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1) Develop a viable revenue model. Having a great idea is great, but how are you going to make money? Within the business plan, the revenue model shouldn’t be indecipherable or a secret to you or those reading it. But what it should set out to do is reveal–in a clear, concise yet thorough, and realistic explanation–how you intend to maximize profitability in offering your products and/or services to your clients and/or customers. This may involve one or, over time, multiple revenue streams. Research plays a huge role in developing this portion of your plan. In determining the revenue model, you must know the following:
- Who your target audience is.
- How many of them actually exist.
- How you intend to reach them (if you even can).
- What the results will be for your business and for them.
- Revenue models that worked or failed for your competitors.
2) Get the financials right. There’s no getting around it, you are responsible for having accurate financial documents that offer a true snapshot of your company now and a rational, realistic look at how the company will look and produce over time. This is where the majority of mistakes are made. Some entrepreneurs either undermine the process or overestimate the result. From how much monies the company currently has on-hand to projected cash flow to budgeting for salaries, equipment and supplies needed, required travel or marketing and advertising, this and more must be included. The three basic financial statements are the Balance sheet, which shows firm’s assets, liabilities, and net worth on a stated date; Income statement (also called profit & loss account), which shows how the net income of the firm is arrived at over a stated period;Â and, Cash flow statement, which shows the inflows and outflows of cash caused by the firm’s activities during a stated period.
3) Determine the business’ scalability. Scalability refers to the ability of a successful company to grow while maintaining its successful processes and performance on a larger scale. The business must be structured for growth even as it scales back costs or resources. If your company isn’t growing, then it may not have what it takes to get to the next level. Companies reinvent themselves often, especially in times of crisis and strategic. Of course, you just have to be willing to see and tackle the inconceivable–that your business isn’t structured for optimal growth. What’s more, in finding a niche, reaching your customer and filling a need, what is the plan to make this cyclical? Is this plan replicable? A company operates efficiently when it is achieving three things: retaining old customers, attracting new customers, and, increasing value in products and services for current customers.
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