business plan cover page

business plan cover page

Developing an Effective Business Plan

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1. Introduction

Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship! If you are serious about opening your own firm, regardless of the type, you will need a business plan. No matter how small your business, a plan will take your dream “out of your mind, off of the back of a napkin, and ultimately into reality”. This plan will outline the expectations of your business, the opportunity, and the reality of taking your idea and putting it into practice. A good plan will take a hard, realistic look at the business and ask whether the risk is worth the reward. It will force you to expect the unexpected. In the end, a business that expects everything will do better than one that plans for only the best. A business plan is not the same as a feasibility study. A feasibility study is short, to the point and is an inexpensive way to determine whether or not to proceed with a more detailed plan. A feasibility study will look at whether an idea “can” turn into a business, and defines the probability of the idea being a success. A business plan on the other hand is a much more comprehensive document that will focus the business and define its success i.e. it provides an “in depth” look at the business opportunity.

2. Executive Summary

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. It’s a roadmap for both you and any potential investor as you move forward. A clear, compelling executive summary is crucial to the success of the rest of the document. Think of the executive summary as an advance organizer for the reader. Above all else, it must be clear and concise. But it also has to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to read on. As the old adage goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Here are a few important questions to consider when composing your summary: – What is special about my business? – Summarize the key elements of the business. What are its products, services, and the specific market it serves? What is its mission? – What are the specific goals for the business? Who are the decision makers?

3. Market Analysis

Subscription services are becoming more and more common in today’s market. People are becoming accustomed to the idea of regularly renewing their purchases of certain products. For gamers, Xbox Live Gold is a popular subscription service as it allows users to fund and fast throughout the multiplayer gameplay of certain games. Our transaction will facilitate the purchase of Xbox Live Gold subscriptions for customers that use online banking as it provides immediate funds transfer. The product that we are dealing with is essentially the credit card transaction. We are providing a service to online companies, mainly game retailers, which will allow their customers to purchase Xbox Live Gold subscriptions without any delay. This service will be carried out by a Java applet employing the JMS API and using a back-end simulation. This product is unique in that it offers reliability and quickness which cannot be achieved by similar services using credit card payments. Credit card processing can take a measure of days to actually charge the customer, and ATM debit is impossible for online transactions. Our product stands out as this subscription service market is taking off; we are providing a current day solution to an up and coming trend. It fulfills the need for online gamers to immediately obtain the product they want, no more, no less.

In this section, provide a detailed description of the product or service. What is unique about the product? How does it stand out from the competition? What consumer need does the product fulfill?

A. Description of the Product

4. Business Strategy

A firm’s business strategy consists of the competitive moves and business approaches that managers and lower-level management are employing to grow the business, attract and please customers, compete successfully, conduct operations, and achieve the targeted levels of sales and profits. The business strategy of a company is often the plan management is carrying out, and the functional moves in producing, marketing, R&D, sales, and service are the pieces of the plan. We can separate between what a company is doing and its strategy of yesteryear from the new. The best evidence of a company’s strategy is found in the actions it is currently taking, as evidenced by what a company is doing. Its strategy can be seen as its postulated plan to make it move from its current place to where it wants to be in the future. This involves promotions, research and development, mergers or joint ventures with other companies, and various other tactics to get ahead in the market. The vast internet marketing, web design, and SEO services have all been pioneered by college students all the way up to seasoned business folk who have the ability to move their ideas forward into fruition. With the Internet bringing successful software and deployment-oriented projects, ZEN IT Support provides vertical and horizontal software vendors services program.

5. Financial Projections

The function of supporting material in a business plan is to attractively present a business proposition in terms that are both clear and realistic. For the entrepreneur, the research on and analysis of the market nearly always results in changes of various sorts in the actual business idea. The reality check of examining costs and revenues will, on occasions, force changes upon an entrepreneur because the findings show a lack of profitability. It is therefore essential for the entrepreneur to be methodical and meticulous to ensure that the financial projections are based on as accurate an assessment as possible of the market demand and the costs/revenues of the new business idea. In situations where research findings for the market are ambiguous or hard to quantify, the entrepreneur should avoid being overly optimistic. Clinging to an over-optimistic expectation of demand from consumers has been cited in many a business failure as the prime cause of an overcommitment of resources to a project that was inherently unprofitable. The entrepreneur should be prepared to construct a number of different scenarios for the demand level and scale of entry and forecast the costs and revenues for each case. An often neglected part of a financial projection is the explanation of the underlying assumptions that the forecasts are based on. Lenders and investors who read the business plan will be sensitive to the issues of risk attached to a new venture. They will look carefully at the entrepreneur’s logic in developing the cost and revenue forecasts and will judge the likelihood that these plans can be realized. Given this, it is helpful for the entrepreneur to litter the forecast with comments that relate to key points in the plan where the information to make a good estimate is hard to come by and that highlight the positive or negative impact that the plan at this point would have on the forecasts.

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