Business Plans for Growth Management and Financing

Business plans are an excellent tool, whether you are starting or expanding yourbusiness or non-profit, you should have a realistic business plan that has real data and doable objectives..

A good business plan for a small business, an idea for a business or a non-profit organization would include a high-level objective with a doable plan of action to meet your objectives within the time limits set.

Business plans are often prepared for:

1. Loan applications
2. Attracting investors or donors
3. Starting a business or a non-profit organization

Just as you would never think of building a house without a set of plans and specifications, same goes for your business or non-profit. Think of a business plan as a guide for your organization that outlines goals and details how you plan to achieve those goals. It would typically include:

  •  A marketing plan
  • Funding requirements
  • Projected income statement, cash flow and balance sheet.

Benefits of a Having a Business Plan

  • Is the planned product or service actually needed and wanted? In the marketing section there should be solid research and even surveys of the target audiences. From that, income projections can be done which is probably the most challenging part of creating a realistic business plan.
  • It will set the guidelines for cash flow management. It is a sad tale when a great business idea bombs when the cash runs out. While a fancy new office is a nice idea, used furniture may be the best place to start.
  • A good business plan sets priorities for the detailed tasks to avoid filling the day with “things to do”. Hang this on your refrigerator – many businesses fail due to poor or non-existent marketing.
  • Keep metrics on the progress. Use technology to track target progress. I have successfully used progress board systems – Trello has a free start up version. Tasks are moved across the board from task list, to in progress to dones. You want dones i.e. completed targets.
  • With benchmarks set, then establish accountability. If the target is not done, who has dropped the ball. In addition to financial accounting procedures and system, set up regular review meetings to compare planning with actual completions.

Key Parts of a Good Business Plan

  • Executive summary – a few pages that summarizes the business idea, the marketing plan and the financial projections.
  • Detailed marketing plan with product or service details, sales forecasts.
  • Projected profit and loss and balance sheet. Usually 3 to 5 years into the future.
  • Funding – investment or loan needed with cash flow projections.
  • Ownership structure and history of the key partners/investors.

Think of a well thought out business plan as a roadmap to your expansion and success. A business plan is the broad stokes—next is more detailed targets to actually get things done in alignment with the overall goals in the plan.

With many years of experience, we can help you grow your business and make your life easier by providing counsel and services to support your business’s growth from formation to business plans, financial statement preparation, liaison with your CPA firm for tax matters, loan applications and more.

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