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Information Gathering For Business Plan

If one approaches only one’s friends and family with a business idea, and none of them have the necessary knowledge to advise one, the rot will begin to set in. Wrong or ill-informed advice is not what you need.

The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.

Bankers and financiers presume that one means business when one approaches them in this regard and they expect to receive honest and accurate information. There is no quick and easy way to deal with this; it’s their way or no way.

We all have skills, talents and learned abilities. These can be used to operate a business, which will generate an income. Extensive, in depth analytical thinking and planning is very important though because, without it one is destined to fail.

Discuss your business plan with people who can give you advice; Bankers, Dept. Trade and Industry, Business Partners Inc., other institutions who grant money for small business initiatives, an attorney, an accountant and various other people who have a wealth of experience in their fields of speciality.

When planning to start a business take the following steps:

  1. Speak to product specialists for their advice concerning your products and/or services.
  2. Speak to bankers, a lawyer, an accountant and a number of institutions offering grants or loans to small business initiatives.
  3. The above people will give you a blank Business Plan form, among other forms, to complete.
  4. The business plan is normally of great assistance in planning and budgeting for the business. And it is a good guide to all that needs to be done and decided upon.

Meet with whoever your partners will be, if any, and discuss the whole planned business process, including:

  • The type of business ownership best suited to your business
  • The products or services to be offered
  • The premises needed
  • The machinery and vehicles needed
  • Start up expenses need to be established and discussed
  • Capital requirements and directorship of the business
  • Decide on who will perform which functions in the running of the business.
  • Your target market
  • The environment of your area to be covered
  • The economy relating to that area, current demand, future growth, etc.
  • Determine what barriers exist at present which may hinder your success
  • Promotion of your products and/or services
  • Distribution channels
  • Operational plan i.r.o purchasing, production, sales, etc. needs discussing
  • Legal environment and requirements
  • Inventory and suppliers
  • Insurance and other professional advisory requirements like, lawyer, accountant.
  • Establish a system of record keeping
  • Bank services needed
  • Personnel requirements and Human Resource policies
  • Do the costing of each product very accurately.
  • Calculate selling prices based on all costs plus mark up
  • Draft the projected financial plan or budget for twelve months
  • Draft the projected cash flow for twelve months
  • Draft a starting balance sheet