Setting Up A Business Plan

And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. " At Nerd Wallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. A business plan can make or break a small business. [Back to top] An objective statement should clearly define your company’s goals and contain a business strategy that details how you plan to achieve them.

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Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections.

Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.

For more than 100 years, Deluxe Corporation has sought to create the tools that help shape our economy.

Since 1915, Deluxe has recognized the vital role that small business plays in our communities, from job creation to business development.

To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. A strong, detailed plan provides a clear road map for the future, forces you to think through the validity of a business idea, and can give you much greater understanding of your business’s financials and the competition. It spells out exactly what you’d like to accomplish, both in the near term and over the long term.

A business plan typically looks out over three to five years, detailing all of your goals and how you plan to achieve them. If you’re looking for outside funding, you can use this section to explain why you have a clear need for the funds, how the financing will help your business grow, and how you plan to achieve your growth targets.[Back to top] This is simply an explanation of what your marketing strategy is and how you will execute it.Here, you can address how you plan to persuade customers to buy your products or services, or how you will develop customer loyalty that will lead to repeat business.But you should also address the various risk factors of the business, Allen says.“The loan officer is definitely going to want to know that you’ve thought through all of the potential risks and that you’ve mitigated those risks in some way,” he says.It outlines how your business will generate enough profit to repay the loan or how you will earn a decent return for investors.Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan. [Back to top] This section provides a snapshot of your small business. It should include a mission statement, which explains the main focus of your business, as well as a brief description of the products or services offered, basic information such as ownership structure, and a summary of your plans.However, if you’re an existing business seeking small-business loans, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.You may also include ratios that highlight the financial health of your business, such as: [Back to top] This is a critical part of your business plan if you’re seeking financing or investors.

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