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 What is a business plan and why does a business need one?

A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals and serves as your firm's resume. Its basic components include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement and a cash flow analysis. It helps you allocate resources properly, handle unforeseen complications, and make the right decisions. Because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money, a good business plan is a crucial part of any loan package.  Additionally, it can tell your sales personnel, suppliers and others about your operations and goals. A business plan is  critical to business continued success.

Financial Exchange recommends each business entity develop a business plan.  A business plan should be reviewed and updated periodically. 

Most states have SBDC offices to assist with business plans.  See SBDC-SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS-USA      See Other FEC Business Links


  1.  No written Business Plan (short term and long term ‘master or comprehensive’  plan)
  2.  Inadequate professional advisors
  3.  Inadequate business advisory group
  4.  Insufficient capitalization
  5.  Inadequate management presence
  6.  Inefficient accounts receivable control
  7.  High risk project investment
  8.  Inadequate standard operating procedure
  9.  Inadequate marketing plan
  10.  Inadequate flow of information (communication)
  11.  Inadequate product flow
  12.  Inadequate service flow
  13.  Inadequate business continuation plan
  14.  Inadequate reserve for capitalization

Any of the 14 common reasons contribute to prevent the continuation and success of a business.  The Number One Reason, 'No Written Business Plan', not only prevents business success, but its absence cannot expose the other 13 reasons, and is the obstacle to the start of most businesses.  Unfortunately, many Business Plan guides fail to advise the inclusion of a business continuation plan (XIII).  As in an old cliché, it can be the “Unlucky Number 13 (XIII)” that can demise most closely held businesses, that otherwise could successfully continue.  Another cliché is, 'those who fail to plan, plan to fail'.  In business, the plan needs to be written.             

                  K. B, (Ken) Wheeler  7-11-2004   

Contact FEC for your Business Plan Review (audit) or Assistance                                           Copyright © 2012 Financial Exchange Corterie All rights reserved



Creating a business plan is important even if one will not be seeking outside money from finance institutions or investors.

Write and include the following parts in your business plan:

Solution/Solve statement:  Successful businesses share a common attribute: They do something useful for their customers or clients. Begin a business plan by identifying and describing the situation that the business service or product solves. For example, an auto service solves a customer's problem of wanting an operable auto while lacking the time or physical ability to do the job.

Business description and goal: The business description should explain exactly what one will provide for the customer or client. Each of the choices in the business description will affect the financing for a start or expansion of a business.

Specific business goals:  For home businesses determine what one desires for the business to accomplish for you. Do you want freedom from 9 to 5 or more time with your family or children? It is a wish list.

Resume of business accomplishments:  If one is searching for financing from investors or lenders, they wish to be assured you have the experience, education, and desire necessary to make your business a success.  It is a statement of accomplishments that could influence the business objectives.

Marketing plan: One's marketing plan should determine how your business fits the national and local economies. It should describe and decide how to reach customers and clients, analyze competing businesses, include the marketing budget, and describe how the your business differentiates from the competition.

Financial projections-pro forma: One should display the business has the potential to be profitable, whether or not one is seeking investors. One should compute several calculations in addition to your break-even analysis, including a five year profit-and-loss forecast, a cash-flow projection, and a start-up cost estimate. An accurate projection of your company's financial prospects should also include an analysis of future trends and the possible risks facing the business.

Statement of business current financial position:  If available three years financial statements should be displayed with the current quarter statement with balance sheet and income statement.

Statement of personal finances: If one seeks investors, a personal financial statement is considered, specially for home businesses.  The statement should list one's personal assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. Don't be discouraged if your financial condition is weak. Financial backers understand a business needs financing  They wish to know about you, the good and the bad.

Statement of estate plan: Finance entities need to be assured of business continuation and finance funds viability if key management is physically or mentally unable to continue in a business.

Personnel plan: One may need employees or independent contactors to assist your business. A personnel plan should include whether one will hire temporary help through an agency, independent contractors, or employees. Include descriptions of the positions and a staffing schedule.

What is in it for investors and finance entities?  How much will investors profit and when will their investment be returned.

 Plan summary. The plan summary introduces and emphasizes the high points of the business plan. Its one page function is to explain who you are, what you want to do, how much finance is necessary, and what profit the business expects. It summarizes what is in it for them.

 How to finance $1 Million:  Finance $1M

Contact FEC for your Business Plan Review (audit) or Assistance                                           Copyright © 2012 Financial Exchange Corp. All rights reserved

SCORE Business Plans in MS WORD doc Format and MS Excel Projection Templates


BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE (Short Outline Version)                         Business Case verses Business Plan - What is the difference?    


BUSINESS PLAN OUTLINE by the SBA (Full Outline Version)

Use the outline below as a guide.

Elements of a Business Plan

Business Case verses Business Plan - What is the difference? 

In a nutshell, a business case is organized around an action, while the focus of the business plan is the organization.
     Use the business case to answer "What happens if...?" questions like these:

     Use the business plan to answer "What will the business look like....?" questions like:

     When deciding which tool you need, or when explaining the difference to someone else, consider the important differences that follow from the from focusing on an action as opposed to the organization:

  A Business Case.... A Business Plan...
Is organized around... A single action or single decision and its alternatives. An organization or the whole enterprise. The plan may cover a single product or product line or the whole organization.
Predicts... Cash flow results and important non-financial impacts that follow from the action. Business performance of the organization, especially in the main categories of the income statement. May include projected pro-forma income statements or balance sheets for future years.
Focuses on... Business objectives for the action. (What the action is meant to accomplish). Business objectives for the organization.
Is based on ... A cost model and a benefits rationale, designed for the case, and applied to one or more action scenarios. The business model for the  organization (showing where and how the company makes money, similar to income statement), as well as expected trends, competitor actions, etc.
Measures... Financial metrics such as NPV, IRR, ROI, payback period, and TCO, based on projected cash flow. Also includes important non-financial impacts. Business performance in terms such as sales, margins, profits, and business "health" by contributions to important balance sheet categories
In a non-profit or government organization... The scope of the case may include benefits and costs to the population served as well as the organization itself. May focus on funding needs, budgetary requirements, and ability to operate within budget.

A business case can support a business plan by helping answer questions like this: "How will the proposed marketing program (the action) impact our (the organization's) business performance.
A business plan can support a business case by helping case developers estimate costs and expenses, revenues, and expected changes in these areas.


Kenneth B. Wheeler Jr. DBA

Financial Exchange Coterie

Florida International Trade Center

5654 Marquesas Circle

Sarasota, FL 34233-3331

Licensed Real Estate Broker


Phone: 888.333.0801

or 941.227.3024

Fax:  888.898.6009


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K. B. Wheeler Jr. Mobile: 515.238.9266


Financial Exchange is a non-incorporated entity

 Copyright © 2012 Financial Exchange Corterie All rights reserved

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One's property of value inevitably transfers ownership, with or without one's wishes.  

Prepare now to save your family wealth.  Ken Wheeler



February 02, 2018


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