Starting with started from

Certain steps should be followed in making a business plan, started from establishing mission objectives, undertaking a position analysis, identifying and assessing strategic options, selecting strategic options, and formulating plans.

In this sentence the first comma splits the sentence into two halves:

  1. Certain steps should be followed in making a business plan,
  2. (An independent clause)
  1. establishing mission objectives, undertaking a position analysis, identifying and assessing strategic options, selecting strategic options, and formulating plans.
  2. (A chronological sequence of events that relate directly to the process named in the independent clause, namely ‘making a business plan’)

This structure is usually achieved using the present participle (starting) rather than the past participle (started):

  • Certain steps should be followed in making a business plan, starting with establishing mission objectives, undertaking a position analysis, identifying and assessing strategic options, selecting strategic options, and formulating plans.
  • Indonesian flag Indonesians notice the preposition following starting! You’re probably translating from dimulai dari?

Actually native speakers would also signal other events so as to emphasise the chronological nature of the events:

  • Certain steps should be followed in making a business plan, starting with establishing mission objectives, and followed by undertaking a position analysis, identifying and assessing strategic options, selecting strategic options, and finally formulating plans.

This technique – using a present participle to attach a chronological sequence (or subsequent event) onto an independent clause – happens quite a lot in IELTS Task 1 writing, especially when describing changes over time, for example in a graph, table or chart.

  • Sales of smartphones increased during the period, reaching 9,000 in 2010.
  • Several factories were built, transforming this part of town from a residential to an industrial area.
  • By the third quarter of 2011 this figure had fallen to around 3%, making AOL the least popular service at the end of the period.
  • By the end of 1999 a whopping 70% of staff were happy at work, meaning College B took the lead as the college with the most satisfied staff.
  • The most popular books were always those on biography and history, peaking in 1960 at 17.

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