Analysis methods for writing an organized business plan

Many prospective Maryland entrepreneurs take a rather haphazard approach to writing their business plans, often to their detriment. Using analysis tools can help business owners write better plans that are more likely able to provide a blueprint for the company to be successful.

The three types of analysis that should be used are represented by the acronyms PEST, SWOT and 7S. PEST stands for political factors, economic factors, social factors and technological factors. To further break down the analysis for each of these categories, business owners should address the five Ws, or who, what, where, when and why, for each. PEST is a macro-level analysis examining the overall landscape in which the business will be operating.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats comprise the SWOT analysis. It is used on a micro level to analyze the specific business itself. After completing the SWOT analysis, business owners can then leverage their strengths in a manner in which they maximize their opportunities. Finally, the 7S analysis is a way in which business owners can carefully examine the inner workings of their own company. This consists of an examination of strategy, systems, structure, staff, skills, style and shared values.

Good business planning should not be rushed. Instead, new owners may want to take the time to thoroughly analyze both their business and all of the factors that will have an impact on it. While writing a business plan may seem daunting, doing so can help the venture to stay on track. A business plan can also help owners determine what will work and what will not, allowing them to better focus on building the company’s strengths. People who are preparing to start a new venture often value the assistance of an attorney who has experience with business formation and planning.

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