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What is a business plan?

___A business plan is a written document that describes in detail what kind of business you intend to operate, how you intend to operate it, and why you believe you will succeed

___You understand that it is legal for a nonprofit group to make a profit

___You understand there are other ways to ensure your financial sustainability

Why should you have a business plan?

___To clarify your own thinking

___To raise confidence among group members

___To raise confidence among potential outside backers

When should you make a business plan?

___When you are seriously thinking about embarking on a business venture

___When you need clarity on the business details

___When you want expert feedback or advice on the specifics of your ideas

___When you need to attract outside help

How do you make a business plan?

___Include the following in your business plan:

  • A cover page
  • A table of contents
  • An executive summary
  • A description of your organization
  • A description of your management
  • A description of your product or service
  • Information about your market
  • Information about your competition
  • Details of your operating plan
  • Financial information
  • Timelines
  • Appendices

___Write the plan simply, clearly, honestly, and to the point

___Avoid common pitfalls such as:

  • The writing is unclear
  • The plan is too long
  • The layout is poor and/or illogical
  • An executive summary is omitted
  • There is too much technical jargon
  • There is insufficient detail
  • The market is not defined, or a marketing plan is missing
  • No mention or sketchy mention is made of the competition
  • The financial information given is not straightforward
  • The reader is given no compelling reason to invest in the plan

___Package the plan professionally by ensuring that it is:

  • Printed it on high-quality paper
  • Approximately 20 pages
  • Printed in color with tasteful graphics
  • Bound according to the standards of your readers
  • Totally error-free