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6 Questions Every Business Plan Should Answer

What is the competitive advantage? – 6 Questions Every Business Plan Should Answer, I am always looking for what gives the business an advantage over companies that are seeking to provide similar or identical goods and services, as well as an examination of the landscape of competition. I pay close attention to whether there’s any valuable intellectual property, whether trademarks, patents or patents trade secrets or copyrights, which can act as barriers to competition. Additionally, I want to hear about the intellectual property rights of the closest competitors, and how the business can avoid infringing it. -Scott Locke Scott Locke, partner and chairman of the department of intellectual property in Dorf and Nelson LLP

Is it in a growing market?

The secret to a successful business is being growing in a market that is growing. The business plan must outline how entrepreneurs intend to start their business, make their money to help for rapid growth and be part of the expansion of an industry growing with a faster than average growth rate. In my entire career working for high growth businesses with rapidly growing markets as well as a founder of numerous small companies, and an the adjunct teacher of a class on entrepreneurialism This has been my common factor. — Walter Recher, CEO of SmallBall Marketing

Are customers willing to pay for it?

When I look at business plans, I am always interested to know how business owners intend to convince customers to participate at an amount and a cost that will allow owners to operate and to be financially stable. The most frequent question I receive is “how do you intend to provide for yourself and your family and where will you be able to sleep when you’re trying to get this business off the ground?” My hope is that it’ll prompt the students to reflect on the reasons they’re planning to risk their lives in business. — Andi Gray, CEO of Strategy Leaders

What will the company do to be staffed?

In every business plan I prefer to see recognition of the necessity to manage and cover the sales, production and finance components in the operation. The roles should be defined for the company like if it were well-established and profitable. The roles should be divided initially, if needed and filled by the appropriate people when the business expands and the timing is just right. I appreciate that approach because it shows that they realize that they will not be in a position to handle everything by themselves, and that the success of a business relies on cooperation and managing. It is also a sign that they realize their own limitations, their capability to concentrate on their strengths, and the necessity of bringing in people who understand what they’re not able to know to accomplish the goals they have in mind. — Larry Holfelder, CEO of Connect My Advisors

Is the product innovating?

Is the concept for the product or service original and unique, or is the idea actually a true inspiration? In terms of being innovative, I’d like to determine what the business strategy is based on an innovative twist on existing technologies or services that are delivered in a unique and captivating method? If it is innovative, can the concept be protected from any new or existing competitors? Is the team an outstanding team that is unstoppable from achieving their goals? Are they an inspiration to me, one others, and the market? While it is a simple question in its entirety, the process of assessing based on all three “I” factors is something you must keep in mind when reading any business plan or listening to any businessperson. — Irwin Glenn, Managing Director, Profit Velocity

Are the goals and plans are they realistic?

I’m looking for that it is a reasonable strategy for business, and not one that’s a dream in the air. I would like to see realistic expectations. I tend to be towards the conservative end of the spectrum because I think that’s the most secure option. The concept doesn’t need to be rational, but the approach is. The concept can be any thing. I always seek out projections of how the business will be doing in the first year, the second year, the third year, and finally the fourth year. The report shows sales, expenses and how the business is doing as company grows. These assumptions must be sensible. — Charles North, president and CEO Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce

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