Business Plans for Dummies

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Overview

Whether you're just thinking about launching your own business, are in the process of launching it, or have had a business for a while and want to put it on a strong course, Business Plans For Dummies is the guide you've been waiting for. Authors and business experts Paul Tiffany and Steven Peterson help you think through the single most important document for your business. They help you set goals and craft a meaningful mission statement to guide you into the future, and they also make sure that you have a ...
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Overview

Whether you're just thinking about launching your own business, are in the process of launching it, or have had a business for a while and want to put it on a strong course, Business Plans For Dummies is the guide you've been waiting for. Authors and business experts Paul Tiffany and Steven Peterson help you think through the single most important document for your business. They help you set goals and craft a meaningful mission statement to guide you into the future, and they also make sure that you have a handle on financial considerations that can ultimately make or break your enterprise. Thanks to the authors' thorough understanding of what makes businesses successful in the real world, you can avoid pitfalls and profit from opportunities you may not have considered. Best of all, if you've regarded business plans merely as a necessary formality on the way to getting funding, Business Plans For Dummies gives you a new appreciation for the process of creating a business plan. Business Plans For Dummies, and the time you spend reading it, are sure to give you a manifold returns on your investment.

This fun and easy reference for entrepreneurs, managers, executives, and small business owners covers all the components needed to develop a successful business plan--from creating a mission statement to developing goals and objectives to executing and managing the plan. Cartoons. 384 pp.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764576522
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/27/2004
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 203,260
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Tiffany is the managing director of Paul Tiffany & Associates, a Santa Rosa, California-based firm that has offered management training and consulting services to organizations throughout the world for the past fifteen years. In addition, he has taught business planning courses at some of the top business schools in the country, including Stanford, Wharton, and The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, where he currently serves as adjunct professor. He holds an MBA from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Berkeley. He can be reached by e-mail at tiffany@haas.berkeley.edu.

Steven Peterson is a senior partner and founder of Home Planet Technologies, a management training company specializing in hands-on software tools designed to enhance business strategy, business planning, and general management skills. He is the creator and designer of "The Protean Strategist," a state of the art computer-based business simulation. The simulation creates a dynamic business environment where participants run companies and compete against each other in a fast-changing marketplace. Each management team in the simulation is responsible for developing its own strategy, business plan, and program to make the plan work. Steven has used The Protean Strategist to add excitement, hands-on experience, teamwork, and a competitive challenge to corporate training programs around the world. He has worked with both large and small companies on products and services in industries ranging from telecommunications to financial services and from high technology to consumer goods and industrial equipment. He can be reached by e-mail at peterson@HomePlanetTech.com.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Why You Need This Book
How to Use This Book
How This Book Is Organized
Part I: Determining Where You Want to Go
Part II: Sizing Up Your Marketplace
Part III: Weighing Your Company's Prospects
Part IV: Looking to the Future
Part V: A Planner's Toolkit
Part VI: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book
Where to Go From Here
Part I: Determining Where You Want to Go
Chapter 1: Starting Your Business Plan
Getting the Most Out of Your Plan
Looking forward
Looking back
Looking around
Naming Your Planners
Putting Your Plan on Paper
Executive summary
Company overview
Business environment
Company description
Company strategy
Financial review
Action plan
Chapter 2: Charting the Proper Course
Creating Your Company's Mission Statement
Getting started
Capturing your business (in 50 words or less)
Introducing Goals and Objectives
Why bother?
Goals versus objectives
Efficiency versus effectiveness
Management by objectives
Setting Your Own Goals and Objectives
Guidelines for setting goals
Guidelines for setting objectives
Getting it right
Avoiding the pitfalls
Timing is everything
Chapter 3: Setting Off in the Right Direction
Why Values Matter
Tough choices
Lost and unprepared
The value of having values
Identifying Your Company's Values
Investors
The rest of the crew
Existing beliefs and principles
Putting Together the Values Statement
The quick way to develop a values statement
The long way to develop a values statement
Creating Your Company's Vision Statement
Part II: Sizing Up Your Marketplace
Chapter 4: Checking Out the Business Environment
Defining the Business That You're In
Analyzing Your Industry
Structure
The arrangement of rivals
New technologies
Can anybody play?
Cashing out
Markets
Just how big is big?
Growing or shrinking?
Choices
Something altogether different
Relationships
Supply and demand
Keeping customers happy
Delivering the sale
Finance
The cost side
The profit motive
Data
Recognizing Critical Success Factors
Technology
Manufacturing
Human resources
Organization
Services
Location
Marketing
Distribution
Government regulation
Preparing for Opportunities and Threats
It's a beautiful morning
Dark clouds on the horizon
Chapter 5: Taking a Closer Look at Customers
Checking Out Who Your Customers Are
The good customer
The bad customer
The other guy's customer
Discovering Why Your Customers Buy
Understanding needs
Determining motives
Finding Out How Your Customers Make Choices
Perceptions are reality
The five steps to adoption
Remembering the Big Picture
Dealing with Business Customers
Secondhand demand
Decision-making as a formal affair
Forces to be reckoned with
Chapter 6: Dividing Customers into Groups
Defining Market Segments
Ways to Make Market Segments
Who is buying?
Where do they live?
What are they like?
What do they do?
How do they act?
What do they buy?
What can it do?
How is it sold?
What does it cost?
Where is it found?
Why do they buy?
What do they get?
How do they decide?
Finding Useful Market Segments
Is the segment the right size?
Can customers be identified?
Can the market be reached?
Figuring Out How Market Segments Behave
Chapter 7: Scoping Out Your Competition
Understanding the Value of Competitors
Identifying Your Real Competitors
Competition based on customer choice
Competition based on product use
Competition based on strategy
Competition in the future
Tracking Your Competitors' Actions
Determining their capabilities
Assessing their strategies
Predicting Your Competitors' Moves
Figuring out their goals
Uncovering their assumptions
Competing to Win
Organizing facts and figures
Choosing your battles
Part III: Weighing Your Company's Prospects
Chapter 8: Establishing Your Starting Position
Situation Analysis
Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses
Frames of reference
Capabilities and resources
Management: Setting direction from the top
Organization: Bringing people together
Customer base: Pleasing the crowds
Research and development: Inventing the future
Operations: Making things work
Sales and Marketing: Telling a good story
Distribution and delivery: Completing the cycle
Financial condition: Keeping track of money
Critical success factors
Analyzing Your Situation in 3-D
A glance at competitors
Completing your SWOT analysis
Chapter 9: Focusing On What You Do Best
Describing What You Do
Constructing a typical value chain
Comparing different value chains
Forging your own value chain
Staying in Business
Searching for competitive advantage
Focusing on core competence
Sustaining an advantage over time
Earmarking Resources
Chapter 10: Figuring Out Financials
Reading an Income Statement
Revenue
Gross revenue on sales
Dividend and interest income
Costs
Cost of goods sold
Sales, general, and administration
Depreciation expense
Interest expense
Taxes
Profit
Gross profit
Operating profit
Profit before taxes
Net profit
Interpreting the Balance Sheet
Assets
Current assets
Fixed assets
Intangibles
Liabilities and owners' equity
Current liabilities
Long-term liabilities
Owners' equity
Examining the Cash-Flow Statement
Cash in and cash out
Funds provided by
Funds used for
What's left over
Changes in liquid assets
Net change in cash position
Evaluating Financial Ratios
Short-term obligations
Current ratio = current assets ÷ current liabilities
Quick ratio = (cash + investments + receivables) ÷ current liabilities
Inventory turnover = cost of goods sold ÷ inventories
Receivables turnover = sales on credit ÷ accounts receivable
Long-term responsibilities
Times interest earned = earnings before interest and taxes ÷ interest expense
Debt-to-equity ratio = long-term liabilities ÷ owners' equity
Relative profitability
Net profit margin = net profit ÷ gross revenue on sales
Return on investment = net profit ÷ total assets
Return on equity = net profit ÷ owners' equity
Chapter 11: Forecasting and Budgeting
Constructing a Financial Forecast
Pro-forma income statement
Projected revenue
Anticipated costs
Estimated balance sheet
Assets
Liabilities and owners' equity
Projected cash flow
Exploring Alternatives
The DuPont formula
What-if analysis
Making a Budget
What's inside the budget
How budgets are done
Top-down budgeting approach
Bottom-up budgeting approach
Part IV: Looking to the Future
Chapter 12: Preparing for Change
Defining the Dimensions of Change
Economic trends
Technological trends
U.S. governmental trends
Cultural trends
Anticipating Change
Trend forecasting
Extrapolation
Judgment forecasting
Delphi study
Scenario planning
Assessing the Effects of Change
Rolling the dice
Win or lose
Chapter 13: Thinking Strategically
Making Strategy Make a Difference
What strategy means
When strategy works
Applying Off-the-Shelf Strategies
Low-cost leadership
No-frills product
Experience curve
Low-cost culture
Standing out
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