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Business Plans

Strategic Business Direction

Your business plan will consist of multiple sections which all need to be addressed with an explanation. 


1. Executive Summary - In this first section, briefly describe your company's purpose, also called the mission statement. Additionally concisely explain your business philosophy and objectives. This section will serve as a summary of your Key Business Points on various subjects listed below. 


2. Business Background / History

  • List owners or partners and associated partnership percentages.
  • Explain when, how, and why you formed this business and how it has progressed (if there were prior operations) so far.
  • What is your business philosophy?
  • List your short term (next 12 months) objectives.
  • List your long term ( 2 years and 5 years) goals.
  • Describe your company's successes or achievements to date.
  • Describe your company's difficulties or obstacles that your company has yet to overcome.
  • Explain what source of funding were used to capitalize this company initially.
  • Did the company experience any changes in ownership or management since its inceptions? If yes, explain.
  • What is your company's legal form of ownership? Such as LLC, S Corp, etc. 
  • Why did you select your particular legal entity form?


3. Business Environment - Describe specific factors which may positively or adversely impact your business or industry, such as politics, national economy, specific tax regulations, etc. 


4. Product(s) / Service(s) -Describe your product or service in detail.

  • Will you be making changes, additions or reductions to your current line of product(s) or service(s)? If yes, explain.
  • Do you know the difference between your product / service's features and benefits?
  • What are the benefits of your product or service?
  • Does it fill a specific need? Explain?
  • Can you define your product's or service's uniqueness or a niche?


5. Marketing Plan

  • Who or what makes up your current customer base or what we call target market?
  • Is this the market you are looking to sell to?
  • Is this a newly created market or an existing one?
  • Is this target market likely to grow?
  •  Explain Are there any current relationship(s) between the company and your potential customers? If yes, how was it accomplished?
  • What are your current marketing / promotional approaches?
  • What is your distribution channel? Eg. How does your product or service reach your customers? (Retail face to face, sales force, E-commerce, etc.)
  • What is your pricing policy? 
  • What is your customer credit or collection policy?
  • What marketing or promotional strategies will the company implement to reach its target customer and increase its market share or grow its customer base?


6. Competitive Environment -Who or what is your company's competitor(s)?

  • Identify your competitor's strengths.
  • Identify your competitor's weaknesses.
  • List your your core competencies that will clearly differentiate your from your competition.
  • What are your weaknesses or disadvantages that can hinder your ability to successfully compete?


7.  Organizational Management 

  • Who makes up your management team?
  • What prior experience do you have managing staff?
  • What is your management style?
  • Who will take over the management in the event of your absence?
  • What kind of quality control procedures does your management implement to ensure that you deliver a top notch service or product?


8. Business Resources 

  • Do you currently own or lease any equipment?
  • List your major suppliers?
  • What are their payment terms? 
  • What outside resources does your company need to deliver your product or service on time?


9. Employee / Personnel Plan

  • How many employees do you currently have?
  • How many do you need to fill your current demand for your product or service?
  • What kind of pay structure will you implement for your employees.
  • How will you monitor for productivity in your workforce?
  • Will your employees require additional training to perform productively?


10. Financial Data Plan

  • What are your company's sales and profitability trends?
  • Do you have a need to seek additional capital for expansion? If yes, what sources of funding will you be seeking?
  • What is your projected 12 month and 2 years cash flow and profitability?
  • Do you currently have outstanding debt, loans or notes payable? If yes, what are the payment terms? And how do you plan on repaying the debt?
  • Does the company have any delinquent loans, tax obligations or pending lawsuits?
  • How will the owners, shareholders, or partners be compensated for services?
  • Does the company implement a generally accepted method of accounting?
  • What system for accounting does the company currently use to prepare financial reports?
  • How often do you reconcile your bank / credit card accounts?
  • Have you prepared a generally acceptable Profit / Loss statement?
  • What internal control procedures do you implement to safeguard against theft of key assets and company resources?
  • Have you been implementing a working budget?


11. Legal Environment - Do you need to obtain any licensing, environmental regulations, trademarks, copyrights, patents, zoning or building codes to operate your business? 

Your Road Map To Success

A comprehensive Business Plan is much more than a tool to obtain a loan or investor financing. If you still have all your plans and ideas locked up inside your head, preparing a strategic plan can help you clarify your company's direction. It can ensure that your key leaders are all on the same page, and keeps both management and staff focused on the tasks at hand.


WHAT IS A STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN?


A Strategic Plan is needed when...

  • Starting a new venture, product or service
  • Expanding a current organization, product or service
  • Buying a new business, product or service
  • Turning around a declining business
  • The Strategic Plan provides a blueprint, describing your company, its products, the competitive environment, management team, financial health, and business risks.


WHY USE A STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN?

The plan allows you to...

  • Identify and describe the target customer profile, features, advantages and benefits of your new venture, product or service.
  • Justify that your plans are credible by fully researching the need being filled with your new venture.
  • Develop marketing plans including full descriptions of targeted promotional campaigns with implementation timelines. You also get to examine market conditions, the nature of your customers, as well as your competitors, sales potential, and projected results of your promotional campaigns.
  • Develop staffing plans including identifying the key players, skills, attitudes and expertise needed to build the venture.
  • Develop management plans including full descriptions of management systems and timelines for implementation.
  • Develop financial plans including projected startup costs, operating costs, revenue, profits, and break-even analysis for the first 3 to 5 years.
  • Projected financial plans allow you to effectively predict upcoming problems, or prevent them. In other words, the perspective gained through your Strategic Business Plan can make a significant contribution to your company's success, and help you get the funding you require. In fact, most lending institutions and private investors will not even talk to you without a solid financial plan.
  • Identify building and equipment needs including vendors and cost estimates.
  • Formulate company milestones including timelines for upcoming products and services in development.


HOW TO EASILY CREATE YOUR OWN STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN....

Who could know your plans better than you? For this reason, we encourage our clients to prepare a plan based on the questions we list below. Once this is done, you can review and streamline with one of our accountants for a realistic and functional start to your business success.

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