Effective Business Plans

"Most good plans have the following characteristics:

-25 - 40 pages written in a professional manner with Executive Summary, Market Assessment, Company Description, Marketing and Sales Tactics, Product and Services, Operations, Management and Ownership, Finance and Use of Funds as the primary sections.
-Logical, cogent, easy to read and comprehend...
-genuine not canned, condensed or off the shelf..
-validated and not rely[ing] on unrealistic or unverified assumptions
-Should focus on addressable markets rather than on service or product
-Attentive to details, internally consistent and not shoddy, sloppy or casual
-Thorough awareness of competitors, regulations or trends that may impact operations, position defense or sales...
-Concentration on customer needs (what they want, not what they say they want) and their reasons to select the product or service;
-What the firm is significantly better at than anybody else - along what dimension of expertise will the company focus their best people;
-How is the firm positioned in the market and how well can barriers and defense be employed to protect that position; and
-Who cares? What makes the product or service offering unique, approachable, understandable, attractive, believable and why do particular customers select your product/service from alternatives.
-And good plans always reflect the passion of the founders. This element is crucial to effective business planning. If the founders are not excited and do not share their enthusiasm about the business, the plan will be devoid of the emotion that is necessary for conveying import."

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