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How Business Plans Work

Other Plan Elements

Milestones/Implementation Schedule

It is often helpful to set up a time table of milestones for tracking and measuring your business's progress. This can be done in each section that would require it, or set up as a separate table in it's own section. Remember that knowing your milestones is helpful for you as you run your business.

Research and Development

You can also include a section detailing your strategies for introducing new products and services. A full scale R&D department isn't a requirement for this, just your technique for conducting your research and making your plans for product development. For example, if you offer consulting services based on government agency activities, part of your R&D activities might be to get all of the publications that agency puts out, make personal contacts within the agency, and attend all public functions the agency offers - all in order to stay on top of their activities and be prepared to offer new services to meet new regulations and requirements.

Exit Strategy

As hard as it may be to admit it, and as hard as it may be to think about, you need to have an idea of what you will do if your business fails, or for whatever other reason you need to close the doors. This could be simply that you're ready to retire (good for you!), you're tired of the long hours, you've lost some key people, or it's just not working. Whatever happens, you should have an idea of how you will handle disassembling your business. Your potential investors will also be interested in this section because they want to know how they will get their money back!

Some possible scenarios...

  • Initial Public Offering (IPO)
  • Selling/Acquisition by a larger company
  • Passing it on to your children
  • Liquidating your assets
  • Bankruptcy

Whatever the plan of action is, take some time in your plan to go over the most likely outcomes and strategies for removing yourself from the business, or closing the doors.