How to Write a Business Plan – Part II

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How to Write a Business Plan(Part 2 of a 4-part series on Writing Your Business and Marketing Plans)

Mapping Your Way to Business Success

A woman reviews her business plan.Last week we talked about the importance of having a business plan. We told you about the first key elements of your plan: Executive Summary, Company Description, Descriptions of Products and/or Services, Market Analysis, and Marketing Plan. If you missed that article, please click here to skim through it before reading on. Although we’re close, there are still 5 more parts to a good business plan.

Operating PlanSo how do you plan to get going? Where will you be located? What supplies will you need? And, will you be hiring any support staff? Be specific. Unanswered questions will make for many unexpected obstacles and no plan to deal with them.Management SummaryThis is exactly what it sounds like: a summary of your management team, including members’ backgrounds, credentials and achievements. If you alone will be managing the company, this is where you articulate your ability to manage all the elements of a successful business.A 3 to 5-year Financial PlanIf you’ve been in business for awhile, here you would provide information on your sales, cash flow, and profits. If you haven’t yet started, this is where you anticipate startup costs, sales, cash flow, and profits. You would also estimate how long it would take for your business to become self-sufficient.An Exit StrategyNo one wants to anticipate the failure of their business but without an exit strategy, business owners could experience more financial loss than necessary. Expect the best and plan for the worst. Ask yourself when you’ll know it’s time to throw in the towel. If you create some guidelines you won’t have to waste months and maybe years of your life running the business on empty.Appendices and ExhibitsIt’s useful for you, and anyone else reading your business plan, to visualize some of the information. If you encounter data that you believe would be best displayed in a graph or chart, you can reference them in the text of your business plan and attach the actual graphics in an appendix. Likewise, if you want to include letters of recommendation or other exhibits illustrating the probability of success, attach them here.

Writing Hints

Writing a business plan can be a daunting task, but don’t let it overwhelm you. We suggest taking it one section at a time. It should run somewhere between 20 to 40 pages and be no longer than 50. Make sure you’re text is concise; you want to pack as much information with as little text as possible, avoiding wordiness and redundancy. You can always hire a professional to write the business plan for you; there are also lots of software packages out there that will walk you through the process. But whatever process you use, it’s important to take the time to thoroughly plan your business. You’re more likely to find success with a detailed map to get there.

UAC Can Help You Achieve Success

There are other ways to ensure your business is successful. One is to cater your business to a large niche market that needs your services. Another is to expand your service offerings so that current and potential clients come to you for more than just accounting. Universal Accounting Center can help you do both.

Small Business: Your Niche MarketOver 85% of the opportunities in the accounting field are within small businesses. And each year the number of small businesses grows. Universities prepare their students for corporate accounting which doesn’t address small business needs. More than 50% of small businesses fail, and much of that failure can be attributed to lack of accounting expertise. These small business owners need accountants who are well-versed in small business accounting. You could become one of those accountants.Professional Bookkeeper Program LogoAt Universal Accounting, we understand the needs of the small business like nobody else. The Professional Bookkeeper Program was designed specifically to address the needs of small businesses, and Universal Accounting offers the most complete small business accounting course anywhere. Not only that, but UAC teaches you effective marketing techniques; you’ll leave the program with small business knowledge and skills and the ability to promote those things to potential clients! You’ll have the ability to earn the Professional Bookkeeper Designation which assures clients that you have been properly trained in small business accounting and will help you know what those clients need most from you.An Easy Way to Expand Your ServicesNearly 80% of small businesses use Intuit’s Quickbooks software. While other programs may be useful, Quickbooks has definitely captured the small business market. Learning Quickbooks will not only help you keep more efficient records, but it enables you to teach your clients how to use the software so that you can get the information you need, making your job much easier. Add to that your ability to introduce Quickbooks services to your offerings and you’ve got a well-rounded business with loads of earning potential.QuickBook Specialist LogoUAC’s Professional Bookkeepers Guide to QuickBooks Pro will teach you how to do the basic transactions, how to reconcile accounts, what the program does with its data, and a basic understanding of fundamental accounting principles. We have also included about 18 hours of bookkeeping instruction and a complete detailed presentation of QuickBooks fundamentals. You may well call it a lifesaver.

Universal Accounting Center is currently offering both the Professional Bookkeeper Program and the Professional Bookkeepers Guide to QuickBooks Pro for one low price. Take advantage of this special offer and give your business every shot at becoming successful. You’ll see that catering to the small business market and expanding your services will strengthen your business plan and give you a significant advantage, making your success more likely. Order Now!

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