SCORE

By Bill Mirkin, CPA

We all need a little guidance sometimes. For small business owners in Monmouth County, Monmouth SCORE can provide that guidance with free mentoring services for small business owners.

To get you off and running with your small business, you’ll need a solid business plan to act as a road map for your company. Here are the top five reasons small businesses should create business plans.

  1. Tracking Progress

Think of your business plan as a roadmap. This map will tell you where your business has been, where your business is currently, and where you would like your business to head in the future. A good business plan serves to monitor your business in real-time to help keep you on track while allowing you to look to the past to discover developing trends in your industry, as well as with your customer base.

  1. Creating Strategies

Having a business plan laid out forces small businesses to systematically create essential strategies that will help growth and keep things on track. A clearly written and organized business plan can work wonders when creating new strategies and ideas for growing a business. It can also give businesses a deeper look into the market they serve. Understanding what an audience may need or want is a vital part of continued growth.

  1. Keeping Things in Order

A business plan is great for helping owners formulate ideas in an orderly manner. Whether it’s a one-pager or a hefty binder, a business plan can be as detailed as a business owner deems necessary. Common things to include in a business plan are an overview of the company, financial information, projections, and industry and customer analysis. Having the document laid out in a clear and concise manner will allow business owners to have a reference easily accessible for times it is needed. It’s great to have this plan handy when small businesses are visiting accountants, seeking financial backing, or bringing on new employees. It’s all the information about the company right at your fingertips!

  1. Becoming Invested in Your Business

We know you’re invested in your business — physically, emotionally, and financially. But having a well-crafted business plan lays everything out on the table, literally, so you can see just how much hard, and great work you’ve put into your business. By doing your research for the plan, you will become invested in the business, and it will allow you to evaluate the possibilities and results.

  1. Looking to the Future

Just like looking at your business plan to learn about the past and current happenings, business plans are equally as helpful when looking to the future. Maybe you’ll see a trend developing in your business that you’re not taking advantage of. Or perhaps you’ll discover new ways to start saving money after looking at your plan. A business plan can help you analyze where you want to be in a specific area.

Monmouth SCORE has great volunteers to help you create a business plan that will work for your small business. Contact them today! Visit their website at www.monmouth.score.org.

 

William Mirkin is a certified public accountant with over 40 years of experience. He spent 10 years in private practice as a controller, CFO and VP of finance and managed his own practice in public accounting. He is also knowledgeable in business valuations, litigation support and various aspects of taxation.