Business Success Starts with a Business Plan
Business success starts with a Business Plan. If you are ready to be an entrepreneur, one of your keys to success will be putting together a Business Plan. A good Business Plan is no different to driving across country and taking a road map with you so you know what freeways and highways to take to get to your destination. Yes, you can take a GPS like a Tom Tom or Garmin but it serves the same purpose; it guides you each step of the way.
Why make a Business Plan?
The Business Plan is probably one of the most important documents you will put together for your business. One of the things I find intriguing is that almost every business owner knows and has heard of the need to create a Business Plan, but few actually do something about it. I think the reasons vary. There is no question, it does take time. I think another concern is that once it is done, it will no longer be of any use so why bother in the first place. Probably the final reason it gets ignored is that most business owners don’t understand the wealth of information a good Business Plan forces you to make decisions on.
Two types of Business Plans
If you understand the value of a Business Plan it is important to know that there are two types of Business Plan. The first type of Business Plan is for a brand new business where everything has to be thought through from the ground up.
The second type of Business Plan is for an existing business. This Business Plan does not require the same information as a lot of things are already in place and therefore been researched and implemented. The main goal of this type of Business Plan is to document what, where, how and why certain things are currently being done, if this is the best option and what can be done to move the business forward to the next level.
Here are some suggestions to help you create the best Business Plan possible.
The Purpose of the Business Plan
Some Business Plans are made for a specific purpose, for example, to be used as a tool to apply for and obtain a loan. There can be value, therefore, in creating a master or generic business plan and then have it modified and saved when a business plan is required to meet a specific need.
Complete all sections of the Business Plan
A business plan does not need to be a work of art. It is a practical but professional document. So that it maintains its practicality and professionalism, complete all sections. If parts are incomplete or only half done, the reader can tell and this will reflect on you. Additionally, some of the questions to be answered in a business plan are tough questions. By answering the tough questions you may think of things you had not thought of previously and this will only make you and your business so much stronger.
Focus on Cash Flow
The heading says it all. Applying for a loan is a serious business. It may well be that the person or persons that approve or deny your loan will only have your Business Plan to help them make their decision. As a result, where the Business Plan shows financial information, keep it realistic. If the reader thinks it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Keep the Business Plan up to date
Once you have gone to the trouble of creating a business plan, keep it up to date. To help guide you how often this should be, update the Business Plan whenever there is a major change or use it as a tool for an annual review on the performance of the business and the goals and objectives that were set.
If you would like more information about selling a business, buying a business, buying a franchise or a related service such as valuing a business, please visit my webpage Services and choose from the drop-down menu the information you would like. For more immediate help, you are welcome to send an email to Andrew Rogerson or give me a call on 916 570-2674.