50% of all startup fail in their first year. 75% of All New Businesses Fail By Year Three!!! Benjamin Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. You should create a business plan only if you want your business grow, prosper, and be profitable.
What is a “Business Plan”? A business plan has two parts. The first part is a written narrative of a course of action that an entrepreneur proposes a business follows, for a period of time, in order to achieve a specific set of goals. A good business plan delineates the actions required, the people involved, the sequencing of the tasks that need to be performed, the time required to complete each tasks, the people and materials needed for each task, the financial resources required, and when these resources will be needed. An excellent outline and explanation of the various parts for the written portion of a business plan can be found at Richmond.SCORE.org under the heading "Templates and Tools".
The second part of a business plan is a thorough Cash Flow Forecast. A well designed forecast should cover three years. The first year must be divided into twelve months and be as detailed as possible. A Ford auto dealer does not sell cars; they sell Fiestas, Mustangs, Taurus’s, Escapes, Explores, and five kinds of trucks. In short a Cash Flow Forecast must be as detailed as you can make it to be a valuable planning and forecasting tool. An excellent, fill in the blanks, Cash Flow Template can be found at this web site by clicking on the "Cash Flow Forecast".
There are two other web sites that I have uses, Palo Alto Software’s Live Plan and Business Plan Pro, both are Online and work with multiple computer in real time. I like my Cash Flow Forecast template the best because it is a fill in the blanks template that forces the entrepreneur to enter sales and cost detail. Thus you achieves an in depth understanding of the business. The time to find and solve problems in a business is before you start to spend your money not after your bank account is depleted.
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Joe Geiger, Copyright 2010