I can recall our advisors when we started our business telling me. Write a business plan. My answer was kind of vague and nondescript. After all I wanted to get going, who the heck has time to put together a business plan. It became clear very quickly during an interview with the counselors after questions like:Who is your target market?How are you going to reach it?What is the competition like?Do you have sufficient funds to last during a downturn?
It made me realize I would need a business plan for more reasons than just the bank or the government or other financiers, I needed it for me.
Once you have your business plan, it is really simple because all you need do now is to execute it.
Canada Business Services offers a fairly unique tool called an Interactive Business Planner. It is an Internet based tool designed to come up with your business plan. It is available here.
Please note that every business should have unique business plan tailored to their industry.
1. Cover sheet
2. Statement of purpose ( often an executive summary)
3. Table of contents
I. The Business
A. Description of business
D. Operating procedures
F. Business insurance
II. Financial Data
A. Loan applications
B. Capital equipment and supply list
C. Balance sheet
D. Breakeven analysis
E. Pro-forma income projections (profit & loss statements)
Detail by month, first year
Detail by quarters, second and third years
Assumptions upon which projections were based
F. Pro-forma cash flow
III. Supporting Documents
Tax returns of principals for last three years Personal financial statement (all banks have these forms)
For franchised businesses, a copy of franchise contract and all supporting documents provided by the franchisor
Copy of proposed lease or purchase agreement for building space
Copy of licenses and other legal documents
Copy of resumes of all principals
Copies of letters of intent from suppliers, etc
With a search on the Internet, you will be able to view examples of many business plans including ones tailored to your industry.