How To Make A Good Business Plan

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[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.

“It’s OK to be optimistic if you can justify it,” Allen says.

“In general, you don’t want to stand out in a negative way by being too optimistic.” You want to show that your business can generate strong enough cash flow to cover the regular debt payments on a loan.

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] 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.

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.

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