What Is A Business Plan?

What is a business plan? A business plan is a strategy for success. There is a wonderful checklist that we can provide. A business plan really is a strategy for success. It is usually incremental, before...

There is a wonderful checklist that we can provide. A business plan really is a strategy for success. It is usually incremental, before you ever open your doors, for the startup. In many instances, it can be a five year plan, but modified every year as your company changes or your needs change. But the basics of the business plan are that you are ready to go into business, what you anticipate revenues might be, and your expenses. It's not like running a household; your expenses are kept in a budget. You would have a budget for perhaps a statement of your mission or at least objectives of what you would like to accomplish and then milestones. So you may say for example "in my first year of business I want to do 'x' amount of revenue." And then you could do your quarterly projection to achieve that. And then let's say your first quarter is slower to start; then you would adjust your subsequent quarter and knowing what you want to do, where you want to do it, and having a projection of what your costs would be. The costs are the cost of doing business, your taxes, your fees and fees to the state for licensing, or your electric, the lease on the place and the transportation of goods. All that has to be factored in and then what you can do is projections about what type of revenue you need in order to meet those projections. And it may be that your costs are too high based on your plans, so then you adjust it accordingly. It's a blueprint that you can follow and I would say that the successful business person have a business plan; there is not one business plan. There are certain elements that are going to be in every business plan, but again what makes you unique is what makes your plan unique. I think it's a predicator of success.


Your business plan should include your next steps. Is it going to be home based or are you going to be leasing space? You are going to be paying taxes and then that's where you would establish the type of business entity you are because that's how your taxes would be based. Your taxes are for federal, state, local. If there are licensing requirements it has to take care of that as well. For example, if you were in the restaurant or in the catering business, you may have to have a health inspection before you open the doors. If you are in chemical manufacturing, you are going to have to work with a federal agency that deals with that. In addition to making it look great, you have your inventory and you have to be sure that you are in compliance with any local, federal or state regulation so that you can keep your doors open. One of the things that we work very closely with the IRS is every resource guide to small business everywhere, every year. It's to make sure that people know what their obligations are as far as taxes. The reality is that there are regulations, there is licensing, and there are taxes that need to be paid. We encourage people to know ahead of time and to have everything in order so when they open the doors, they remain open.




I don't think there is a typical preparation business plan. A business plan has many uses. I cannot speak to licensing and registration and zoning because it varies from location to location. But, I would say to anyone going into business, the more pre-prep that you do, the faster the whole process will go and that's the same for loan applications. If you go to a bank and you don't have a business plan and you are not quite sure what you want to do and you are not quite sure how much money you have, it is going to take a lot longer because you are going to have to come back. So the more someone is prepared, the quicker the process will go.

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