Business Plan Preparation Tips

The following is a list of business plan writing tips which can be key to the success of your business plan. Check back often as this list will be growing regularly.

Category The Tip
Feasibility Assessment Use the POCD Framework: People, Opportunity, Context, Deal; all components are interrelated and all four areas need to be strong in order for the proposed venture to be deemed poised for success.
Market Size Don't say 'we can capture 1% of market X for sure'. You need to qualify the market (e.g. tech savvy, cheap, reachable, loyalty factors) and justify why you believe you can capture a certain percentage (e.g. based on current satisfaction levels and position on the adoption curve, but also considering customer loyalty, switching costs, etc.)
Market Segmentation Your target market segment should first and foremost be significant in population, profitable, and reachable. You should possess special capabilities to create value for them, and it would be optimal if your competitors have not yet targetted this segment (at least not too many of them!)
Strategy At the highest level, your core corporate strategy will be one of the following: Differentiation, Cost Leadership, or Focus Strategy
Strategy - Differentiation When differentiating yourself from competitors, conduct research to see what are the needs and purchase criteria of customers and non-customers and capitalize on those. Common purchase criteria include: Quality, price, speed of delivery, convenience, the experience, and customizability/personalization/flexibility
Marketing - Product Innovation is a huge driver of sales and competitive advantage. A great source of innovation is to be inspired by ideas from other industries - e.g. Banks learned from Tim Horton's TV screens hanging behind cashiers/tellers.
Marketing - Place When selecting the site and location of your business, consider the following factors: location of competitors; proximity to target market, labour force, and suppliersl and access to highways and ease of transportation.
Financial Projections Tie revenue to projections of number of customers and number of units sold per month; justify projections for # units sold and enlist your assumptions.

Business Startup Planning Links and Resources

The following are links to useful documents around the web with valuable tips on building a business.

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