5 Small Business Plans to Get You Started
A good small business plan must be realistic and match your current situation as a starting point. The projected growth from where you are now must be able to be achieved on a factual scale and not be fanciful illusions. If you are putting your small business plan together for the purposes of showing it to banks or lending authorities for the purposes of obtaining a business loan or an extension on your overdraft, you will need to include background information as well fully explaining how you got to where you are now. Bankers and investors will want to know who is in your management team as well as your small business’s financial history and it must be backed up with bank statements.
The following small business plan varieties will give you an idea of how your plan should match up to your particular situation:
1 – Start-Up Plan
This type of small business plan should start with the summary and finish with appendices displaying your12 monthly projections. The body of the plan ought to clearly define the growth steps the new business will be taking. The type of business it is should be made clear as well as the service it provides or the product it sells or makes.
You should also include market forecasts to the best of your ability, the strategy you intend following, what milestones you will be ticking off on the way and a complete financial analysis. The financial analysis should include your projected cash flow, balance sheet, profit and loss and projected sales.
A feasibility plan is actually a simple start-up plan. Its main purpose is to find out whether the idea is worth proceeding with or not. This plan can be restricted to a summary at the top followed by a mission statement. It should include an analysis of the market as well as a projection of the costs involved, the price you can expect to receive for your product and a general outline of whether you feel it can be profitable or not.
2 – Internal Plan
This type of small business plan is for your own information or that of your management team. It won’t need the details given in the start-up plan such as details pertaining to your management team. It will be mainly concerned with how you intend going about structuring the business.
3 – Growth Plan
As its name suggests, a growth plan will be drawn up to detail how the growth of your business is expected to occur. Its purpose will determine how you go about setting it up. For instance if it is meant to support an argument to acquire a loan you will need to include all the items you put into your start-up plan such as your company and management details as well as all the financial projections. If it is to be used in conjunction with your internal plan it can be restricted to details more in line with your expenses being balanced against your sales projections.
4 – Strategic Plan
This is a type of internal plan that is mostly concerned about the types of options you have to further build your business. It will outline your priorities and how to go about implementing them. As in other internal plans you will not need to bother about describing your company profile nor your management team details.
5 – Operations Plan
Once again this is a type of internal plan but with an annual aspect. It will need to be detailed and focused on annual milestones, deadlines and responsibilities of the management team.
Small business is serious business and the best way of avoiding the pitfalls is to have properly drawn up business plans covering all aspects of your business. If you do this you will be able to recognise any danger signs looming on the horizon that you may not have otherwise recognised.
Kristy is a freelance business and personal finance writer for Life Insurance Finder, where she helps people to find and compare the best income protection insurance policy to meet their needs.