I am writing a business plan to open a new marina. I have been to S.C.O.R.E. and I am having a difficult time with market research and what the expectations of a business plan really are.
As a computer business consultant, I have had the privilege of helping quite a few online companies go through the business plan phase of start up. I recommend this software package from Palo Alto as it does a great job for a do it yourself-er. It has 500 templates to choose from.
They even have state and county wide market research on marinas in your area. http://www.paloalto.com/market_research/?affiliate=sequimpc
I am making the assumption that if you are going to put out the money to open a marina, $300 is within your budget.
TOP TEN DO’S
1. Prepare a complete business plan for any business you are considering.
2. Use the business plan templates furnished in each session.
3. Complete sections of your business plan as you proceed through the course.
4. Research (use search engines) to find business plans that are available on the Internet.
5. Package your business plan in an attractive kit as a selling tool.
6. Submit your business plan to experts in your intended business for their advice.
7. Spell out your strategies on how you intend to handle adversities.
8. Spell out the strengths and weaknesses of your management team.
9. Include a monthly one-year cash flow projection.
10. Freely and frequently modify your business plans to account for changing conditions.
TOP TEN DON’TS
1. Be optimistic (on the high side) in estimating future sales.
2. Be optimistic (on the low side) in estimating future costs.
3. Disregard or discount weaknesses in your plan. Spell them out.
4. Stress long-term projections. Better to focus on projections for your first year.
5. Depend entirely on the uniqueness of your business or the success of an invention.
6. Project yourself as someone you’re not. Be brutally realistic.
7. Be everything to everybody. Highly focused specialists usually do best.
8. Proceed without adequate financial and accounting know-how.
9. Base your business plan on a wonderful concept. Test it first.
10. Skip the step of preparing a business plan before starting.