Whatever their form, financial statements must be complete, accurate and thorough. Each number on your spreadsheets must mean something.
Your income statement must reconcile to your cash flow statement, which reconciles to your balance sheet. Your balance sheet must balance at the end of every period. You must have supporting schedules e. To learn more about what investors will be looking for, see Reading The Balance Sheet. Investors vary in their standards, but most like to see positive cash flow within the first year of operation, particularly if this if your first venture.
In order for your projections to be accurate, you must know your business. When you put together your financial statements, make sure there are absolutely no typos or mistakes in your calculations. If you are inexperienced in preparing these statements, hire an accountant to help you. Even if you and all of your business partners know exactly what you are doing, you may still want to hire an unbiased, outside professional to check your work and give you a second opinion on whether your projections are realistic.
In addition to financial statements, prospective lenders or investors will also want to see a Sales Forecast and, if your business will have employees, a Personnel Plan. The Sales Forecast is a chart that breaks down how much your business expects to sell in various categories by month for the next year and by year for the following two to four years.
For a cleaning service business, the sales forecast might list one-time cleanings, monthly cleaning contracts and annual cleaning contracts and further break those down by houses, condos, apartment units, entire apartment buildings and office buildings. For a grocery store, the sales forecast might list projected sales of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, seafood, packaged goods and hot prepared meals. If your business sells a product, your sales forecast should include the cost of goods sold.
If your business will have employees and not just managers, you will need a Personnel Plan showing what types of employees you will have for example, cashiers, butchers, drivers, stockers and cooks , along with what they will cost in terms of salary and wages, health insurance , retirement-plan contributions , workers compensation insurance , unemployment insurance , and Social Security and Medicare taxes.
So how, exactly, do you plan to use any money that lenders or investors offer you? Potential lenders will want to know how and when you intend to repay the loan or line of credit, so you should put together a proposed repayment schedule and terms.
Also describe what collateral is available to secure the loan, such as inventory, accounts receivable, real estate, vehicles or equipment. Be aware that lenders do not count the full value of your collateral, and each lender may count a different percentage.
Potential investors will want to know when their investment will pay off and how much of a return to expect. They will also want to see that you have an exit strategy to cash out on your investment — and theirs. Do you plan to sell the business outright to another individual or company? Hold an initial public offering and go public? What will your exit strategy be if the business is failing? At what point have you determined that you will cut your losses and sell or close down, and how will you repay investors if this happens?
Remember, no one has to lend you any money or invest in your company. When they are considering doing so, they will be comparing the risk and return of working with you to the risk and return they could get from lending to or investing in other companies. You have to convince them that your business is the most promising option. Do You Need One? Describing Your Business Business Plan: Analyzing Your Industry Business Plan: Marketing And Sales Business Plan: Your Financial Plan Business Plan: Presenting Your Plan Business Plan: The above sections are the broad components of the business plan.
These sections in turn break down into the following seven sections, which we will, in order, focus on writing next: Company description, market analysis, organization structure and management, products and services, marketing and sales, and request for funding.
Format your document correctly. Format section titles in Roman Numeral order. Write your company description as the first section. To do this, describe your business and identify the marketplace needs for your product or service. Briefly describe your key customers and how you intend to succeed. Write your market analysis. The purpose of this section is explore and demonstrate knowledge of the market your business is operating within.
You should be able to answer questions like, who is your target market? What are their needs and preferences? How old are they, and where are they located? Make sure to include a competitive analysis that provides research and information on immediate competitors.
List your main competitors strengths and weaknesses and the potential impact on your business. This section of the business plan focuses on key personnel. Include details about the business owners and its management team. If the owners and managers and have extensive backgrounds in the industry or a track record of success, highlight it. If you have an organizational chart, include it. Describe your product or service. What are you selling? How will customers benefit? How is it better than your competitors products or services?
Do you currently have or anticipate developing a prototype, or filing for a patent or copyright? Note all planned activities. For example, if you are writing a plan for a coffee shop, you would include a detailed menu that would outline all your products. Before writing the menu, you would include a short summary indicating why your particular menu sets your business apart from others.
Our wide variety will be a key competitive advantage as we can provide a diversity of product offerings that our main competitors are currently not offering". Write your marketing and sales strategy. In this section, explain how you intend to penetrate the market, manage growth, communicate with customers, and distribute your products or services. Will you use sales representatives, billboard advertising, pamphlet distribution, social media marketing, or all of the above?
Make a funding request. If you will use your business plan to secure funding, include a funding request. Explain how much money you need to start and maintain your small business. Provide an itemized summary of how start-up capital will be used.
Give a timeline for your funding request. To accurately complete this step, in some cases it might be necessary to hire an accountant, lawyer, or other professional. For one full year, provide monthly and quarterly statements.
Each year after that, yearly statements. These documents will be placed in the Appendix Section of your business plan. Include projected cash flows for at least 6 years or until stable growth rates are achieved and if possible, a valuation calculation based on discounted cash flows.
Write the executive summary. Your executive summary will serve as an introduction to your business plan. Remember to place this section at the beginning of your document. When was the business first conceptualized? What are some notable growth benchmarks? Start-ups will focus more on industry analysis and their funding goal. Existing businesses and start-ups should highlight any major achievements, contracts, current or potential clients and summarize future plans. Potential investors might want to see this information before making a decision.
The documents you include here should support claims made in other sections of the business plan. There should a section clearly outlining the risk factors affecting your venture and your mitigation plans. This also indicates to the reader how well prepared you are for contingencies. Review your business plan for spelling and grammatical errors. Do this several times before deciding on the final version. Rework or completely rewrite content to ensure it works from the perspective of the reader.
This is especially true if you are creating a "presentation plan". Read your document aloud. This allows you to detect if any sentences do not flow together well, and it also makes any grammatical mistakes more obvious. Make a copy and give it to a trusted friend or colleague to proofread and provide feedback. Create a cover page. The cover page identifies your document and gives it aesthetic appeal and professionalism.
It also helps your document to stand out. Your cover page should include: The words "Business Plan" centered in large bold font, along with your company name, company logo, and contact information. Not Helpful 11 Helpful What is a marketing business plan sample for a boutique and fashion store? Not Helpful 14 Helpful You can start with something small. Business cards, website, or anything that will alert people about your company. You can even post flyers at your local church or grocery store.
A business must be registered to make sure that it is legal and a viable choice for investors and customers. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Follow the steps in this article but craft it to make it specific to hardware. Not Helpful 3 Helpful 3. Where does a tech company start? I need money for servers to run the service, but I need the service to earn money.
A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you've written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.
Oct 23, · The marketing and sales plan section of your business plan details how you plan to reach your target market segments, how you plan on selling to those target markets, what your pricing plan is, and what types of activities and partnerships you need to make your business a success/5().
We would like to show you a description here but the site won’t allow us. Jul 11, · How to Write a Business Plan for a Small Business Three Parts: Preparing To Write Your Business Plan Writing Your Business Plan Finalizing Your Business Plan Community Q&A A business plan refers to a written document that comprehensively outlines what your business is, where it is going, and how it will get there%().
The business plan is the blueprint for your business. You wouldn't walk over to an empty lot and just start nailing boards together if you wanted to build a house. Starting a business without a business plan is just as foolish. Yet unlike a house, a business isn't static. If you have a killer idea for a startup, but lack the time, resources and budget to develop a business plan, a business plan-generating app can help you get your plan on paper and, ideally, off.