Plan for Business Success in 2023
5 Dec 2022
Every truthful business owner will admit to hours of hard work and detailed diligence as primary contributors to their success. For those new to business ownership and management, an excellent first step to take now is to write a business plan.
With December being National Write a Business Plan Month, following the examples below will set your business in the right direction for 2023. The City of Shoreview is proud to be a resource for business owners and entrepreneurs. It is fortunate to serve existing Shoreview businesses and is eager to help bring more to the community.
The content below will help guide you through creating a business plan and provide access to the critical resources ready to help give direction, facilitate networking and navigate the steps to secure essential financing and other operational tools.
What Is a Business Plan?
A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your company’s resume. It shows all interested parties — employees, investors, partners and yourself — that you are committed to building the business. Creating a plan forces you to think through and select strategies to propel your growth, including market research to support your plans. The essential components of a business plan include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement and a cash flow analysis.
Why You Need a Business Plan
A business plan helps you properly allocate resources, handle unforeseen complications, and make sound business decisions. A good business plan is crucial to any loan application because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money. Additionally, the plan can inform sales personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals. A business plan is for more than just startups. It is a living document that needs to be updated annually as your company grows and changes.
Components of a Typical Business Plan
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) provides excellent guidance for creating a business plan. Utilizing its outline by breaking it down into several components and working on it step-by-step can help make drafting a more manageable task.
- Write a brief statement on the business, including a mission statement, current location, staff and financial information. See DEED’s guidance here.
- Write a detailed description of the business, its goals, products or services and how they will resolve marketplace issues.
Ownership and management
- Discuss the ownership of the enterprise and the legal structure
- Skills and experience you or your staff bring to the business
- Explain the anticipated daily business management procedures
- Discuss hiring and personnel procedures
- Discuss insurance, lease, or rent agreements, and issues pertinent to your business
- Identify the customer demand for your product/ service
- Identify your market, its size, and locations
- Explain how your product/service will be advertised and marketed
- Explain the pricing strategy
- Include financial projections and funding requests necessary over a set timeframe
- Develop a monthly operating budget for the first year
- Develop an expected return on investment (ROI) and monthly cash flow for the first year
- Account for production estimates and delivery of products and services
Business plan resources
Open to Business is a free, confidential business counseling service for existing businesses and prospective entrepreneurs in Shoreview. Luis Mendoza (651-216-6252) is the expert advisor available to provide business plan assistance, along with other small business education, such as accessing financing options, marketing education, accounting training and more.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - Twin Cities (SBDC) at the University of St. Thomas offers confidential and free counseling for every stage of business development. Email the SBDC regional director Diane Paterson for further information.
For additional assistance with your business plan, you can start by reviewing “A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota” from the Small Business Assistance Office of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
In addition to its Business Plan Tool, the SBA’s online, self-paced course on How to Write a Business Plan is an excellent resource for learning more about putting your business plan together. The course explains the importance of business planning, describes plan components and provides access to resources and sample plans.
Plan for success today!
Whether you have an established business or expect to start one, a business plan is critical to meeting your goals. Once you have a draft of your business plan, review it with a colleague or contact the resources above. Once that step is complete, and if you require financing, make an appointment to review and discuss it with your banker.