A Note on Small Business Solution

A small business plan should prove that your business will generate enough revenue to cover your expenses and make a satisfactory return for bankers or investors. Executive Summary–features the highlights of your plan and sells your idea in two pages or less. Company Summary–a factual description of your company, ownership, and history.

Products (or Services or both)–describes your products and/or services and how they stand out from competitive products and services. Market Analysis-provides a summary of your typical customers, competitive landscape, market size, and expected market growth. Strategy and Implementation-describes how you will sell your product, how you will put your plan into action, and establishes milestones. Management Summary-provides background on the management team, their experiences, and key accomplishments. Financial Plan-contains key financials including sales, cash flow, and profits.

What makes a successful business plan?
-A well thought out idea
-Clear and concise writing
-A clear and logical structure
-Illustrates management’s ability to make the business a success
-Shows profitability

How do you write a business plan?
Sitting down looking at a blank computer screen as you prepare to start your business plan can be daunting. You may want to look at some alternatives that will make the process a bit easier.
Hire a Professional – A professional consultant will create the business plan for you, but you still have to be prepared to think through your business and understand the underlying concepts in your business idea. You will have to work closely with the consultant to ensure that he or she develops a good plan that accurately represents your business or business idea.
Buy a Book – There are many good books on the market that will help you to understand what needs to go into a good business plan. You can read Timothy Berry’s “Hurdle: the Book on Business Planning”.
Use Business Planning Software – A good business planning software package will provide you with an outline for a well-developed, objective-based and professional business plan. Software packages will remove the problem of starting from scratch by structuring your plan for you. The software should ask you the right questions that will pull out the most important underlying concepts within your business idea.

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Small Business Solution- An Overview

Starting a small business is very exciting and a little confusing. We have provided a business start up checklist. Use it when you’re setting up your business. Laws vary from State to State, so check with your Secretary of State for any additional requirements. You will also want to check with the county and city for additional licenses or permits you may need for sales tax or income tax withholding. Seek Professional Advice Once you have decided to start a business, you should consult a Tax Consultant or a CPA before you set up your business. They will be able to guide you on the best type of entity for your tax situation. Your tax consultant will help you decide if you should set up the business as a Sole Proprietorship, an LLC or S-Corporation.

This is an important step because all of your permits and ID numbers will need to be set up under the correct entity type. During your consultation your tax advisor will discuss filing requirements for each type of business entity.Write a business plan and marketing plan Any good builder starts with a plan. A business plan is the blueprint for your business. A good business plan is a critical part of any loan application. It will show the loan officer you have done a lot of research on the business and have prepared for any obstacles. Business Name Register your business name with your Secretary of State – almost all states now are online. You can also register your business name as a domain name for later use. Register your Business Form, Licenses, and Permits Check with your Secretary of State and look for the Corporations Division to find the form for Articles of Incorporation (to form a corporation) or Articles of Organization (to form a Limited Liability Company).Licenses and Permits While you are waiting for the Secretary of State to send you the charter, contact your city, county and state tax departments. Ask each of them if they require any of the following:Business or Occupation License,Special licenses, such as, food handlers, liquor licenses, etc.

Some Professionals require a license as well as continuing education requirements. A few states offer booklets or checklists from the Secretary of State, Corporations Division. Employer Identification Number (EIN) You will need a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you incorporate or become an LLC. If you are a sole proprietor you don’t need an EIN you can use your Social Security number. Although I would recommend you get an EIN even if you are a sole proprietor. In a day when identity theft is rampant, you don’t want your social security number being used on all your employees W2’s or your vendors 1099’s.You can now apply for an EIN online. If you apply for your EIN online you can receive it and be on your way in a matter of minutes.

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