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The Business Plan

A spotlight on the key components of a business plan.


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This program spotlights two very different small-business owners—a physical therapist and a performance artist—who have something very important in common: a business plan.

Over the course of the video, Peter Dolan and Neda Rahmani talk about the key components of a business plan: the executive summary and overview, the operations plan, the marketing plan, and the financial plan. Expert commentary is provided by Nicole Donegan, a business growth adviser with 20 years’ experience in B2B and professional services marketing.

Video Segments

1. Business Plan: Introduction If you're serious about starting your own business a business plan can get you headed in the right direction to achieve your goals. Two small business owners in very different industries give a brief overview of what they do.
2. Why is a Business Plan Necessary? People with very different types of businesses and career goals have similar business plans. Business growth advisor Nicole Donegan says businesses without a plan are not able to continue to build and grow.
3. Business Plan: Executive Summary A business plan outlines the key components of a business and is often read by banks and investors to help them ascertain viability and potential. It is a working document that needs to be referred to regularly in order to monitor and grow a business.
4. Business Plan: Overview Section The overview section follows the executive summary of a business plan. It gives a description of the business, its legal structure, mission statement, and goals. The overviews of two small businesses are compared.
5. Business Plan: Setting Goals Within a business plan, goals are broken down into short, medium, and long term goals. When setting goals it is important to make them measurable in order to get a clear picture of whether or not they are being met.
6. Business Plan: Operations Plan Following the overview section of a business plan is the operations plan, which outlines the daily activities of the business. It may also include an outline of the systems and procedures involved in the daily operations.
7. Business Plan: Organizational Structure The operations plan is the part of the business plan where the physical and organizational structures of the business are laid out. Daily operations of the business as well as systems and procedures will also be included in this section if applicable.
8. Business Plan: Marketing Plan Even business that are thriving need to implement ongoing marketing plans in order to maintain current levels. A good plan will begin with research and analysis of the target market. It will also contain an outline of sales objectives.
9. Business Plan: SWOT Analysis A great marketing plan will include analysis of competition, which can help business owners to perceive untapped opportunities or potential in the market place. It is best to establish positive relationships rather than target the competition.
10. Business Plan: Marketing Strategy Marketing strategy and promotional activities follow analysis of target market, sales objectives, competition, and market place opportunities. A successful marketing strategy aims to strengthen your existing customer base.
11. Business Plan: Financial Plan The first part of a financial plan is an outline of the businesses set-up costs. The next step is to forecast cash flow, which means predicting future income, expenses, and profit.
12. Business Plan: Financial Information An outline of record-keeping systems is part of a business's financial plan. Accurate up to date financial records allow you to monitor growth and guide spending. Assets and liabilities are an important consideration in measuring success.
13. Advice for Future Business Owners Having a great business plan combined with a solid work ethic and the right skills can be the difference between creating a serious enterprise for life versus a flash in the pan venture that fails in the first year.



Grade: 6-8, 9-12

The Business Plan (DVD)
© 2009
Time: 27 Minutes

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