Sometimes it takes a significant event or change in existing conditions for a business to create a written plan. I think it's safe to say that the state of the economy is a significant change that should prompt business owners to alter the way they've been doing things. If you already have a business plan, it's time to get it out and revise it.
Without a plan, there is little hope for growth, let alone survival. As my small business development counselor, Terry Chambers says, "If it's not written, it's not real." That doesn't mean it's unchangeable, but it does show that you mean business. In order to accomplish your strategies of improving efficiency, increasing volume, and reorganizing your business, you've got to examine what you have, what you want, and how you plan to get there.
When submitting my concepts to invention hunts, licensing agents, manufacturers, retailers, engineers, and the patent office, I was asked many different kinds of questions. The questions ranged from "What problem does it solve?" to questions that required extensive research such as "Who is your target market?"
The invention process involves disclosing your invention to a wide variety of readers. As mentioned, such document is a starting point or template for providing future material with respect to the many different readers and audience for which you will need to communicate your invention.
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