Age Old Marketing Technique Improves Business Plan Executive Summaries

Every business plan book tells you how the Executive Summary is your opportunity to provide a brief overview of your business plan; capture your readers’ attention and imagination; and, summarize the plan’s highlights and key selling points.

So, why am I telling you these 3 things when you probably already know them?

Because it’s useless advice unless you employ one, not so obvious, age old marketing technique to make these points come alive.

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Writing a Business Plan Part 5 – Competition

What kind of competition do you have for your donut business? How does your business and your product measure up to theirs? Evaluate what your competition does so you can copy what works for them and discard what does not. In other words, learn from those who are trying to get your customers. How do competitors define the product (donuts) in your area? How much market share does each have?

In the competitive analysis of your business plan you will want to look at donut businesses similar to yours including national chains that also operate storefront businesses. If you operate a trailer and move between fairs and festivals your competition is not necessarily other donut businesses (although those count too) but those next to you selling other vending items. Granted, it will be difficult to research these other businesses on wheels before hand. When you get to a fair and set up observe everything the other vendors do that attracts customers and everything they do that has no effect.

Also consider how likely other competitors may enter the market at a later date. Investors will want you to research how saturated the market is and what the barriers are to people who want to make donuts like you do. Do not let your emotion get in the way of your analysis. It is easy to assume that your product will be superior to everybody else’s, but there is much more to consider. Taste, size, price, and service are all important things to look at but are only part of the picture. Try to learn the internal business practices behind the scenes to gage the strength of your competition. Are they creative, motivated, and financially secure? Do they have high employee turnover? These are keys to success as well.

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Financial Components of Your Business Plan – Necessary Financial Statements

If you’re in business, one of the most important questions that you must be asking yourself is “what is the best way to grow your business?” How can you take what you have, expand on it but keep your costs as low as possible?

Fortunately, history has given us plenty of good examples of how NOT to do this. Perhaps the best of these happened in 2001 – when thousands of companies went under in the dot com bubble.

But how did SO many go SO FAR WRONG?

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