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OUTLINE - BUSINESS PLAN INTRODUCTION The purpose of the business plan is to provide the potential business owner with a document that fulfills three major functions: 1. A document that outlines the business and its financial needs for use in approaching sources of funding for the business . The bank, venture capitalists, or even friends and relatives will not provide funding for you unless they see a formal plan for the business. (this is the major purpose of the plan in this course) 2. Creating the business plan is a planning process that forces you to think through the business , the ambiance within which it operates, your particular strengths and weaknesses, the feasibility of the idea, the marketing plan, etc. It helps prevent you from overlooking potential fatal flaws , or missing outstanding potential opportunities, either by commission, or omission. 3. It is a "living", continuous planning and control document that should be constantly updated, and used to review your progress, with respect to your original plans, and to correct your course based upon new opportunities, unrealized targets and goals, and unexpected problems or difficulties. Please understand that the following is only meant as a checklist that will tickle your mind, and stimulate your thinking about your plan. Include only what is appropriate, and understand that there may be areas of critical importance to your plan that are not included in this outline, but should be included in your business plan. No outline can ever completely cover all types of business opportunities, industries, or situations. This is a guide – to help you to THINK THROUGH THE PROCESS OF CREATING YOUR BUSINESS! A. COVER PAGE - Your cover page should include the following basic information: 1. Firm name, address, phone number. 2. Principals of the firm, with full addresses and phone numbers (normally you would not put all of this address info on your business plan - for the purposes of this CLASS exercise you will do so, please, so I can always contact you). 3. A security acknowledgment and control number to be used as a protection mechanism that helps somewhat to prevent someone from stealing your idea when you start showing your plan to others for funding and advice. This cover page has a critical role in creating a quality image and impression for your plan. It is absolutely essential that you
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DEVELOP A WONDROUS, EXCITING, CREATIVE LOGO (AND NAME)THAT CAPTURES THE IMAGE AND PURPOSE OF YOUR BUSINESS USE COLOR TO CAPTURE ATTENTION! This applies to the cover, and throughout the report to a limited degree. B. TABLE OF CONTENTS In addition to your table of contents, please also include a table of tables, or charts, and an outline of the materials in your appendix, as appropriate. Number your pages, and put the numbers in the table of contents. Some find it appropriate, and attractive, to put their logo on each page, in a small version, by the page numbers. C. THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
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