Writing a Business Plan

Thinking about starting a business or expanding your current one? Consider writing a Business Plan! It will help you determine if your business idea is viable. It explains what your idea and goals are and how you are going to achieve them. It does take some time to prepare it but is well worth it.

Did you ever wonder why a business opened in a poor location, selling items that ten other businesses sold within a five kilometer radius and closed its doors three months later. I bet you it's because the owner had a dream of opening a business, but did not do any research. A business plan allows you to confirm whether the product or services you want to sell are in demand, identify your competition and how much money you will need to operate it and support yourself.

I have identified three sites that have templates of business plans.

1. Business Development Bank of Canada. They also provide an example of a completed business plan.

2. TD Canada Trust.

3. Community Futures East Kootenay. Select the Self-employment program. They have a great spreadsheet for Cash Flows. You determine your personal and business financial requirements for three years and from this information, it generates projected income statements for the same period.

Once you have prepared your business plan, review it every three or six months to make sure you’re on track and you may need to update it. One of my clients made significant changes to his due to the recession.

If you are looking to obtain financing for your business, your bank will require a business plan.

They may be time consuming to prepare, but in the end they will save you money!