is going to be and what they want to know about your company. Then, you must determine what you want your audience to know. What are the areas you want to emphasize? What are the ones you want to downplay or eliminate? Once you have resolved any conflicts between these two viewpoints, you are ready to move to Step 2.

Step 2 - Outline your business plan. Now that you have identified your objectives, you can begin preparing an outline of your business plan based on these special requirements. An outline can be as general or as specific as you would like. However, the more specific it is, the easier the writing process will be.

Step 3 - Review your outline. The next step is to review your outline. Based on your readers and your objectives, identify the areas that should be presented in detail or summary form in your business plan. Remember that your business plan should maintain a fairly high-level focus. Any detail information can be included in the appendix section of your business plan or on a request basis.

Step 4 - Write your plan. Depending on the age of your business and your experience writing business plans, the order in which you develop the specific elements of your business plan will vary.

o Gather information. Most people will begin by gathering historical financial information and market research information first. You will use this information to make many of the basic assumptions and strategies that you will include in your plan.

o Prepare drafts. The next step in writing your business plan is to prepare



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