“They know what you can expect sales to be for that type of business in that market,” Allen says.
[Back to top] Now that you’ve written your business plan, here are some tips to help your hard work stand out: Avoid over-optimism: If you’re applying for a business loan at a local bank, the loan officer likely knows your market pretty well.
Providing unreasonable sales estimates can hurt your chances of loan approval.
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.
It should also include the percent ownership that each owner has and the extent of each owner’s involvement in the company.
You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.If you’re applying for a loan or looking for investors, a business plan shows you’re prepared and have fully vetted your business idea, says Craig Allen, a financial advisor who teaches business plan writing classes at Southern New Hampshire University. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity presented and how the loan or investment will grow your company.“If you have no financial forecast, which is part of the business plan, it’s very difficult to show the bank how you are going to repay the loan,” Allen says. For example, if your business is launching a second product line, you might explain how the loan will help your company launch the new product and increase its sales by 50% over the next three years.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.[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.The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.The Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® accreditation is a global standard for financial analysts that covers finance, accounting, financial modeling, valuation, budgeting, forecasting, presentations, and strategy.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.