June 10, by Florence Ng Once you have a solid career and clear idea of the direction you want your life to go in, it is important that you also have a career development plan to help you excel in the future and in your chosen field.
But before you put pen to paper, there are a few vital exercises you need to go through to ensure your business idea is a viable one.
Research The business you plan to start might be in an industry you have some experience in or it might be totally new to you, either way you need to do in-depth research into the industry and market to make sure you fully understand how it operates.
Your research should include: Understanding the dynamics and forces affecting the industry The preferences and characteristics of your target market Insight into how many competitors are already operating and the quality of their product or service Finding out who you could partner with to start the business How your product or service will be created and delivered How it is different from those that already exist, and identifying a profit and operating model for the business.
Some of the sources you can turn to for this information include: The Internet Suppliers who play a key role in the industry Existing competitors in the industry Interaction with member of your team.
Stress-test your business concept Many people are infatuated with their new business idea before they have properly evaluated whether it is worth the time and money they need to invest in it. When considering the technical feasibility you need to know if the technology for your product or service is available or still in development, what possibilities are there that the end user might not want to use your technology and what other technologies could becoming competition in future.
The market feasibility refers to the actual need for what you are selling, how large is the market and how fast it is growing.
You need to know who your customer is, what their needs are and the advantages and disadvantages of your product or service over the competition. You also need to determine the financial feasibility by determining what the sources of revenue for the business are, what the major costs are for the new business, is there a good profit margin, what capital is required to launch the business, how long the business will take to break-even and you should develop best-case and worst-case scenarios regarding your cash flow.
If you are using your business plan to apply for funding, the funder will also want to see that your cash flow will adequately cover your running expenses and enable you to re-pay their loan.
When looking at the team skills you will require to get your business off the ground, you should identify how many people it will take to make your business happen, what cost they will come at and develop a timeline for staffing if your budget does not enable you to hire staff immediately.
If you intend to run the business by yourself then determine the skills and expertise you will require marketing, sales, financial, etc. Refine your business concept Based on the findings from your research and once you have stress-tested your idea, you may have identified weaknesses or opportunities.
The findings will allow you to refine the business idea so that it fills any gaps in the industry, meets market demands, is different from competitor offerings, leverages relationships with partners and suppliers and is financially sustainable.
While there is no universal business plan template, plans generally include the following sections: Table of Contents This features the main headings of the business plan and their page numbers for easy reference. Finalise this section last to ensure the numbers are all correct.
Executive Summary The executive summary is a summary of your full business plan. It contains the summary highlights of each section of your. It should also describe the company, provide details about management and their strengths, the business objectives and why it will be successful, and if the business needs external funding, how much is needed, and how it will be repaid.
The executive summary is written last and should not exceed two pages in length. General Company Description This is where you give an overview of the company and the business it engages in.
When writing about the industry you must answer questions about: Regarding the market you need to state the total size of the market, what percentage of the market share you will have, and major trends.
Business Model The business model you choose will be a strong determining point of the future the success of your business.
Your business model must include information on what your companies offers in terms of products or services; what makes your offering unique; who you sell them to; and how you make your money.
You need to take into consideration the source of revenue, the major costs incurred in generating revenue, the profitability of the business, the investment required to get the business up and running and the critical success factors for the model to work.
Strategy Discuss how your business will compete in its specific market. You need to explain the strategic choices you have made including the focus of the business, how you will create a unique and valuable proposition, what is unique about your business and what value there is for customers.
You must also include your plan for how you intend to enter the market and grow your market-share.No.
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Writing a Development Plan A GUIDE FOR EMPLOYEES. your career interests and the needs of the business should be taken into consideration, along with building the skills you need for your You are responsible for your development and for writing your development plan.
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Before you start to create a real estate business plan of your own, it always helps to see what others have done successfully. Below you’ll find three examples of effective business plans that you can use by adapting them to your specific business goals.
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