Business Plan Guidelines

[Back to top] If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financials yet.

However, if you’re an existing business seeking small-business loans, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.

Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.

“It’s OK to be optimistic if you can justify it,” Allen says.

Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan.

Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections.» MORE: Best loans for working capital [Back to top] Here, you’ll list your business’s legal structure — such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation — as well as key employees, managers or other owners of the business.It should also include the percent ownership that each owner has and the extent of each owner’s involvement in the company.Preparing To Write Your Business Plan Writing Your Business Plan Finalizing Your Business Plan Help Writing a Business Plan Show 1 more... He has over 40 years of experience in Business & Finance. Lewis is a retired corporate executive, entrepreneur, and investment advisor in Texas.The business plan outlines in specific terms the financial objectives of your business, and how it will position itself to achieve those goals in the context of the current market environment.In addition, the business plan is an indispensable tool to attract business capital.A business plan typically looks out over three to five years, detailing all of your goals and how you plan to achieve them. If you’re looking for outside funding, you can use this section to explain why you have a clear need for the funds, how the financing will help your business grow, and how you plan to achieve your growth targets.If you’re applying for a loan or looking for investors, a business plan shows you’re prepared and have fully vetted your business idea, says Craig Allen, a financial advisor who teaches business plan writing classes at Southern New Hampshire University. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity presented and how the loan or investment will grow your company.You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.[Back to top] This is simply an explanation of what your marketing strategy is and how you will execute it.

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