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Venture Capital

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Venture Capital

Planning the Entrepreneurial Venture

Business plans boil down to operating the company on paper. The aim is to validate an idea and challenge every aspect of the business. A business plan is a written presentation that carefully explains the business, its management team, its products or services, and its goals, together with strategies for reaching the goals.

The entrepreneur or team members who write the plan will find it a painstaking process. But keep in mind, this is the selling tool, and it requires careful consideration of all the multiple facets of a start-up or business expansion. It cannot be written as an afterthought, and it should not be taken lightly.

Check with any professional investor anywhere in the country, and you'll hear horror stories about ill-conceived, poorly written, or sloppily put together business plans. As great as the company's potential may be, it is essentially doomed to rejection, before it can even get a foot in the door, if it has a poorly conceived business plan.

The Primary Purpose of Your Business Plan

There are two primary purposes to a business plan. The first has an outside objective--to obtain funding. There's no business without capital. The second serves an inside purpose--to provide a plan for early corporate development: to guide an organization toward meeting its objectives, to keep the entrepreneurial business itself and all its decision makers headed in a predetermined direction, to explain in an engaging way with interesting information how the company will be run for the next 3 to 5 years.

The entrepreneur must put all the "hows" and "needs" together in one neat package. The human and physical resources must effectively interrelate with the marketing, operational, and financial strategies of the company. Unless an entrepreneur has magical powers of persuasion, this is not the time to try to fake it.

The business plan is considered a vital sales tool for approaching and capturing financial sources, be they investors or lenders. They want to know that the plan has been carefully thought out by the

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