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Ready, Set, Go! Getting Ready
Outline of a Business Plan
By Ahmed Saad, Technology Matrix Group - Copyright 2001
I still remember my first business class; the title of the first chapter of the course book was: "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail".  Nothing is closer to the truth! 

While some businesses with good plans fail, all successful businesses have a clear sense of direction via an ever-changing DYNAMIC plan.  You do not have to invest weeks into a plan because you do not want it to be a "completed" static document that gives you a false impression that the planning is over and what you need going forward is to merely implement it. 

We suggest a simple plan with clear outlines and bullets.   Feel free to change it as you adapt to changes in the  external environment.   The important thing here is that you KNOW that you have changed course, and why you have decided to do so.  This kind of adaptability will give you a higher chance of success and a tremendous learning experience. 

The following is an outline of a business plan.  We will add more depth to it and provide examples soon.  We have highlighted the critical elements of the plan in red.   This is not to say that the other components are useless but they apply more to plans that you present to venture capitalists and potential investors to give them a better idea of what is inside your mind.

1. Executive Summary

2. Company Overview (mission, vision, and concept)


3. The Market
    Industry Overview
    Target Market
    Competition
          existing
          Potential
    Marketing Plan

          Product or service
          Pricing structure
          Promotion (advertising, affiliate, word of               mouth, PR, etc.)
          Channels of distribution

4. Implementation outline

  
5. Organizational Structure and Management


6. Financial aspects


7. Appendix
research material and statistics
Contract with business members
Sales agreements
Resume of team members
Investment up to date and proof of concept

 

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