Dollars and Sense
Now that you have scrutinized your business idea, it is time to put it on paper.
Creating your business plan gives you a guideline to keep your business on track. It is also an invaluable tool to communicate the strength of your business concept to others, particularly funders. A good plan should address who your customers are, how you will reach them, projections of income and expenses, who you are and why you are the ideal person to run your business.
Dollars and Sense
Do you have a complete plan?
The completed business plan is a key document to starting your business and the process of writing, researching, and thinking about your business in a systematic way is a valuable exercise. Be prepared–it will take time.
When finished, the plan will answer a number of questions about your product or service, as well as its marketing, financing, operations and organization.
Not sure where to start? You can find a number of examples of business plans on the web, but two of our favorite templates can be found on the Small Business Development Center and??Staunton Creative Community Fund websites. And as always, you can seek advice from SCORE, Economic Development and the Chamber.
As you begin to work though writing your plan, you will need to talk to several types of professionals:
- Banker –??Will you need a commercial loan? A business checking account? Line of credit for inventory purchases? Talk to several bankers to find a good match and find out what paperwork is required to get started.
- Attorney –??You should seek advice from an attorney about things like legal entities and partnerships. Will you be set up as a corporation or a sole-proprietorship? Will you have a partnership? These are some of the decisions to discuss with your attorney.
- Accountant??- Accountants are able to assist with bookkeeping, but they are also able to apply tax law.
- Insurance??- Check with a commercial insurance agent to find out what type of coverage you need. Property? Liability? Key Man?
- Equity Partner??– Equity partners extend money in exchange for a share of your business.
- Micro Loans??- Short-term, low-interest loans may be part of your financial package. The Waynesboro Economic Development Authority has a revolving loan fund to assist small businesses in the City of Waynesboro, and the SCCF has a number of types of funding available as well.
- The City Economic Development Authority offers a short-term, low-interest loan program for businesses locating in the City. Businesses locating in a Tourism Development Zone can also receive a discount on the application fee and interest rate.
- Virginia Small Business Financing Authority??- a state program offering loans, loan guarantees, child care facility financing, and other programs.
- Angel Network
- Grow Waynesboro