You’ve got the product. You’ve got the people. And perhaps you’ve got a plan to expand… but when it comes to getting the idea down on paper (ok, or at least on a word doc), you feel a serious case of writer’s block every time you sit down to put together your “Business Plan.”
Considering “a business plan is a written description of your business’s future,” as explained at entrepreneur.com, “a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you’ve written a plan, or at least the germ of a plan.”
That doesn’t sound so hard, although for funding a REAL504 (or Community Advantage 7A) loan, realistically you’re going to need more than ideas on the back of an envelope. But no need to fear!
Mountain West Small Business Finance has complied a few “helps” to take the guess-work out of writing a business plan. So you can get back to the business of doing what you do best – business.
One of the best places to start is right at the Small Business Administration’s website. Their special section “How to Write a Business Plan” provides a host of articles and supplemental materials on specifics like drafting an Executive Summary, Company Description, Financial Projections, Funding Request and more. A great place to start the educational process, with loads of information to take you step by step.
Danny Mangum, MWSBF Vice President located in the Salt Lake office explains that in regards to most of the business plans that come across his desk: “We find that businesses spend a lot of time explaining the story (i.e. history) and discussing the personnel of the company, but not sufficient time on the financial projections and assumptions behind those projections.”
Businesses need to spending the time getting familiar with and laying out their projections detailing the reasons for what they expect the business is really going to do financially.
“The story is important,” Mangum continued, “But it’s more important the projections come with valid assumptions of what the business is really going to accomplish financially in order to get the loan approved. A well thought out financial forecast speaks more to the management capabilities of the business owner(s) than a descriptive resume ever could.”