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Your roadmap to small business success

Your roadmap to small business success

Your roadmap to small business success

(NC)-A business plan is the cornerstone of any successful enterprise and a roadmap to achieving your small business goals. It can help you communicate with suppliers, buyers and partners, as well as secure funding from your bank.

"Your business plan should define your market and identify the need for your product or service," says Diane Giard, Vice-President, Small Business at Scotiabank. "As a map to your business, this document will explain how you plan to create your idea and finance it."

A good business plan includes:

. The Business Profile

This should include a profile of who you are, your expertise, a company history (if you have one) and what you will do (the process and operation of the business).

. Marketing Plan

Your plan should include a marketing strategy, industry and competitive analysis, sales and pricing, customers and suppliers. This is your value proposition, how your product or service will add value for your customers and what advantage you have in the market.

. Business Requirements

The nuts and bolts of what you'll need for staffing and support, what you have in fixed assets, what financing you have or will need. This section should include all the things you'll need to take your company from idea to reality.

. Financial Projections

The financial projections should include an opening balance sheet, sales, cost of sales, operating expenses, income statement, projected balance sheet, and cash flow.

Talk to a lawyer, accountant, business person or a banker for help in formulating your business plan. It will help you better understand your business and what you want to do.

To start, you can find valuable information on preparing a business plan at www.scotiabank.com/businessplan.

Ultimately, a business plan is a living document. Go back to it on a quarterly basis and use it to mark your progress and adjust your planning and strategies. Like any good roadmap, a small business plan will show you where you're going and how to get there.

Scotiabank has the knowledge and resources to help small business owners succeed. With a small business expert in every branch, Scotiabank is here to help small business owners find the money to reach their goals. For more information, see your local branch or visit: www.scotiabank.com/smallbusiness.

- News Canada