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If you want to start a business or have a current business, you must have a business plan in order to grow that business. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), “All capital sources will want to see your plan for the start-up and growth of your business. If you don’t have a business plan, make writing one your first priority.”
On an ongoing basis, the business plan is what keeps your business going in the right direction and gives you a way to measure your progress. It quantifies and helps you measure the work that will be involved and functions as the roadmap to get you where you want to go.
Need some more convincing that you need a business plan? Here are the top 5 reasons to get a business plan together:
1. You need a business plan if you are starting a business.
Understand that a business plan plays many roles in any organization new or old. It represents who you are today and who you will be tomorrow along with a detailed “road map” to ensure you and your business gets there safe.
2. You need a business plan if you are looking to get a loan or apply for a grant.
There will be times in your business life where you need financial assistance to either stabilize or grow. You need to be able to show to possible lenders and Grant makers what you need the money for and how you intend on using it for the business.
Many times the first impression will not be made by you but your business plan and application. A business plan is critical first step in this very difficult and frustrating process.
3. You need a business plan if you intend on applying for SBA funding.
Although the actual funding comes from a bank, you will need to wow the government agency approving the project. Our business plans are focused on meeting the very specific needs of the SBA. Remember, you are not alone. We have professional advisers who can assist you through the planning process.
4. You need a business plan to seek seed money or investors and determine the value of your business.
A business plan is a great tool for promoting an idea, an active project, or an active company looking to go to the next level financially. The difference between a good business plan and a great business plan is the style in which it is written. We write every plan to meet the startup, 2nd year, and 3-year growth goals.
And, at some point, you’ll want a real valuation of your business. A business plan will help determine that value. In addition to your financial statements, many investors and business experts will use your business plan to fully understand the competitive market, your growth strategy, and your unique products or services.
5. You need a business plan to effectively communicate with business partners, management team, and employees.
And as you know, clarity is key to success when building a brand, culture and evolving environment that can proficiently manage customer service, products and finances. Everyone involved should understand the objectives, expectations and requirements for fulfillment. A business plan ensures this by creating alignment among founding partners with consistent messaging and missions.
Within your business plan you will strategically plan your partnership arrangements and duties. It is important that everyone involved is on the same page.
A business plan includes the following
- Mission, Vision & Objections of the venture
- The Company (its legal description, history and current situation/location)
- Products & Services (offered and planned)
- External Environment (the industry status, the economy, legal/regulatory)
- Overall Market (including analysis of the competition, size, growth, demographics, etc.)
- Target Market (the specific segments your firm has or plans on pursuing)
- Analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats/Risks
- Sales & Marketing Strategy (including promotion, pricing, distribution, forecasts)
- Management Team & Advisors (one of the most crucial areas for influencing funding)
- Operational Plan (including equipment, labor/personnel and production/service process)
- Implementation Plan
- Financials & Exit/Payback Strategy (to show how investors/lenders will get their return)
Get started with your business plan
Here’s the deal…if you’re serious about getting cash to start your business or you’re just starting off, business plans are a must. That’s because a business plans is essentially a management tool, identifying potential challenges and providing you with strategies for growth.
So, ask yourself this… Do you want the key to insure your business’s success? Do you want to have a dedicated business plan advisor who will write your business plan for you? How about getting a fully customized business plan that is specifically designed for your needs? If you said yes to any of these, Inc Authority can help!
Incorporating is the most powerful thing you can do to legitimize your startup. And at IncAuthority.com, our setup LLC services are 100% free. Always. So, don’t wait. Form your new LLC today and enjoy the protection due to you and your business under the law.