A business development plan: do it for yourself first
Does it all make sense?

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Are you starting your own business?

Is your business ready for expansion?

Are you looking for funding?

Before starting any business, adding a new business segment or applying for business funding, there are some basic questions to ask: Have you taken the time to do your business planning? Do you have a business development plan?

Ask yourself, "Where is the money?"

Sometimes I want to ask a client: "Did you ever calculate your profit margins? Sales price minus expenses? What is left for you? How hard is it to sell your service or product at that price? Where is your break-even?" Some people have no clue.

The calculations

Have you performed the basic act of calculating the cost of your product or service?

Next, how much do you have to charge for that product or service to make a ‘comfortable’ profit?

Is it possible? How many products do you have to sell to make it a great business? Or how many units of your services do you have to sell to be in a place to be able to grow and to expand?

How much sense is there in your plan? If YOU don’t see it, will an investor?

The pre-testing

Run your ideas by some people that you can trust for their honesty, common sense and clear feedback.

Depending on the kind of business or service you have, these ‘people’ may be your spouse, your friends, some potential clients, an experienced business owner or a potential investor; however, your spouse or close friends may not be the best choice when it comes to starting up a business. They may not have any business background, or they may be overly protective of their own or your interests. Ask them other questions: put them in the shoes of your prospective client and ask them how they feel about paying the fees for your service or product(s).

This is the ‘footwork’. Sit down and make yourself a business development plan.

Once you’re clear and you know exactly what you have, what follows will be easy. These include your business plan, cash flow forecast, marketing plan, balance sheet, swot analysis, and eventually the step, that will get you get funded, to find investors.

The basics

Whether you're a start up or a mature business, you should not move forward without implementing your foundations, which include choosing the right tools right from the start.

Keep in mind that what you communicate is all that the other party knows about you, whether they are an investor, a bank or the public.

In your business development plan presentation respect some basic rules, avoid mistakes, and use your common sense.

The Documents

  • The 'teaser': explains in one or two paragraphs what your investment proposal is about. To be used in brief presentations, like email marketing, listings, confidential introductions...
  • Executive Summary: a brief and powerful statement of what your company is all about: management, history, goals, products/services, financial information and your project or funding request summarized. One or two pages at the most.
  • The business plan: present your business development plan to an investor in the right format. This is the blueprint of the entity called 'your business'. It needs to be complete and cover all aspects in a clear and comprehensive fashion. This business plan is what you create first. All the other documents follow or are part of it (financials).

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  • The cover letter: make a compelling introduction that will lead the investor to look at your investment proposal.
    For more details please read "
    16 reasons why your investment proposal won’t get read!"
  • Financial information: history, statements, cash-flow, balance sheets, and everything related to your financial situation. Next are the projections, based on your existing situation.

We can help you create your documents, evaluate/review/enhance them, and even do it for you. Take a look at 'Business funding: Our services'.

Starting your own business involves a lot of preparation. Make a 'business development plan' for yourself first. Preparation pays off, big time.

Starting your own business

Starting your own small business has many aspects. New articles with hints of advice from our insider's view are being written as time permits. Again, we will not try to explain in immaculate detail what it all entails, but we will try to provide some good links and words of advice from our screener's point of view.

Here are some tips when considering 'Start Up Funding'.

Also check out our other articles at our articles and resources page.

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Return to Home: Business Funding Insider's Advice: Information and Tools to gain access to Investors. Know how to present, and find the connections.

Check out these curated articles on Scoop.it on Funding related topics:

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