Articles by Business Woman - Jan B. King
B. King currently leads a consulting practice
primarily devoted to helping traditional
publishers, writers, and educators with
content development and curriculum design
for print publications and innovative
web sites. In addition she teaches small
business management topics and writes
and speaks extensively on employee-ownership
and participative management.
Jan B. King> Business Plan article
Top 10 Questions about Business Plans Answered
(part1) - Jan B. King
1. What is a Business Plan?
A business plan is a written summary of
everything you already know about your business
and the industry it is in, and the future
you expect to create with that business.
A well-done businessplan is realistic, but
conveys the energy and optimism you feel
about your business's future. It is an opportunity
to convince the world that your idea is
worth the time, energy and money it will
take to make it a reality. Make it compelling,
exciting, but believable and understandable.
A business plan shows what you have now
in terms of resources like management talent
and a great idea, and what it will take,
step-by-step, to get you where you are going.
Just think how different our lives would
be if Microsoft and Amazon.com had not been
created. How different will the world be
if you plan well and create your business
When Do I Need a Business Plan and What
Do I Want to Achieve Through the Business
If you are writing a business plan for management
planning purposes, be specific about what
goals you wish to achieve. Do you want to
grow the business, create an exit strategy,
and develop a new product?
For many, the purpose of business planning
is to get funding for a start-up company
or to grow an existing business by buying
real estate, investing in equipment, creating
a new product, or approaching a new market.
If you are writing a business plan to get
funding, you need to create a statement
about the purpose of the funding, and how
you will pay back the loaned amount or grow
the company, if the funding is through equity
For a new business:
When you first think about starting
a business and want to make sure your idea
To attract outside investors, to
send to potential lenders, and to have ready
to find Board of
Directors candidates or key employees.
To use as a base for more detailed
To use as a starting point to change
as you get more information or as conditions
To track your progress against after
you start your business
For an existing business:
When you decide to grow your business
When your technology or business
When you want to start selling a
new product or service
When you want to start selling outside
your current market
If you want to acquire another business
What are the benefits of doing a business
Writing a business plan allows you to be
sure you know everything you can about your
business so you can most realistically assess
your opportunities and risks in changing
your operation or opening your business.
It forces you to think through all the details
that will be involved and find answers to
problems before you spend money on them.
How long does it take to do a business plan?
That depends on what kind of business plan
you decide to do and who your audience is.
For a new business plan for investors or
bankers- 20-30 pages, probably with projections
for 3 years - this will take at least 40
hours to research and write, maybe more.
A business plan for an existing business
- can be more or less and may include recruiting
and compensation data, and other operational
reports. An existing business should allow
2-4 weeks for planning each year.
It can take longer to do a shorter business
plan! The most-read business plans are not
the longest ones, but the shorter ones where
each word packs in a lot of meaning, and
where the concept and meaning are clearest
in the fewest words and simplest terms.
You will need to gather a lot of data, but
select only that information that helps
build your case for the final plan.
I'm not a great writer. What is the best
way for me to do a business plan?
You can have a professional write one for
you. If you want to do it yourself, there
are a lot of software products on the market,
and web sites that can help you in Additional
Resources at the end of this course. However,
no matter what you choose, you must supply
all the information
about your business, so the worksheets in
this course are essential to help you decide
what information should be a part of your
Writing or doing the preparation to write
a business plan is an extremely important
part of being prepared to open and run you
own business. It forces you to think through
all aspects before investing your time,
energy and money. Even if you do write your
own plan, be sure and have it
edited, critiqued and read by others who
will give you an honest assessment. Most
plans are still done on paper, but if your
business is to be on the Internet, you might
want to consider a plan done right on the
web. Plans are also done in PowerPoint presentations,
on video, or on audiocassettes depending
on your audience. The same information should
be presented, no matter what media it is
Read answers 6-10 in Part 2..
2 - 10 Business Plan Questions
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Jan B. King> Business
Plans Part 2> Jan B. King
B. King , views on business and
on publishing have been widely quoted in
Working Woman Magazine, the American Bar
Associations Bar Leader magazine,
Small Business USA, Business Finance, the
Los Angeles Business Journal, and on business
web sites such as webhire.com, office.com,
ybn.com, portera.com. She has also appeared
on Making It! a small business television
program on KTTV Los Angeles, The Economic
Journal, a PBS business program, as well
as on numerous nationally syndicated business
Additional information on the author can
be found at www.janbking.com.
Jan B. King
Business Author &