Monthly Archives: September 2010

What is in a Business Plan: Financial Projections (Part 11 of 11)

Financial Projections from the Startup Garage

What is in a Business Plan: Financial Projections (Part 11 of 11)

Time For Completion: Approximately 35 hours

Financial statements are a very important part of your business plan.

They give you an idea of how your business would be performing according to the market assumptions and the business model you choose.

Ask somebody already in the business, or call service providers and ask them how much it will cost. This is great to start building your financial model.

Whats in it?

The Financial Projections section should include an Excel spreadsheet that can help you in preparing your projections. It usually includes key metrics such as the startup expenses, marketing goals, unit sales and costs, personnel, P & L, cash flows and finally it includes the balance sheets. The first years projections are prepared month by month, then annually for the following two to four years.

Why its Important

Your financial projections give you an idea of how your business should be doing at any moment in time. It also shows your potential investors how you will be profitable over time.

You have to be as realistic as possible in estimating your startup initial costs as they will determine how you will start your business as well as your expected profits. A business can easily fail if they honestly believe that they will sell more product and services than their market research suggests is possible. Therefore, financial statements in a business plan should always be conservative so they are believable.

Ask somebody already in the business, or call service providers and ask them how much it will cost. This is great to start building your team and determines how much cash you need to reach profitability.

 

Whether you have a question about Business Plan Financial Projections or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

Are You Running Your Business or is It Running You?

Running a Business from the Startup Garage

Are You Running Your Business or is It Running You?

Lots of small business owners struggle with the same thing: the idea that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. So exhausted, they often see the mirage of greener pastures in jobs with less opportunity because the pressures, responsibilities and endless days have robbed them of their entrepreneurial passion. As inevitable as it might seem, your life does not have to be this way. Here are five things you can do to stop the madness, manage your business more effectively and start having a life again.

#1 – Define your lifestyle goals. How many hours per week do you want to work? and which hours? How often do you want to go on vacation? Create a vision of the lifestyle you want to live and demand it from your business, don’t let your business create your lifestyle. For example, if there is a certain part of your business that requires you to work nights but you would rather be with friends or family, then delegate, automate or outsource this part of your business.

#2 Create a tool or resource to systematize/delegate the fires that consistently eat your day. For 2 weeks at the end of each day write down what you did and what hours you did it during your day. At the end of 2 weeks analyze what you spent your time on. You will be amazed at what really eats up your time. Delegate, automate or outsource the most time consuming pieces.

#3 Designate your first hour of the day for the task with greatest value-add for your business (often the one you never get around to actually doing). Still havent written that Marketing Plan? Commit the first hour of the day to uninterrupted time to focus on it. No exceptions. Even with just one hour a day, progress results. Dont check your email or its a lost cause; your attention is already distracted.

#4 Do something active. Stop the excuses and your business will thank you. Endorphins do more than reduce stress and blood pressure, they improve brain function and enable perspective. Problems that have plagued you all day, will suddenly have solutions.

#5 Plan your day the night before. Be realistic and malleable, but also strive for some level of consistency. Schedule highest priority meetings and tasks first, then make adjustments to the rest to support the lifestyle priorities you’ve identified (time for exercise, having dinner with your family, etc.). Planning the day before can prevent a firedrill the next morning and unexpected overtime for you and your team. Your family and your employees will also appreciate advance notice of schedule changes or the necessity for meetings beyond 9-5. This will reduce stress on you and everyone around you.

Discipline and efficiency are merely the by-products of good work habits. Establishing them is an investment in your business. The goal is not to work more, but to work smarter. Manage your time so it’s dedicated to activities that add value to your business and your life. Take action, demand balance, rediscover your passion, and success will come.

“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
Thomas A. Edison

Whether you have a question about Running a Business or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!