When thinking of creating a business plan, talking to an experienced accountant isn’t your first immediate thought. Accountants are an integral part of your business plan, as they have experience across a wide number of industries, as well as extensive knowledge of business financials, quite possibly the most important section of your business plan when it comes to gaining funding through the bank or investors. A small investment with an accountant in the beginning goes a great length in getting a bank loan or interested investor.
A business plan is a document that contains a detailed description of the future of your business. The basic idea of a business plan is to assist you in staying on target for the goals of your business that are three to five years away.
A business plan is usually broken down into seven major sections.
The overview of your business plan; short and well written to draw the reader into wanting to read more about your business. It is helpful to write this section last, as you will be able to better summarize the completed plan.
This is a high-level view of your business which will explain who you are, what you will sell or provide, and what the goal of the business is.
This section will allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of your target market, including demographic information as well as industry size.
A competitive analysis is a detailed evaluation of your competitors, highlighting things such as their market share, strengths and weaknesses, and their strategies, while identifying weaknesses that can be exploited to your advantage.
Strategy & Implementation
This section allows you to demonstrate your sales & marketing strategy, and how you will roll it out. Things to consider in this section is the inclusion of an explanation of how you will reach the target market, details of your pricing and promotions, and an explanation of how the business will function from acquisition of supplies, through production, to delivery.
Management & Organization
The management and organization section allows you to demonstrate the expertise of the management team, as well as the tasks and responsibilities assigned to each team member.
Financial Plan & Projections
This section of your business plan should be developed with a professional accountant after the market analysis section is completed. There are a number of important documents that will be created in this phase that will assist you in getting financing from banks and/or investors, such as any historical financial data (income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements), prospective financial data (forecasted income statements, cash flow & balance sheets, and capital expenditure budgets), as well as several other helpful statements providing an in depth analysis of your financial data.