Plans and Profits, LLC

What is a Business Plan?    by Charlene Finerty

It is a story in words and numbers about the business you own, manage or expect to own.  The process of writing

a business plan produces a learning curve for most individuals.

A business plan adds focus to a myriad of ideas running rampant in one’s brain, particularly regarding start-ups and small businesses.  A

plan is, also, integral to buying or selling a business.  It organizes and commits the thoughts to paper in a logical manner.  It should be used

internally by every business for guiding operations and comparing actual cash receipts and expenses to projections.

The majority of business people dedicate time and money to a plan only when a lender requires the document.  It is an interesting study

of human behavior that business people will work on a plan for a banker and seldom for themselves.  Many a person has obtained personal loans,

lines of credit, even pledged the family home for business funding without attempting to plan the future.

The Narrative of the business plan discusses the business, its owner/s, management, marketing, advertising, market size, product or

service, sales forecast, facility, personnel, etc.  It creates a sense of place.  The reader learns what is happening now and what is expected to

transpire in the future.

Usually the most difficult to complete, perhaps the most important pages, are the Cash Flows.  That is where ideas, concepts and ambition

turn into dollar bills.  In a perfect world, Cash Flows are a mirror image of the business’s future checkbook.