1. A Clear and Realistic Financial plan You must realize that a banker, an investor or possible partner is going to want to be able to understand the basic financial position of your business. You should be able to put together a Start-up budget and have the basic skills to put together a pro forma (forecast) for the next 2 years of your business

2. Detailed Market Research Do you know the type of customers you want to attract, the size of your market and what those people expect or want from you? Have you done your market research? Have you developed your demographic analysis and your psychographics? 3. Competition Analysis Have you identified not only your customers but also your competitors? You have to know what your competition gives their customers in order to compete effectively.

4. A Good Management Team An international CEO friend of mine once told me you need three things to have a successful business; money, good management and a good product. If you have any 2 of the three you can find the third, e.g. if you have a great product for sale and money you can find the management team.

5. Serious Forethought throughout You really need to have put some thought into the whole plan. Have you considered your pricing, your distribution channels, suppliers, cash flow and your handling of its’ growth or lack of growth?

6. Scalability You should be able to handle slow growth and slower sales. You need to develop a plan that allows for a scalable business. If you need $50,000 in finance to run the company can you run it effectively if you can only get $25,000? Having scalability allows you to be able to maneuver through tough times and grow or contract when needed

7. The Executive Summary In your Executive Summary you must identify who, what , when, where, why and how much money you’ll make or need to have are the questions you need to ask yourself and answer in the executive summary. If you are going to the bank for financing the analyst most likely will read your executive summary and decide upon whether he will read further so you need to hook them on that first page.

8. Professionalism Let’s assume if you are going to a bank for financing you need a minimum of $50k for your company to go further. You better have a professional looking plan in place, Cirlox bound, written in the 3rd person and in a 12 pt. type. You need to have an appendix of supporting documents including resumes, job descriptions and copies of websites, etc.

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