Gather your basic financial statements
Provide documentation Financial statements are ;formal records of your business' financial activities. There are four basic statements: Income statement: Your bottom line subtracting costs from revenue to come up with net profit Balance sheet: A financial snapshot that shows what you own, what you owe, and what your company is worth Cash flow statement: A cash monitor that follows the flow of cash in and out of your company
Budget: Your financial forecast that indicates where you plan to make and spend money
Determine your audience
Identify customers and the competition This is a critical part of a successful business plan. ;Incorporate research on both groups. Ask these questions of customers: Who is buying, what do they buy, and why ;do they buy?
Ask these questions of competitors: How big are they, which customers are they after, and what is their strategy?
Incorporate these elements
Executive summary Company overview Business environment Company description Company strategy Financial review
Consider these topics
Plans: Company mission, vision, goals, and objectives that all work together Organization: A structure for your company that makes sense Procedures: Efficient and effective ways of doing things Leadership: An ability to influence and encourage others around you Skills: The talents and expertise your people need to succeed
Culture: Beliefs and attitudes that lead to doing the right thing
Consider the other factors on this list of business-planning essentials:
Get everyone involved in setting goals and objectives Learn all you can about your customers Understand who your competitors are Identify your strengths and weaknesses relative to opportunities and threats Determine which capabilities you absolutely need to succeed List all the things you do that add customer value Make sure that you do your financial homework
Imagine several different versions of your company's future
Avoid business failure
Do your research, and prepare If you're not prepared, your business will likely fail. Establish a long-term company vision Be sure to establish and follow clear goals and objectives to meet the vision. Prepare for change Stay flexible and you will succeed. Focus on the customers And whatever you do, don't underestimate the competition.
Be a strong leader Communicate well, and often.