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40 Essential Questions To Answer About Your Business As We Enter A Recession

40 Essential Questions To Answer About Your Business As We Enter A Recession � Copyright 2005 Henri Schauffler

We are always hearing how we should have a business plan, right? But, seriously, what busy street-fighting entrepreneur actually has time to create one of those 1,000 page monstrosities?!

But, you know what? Many of the things that are covered in one of those formal plans are important to consider. So � we�ve created a little checklist in the form of 33 important questions for you to answer about your business � if you�re about to start a business � and even if you�ve already got a going enterprise.

So, sit back, read the questions, and see if you can answer them. If you get snagged on one � consider stopping and doing whatever research or considering you need to do. Write some of this stuff down and � guess what � you�ll have many of the elements of a good business plan!

Why did you decide to enter this business?

What was attractive about the opportunity?

What market need did you see that you wanted to exploit?

What have you accomplished so far?

What stage of development is your company at right now?

What milestones have you reached?

What kind of company do you want to build?

What brand image are you seeking to establish?

What strategic position are you trying to occupy in your market?

What is your sustainable competitive advantage?

What is the long range objective? For example, "To build revenues to $50 million within 5 years."

What are your products/services? (Think about this one � it is not as simple as you thing�)

Can you explain the technology involved to create them?

When will they be ready for introduction?

What benefits do your products/services provide that are clearly superior to the competition?

What are the proprietary aspects of your products/services?

What is your sustainable competitive advantage?

What is the size of your market?

How is the market changing and evolving?

What is the driving force behind market growth?

Who are your competitors?

What are their strengths and weaknesses?

How do you think the competitive environment will change in the next 3-5 years?

What are the barriers to entry in your industry?

Who will your targeted customers be?

How are you going to reach those markets?

Specifically, how will you distribute and promote the products/services?

How much will it cost to reach these markets?

Who are the key individuals in your management team and what have they accomplished in their careers?

Who owns the company today?

Who will own it the future?

What exit strategies are available to you and your financial partners?

What prior experience does the management team have that will lead to success in this venture?

How will the product be manufactured?

What type of facilities and equipment do you need?

Where will your office(s) be located?

What risk factors could keep you from achieving your forecast results?

How much capital do you need and what will it be used for?

What is the company's financial history?

What are the projected revenues, expenses and profits?

If you can answer each of these questions you've done a great job of thinking through your business � and you�ve got the essential content for a business plan. You have a well thought out clearly explained plan for your business in the upcoming years.

----------------------- Henri Schauffler, The CEO Coach, has dedicated the last 20 years to helping small businesses like yours to Outmanage, Outhire, Outsell and Outprofit All the Competition.

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