How to Write a Business Plan
Business Plan Basics:
A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your firm's resume. The basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement, and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make good business decisions, as well as predicting future risks and returns. As it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan application.
A business plan should be a work-in-progress. It should always be well written and in as much detail as possible. Even successful, growing businesses should maintain a current business plan. As any good salesperson knows, you have to know everything possible about your products or services in order to persuade someone to buy them. In this discussion, you are the salesperson and your products represent your business. Your customers are potential investors and employees. Since you want your customers to believe in you, you must be able to convince them that you know what you are talking about when it comes to your business. In addition, if financing is required to start the business, then a business plan is required.
When writing and developing a business plan, the business owner needs to focus on three main aspects:
1.) Discover whether the current market is feasible or not for his/her idea to strive and generate a lasting profit.
2.) Set goals for the business, along with the strategy to rationally achieve these goals.
3.) An overall description of the business for any outside lender, possible investor, or employee.
A complete business plan encompasses several areas of information including:
I. Title Page
II. Description & History of the Business/Introduction
a. Product/Service - Overview, uniqueness, etc.
c. Marketing Plan - Customers, Pricing, Goals, Strategies, etc.
e. Management & Personnel - Including team, advisors, etc.
III. Financial Projections
a. Historical Financial Data
b. Project Financial Statement
c. Income Statement
d. Cash Flow
e. Balance Sheet
f. Loan Proposal
g. Supporting Financial Data
IV. Appendix (if necessary)
Three most recent years of your personal income tax returns.
Three most recent years of your business income tax returns (if available).
Interim financial statements
Copy of any licenses and permits you are required to have.
Copies of franchise contracts, purchase agreement, letters of intent, existing contracts, etc.
Examples of your brochures, business cards and other materials.
Resumes for all principals and key staff.
For your convenience, click here to get a PDF version of a sample Business Profile that can be used as a template for applying for occupancy to the Innovation Center at Wilkes-Barre.
Even more information can be found on the following websites: