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Business Plan, Business Model and Financials

Import from Microsoft Excel

❶Create a custom plan outline, add your own tables, topics, and instructions, and then save the result as a new business plan template. Monitor the file-level actions your team members are taking.

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What is a 'Business Plan'

Business owners should always refer to their budget before making important business expenditures. This helps to make sure they can afford to spend the money. Decisions such as purchasing new machinery or whether to expand operations should only be made after checking to make sure it fits into your budget.

You can adjust your budget as needed over time, but make sure to stick to those changes. A startup budget usually covers the period leading up to the commencement of operations.

It should only include costs that are necessary to start the business. Use this budget to be on the lookout for areas where you can save money. One-time costs are expenses that are incurred only once during the startup period. Examples of one-time costs include the purchase of a building, computer equipment and consultant fees. This startup budget template can be downloaded and used for any type of business. It should be customized to include the specific cost items that apply to the company.

To fill out this spreadsheet, determine the number of months the startup period will cover. Even if you don't need financing, you should compile a financial forecast in order to simply be successful in steering your business. Generating an Accurate Sales Forecast.

The Purpose of the Financial Section Let's start by explaining what the financial section of a business plan is not. Realize that the financial section is not the same as accounting. Many people get confused about this because the financial projections that you include--profit and loss, balance sheet, and cash flow--look similar to accounting statements your business generates. But accounting looks back in time, starting today and taking a historical view.

Business planning or forecasting is a forward-looking view, starting today and going into the future. It's an elaborate educated guess. And you don't spend a lot of time on minute details in a financial forecast that depends on an educated guess for sales.

You're going to need it if you are seeking investment from venture capitalists, angel investors, or even smart family members. They are going to want to see numbers that say your business will grow--and quickly--and that there is an exit strategy for them on the horizon, during which they can make a profit. Any bank or lender will also ask to see these numbers as well to make sure you can repay your loan. It should be a guide to running your business," Pinson says. One way, Berry says, is to break the figures into components, by sales channel or target market segment, and provide realistic estimates for sales and revenue.

But if you break the guess into component guesses and look at each one individually, it somehow feels better," Berry says. What Angel Investors Look For. The Components of a Financial Section. A financial forecast isn't necessarily compiled in sequence.

And you most likely won't present it in the final document in the same sequence you compile the figures and documents. Berry says that it's typical to start in one place and jump back and forth. For example, what you see in the cash-flow plan might mean going back to change estimates for sales and expenses.

Available in two powerful editions The Standard Edition provides everything you need to create and print a great-looking business plan. Import from Microsoft Excel If you already have financial data in Microsoft Excel, you can easily import it and link it to your forecast. Visual Cash Planning With the dynamic Cash Pilot, you get a cash flow chart that presents a visual look at how accounts payable, accounts receivable, and inventory will affect your cash flow.

Quarterly and month Data Most business plans have 12 months of projections, followed by several years of annual projections. Business Valuation Tools Investors want to know what your business, and their investment, is going to be worth.

Actual Stay on top of real world results for timely course correction. Custom Templates Create a custom business plan outline, add your own financial tables and standardized text, and then save the result as a new business plan template. Business Management Compare your real-world results to your business plan and make well-informed decisions on how to correct course and maximize your opportunities.

BREAKING DOWN 'Business Plan'

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Business Plan Pro is the fastest, easiest business plan software for small business, startups, and corporate business planning. Features include + sample business plans, SBA-approved format, Excel integration, and more.

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