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Free career education resources       Learning to do a business plan
         Why is a business plan important?
         The business plan process
            SWOT and MECA
         Preparing your business plan
            Example outline of a business plan
         Some business plan tips
 

The Business Plan Process

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The business plan process
   THE BUSINESS PLAN PROCESS

These are the basic steps you have to consider when writing your own business plan:

Identify your vision and “imagineer” it. "Imagineering" simply means using your own imagination in order to engineer (or plan, design, and construct) the future you want. What is your own personal vision for the future? Is it to develop a revolutionary new product or is it to help others gain their peak potential. Perhaps it's as simple as gaining financial independence or sending your children to college. Allow your imagination to run wild. Once you have defined your own vision, bring it down to earth by developing a plan and setting goals and objectives. To keep from getting stuck in a rut, use your imagination to identify and brainstorm the different ways you can reach your goals and objectives.

Seek others’ agreement. Whether you are starting a business or expanding one, hard work is involved. If you do not have the support from family or colleagues, you will find yourself fighting an uphill battle. It's very important that everyone that you depend on buys into your vision and is committed to helping you through the tough times. To save yourself a lot of time and avoid frustration, resolve any differences with your family or colleagues before you begin writing the business plan.

Take stock of where you are. The business tools that will help you to do this are the well-known and respected SWOT and MECA. Link to Ibba

Make some "assumptions". Even though it is impossible to predict the future, it is very important to make some assumptions related to your business's future performance. This is the only way that you will be able to convince others to become involved in your business (especially if you are asking for capital funds). When you are making these assumptions, be sure to state them clearly. Do your homework. Researching your market will help you pick out trends, identify industry norms, etc. The important thing is to make sure your reader is not left guessing since most lenders will assume the worst if given the opportunity.

Develop operating plans. Include key risk assessment. What happens if? How will you reach those goals? What do you need to produce or sell? How much? At what price? Who are your clients? Where are they? How do you reach them? How much competition do you have, and how will you compete successfully?

Develop financials. Your financials include your balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. To prepare these (or update them), ask yourself questions like: What are the day-to-day and month-to-month requirements (costs) of running my business? What is my business's "break-even" point? (The point in the operation of your company when revenues and expenses are exactly equal?) Do I have the capital required for my business or will I have to raise it? Can I get it from friends and relatives? Will I have to go to a bank, or will I have the type of business that appeals to a venture capitalist?

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Your business plan is an invaluable communication tool. It enables you to communicate with others outside of your company and convinces them that your dream is realistic and doable. It also provides focus and direction for your employees since everyone knows what the goals and objectives are and how they tie to the big picture.

When the cycle begins again. Constantly revisit and revise your business plan to see how your business is performing. Ask yourself: How did I do? Did I walk the talk? A good rule of thumb is to work on specific goals and objectives within your business plan on a weekly basis and revisit the entire plan once a month. On a yearly basis, you can reassess the entire plan to see if your business is performing the way you want it to.






   CAREER EDUCATION GLOSSARY

Comprehensive career education glossary. Definitions of career education and career builder terms.

Adult basic education.    Adult general education    Adult secondary education.    Adult student.     Apprenticeship.    Aptitudes.   

Assessment.    Attributes.     Career.     Career branding.     Career Carnival.    Career change.    Career cluster.    Career coach.   

Career counseling.    Career exploration.    Career development.    Career fair.    Career guidance.    Career-Interest Inventory.    

Career mentoring.    Career objective.    Career paths.    Career planning.    Career program certificate.    Career resources.   

Career Trek.    Competencies (proficiencies).    Competency-based education.     Community Education.   

Continuing Workforce Education.    Co-operative career education    Cover letter.    Curriculum-Integrated program.   

CV. Curriculum Vitae.    Degree Vocational Education Program.    Demand occupation.    Distance education.    Doctorate.   

Dislocated worker.    Employability.    Entrepreneurial skills.    Formation.    Foundation skills.    Freelance career.    Head hunter.   

Home-based careers.    Human capital.    Human performance technology.    Human resources.    Immersion courses.    Internship.   

Job satisfaction.    Job shadowing.    Life coaching.    Lifelong learning.    Mentor.    Mentoring.    Moonlighting.    Motivation letter.   

Non-traditional careers.    Portfolio.    Postsecondary.    Prerequisite.    Real Game.    Resume.    Sabbatical year.   

School-to-career program.    Self-employment.    Self-instruction.    Skills.    Undergraduate.    Work-based learning.   

Work exploration.    Work readiness.    Work study.    Workforce development education.    Youth apprenticeship.

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