Business Planning Course
Welcome to our free Business Planning Course; a complete business planning toolkit for new or existing business owners wanting to run a more efficient and productive business. The major reason for success in any business and in life is clear-eyed and thoughtful planning.
Good business owners understand that writing a business plan is not a one-time event. A business plan should be a living document, an ongoing work in progress. As the business environment changes, your business plan should adjust and evolve over time.
As a leader and business owner, it's your responsibility to become knowledgeable in all things relative to your business. In writing a comprehensive business plan you will be forced to dig deep into your business financials; the competitive landscape, and industry trends. When your plan is complete, you'll have a firmer grasp of your business goals and a clearer understanding of how to achieve key objectives.
Becoming an expert in any business doesn't happen overnight. It takes hard work and determination to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to create and maintain a successful business. However, the benefits of writing a business plan to you and the business far outweigh the investment of time and effort.
Our free business planning course will walk you step-by-step through the process of building a rock-solid business plan.
"A true business plan is a living document and provides a guide that you can use to power your business for years into the future."
Section by section, you will learn what's most important to include in your plan. As you begin the business planning process, you'll most likely realize there are some important business practices that you may not have thought about previously.
Take this opportunity to fine-tune your business knowledge and expertise. Commit to updating your business plan on an ongoing process in order to stay ahead of changing customer needs and competitive challenges.
What's Included in the Business Planning Course?
Ready to check out our free Business Planning Course? Okay, let's get started.
You can complete the course by going through the individual pages on our website, or you can download a full compilation as a free ebook. For your quick and easy reference, all business planning sections have been compiled into a single pdf ebook.
Here is a list of each section of the Business Planning Course.
» PART I - Executive Summary
Although the executive summary is located first in the business plan, it
is recommended that it be written last to ensure that all of the information in the
business plan is properly summarized.
- Mission Statement Tools A clear mission statement provides a concise definition of what your business is committed to achieve. Use our recommended tool
to create your mission statement. The tool is free, and it works.
- Mission Statement Examples Review examples of effective mission statements. Effective mission
statements evoke emotion and creates an image in the mind of the customers and employees.
» PART II - Company Description
Describe details about your business and how all the different departments work together effectively to produce a quality product. Follow our recommended template with step-by-step instructions.
- Market Analysis Demonstrate your knowledge about the market and industry you are competing in.
In this section you will present facts and corresponding
conclusions based on your market research.
- Competitive Analysis Identify your competition by its product line or service. Present an assessment of their strengths and weaknesses and clearly identify any potential
barriers your business may experience when entering the market.
» PART III - Operations Structure
This section of the business plan will vary widely
depending on the type of industry you are in. Management has to
determine how much information to share given your concerns over proprietary secrets, trademarks and copyright
- Organizational Structure Details how various departments within the business are organized. Commonly, this is illustrated through the use of organizational flow charts, complete with
brief descriptions for each job function.
- Management Qualifications Identifies the skills and expertise of the business leaders and key personnel. Those who will be reviewing your business plan will be very interested in the qualifications of the owner and/or key managers.
» PART IV - Service or Product Offer
Describe in detail what product or service you are offering to your
target market. Detail all suppliers, service contractors and manufacturers of your product or service.
- Business Resources Clearly articulate all internal and external business resources that are available that will add value to the organization and support your new endeavor
» PART V - Marketing Strategy
Define the marketing strategy of
the organization. How will you attract new customers and why will they be drawn to your product or service? In this business planning course, you'll learn why it's important to include details about market segmentation, pricing, advertising and promotion.
» PART VI - Key Risks & Obstacles
Identify anticipated risks
and obstacles. Planning ahead for potential challenges will greatly reduce stress and improve your confidence as a business leader.
» PART VII - Goals and Strategy
The goals section focuses primarily on sales targets and growth figures. However, goals also help to demonstrate insight into what should be avoided, eliminated or reduced in order to maximize efficiency and profitability.
» PART VIII - Funding Request
Clarify your funding request. Detail the amount of funding necessary to support your business. Explain how the funds will be used and specifically how you intend to repay the money, complete with all options for terms of repayment.
» PART IX - Business Financials
Your business plan up to this point is mostly conceptual, that is until you add the financial numbers to back up your plan.
- Sales and Financial Management Business plan start up experts speak clearly about the necessity of leadership through proven sales management practices. Financial information must be crisp, clear and provide a firm financial foundation to your business plan.
- Balance Sheet Review The Balance Sheet provides a snapshot in time of all Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth. Use our free balance sheet template to get started.
- Income Statement Review The Income Statement template is a reporting of all Revenues, Expenses and Net Profit for the reporting period. Use our free income statement template to get started.
- Cash Flow Statement Review Your financial statements are not complete without a detailed Cash Flow statement. Cash in the life-blood of every business and too many businesses fail due to a lack of cash. Manage your cash in-flows and out-flows to avoid being caught in a cash crunch. Use our free cash flow template to get started.
» PART X - Appendix and Conclusion
A well-structured appendix provides additional documentation that supports your business plan. Providing a comprehensive appendix adds credibility to your plan and goes a long way toward convincing your reader that you’ve got a great business idea and you have fully vetted your plan for success.
The Conclusion is a brief statement from you to the person reading your business plan, which explains your passion, commitment and resolve to make the business successful. More importantly, you’ll explain how the reader will benefit by investing in your business – AND BY INVESTING IN YOU!
To get started, you can read each chapter in its entirety from the above links, or you can download the complete Business Planning Course as a free eBook by following the instructions below.
"People and organizations with clear visions, values, and plans tend to accomplish far more and do it faster than their competitors."
- Brian Tracy
More About Success Lessons
As you read each section of our business planning course, you'll see we've included success lesson for living a good life and running a great business. The purpose of these success lessons is to inspire and motivate you throughout your business planning process.
If you are just beginning a new business venture, it's important that you understand there will be innumerable problems that you will encounter along the way and
you will need persistence and determination in order to overcome these
Not only must you study the art of business management, you need to limit the risk of failure by making a commitment to learn from business leaders who've graciously shared what they learned after making their own
Stand on the shoulders of these successful leaders. Study their mistakes; act on their advice, and work hard to avoid making
the same errors.
As a leader the greatest investment you can make is in the personal and professional growth of yourself and your people. If
you value personal growth and self-development, then consider supporting other team members in their leadership development journey.
There are many reasons people fail in business. Some common fatal errors include but are not limited to:
- lack of education, knowledge or skill
- lack of effort or work ethic
- lack of passion or ambition
- lack of get-to-it-tive-ness and stick-to-it-tive-ness
- lack of grit, determination and persistence
- lack of tact or diplomacy
- lack of being able to say "No"
- lack of a willingness to give back to the community it serves.
Effectively address each of the above issues as you complete this business planning course and your chances for long-term business success will be greatly
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