Do your research. In order to be able to write a strong, comprehensive business plan you need to possess a sound knowledge of the market you are involved in. You need to actively conduct market research and ensure that your plan makes reference to your findings. It should include factors such as market size, the predicted growth path of said market and how you propose to gain access to it. For example, if you are planning on opening a bar then your business plan should include figures based on the local population, cost of suppliers, predictions about whether the bar industry is likely to grow or decline in the area and a review of the competitive environment.
Marketing strategy- The right direction to achieve the goals of the business is to adopt the right marketing strategy. You have to define your target market segments properly and highlight the unique selling proposition of your services or products and how you are different from your customers with regards to your services or products. You have to talk about the pricing or promotional strategies which you will adopt such as tradeshows, press-magnet events, social media marketing (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.), networking, and print, media or online advertising. You need to specify in the business plan which selling strategy you will adopt, online, wholesalers, storefront and also describe the target markets buying cycle.
Cover all bases. Before embarking on your plan it is a good idea to undertake some research in to what a professional business plan should include. You can then use this as a check list to make sure you have covered all the relevant areas. Sections of the business plan should include information on the company, the product/service market, competition in the field, management team, marketing strategy, operations and financials.
Traditionally business plans have been highly confidential and quite limited in audience. The business plan itself is generally regarded as secret. An open business plan is a business plan with unlimited audience. The business plan is typically web published and made available to all. In the free software and open source business model, trade secrets, copyright and patents can no longer be used as effective locking mechanisms to provide sustainable advantages to a particular business and therefore a secret business plan is less relevant in those models.
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