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Where to Start When Creating a Business Plan

Feb 20, 2019

Business plans can be overwhelming at the onset. However, if you answer some simple questions before beginning, then you will avoid major headaches and save on your Tylenol expenses. So take time to consider the below money-saving parameters for business plan creation.

  1. What is the purpose of the plan?
    Identify the purpose as briefly and precisely as possible in language that is appropriate to the intended reader, and continue to return to the purpose throughout the business plan drafting process.
  1. How do I set-up the body of the business plan? Briefly define the following.
  2. Does the plan address the 3 rules for business success?
    • Solving a problem that is present in the marketplace.
    • Generating a profit and return on investment.
    • Marketing the service or product to prospects.

The Business

  • What does it do—product or service?
  • Where does it do it—location of operation?
  • When does the business occur? Describe the business cycle.
  • Who benefits from this product or service? Describe the target market.
  • How is the product or service delivered? Describe the delivery system.
  • What is the competitive advantage that this business will have over competitors?

The People

  • What is the background of the management team?
  • Describe the level of education of personnel who participate in the production of the goods or services.

The Benefit

  • What outcome is desired in the longer-range for the business?
  • How will it be measured?

The Addendums

  • Does the projected financial data contain reasonable assumptions? (These should include assumptions relative to both profitability and cash flow.)
  • Have you included historical cash flow information for the past year?
  • Have you included historical financial statements (preferably prepared by a CPA firm such as CRI) for the past three years?
  • Have you provided current market data from industry sources to support your assumptions and desired outcome?

In conclusion, remember that these answers tell the story of your business, and the point of a business plan is to provide guidance to the team. Success is built upon buy-in from your team, so brevity is key.

If you have questions about how to write a business plan or the financials related to your company’s long-term goals, then contact CRI’s CPAs and business consultants. Our team is dedicated to your success, and we’ve been known to help relieve a few headaches.

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