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Can you afford to be without a Business Plan?


Plan for overall success - Not just for financing

Your business plan is as much of a road map of where you are going as it is to provide the information a lender will require before advancing funds to meet your needs. It serves both internal and external guidance. Internally, it will assist you in managing cash flow, capital expenditures, and periodic issues. It is your crystal ball to guide your firm’s future. Externally it may include those who could be a part of your financial requirements, investors, a bank, or your suppliers.

The right decisions become more obvious

The well-thought-out plan provides a road map enabling you to quickly determine whether you are on the right track. It provides the details needed to make critical decisions.

Customize your content

A comprehensive business plan uses several elements such as a cover page, table of contents, executive summary, business description, analysis of the business environment in which you are operating, industry background, analysis of your competitors, market analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, description of the management team and financial plan. Employ only those elements relevant to your plan’s focus and audience, so it remains concise. 

Goals and time frame

Plan out what can realistically be achieved in the next three, six, nine, and twelve months and then extend that to include two and five years. Determine what has to happen to achieve those projections. Your plan must also lay out break-even points and timelines.

The First Draft? – that’s your job!

You are the most knowledgeable about your business, so you need to prepare the first draft. It isn’t hard to find business plan templates online. Just search Google for “business plan template.” Adding “Canada” to the search term will return plans more in tune with the needs of a Canadian entrepreneur. Also, scroll down past the Advertisements (marked Ad) that populate the top of the page. There are lots of free resources that you can take advantage of.

Consult a professional for advice

It would help if you approached someone with knowledge of business plans to help draft the financial part of the plan. Then, talk to a communications person who has written business plans before and who has a grasp on your market. That person can be invaluable to drafting a document that will be read seriously by the person you present it to. These two advisors should work together, ensuring that the relevant detail flows through the plan from start to finish.

The plan is a living document

Don’t write it and forget it. You need to update the plan regularly to compare your projections to your actual results. When details change, adjust the plan as required.

You don’t have to do it alone

If you are having problems putting pen to paper, contact us to save you time, effort and money by getting you on the right track to start with.

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Friday, 12 April 2024

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