• Creating a Business Plan

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    First Citizens Federal Credit Union

    Any entrepreneur having the vision, motivation and desire to create and operate their own business venture must start with a “Business Plan”. This plan is without question the “Road Map’ to be followed. It is an essential ingredient to the success of your venture. The business plan identifies everything to do with the business and supports why you believe your business will succeed.

    It will serve as a guideline for the formation and development of your business. The business purpose, who, what where, why and how you will operate will be clearly defined within the plan. Everything from product, raw materials, equipment, personnel and investment capital will be easily identified. Detailed projections will capture all costs of production, cost of operation, projected revenue streams, debt service ability, personnel costs all reduced to the bottom profit projection. A comprehensive business plan will assist you in making appropriate decisions and measure your successes or shortfalls along the way.

    Any business person should be completely cognizant of the fact that a well-conceived business plan is the initial introduction to any financial institution or contemplated source when seeking financing. You have one chance to make a first impression.

    Although there is no single formula for writing a business plan, it is a proven fact that all business plans should include some generic information, such as: (a) a mission statement (b) a complete description of the business (c) the market place, competition, location, management, personnel and a business impact statement which defines the foundation, purpose and anticipated successful operation.

    Also, an extremely important piece of the business plan is the financial component. In the case of an existing business operation a minimum of the most recent and consecutive last 3 years financial performance consisting of federal tax returns, profit and loss statements accompanied by a current balance sheet. Identification of the existing debt structure, collateral and business assets is essential thereby providing the fundamental financial structure.

    In the case of a new start – up venture, as well as an existing business, forward looking projections help definAe the financial performance levels both existing and the targeted results based on financing needs, commitments, revenue performance and debt service ability. In closing, you should not consider your business plan a s a “one and done”  document.

    A  good business plan will help you get started, but will also help you to remain focused. With any business venture the expansion and growth is easily documented and evidenced within a well maintained business plan. It should be a living, work – in -progress, evolving document being a direct reflection of your business knowledge and developed experience. It will also help to navigate the inevitable twists and turns of your particular business and the economy in general. For more information on what makes a good business plan visit the SBA.

     

    May 14, 2014