The easy-to-follow chapters show you how to:
--Think through your strategies and balance your enthusiasm with facts
--Capture and hold the interest of potential lenders and investors
--Understand and develop your own financial statements
--Recognize the unique selling advantage of your products or services
--Avoid potentially disastrous errors like undercapitalization and negative cash flow
Also included in this book:
--A glossary of planning and financial terms
--A complete sample business plan
About the Author: Brian Hazelgren founded goStrategy to focus on all aspects of strategic consulting for small and medium enterprises. Brian has a degree in marketing from Western International University, with a minor in finance. Brian has authored and coauthored five books, including Your First Business Plan and The Complete Book of Business Plans, and has produced two business CDs. His latest work, Power Planning: The New Era in Strategic Thinking is the manual used in the goStrategy strategic planning courses. Brian is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Utah where he is one of four professors chosen to start the new Entrepreneurship program at the University. He is also a frequent guest on radio talk shows throughout the country. He has 17 years in the business/strategic planning and technology fields.
Brian has been a radio talk show host on the No. 1 station in the Phoenix, AZ market. His show was called "All About Business" and he focused on topics geared towards assisting business owners and managers in running a better organization.
Brian has owned and operated a successful manufacturing and distribution company, which produced the popular Gumball Wizard and Gumball Mania vending machines. His products were frequently featured on The Price is Right, as the number one product in the Sharper Image Catalog and in three Hollywood movies (Richie Rich, First Kid and Monolith).
Brian spent four years with Sprint Paranet, a division of Sprint, as a Regional Director. While at Sprint, Brian received several awards, including the first ever Outstanding Achievement Award, the Division Managers Award, the Marketing Aptitude Award, the 120% of Goal Award, Para 100 and the Fast Start Award. As a start-up under Brian's leadership, Sprint Paranet Utah was awarded the No. 1 IT Consulting Firm Award in the State of Utah. This was accomplished after only 2 years in the Intermountain market.
During the early phases of the Internet, Brian started a Phoenix, AZ based ISP that was soon voted the No. 3 ISP in the state of Arizona. He sold his interests in this business.
Brian was a member of the BYU national championship football team in 1984. He was a sprinter in track and field and has held five records in track and field in the state of Utah. He was drafted to play professional baseball out of high school, but chose to play football.
Brian is the father of six children, with two sets of twins. He and his lovely wife of 15 years, Ann Christensen Hazelgren, live in Riverton, Utah.
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Read an Excerpt
When it comes to writing a business plan, most people think it's about as much fun as taking a trip to the dentist. They usually focus on the pain, rather than the results. Let's face it, writing a good business plan will take time, patience, a lot of thinking, hours of research and hours of writing and editing. But think of the results. You will know your business better, and be better assured that it will flourish. In addition, you will have a better chance of obtaining financing. Most importantly, you will know how to conduct business and compete at a more sophisticated level. The time invested in developing a business plan can make the difference between success or failure.
Consider, also, the edge you will have over your competition. Millions of businesses do not have a business plan. They are simply reacting to the conditions that exist, much like a sailboat on a windless day. The point made here is that when you take the time to fully develop a sound business plan, you will have a greater advantage in maneuvering and changing your course when the climate is not to your benefit.
A Few Facts:
About one million new businesses are started each year in America; of those, approximately two hundred thousand will survive five years. This translates into one in five businesses making it to their fifth anniversary. This is an alarming statistic! Why in the world would only one in five businesses in the "Land of Opportunity" survive so short a period of time? There are several reasons; however, the most common happens to be the most controllable. There is no magic equation for success, but one basic rule holds true: "A business owner who fails to plan, plans to fail."
A business plan helps entrepreneurs and business managers think through their strategies, balance their enthusiasm with facts and recognize their limitations. It will help you avoid potentially disastrous errors like undercapitalizing, creating negative cash flow, hiring the wrong people, selecting the wrong location and pursuing the wrong market.
A winning business plan requires time: fifty to one hundred hours to write an effective business plan which would include research, documentation, analysis and review.
Entrepreneurs should start planning at least six months before they initiate a new business. This takes into consideration the time you need to devote to its "start-up" while working another job. Six months gives you time to sharpen and focus your business ideas, test your assumptions and improve your management skills.
If you don't want to wait six months, then dig in and begin your incredible journey. Maybe you are the type of person who can accomplish the following processes in a shorter period of time; however, these essential elements must be part of your task.
Table of ContentsOverview
Chapter 1: Powerful Guidelines to Writing Your First Business Plan
Chapter 2: The First Pages
Chapter 3: General Company Description
Chapter 4: Present Situation
Chapter 5: Objectives Section
Chapter 6: Product/Service Section
Chapter 7: Market Analysis
Chapter 8: Marketing and Sales Strategies
Chapter 9: Management Section
Chapter 10: Financial Projections
Chapter 11: Executive Summary
Chapter 12: Appendix Section
Chapter 13: Practical Tips
Chapter 14: Sample Business Plan