You wouldn't build a house without blueprints. Don’t build a business without a proper plan. A business plan should contain key elements that describe the operation and include a realistic financial analysis. This is particularly important if you are seeking financing for your business. The basics include:
- Statement of Purpose and Objectives of the Business
- Business Structure
- Definition of the Market Served/Customer Profile
- Description of Products and/or Services
- Market Evaluation/Marketing Strategy
- Location of the Business and Map of Competitors
- Advertising and Promotional Programs
- Market Analysis
- Owner/Management Team
- Owner/Management Qualifications for all Partners
- Owner/Management and Partner Functions
- Location is Relationship to Ideal Customer Base
- Location and Facilities Requirements
- Staffing Requirements/Organization Chart
- Training Requirements/Initial and On-Going
- Financial Summary
- 1st Year Financial Analysis
- 1-5 Year Profit/Loss Projections
- Breakdown of Start-Up Costs and Capital Expenditures
- Risk Analysis
- Primary Areas of Risk and Viable Solutions
- Identification of Potential Business Difficulties and Viable Solutions
Business Plan Templates
BPlans is a website that provides examples industry specific business plans. There is no charge to review various samples, but there will be a charge if you want an interactive template. You can review the various plans on the following site.
Cash Flow Analysis
One of the most important things you should do as a part of your business plan is to complete a “Cash Flow Analysis.” This allows you to estimate your start-up costs and monthly income and expenditures over a period of twelve months. The ending balance (positive or negative) carries forward to each subsequent month. From this you can estimate how much income you’ll need to generate every month to cover expenses. Generally speaking you’ll probably show a negative carry over for at least three to six months. It is advisable to estimate expenses high and income low and have a professional business accountant review your numbers.
Payroll Tax Estimator
Everyone operating a business needs to estimate, track and pay “Self-Employment Tax”. Self-employment tax is a tax consisting of Social Security and Medicare taxes primarily for individuals who work for themselves. It is similar to the Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the pay of most wage earners. You can estimate your self-employment tax using the following sheet. It is advisable to have a payroll expert or professional business accountant review your numbers.
If you plan to hire employees, you need to estimate the payroll taxes base on wages. It is advisable to have a payroll expert or professional business accountant review your numbers.