Making a business plan What is the connection between business and community development? • It is legal for a nonprofit group to make a profit. • There are other ways to ensure your financial sustainability. A business plan is a written document that describes in detail what kind of business you intend to operate, how you intend to operate it, and why you believe you will succeed. Why should you have a business plan? • To clarify your own thinking • To raise confidence among group members • To raise confidence among potential outside backers When should you make a business plan? • When you are thinking about embarking on a business venture • When you are hazy about the details • When you want expert feedback or advice • When you need to attract outside help How do you make a business plan? Include the following in your plan: • • • • • • A cover page A table of contents An executive summary A description of your organization A description of your management A description of your product or service Include the following in your plan (cont.): • • • • • • Information about your market Information about your competition Details of your operating plan Financial information Timelines Appendices Ten common writing pitfalls 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. The writing is unclear The plan is too long The layout is poor and/or illogical An executive summary is omitted There is too much technical jargon There is insufficient detail Ten common writing pitfalls 7. The market is not defined, or a marketing plan is missing 8. No or sketchy mention is made of the competition 9. The financial information given is not straightforward 10. The reader is given no reason to invest in the plan How should the plan be packaged? • • • • Use high-quality paper. It should be approximately 20 pages. Use color printing and tasteful graphics. Bind it according to the standards of your readers. • It should be totally error-free.