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Business Plan Elements
Sample Business Plan Outline
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A formal, written business plan is essential to the success of every business.  A good business plan will document the short-term and long-term goals of the business and establish specific tasks for achieving those goals.  Additionally, it will keep management and key employees focused on the major objective of your business.

Potential benefits realized from the development of a business plan include:

  • Improved understanding of opportunities, problems and weaknesses;
  • Greater control over your organization;
  • A valuable source of information about your business that may be required by third parties;
  • Improved use of your company's resources;
  • Education of your company's personnel resulting from participation in the business planning process.
  • Increased employee motivation;
  • Increased profits and sustained growth.

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Our Business Planning Services are varied to meet the needs of our clients and include the following:

Complete Written Business Plan (Includes financial projections)
We will lead you through the entire planning process and provide you with a complete written Business Plan.  The Plan will include financial projections.

Written Business Plan (Without financial projections)
We will lead you through the entire planning process and provide you with a written Business Plan that does not include financial projections.

Financial Projections Only
We will prepare Financial Projections based on clearly defined assumptions, suitable for inclusion in your Business Plan.

We will partner with you in developing and writing your Business Plan, providing assistance to you based on your specific desire and needs.

Email your completed Business Plan to us.  We will review and critique your Plan, and provide you with a comprehensive report that will include suggestions for improvement.

We will undertake a special project to research and report to you information and data on specific aspects of your Plan, such as:

  • Competition

  • Compensation comparatives

  • Industry data, trends and forecasts

  • Regional economic data, trends and forecasts

  • National economic data, trends and forecasts

  • Demographic information

Our experience and background as CPA, CFO and operating controller uniquely qualify us as expert in assisting clients in both the planning process and the writing of an appropriate business plan.

To assess your Business Plan needs, please complete our Business Planning Survey.

To request additional information on how we can help you in developing your Business Plan, please contact us.

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A successful business plan must achieve the following:

  • Be appropriately arranged, with an executive summary, a table of contents, and its   chapters in the correct order;
  • Be the right length and have the right appearance;
  • Give a sense of what you and your company expect to accomplish;
  • Explain in quantitative and qualitative terms the benefits to the user of your company's products and services;
  • Present hard evidence of the marketability of the products and services;
  • Justify financially the means chosen to sell the products and services;
  • Describe the manufacturing or operating process and associated costs;
  • Portray management as an experienced team with complementary business skills;
  • Contain believable financial projections; with key data explained and documented;
  • Show how investors (if applicable) can cash out in three to seven years, with appropriate capital appreciation.

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I. Cover Sheet (name of company, address, principals)

II. Table of Contents

III. Executive Summary (2-3 pages)

IV. The Business

A. Description, history (including past  performance)

1. Form of business (if incorporated, show where)
2. Location of headquarters
3. Principals or owners

B. Objectives of owners or managers

1. Projections and forecasts
2. Current and proposed capital structure

C. Funding required

1. Equity
2. Debt

D. Timing and use of funds

1. When capital needed
2. How funds will be used

V. The Product or Service

A. Description of brand names, prices
B. Comparison with competitive products or service (e.g., competitive advantages, weaknesses)
C. Research and development
D. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, franchises, and licensing agreements

VI. Marketing Plan

A. Overall strategy and tactics including risks and pitfalls
B. Size and history of market including trends (growth vs. flat)
C. Profiles of customers and end-users; preferences and needs
D. Strengths and weaknesses of competitors
E. Product lines
F. Advertising and promotions
G. Pricing
H. Distribution channels: distributors, dealers, sales representatives, associations, cooperatives
I. Regulatory requirements

VII. Production and Operations

A. Description of operations (all facets from raw materials to finished product)

1. Workforce (management, rank, and file)
2. Principal suppliers

B. Facilities and equipment

1. Existing
2. Required

C. Material, labor, and supplies used

VIII. Financial Information

A. For existing companies, provide a summary of historical financial data
B. Projected financial statements for three to five years

1. Cash flow statements
2. Income statements
3. Balance sheets

C. Significant financial assumptions (interest rates, profit margins, etc.)
D. Accounting policies (depreciation, inventory valuation, receivables, collections, etc
E. Break-even analysis

IX. Supporting Documents

A. Management biographies or resumes
B. Organizational chart
C. Historical financial statements for past three to five years
D. Employment contracts or agreements and loan covenants
E. Articles of incorporation
F. By-laws

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For those who want to write their own Business Plan, you will find an exhausting supply of information and guidance on the Internet.  Our Resource page contains links to Web sites that offer an array of books, software, planning tools, articles, planning checklists, sample plans, planning guides, manuals, and other forms of guidance to assist you in your business planning.

If, on the other hand, you find this approach daunting, we offer a range of business planning services to accommodate your specific desires and needs.

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