Where to get help writing a business plan!
Getting help writing a business plan!
My daughter is opening a new business and needs help writing a business plan to take to the bank for working capital. I had no idea where to tell her to start so I thought I would research it and write a review on my findings.
What is a business plan? A business plan is the foundation of your business and is a written document that details goals. How you plan to reach the goals and it is also a written vision or purpose and means of how you will operate your new business.
It is comparable to a resume’ which shows your objectives for partners, employees, vendors and investors.
Business plans can be simple or very intricate depending on the business you are starting.
There several ways to do a business plan. You can learn how to write your own with the help you can find online or you can pay to have someone write one for you.
What are the keys points of a business plan:
Executive Summary – a snapshot of your business
This will be the first page of your business plan the includes a statement which tells about your business, products or services offered. It will tell basic information such as ownership structure, and a summary of your plan.
Business Description – describes what you do
Provide a snapshot of your business. This should contain important information including its registered name, address of any physical locations, names of key people in the business, history of the company, nature of the business and more details about products or services that it offers or will offer.
Market Analysis – research on your industry, market and competitors
This should be an explanation of how you will persuade customers to buy your products or services, and how you will develop a loyalty program to keep customers coming back to your business. You can also highlight your strengths and what make customers want to use your services as opposed to your competition.
Organization Management – your business and management structure
Here, you can tell what type of company you are for example sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Tell about your key employees, managers and other business owners of the business. This should also include the what percentage each owner has and their involvement in the company.
Sales Strategies – how you’ll market your business and your sales strategy
In this section, you can detail the products or services you offer or plan to offer. It should include the following:
- Tell how your product or service works
- How do you price your product or service
- Who is your typical customer
- Your sales and distribution strategy
- What distinguishes your product or service from what the competition is offering
- How you plan to fill orders
You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.
Funding Requirements – how much money you’ll need for next three to five years
If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financial s yet. However, if you’re an existing business seeking small-business loans, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.
You may also include ratios that highlight the financial health of your business, such as:
- Net profit margin: the percentage of revenue you keep as net income
- Current ratio: the measurement of your liquidity and ability to repay debts
- Accounts receivable turnover ratio: a measurement of how frequently you collect on receivables per year
Financial Projections – supply information like balance sheets
This is a critical part of your business plan if you’re seeking financing or investors. It outlines how your business will generate enough profit to repay the loan or how you will earn a decent return for investors.
Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.
Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan. Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections.
Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic. “It’s OK to be optimistic if you can justify it,” Allen says. “In general, you don’t want to stand out in a negative way by being too optimistic.”
You want to show that your business can generate strong enough cash flow to cover the regular debt payments on a loan. But you should also address the various risk factors of the business, Allen says.
“The loan officer is definitely going to want to know that you’ve thought through all of the potential risks and that you’ve mitigated those risks in some way,” he says.
Small Business Association or SBA
This is a fantastic group that is very helpful. They will help you with the writing of the business plan or they will review and give you tips to improve the one you have written.
What they offer:
- Step by step instructions to writing the business plan.
- Templates for different business plans for you to choose from.
- They will edit your business plan you have written.
- Learning Center Online.
- Meet and work with an individual all the way through the process including applying for working capital.
- They will help you with getting working capital.
- Want to bid for government contracts this is the place.
SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers a large network of volunteer business mentors and experts who can help you get your business going. You can search for a mentor or find a local SCORE chapter for more guidance.
What they offer:
- They can write your business plan for you
- They can edit a business plan
- Courses and Webinars
- A Library of online resources
- They offer phone support
- Email support
Live Plan is an online software that will help you make a business plan at a cost. You can make a one-page plan that will cover everything you need included in your business plan.
- Step by Step Instructions
- Many samples and examples
- Business Plan Template
- Industry Benchmarks
- Financial Forecasting
- Sales Forecasting
- Professional Documents
- Exports to Power point
- Bank Level Security
- Create Multiple Plans
- Live Chat Support
- Email Support
This program not only helps you make a business plan but helps manage with Accounting Software Sync, Performance Dashboards, Milestone Scheduling.
When starting a new business or when buying a business that is already running you need to go through a lot of the same steps. Writing a business plan is a very important step that every business owner needs to do. There are several good options out their to choose from so when you are looking for help writing a business plan find the one that is right for you and your business.