October 25, 2014

Small Business News: Latest Business Plan Tips

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Making a business plan may be the most important part of starting a new business or expanding an existing one. From marketing to cash flow to expenses to anticipated market, every aspect of your small business is part of the business plan. And this does not simply apply to entrepreneurs who plan to seek funding for their small business startup. In fact, a business plan can also be an important departure point for any small business owner to predict outcomes, set goals and establish expectations. These predictions, goals and expectations can then be measured against reality to determine where changes need to be made. But what details does a business plan include? How do we create one and how do we get started? We hope you’ll find some of the answers below and be sure to share extra information in the comment section to make this a more valuable resource for all of our readers:

Overview

What is a business plan? We’ve started with some basic tips but now to get down to the nitty gritty we look at what a business plan really is. You’ll hear many different descriptions and many different ideas expressed when business owners talk about putting together a business plan. But what are the basics and how do you know whether you have all the bases covered? MyOwnBusiness.org

What kind of plan does your business need? Tim Berry explains in this video that it depends at what stage of your business you find yourself and upon your individual needs. Far from a document set in stone and unable to be changed, a business plan must be as flexible as your business and should be designed to directly suit your small business needs. Up and Running

Basics

Great business plans: The essential elements. To create an effective business plan, it’s great to first get down to basics. What elements should your business plan contain? What kind of information or projections should be part of each element? When creating a business plan for your operating venture or beginning startup, what elements are important or even essential to include? What can be left out? Knowing the basic format of a proper business plan can simplify the process greatly and give your business a better plan for success. SBA

Need business plan templates to start your business on the right foot? Try these templates from SCORE covering a wide variety of needs for a beginning business owner or entrepreneur just starting out. Afterwards, you may want to meet with a mentor to help you plan your business in more detail. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Just take a look at these templates as a starting point. Use them to visualize the business you want to create and as a help to get you there. SCORE

Strategy

What form will your business take? A big part of your business planning will also have to include what form your small business will ultimately take. Will it be a Limited Liability Company, S Corporation or C corporation? The answer to this question may have much to do with your business model, your strategy etc. Make sure the form of business is included in your business plan (single proprietorship and partnership are other options) and that you have thought through the implications of the choices you make. Bloomberg Businessweek

Should you plan for higher taxes on your small business? Proposals to raise taxes on those Americans making more than $250,000 a year could very easily hit some small businesses and entrepreneurs, critics say, so you may want to add this in to your business plans if the measure passes. The administration is painting this as a tax on wealthier Americans to shrink the Federal deficit. We’d like to hear the take of small business owners out there. Do you feel this tax will impact small business owners as well and is it likely to impact your business? WSJ

Resources

Free small business planning course. Tim Berry and the U.S. Small Business Administration bring you this detailed mini-seminar on the business plan and take you step by step through the process of creating one for your small business. If you are an entrepreneur just getting started or a current business owner planning on expanding your current operations or launching a new venture, you owe it to yourself to see this. Palo Alto Software

The business plan: Getting started. If the hardest part of doing your small business plan is getting started, have we got a treat for you. Here, from the U.S. Small Business Administration, is an explanation of the process involved in starting the development of the business plan. You’ll links as well to other page that will start you on your way, so have fun and happy planning. SBA

News

Students learn business plan preparation. These students are learning business plan preparation as well as other critical entrepreneurial concepts in a Youth Entrepreneurship Day sponsored by a local bank. Business planning is a critical part of entrepreneurship and small business operation whether you plan to go for financing or not and these students are learning the basics early. Are you honing up on your business planning skills? Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

Contest offers more than $100,000 for winning business plan. Business plans can help raise business funding in more ways then one. Business plan contests like this one can help teams of entrepreneurs win the needed capital for a project. In a sense, your business plan, like your business, will compete in the marketplace against many competitors, brands and products. Your business plan should also help you run your business successfully. Thriving in Michiana

3 Comments ▼

3 Reactions

  1. Great information. Thank you. It appears that business plans remain one of the most under utilized tools out there. I constantly meet business owners who’ve skipped over this highly important step with the idea of saving time….

    Thanks again.

  2. This information was very helpful. I have decided to give myself a goal and finish my business plan as soon as possible to get a jump start on starting my business. Check out J. B. A. Party Supply Store website coming soon.

    Thanks.

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