Put Together a Strong Business Plan

QuickBooks Online provides key financial reports for your business plan

  • Organize your financial data and generate financial reports in one central location
  • QuickBooks Online makes it easy to access the financial information you need to write a strong business plan
  • Access financial statements, including the balance sheet and cash flow statement, anytime and from anywhere
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Business plan outline

A business plan is a blueprint for what you want your business to achieve. It is a written document that defines your business, its goals, and how you intend reach those goals. A business plan is an outline that helps you look ahead to the future so that you can allocate resources and prepare for problems and opportunities. It should be based on a realistic benchmark established from past results, while remaining flexible enough to make changes along the way. A typical business plan outline includes a description of the company, product or service, finances, marketing, and operations.

The financial section is the key component of any business plan. Business plans aren't plausible if you can't justify the business with solid financial figures. Therefore, the financial plan is the backbone of your business plan and is derived from financial forecasts and statements. It enables you to describe your business plan in dollars and to detect discrepancies, gaps or unrealistic assumptions. QuickBooks Online is # 1 in cloud accounting for small businesses1. It organizes your financial information in one central location to make financial reporting easy. In just a few clicks you can generate the important financial statements you need to put together a strong business plan. Try QuickBooks Online for free.

QuickBooks Online puts the financial data you need to write a solid business plan at your fingertips

The balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement are the three key financial reports used when developing the financial section of a business plan. The balance sheet details what a business owns (assets), what it owes (liabilities), and its net worth (equity) at a specific point in time. The income statement (also called the profit and loss statement) details the business's revenue during a given period of time and the costs and expenses charged against that revenue. The cash flow statement helps business owners control the delay between the time they must pay their vendors and the time that they collect cash from customers.

QuickBooks Online organizes all of your financial information for you so that you can generate the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement in seconds. With all of your financial data in one central location, it's easy to access reports and financial statements anytime and from anywhere. QuickBooks Online puts the data you need for creating a solid and flexible business plan at your fingertips.

Are you looking for a business plan outline?

We have included a typical business plan outline that describes each section in a business plan. Remember, your business plan should be both flexible and realistic. It should define your business goals and the plans for reaching those goals, while also providing strong financial evidence from past performance to predict future performance. QuickBooks Online makes it easy to generate the financial statements you need to write a solid business plan. Try it for free today.

Section Purpose
Introduction
  • Describe the business and its goals.
  • Discuss the business entity (sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation).
  • List the skills and experience you bring to the business.
  • Discuss the advantages you and the business have over your competitors.
Marketing
  • Discuss the products or services your offer.
  • Identify the customer demand for your product/service.
  • Identify your market, its size, and locations.
  • Explain how you plan to advertise and market your product/service.
  • Explain the pricing strategy.
Finances
  • Explain the source and amount of initial equity capital.
  • Develop a monthly operating budget for the first year.
  • Develop an expected return on investment and monthly cash flow for the first year.
  • Provide projected income statements and balance sheets for a two-year period.
  • Discuss your break-even point.
  • Explain your personal balance sheet and method of compensation.
  • Discuss who will maintain or advise you on your accounting records and taxes and how the records will be kept.
  • Provide "what if" statements that address alternative approaches to any problem that may develop.
Operations
  • Explain how you will manage the business on a day-to-day basis.
  • Discuss hiring and personnel procedures.
  • Discuss insurance, lease or rent agreements, and issues pertinent to your business.
  • Account for the equipment necessary to produce your products or services.
  • Account for production and delivery of products and services.
Conclusion
  • Summarize your business goals and objectives.

1 Based on number of paying users as of August 2012