In order to secure the money your business needs from a bank, you’ll have to prepare a business plan. It’s a factual description of your business and its projections. This document describes your plan for your company showing its structure, products, services, marketing strategy, budget and financial projections. It’s an informational document intended to showcase your company’s operations, goals and potential. Make sure it includes the following:
- Executive summary: This section briefly summarizes the entire business plan. It describes the company, your product/service, the industry, your competitive advantage and the prevailing economic climate.
- Description of the company: This segment of the document fully describes the history, current operations, strategy, mission statement, principals, strategic partners and corporate structure of your company.
- Management team experience: This is your chance to showcase the skills, experience and qualifications of yourself (owner), any co-owners and each member of your management team. Include an organizational chart and salary forecasts. If you have a board of directors, list them along with relevant experience.
- Key financial data: Report the fiscal strength of your company. Provide financial statements and forecasts for the next 2 to 3 years and include historical results for the past three to five years. This portion of the plan should include income statements, cash flow statements, capital expenditure budgets, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, sales forecasts and relevant financial metrics for your industry. Provide monthly, quarterly and yearly projections.
- Market analysis: Provide a competitive analysis of your market identifying existing gaps that your business intends to fill. Include an industry overview, information on your target market, planned marketing strategies, your knowledge of relevant regulations and your past compliance with them.
- Production plan: Describe your company’s product/service in detail. Itemize the product line with the current and planned pricing structure. Include the estimated life-cycle of the product/service and a description of any trademarks/patents/intellectual property rights you own.
- Supporting documents: Append principal’s resumes, tax returns, real estate documents, processing flowchart, letters of intent from buyers of your product/service, marketing materials, training certificates, research supporting your forecasts, clients testimonials and media reports.
- Use simple language, avoiding technical terms and acronyms.
- Your proposal should be clear, well-structured and easy to read.
- Don’t hesitate to sell yourself!
- Demonstrate that you have contingency plans.
- Consider working with a professional to help you to lay out the document.
Preparing a clear, well-documented business plan is crucial for getting the money your business needs. Create a detailed, precise, informational document that presents your business in the best possible light. Demonstrate your willingness to make a success of your business. If you need help creating your plan, talk to your chartered accountant. They will have the knowledge, experience and skills to help you create a professional business plan.
Need help preparing a business plan? Contact Cook and Company Chartered Professional Accountants. Whether you operate a sole proprietorship or a sizable corporation with multiple subsidiaries, Cook and Company uses their experience and expertise to help your business. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.