South Dakota Technology Business Center

Business Plans

Planning is always key to the success of a new business. A good business plan should be a document that helps you organize your thoughts and ideas and outlines your objectives as you proceed. Your business plan is best if viewed as a working document that will be used to guide decision making and planning. As your business grows, your business plan will change. The business plan should outline what your business is—your product or service and what you do for your customers. You will also need to identify who your target customer is and how you will reach them to sell your product or service. Business plans also include information about yourself and the management team that will be a part of your business, so resumes and other information about the primary people who will run your business are an important component of your business plan. The most complex portion of the business plan for start-ups is usually the financial projections, but it is also the most important part for entrepreneurs; it forces you to think about the cost of doing business and what your business can realistically do to generate revenue. Financial forecasting is usually done for at least three to five years.

There are many resources for writing business plans. There is software available to assist you with the process, and the Small Business Development Centers of South Dakota have a Business Planning Guide available online at http://www.usd.edu/business/south-dakota-small-business-development-center/. and They offer free help to entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs to do their financial proforma. The Sioux Falls Chapter of SCORE, http://www.siouxfallsscore136.org, is a volunteer organization that also provides advice and assistance with business plans. For more help with your business plan, try the following resources: http://www.bplans.com/, http://www.myownbusiness.org/, http://www.businessplans.org. Remember, it is your business and you must write the plan.

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