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The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Business Plans

Book Description

It's just good business.

The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Business Plans, Second Edition, helps new and existing entrepreneurs create clear, comprehensive, and compelling business plans by walking them through all of the decisions they'll need to make before writing their plans, and then helping them structure and execute their plans to achieve their specific business goals.

*According to the Small Business Administration, in 2002 approximately 570,000 new small businesses opened their doors for business, and in 2007, the number rose to 680,000. Data shows that the past three recessions all resulted in significant rises in the number of new small businesses.

*More than 75 percent of small firms use some form of credit in their startup or operations

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Dedication
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Introduction
  5. Part 1 - Getting Started
    1. Chapter 1 - According to Plan
      1. Business Owner Basics
      2. Types of Business Plans
      3. How Can a Plan Help?
      4. Your Unique Selling Proposition
      5. Doing It Yourself or Getting Help?
      6. Getting Soft
    2. Chapter 2 - Figuring Out the Financing
      1. Understanding Debt and Equity
      2. Money Sources
      3. Selecting a Lender
      4. Angel Investors
      5. Private Equity
      6. Other Funding Sources
      7. EDA
      8. What Lenders and Investors Want
      9. Credit-Reporting Bureaus
      10. Your Credit Score
    3. Chapter 3 - Business Writing Basics
      1. Effective Business Writing
      2. Avoiding Writer’s Block
      3. Speaking and Writing Well
  6. Part 2 - Putting Together Your Plan
    1. Chapter 4 - Ready, Set, Write
      1. From Dream to Document
      2. Getting to the Goal
      3. Obtain Assistance
      4. Iterative Process
    2. Chapter 5 - Getting Down to Business
      1. Getting Off on the Right Foot
      2. Title Page
      3. Table of Contents
      4. Confidentiality Agreement
      5. Executive Summary
      6. Purpose
      7. What Is It?
      8. We’re on a Mission
    3. Chapter 6 - Industry Overview
      1. Industrial Strength
      2. Understanding Market Research
      3. Understanding the Industry
      4. Industry Economics and Trends
      5. Opportunities and Obstacles
      6. Competition
      7. Business Performance
    4. Chapter 7 - Who Are You?
      1. Internal Assets
      2. Owners and Partners
      3. Staffing
      4. Employee or Contractor?
      5. Organizational Chart
      6. Salaries
      7. Strategic Partners
      8. Professional Resources
    5. Chapter 8 - Analyzing Your Business in the Market
      1. Getting Down to Strategy
      2. Targeting Your Customers
      3. Demographic Profiles
      4. Getting Psychographic
      5. Defining Business-to-Business Customers
      6. Who Is Your Perfect Customer?
      7. CRM Technology Can Help
      8. Why Do They Buy?
      9. Creating Profiles
      10. Why You Shouldn’t Service Every Customer
      11. Evaluating Market Segments
      12. Defining Your Market Strategy
      13. The SWOT Approach
      14. Predicting Market Share
    6. Chapter 9 - Getting the Word Out
      1. Positioning Your Business in the Market
      2. Explaining Your Marketing Strategy
      3. Putting Together the Marketing Plan
    7. Chapter 10 - Sales Plan and Forecast
      1. Selling Yourself
      2. Your Channels
      3. Sales Tools
      4. Territories
      5. Finding Prospects
      6. Sales Cycles and Strategies
      7. AIDA
      8. Sales Forecast
    8. Chapter 11 - Operation Success
      1. Business Operations
      2. Equipment
      3. Technology Needs
      4. Equipment Leases
      5. Building Leases
      6. Utilities and Services
      7. Production/Service Provision Methods
      8. Quality Control
      9. Inventory and Supply
      10. Vendor Agreements or Letters of Intent
      11. Customer Service Policies
    9. Chapter 12 - Money, Money
      1. Start-Up Costs
      2. Creating an Operating Budget
      3. Source and Use of Funds
      4. Managing Cash Flow
      5. Creating a Cash-Flow Statement
      6. Understanding Profit-and-Loss Statements
      7. Understanding the Balance Sheet
      8. Determining Profitability with Financial Tools
      9. Analysis of Financial Facts
      10. Insurance Needs
    10. Chapter 13 - Show Your Documents
      1. Back Me Up
      2. Resumés or Bios
      3. Personal Financial Statements and Tax Returns
      4. Business Structure (Articles of Incorporation)
      5. Loans
      6. Credit Reports
      7. Franchise or Acquisition Agreements
      8. Leases or Mortgage
      9. Licenses
      10. Letters of Intent
      11. Market Analysis
      12. Other
    11. Chapter 14 - Executive Summary
      1. In Summary
      2. What’s in the Executive Summary
      3. Selling in Your Summary
      4. Paring It Down
      5. What Not to Put in the Executive Summary
  7. Part 3 - Putting Your Plan to Work
    1. Chapter 15 - Financing Considerations to Include in Your Plan
      1. The Money Plan
      2. Who’s Got the Cash?
      3. What Lenders Want to See
      4. Knocking a Lender’s Socks Off
      5. Negotiating Your Financing
      6. Types of Loans
      7. What to Expect During the Loan Process
      8. Finding Investors
      9. Money Online
      10. What Investors Want
      11. Other Financial Uses for the Plan
    2. Chapter 16 - Using Your Plan as a Management Tool
      1. Planning to Run
      2. Planning Findings
      3. Implementing Your Plan
      4. All Aboard
      5. Staffing Up
      6. Managing the Future
    3. Chapter 17 - Keeping Your Plan Current
      1. Keeping It Going
      2. Measuring Your Company’s Success
      3. Getting Information
      4. What Do Customers Really Think?
      5. Using the Information You Find
      6. When It’s Time to Go, It’s Time to Go
      7. Going Forward
  8. Appendix A - Business Terms Glossary
  9. Appendix B - Sample Plans
  10. Appendix C - Resources
    1. Government
    2. Money and Management
    3. Marketing
    4. Magazines and Newsletters
    5. Market Research and Information Sources
    6. Business Portals and Directories
    7. Small Business Blogs
    8. Business Plan Software
  11. Index