Beef Market Advisor

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Writing a Business Plan

Source: Canadian Farm Business Management Council

A business plan is a blueprint that allows the current management team and business' successors to see where the business is going and how it will get there.

A business plan is the end product of a process that includes self-evaluation, research, assessment, round-table discussions and decision-making. Its purpose is to help you be sure that your business is carefully planned and makes sense, both from a financial and operational perspective.

Advantages of having a business plan.

1. A written business plan has many uses. It does the following:

Gets objectives and guidelines on to paper, where they can be read and understood by all parties involved.

Acts as a standard against which you can compare actual results with anticipated results.

Provides a framework for next year's budget, production and marketing plans.

Helps you explain your ideas to bankers, investors, or government agencies for financing.

Helps you to foresee problems and pitfalls, enabling you to take action to avoid them.

Puts valuable information at your fingertips so you'll be ready to make tough decisions when required.

Enables you to monitor the progress of your operation.

Helps draw together the people working in the business who help prepare the plan.

To the most recent articles.

Components of a business plan

A complete business plan will include a business profile summary section as well as sections outlining the market, production, human resources and financial plans. The component parts of the business plan are linked and inter-related.

A business plan is a working document, one that should be reviewed regularly and revised as necessary. Prepare the business plan yourself. Use outside professionals, such as farm business advisors, lawyers and accountants, for advice but the plan should be your own.

You should be able to present it, summarize it and answer questions about it. It's your blueprint for success.

Before you start to write your business plan, you may want to refer to other publications that offer more detailed information on how to prepare a business planner - such as the Rural Business Planner

posted by Dr. Harlan Hughes 8:21 AM [edit]

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