Thursday, November 1, 2012

Thrilling Thursday - Business Planning Part 1 of 5

Thrilling Thursday - it is thrilling to develop a plan for business success.

Each Thrilling Thursday throughout the month of November will be dedicated to creating a plan for starting or running your business. At the end of November, if you follow the articles and complete each section, you will have a complete business plan you can use to operate your business or seek financing. Each week will cover a different topic:

  • purpose statement, executive summary and business information

  • personnel and organization

  • marketing information

  • current financial information

  • financial projections

photo credit: Eric Fischer via photopin cc

A business plan is a tool for gathering all the important information about running your business and your financial condition all in one place. Most people think of business plans only when they are seeking financial assistance from outsiders. However, a well done business plan will help you run your business on a day to day basis according to a preset, well thought out and organized plan. Even in times of unexpected crisis, your business plan is a great tool,to keep you focused, on track and mindful of the big picture you have set for your business. Let's start with the purpose statement.

Purpose Statement

This is the initial section of your business plan. In this section you identify the purpose of your business. Here you state exactly what it is you plan to make, do or sell.  This section will also be where you list your goals for the business. Pick three goals and make each goal SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results oriented, Time bound):


  • specific description of goal

  • how you will measure successful completion of the goal

  • how you will achieve the goal

  • the results you expect

  • the time by which you want the goal to be complete

Those of you who are starting a business and need to borrow money, use this section to list out how much money you need, your proposed re-payment plan, how much money you are contributing, the reason for the loan, what you will do with the loan and what collateral you are willing to pledge.

Executive Summary

This second section of the business plan is used to give a brief overview of your plan. In this section, you give a hint of the things to come later in the plan. Start this section with a listing of your company contract information, including the following: company name, address, phone and fax numbers, email address and web page.  A person who reads this section should be able to clearly understand what you plan to do, company history, management expertise, products or services, your financial condition and growth projections.  When I draft business plans for clients, I do an a sample draft of this section and revise it later because this should be a reflection of the completed plan.

Business Information

This is a major section of your business plan.  You will need to set aside a significant amount of time to complete this section.  In this section, provide an overview of your business. Give the company name and location. If possible, describe the building and include building photographs. Tell readers the nature of your business, what kind of business it is (partnership, corporation, etc. ). Give the date the company opened or will open. Provide full contact information for the owners. This is the heart of your plan, and you will not want to rush through this section. This major section includes the following subsections:

     Personal Financial Statement

If you are starting a business and are seeking financing, explain your current financial circumstances. Include the last three years of tax returns.

     Business Description

Use this section to give a detailed description of your business. This is the place to explain all the characteristics that will make your business succeed. Give your business hours and a brief overview of how daily operations will happen. Be sure to include explanations of your accounting procedures and quality control systems.

     Business History

     Use this section to give a history of your business. When was it founded, by whom and for what purpose. Give purchase price and startup costs. If there were issues with market growth or sales trends that made the business possible discuss those here as well.

Now, sit back and complete these business plan sections over the course of the next week so you will be ready to work on the personnel section next week. While you are going through this process, if you need additional help and support, feel free to contact me:

Janeane Davis

James, Davis and Associates

2737 Cambridge Street Suite 2

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

215 5826 3897


A business plan is an important tool for starting and running your business. With time and little work, you can create a plan for success. So the question for you this Thrilling Thursday is,what is your plan for running your business?

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