Neighborhood Transformation
Neighborhood Transformation
Answer These Questions to Create Your Own business plan
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  • A brief (one paragraph) statement of the business plan objectives.

    In General:

  • What is the purpose of this plan? Will it be used as an: operating guide? financing proposal?
  • What is the business structure (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, Subchapter S corporation)?
  • Who are the principals?
  • What is to be done?
  • Why will it be successful?

    For A Financing Proposal:

  • Who is asking for money?
  • How much money is being requested?
  • What is the money needed for?
  • How will the funds benefit the business?
  • How will the funds be paid?
  • Why does the loan or investment make sense?
  • What the business is (or will be); primarily merchandising, manufacturing, or
  • What is the nature of the product(s) or service(s)?
  • What market you intend to service, the size of the market, and your expected share;
  • Why you can service that market better than your competition;
  • Why you have chosen your particular location;
  • What management and other personnel are required and available for the operation;
  • Why your investment or someone elses money (debt/equity) will make your business profitable.
  • Status of business: start-up, expansion of a going concern, or a take-over of an existing business?
  • What is the business form: sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation?
  • Who are the customers?
  • Why is your business going to be profitable?
  • When will (did) your business open?
  • What hours of the day and days of the week will you be in operation?

    For a New Business:

  • Why will you be successful in this business?
  • What is your experience in this business?
  • Have you spoken with other people in this kind of business? What was their response?
  • What will be special about your business?
  • Have you spoken with prospective trade suppliers to find out what managerial and/or technical help they will provide?
  • Have you asked about trade credit?
  • If you will be doing any contract work, what are the terms? Reference any firm contract and include it as a supporting document.
  • Do you have letters of intent for prospective suppliers of purchases?

    For a Take-Over:

  • When and by whom was the business founded?
  • Why is the owner selling it?
  • How did you arrive at a purchase price for the business?
  • What is the trend of sales?
  • If the business is going downhill, why? How can you turn it around?
  • How will your management make the business more profitable?
  • Generally explain who needs your product or service, and why.
  • Who exactly is your market? Describe characteristics: age, sex profession, income, etc., of your various market segments.
  • What is the present size of the market?
  • What percent of the market will you have?
  • What is the market's growth potential?
  • As the market grows, does your share increase or decrease?
  • How are you going to satisfy your market?
  • How will you attract and keep this market?
  • How can you expand your market?
  • How are you going to price your service, product, or merchandise to make a fair profit and, at the same time, be competitive?
  • What price do you anticipate getting for your product?
  • Is the price competitive?
  • Why will someone pay your price?
  • How did you arrive at the price? Is it profitable?
  • What special advantages do you offer that may justify higher price (you don't necessarily have to engage in direct price competition)?
  • Will you offer credit to your customers (accounts receivable)? If so, is this really necessary? Can you afford to extend credit? Can you afford bad debts?
  • Who are your five nearest competitors? List them by name.
  • How will your operation be better than theirs?
  • How is their business: steady? increasing? decreasing? Why?
  • How are their operations similar and dissimilar to yours?
  • What are their strengths and/or weaknesses?
  • What have you learned from watching their operations?
  • What is your business address?
  • What are the physical features of your building?
  • Is your building leased or owned? State the terms.
  • If renovations are needed, what are they? What is the expected cost? Get quotes in WRITING from more than one contractor. Include quotes as supporting documents.
  • What is the neighborhood like (stable, changing, improving, deteriorating)? Are there other special permits or licenses you may need?
  • Does the zoning permit your kind of business?
  • What kind of businesses are in the area?
  • Have you considered other areas? Why is this one the desirable site for your business?
  • Why is this the right building and location for your business?
  • How does this location affect your operating costs?
  • What is your business background?
  • What management experience have you had?
  • What education have you had (including both formal and informal learning experiences) which have bearing on your managerial abilities?
  • Personal data: age, where you live and have lived, special abilities and interests, reasons for going into business?
  • Are you physically suited to the job? Stamina counts.
  • Why are you going to be successful at this venture?
  • Do you have direct operational experience in this type of business?
  • Do you have managerial experience in this type of business?
  • Do you have managerial experience acquired elsewhere - whether in totally different kinds of businesses, or as an offshoot of club or team membership, civic or church work, etc.?
  • Who does what? Who reports to whom? Where do final decisions get made?
  • What will management be paid?
  • What other re-sources will be available (accountant, lawyer)?

    Note: A personal financial statement must be included as a supporting document in your plan if it is a proposal for financing. Include your resume as a supporting document.
  • What are your personnel needs now? In the near future? In five years?
  • What skills must they have?
  • Are the people you need available?
  • Will your employees be full or part-time?
  • Will you pay salaries or hourly wages?
  • Will you provide fringe benefits? If so, what? Have you calculated the cost of these fringe benefits?
  • Will you utilize overtime?
  • Will you have to train people? If so, at what cost to the business (both time of more experienced workers and money)?
  • How is the loan or investment to be spent? This can be fairly general (working capital, new equipment, inventory, supplies).
  • What item or items will be purchased?
  • What is the specific model name and/or number of your purchase(s)?
  • Who is the supplier?
  • What is the price?
  • How much did you (will you) pay in sales tax, installation charges and/or freight fees?
  • How will the loan or investment (your own or others) make your business more profitable?
  • Sources and Applications of funding
  • Capital Equipment List
  • Balance Sheet
  • Breakeven Analysis
  • Pro Forma Income Statements
  • Pro Forma Cash Flow Statements