Preview - The Mind of Business Plan
Preview of the Book - The Mind of Business Plan Introduction I found a need in the market for would-be entrepreneurs who require a resource which is simple, short and to-the-point for creating a business plan. It should guide the entrepreneur at every stage of the process, while focusing on the startups. It should be able to help even the first time entrepreneurs. The most important activity in developing a business plan is to think through each point of potential business in depth then based upon that knowledge and information create a perfect write-up about the topic which would answer most of the queries of the reader. This book would help you by taking you through that process of thinking and writing.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preview - The Mind of Business Plan
The Mind of Business Plan Think Through your Business Plan Anshuman Sharma
Copyright ©2012 Anshuman Sharma All Rights Reserved ISBN: 978-1-105-89140-3
DedicationTo my beautiful daughters Anushka and Prashansa To my lovely wife Nilam Pathak
CONTENTSINTRODUCTIONBUSINESS PLAN - STRUCTUREEXECUTIVE SUMMARYTHE FINANCING PROPOSALTHE BUSINESS DESCRIPTIONOPERATING PLANSMARKET ANALYSIS AND SALES FORECASTMARKETING PLANTHE OPERATING PLANORGANIZATION PLANTHE FINANCIAL PLANAbout Author
INTRODUCTION As an entrepreneur and investor, I have the privilege to develop plans for taking our existingbusinesses forward or to work with a team of entrepreneurs on a new solution. As a mentor andinvestor I also review business plans regularly of other teams who either are looking for guidance orfunding. Most of these plans are for commercializing new ideas and develop them into profitablebusinesses. These ideas vary from technology solutions to manufacturing to services. These aredeveloped by well educated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic people who identify an unmet need of themarket and create a product or service to meet that need. This need gap must be profitable, whichmeans that the target audience should be ready to pay for the offering to make the proposed businessprofitable. Many times these ideas are ‘inspired’ by some successful companies located in other regionsor countries, a successful idea in USA like group buying can find many clones in Asian countries. Theseentrepreneurs also have the benefit of showing the success of the proposed model to the investors,thereby reducing overall risk. The logic of this reasoning lies in the view that a successful business modelof one market can be replicated to any other market with high probability of success. This is the reasonthat any successful service leads to the creation of several replicas. I am always amazed to see the quality of business plans presented to me and my team. They arepoorly written. The basic structure and guidelines to develop a business plan are available all overInternet and hundreds of books are written on it. Some companies even offer specialized software todevelop it. Market is abundant with consultants who offer their services to develop the business plansfor these entrepreneurs. On academic front almost all management institutes and several technicalinstitutes offer the course in entrepreneurship, which has ‘business plan development’ as one of thesubject. People can easily obtain data and information about their industries and sectors and canconduct an in-depth research on competitors, market and customers. Even with the sea of informationand support available for every potential entrepreneur, somehow, the right business plan is not created. The reasons range from getting the right guidelines to doing proper research to putting genuineefforts in creating the business plan. For some people it could be a waste of time as they are interestedin immediate action, others are not completely clear about their offerings. Some are afraid to face thereality while few get stuck at writing the plan. A weak business plan is the beginning to an end ofcommercializing the idea. Looking at all these problems the plan of writing this book was conceived. The books which areavailable in the market are either too deep or too shallow. Most covers the description of each segmentof the business plan, in detail. They even provide the business & management concepts required toanalyze the company, industry and market. Some books present the sample business plans, coveringfictional companies in various sectors. A segment of books focus on the tricks to raising money throughastute business plans while others presents dos and don’ts. All these books may have their niche in themarket and readers may look for different resources for problems encountered during the process ofwriting a business plan.
I found a need in the market for would-be entrepreneurs who require a resource which issimple, short and to-the-point for creating a business plan. It should guide the entrepreneur at everystage of the process, while focusing on the startups. It should be able to help even the first timeentrepreneurs. The most important activity in developing a business plan is to think through each pointof potential business in depth then based upon that knowledge and information create a perfect write-up about the topic which would answer most of the queries of the reader. This book would help you bytaking you through that process of thinking and writing. This resource would act as an indispensable resource for the entrepreneurs who have an ideaand are looking forward to raise funds to start a company of their own. This would guide them in fillingthe gaps to have a complete clarity about their offering. The aim of convincing a potential investor through a business plan is secondary; the primaryobjective is to build a belief about the idea. During the process of developing a business plan you tend toexplore almost all aspects of the proposed business. You need to search for the information andresponses to the queries and objections raised during the process. Areas for which information is notavailable, you need to identify some logical assumptions using common sense, information and marketmodels available. By the end of the process you are supposed to have visited every corner of theproposed venture. The weak idea would be rejected during the business plan development process, aseither it would be a loss making proposition or it leads to unsustainable profits or looks illogical. Onceyou are convinced with the business idea and believe in it then it is much easier to convince theinvestors or other potential stakeholders. This book would provide you those guidelines to prepare a complete business plan. Theseguidelines would focus your energies onto the gaps to be filled, which you would do either by searchingfor more information or intensifying the depth of your discussions with your team. The material isorganized in such a way that it would make you think through almost all aspects of your plannedbusiness. This book would only act a support system during your process of business plan development,while the major work would be undertaken by you and your team. It can point to the weak links andgaps but the responsibility of clarifying it would rest on your shoulders. If you want you can avoid certaincomplex issues, which you are not able to answer, but you need to understand that they would comeback to you later in much fierce form. It would be better that all complex issues receive your specialattention. This book would take you to every section and subsection of the business plan and guide yourfocus onto the issues to be discussed and detailed in the document.
THE BUSINESS DESCRIPTION
The Business DescriptionPoints for Discussion 1. What the investor is looking for in our business plan? What other readers would be interested in? 2. What would leave a good impression on reader about the proposed business? What would delight her? 3. What could leave a bad impression on reader about our business plan? What could bore her? What could irritate her? What could make her feel about our insincerity? 4. What can create confusion in reader’s mind and what steps should we take to be crystal clear about our ideas and presentation? 5. Are all the ideas presented in the plan are in sync with each other or is there any inconsistency? 6. What are the points of contradiction and conflict and are we prepared to logically prove them? 7. Are all ideas, activities and actions presented are legal, ethical and moral?
Business Description Specify the business which the company or the proposed venture would perform. This could bemanufacturing of a product demanded in the market or a service filling a gap in the market. You shouldalso describe the gap or demand of the market and logical reasons for it. Also attach some supportingdocument in the appendix, with a link (or page number) provided in this section. This section wouldclearly inform the reader about the business of the company.Points for Discussion 1. Clearly and simply describe the business in minimum number of words. Any person should be able to answer “What we do” after listening to this description. 2. Clearly specify what we do not do. This is required as reader may get confused with any overlapping offerings in the market. 3. How this idea came to our mind and what need and gap our offering is trying to fill in the market? 4. What are our capabilities which make us confident for getting success in this business? 5. How are we unique to get the competitive advantage in the market? 6. What we do? How do we serve the market? 7. What values we stand for? What are those right actions, which can always be expected from us? 8. What is our mission? What is the purpose for which our business exists? 9. What is our organizational vision? How are we going to achieve our mission and purpose of existence? 10. What is our organizational culture defined by our corporate values? 11. How our organizational vision defines our organizational goals, objectives and milestones?