If one is new to the field of business and entrepreneurship, then Finance is unquestionably the vital section of the business plan. Even if your ideas and innovations are important what matters the most at the end of the day is the marketing strategies and how much your vision can help in making an earning. Hence it is vital to explain your start-up with good figures which are done with the help of accurate numbers included in the business plans and briefing about it in such a way that genuinely makes your business more attractive and profitable to the investors.
What is a business plan?
In simple words, it is a guide for the company to achieve its goal. It is a written document that describes in detail how a business, especially a start-up, what are its objectives or how it is about to achieve its goal. This can be considered as a roadmap to success with detailed plans and budgets saying how they will be achieved. It lays a road map from marketing, financial and operating point of view as well.
Business plans are documents which are vital papers used to attract investors even before the company has shown a proven record. They do this by giving a vision to the investor and trying to convince them that their business idea is worth investing for. From that, there comes a firm assurance and hence the business idea is sound and has every chance of success. For any newcomer, preparing a business plan is an important first step. It is this rigid milestone that will help the entry towards the path of success.
When you are about to begin a new venture, a business plan gives you a clear idea which in turn can determine whether your business idea is viable or not; that is, there is no point in business if there aren’t any chances of earning. A business plan is also a good way for companies to maintain a regular track.
We can also describe the business plan as a living document that you can use to prove two sources as it shows that one’s dreams are no longer just a dream but can be made into a viable reality. In the majority of cases, the main barrier in commencing a business is the fact that they don’t have enough money to be in the business or to start the business they wish to begin. In the case of start-ups, a ready business plan is essential to show potential investors how the proposed business can bring profit.
What is Financial Plan?
In the world of start-ups, the importance of perfect business planning is beyond explanation. Plan length of business is different for different businesses. As mentioned no two businesses have the same sort of plans but they all have the same elements from which financial planning can be considered as a vital key in the making of a business plan.
A financial plan is a document containing the current money situation and long term goals of an individual as well as the strategies for achieving the goals. A financial plan can be done independently or with the help of a specialist who is a certified financial planner where he will have a deep evaluation of the person’s current financial state and ,future goals and expectations.
It gives you a clear picture of current finances and how it can be utilised to achieve your goals. This is also a process which will reduce the amount of stress about money and help you to set a long term goal. It is very important as it shows how to make use of your assets in an orderly manner.
The main purpose of financial planning is that it helps you to make strong business decisions about what are the resources that the company requires and what are the strategies that the company needs to be successful. It helps to obtain necessary financing, thus helping it grow.
Financial Planning can be explained with six steps:-
1. Setting up of Financial Goals:-
The secret of a successful business is setting up proper financial goals.
2. Track your Money:-
Since the financial plan is a guide for good business flow, having an accurate idea about your savings or pay-downs is helpful to develop medium and long term plans.
3. Emergency expenses:-
Collecting cash for emergency expenses is the bedrock of the financial plan.
4. Investing your savings:-
Investing isn’t always meant for the rich alone. Building credit is another way to shock proof of your budget.
5. Have a check of high-interest debt:-
Sometimes it happens that the interest rates most of the time, we end up repaying 2 or 3 times what we have actually borrowed. Paying down the ‘toxic’ high-interest debt like title loans,rent-to-own payment, credit card balances etc. are the crucial steps in any financial plan.
6. Setting up of a moat:-
It is essential to build a moat to protect you and your family from financial setbacks. Financial moats can be improved by:-
- Retirement accounts should be increased
- Padding your emergency fund until you earn a constant profit.
- By using insurance so that a sudden illness or accident can alter you thus, ensuring financial stability.
Financial planning is at the heart of all successful business ventures. As mentioned earlier, it consists of details of statement and financial projections, forming the overall core of your business plan. Financial planning is supposed to be completed within a year and revised monthly for better results. In addition to impressing your investors that you are serious and knowledgeable with the business the financial planning allows them to evaluate :
•The short and long term prospects
•Your company’s weakness as well as strengths
•Opportunities and challenges
•What type of financing can make your business successful
For a strong financial plan, there should be careful calculations and reliable numbers. If you are starting a new business then your financial plan should consist of:-
• Start-up costs
•Cash flow projection
•Projected Balance sheet
•Balance and income statement (if it isn’t a new business)
If you are about to start a business, first you are supposed to determine start-up costs. They are the first time expenditures that you have to spend before opening your business. It includes all costs such as furniture, supplies, equipment, renovations, license permits and incorporation fees; if necessary.
Cash flow projections
All the business activities, large or small depends on cash. Cash flow projections show the expected amount of money that you can earn in a business along with what will be spent on expenses It is the cash that you expect from sales.
Projection of cash flow projections
The first is to calculate how much revenue you expect to generate from the sales every month. For that:
- consider the best and worst.
- reach to the clients who can repay loan on a regular-schedule basis
- set a credit policy.
- which bills should be delayed and what to be paid. The projections must be completed on an ongoing basis.
From a regular check-in, the projected income statement (at least every three months) can help you identify an emerging problem in your business.
It is a snapshot record which contains all the details of what your business assets (owns) are or on as well as its liabilities (owes). Assets can be money, property, vehicle, inventory etc. The projected balance sheet is what predicts the net worth of your business over a specific period in future. It should be from at least one year to three years into the future
It is a useful tool which calculates at what point your company will be able to make a profit. This is where the total costs equal total revenues. It is based on three factors:- Selling price, fixed cost and variable cost.
Methods Of Financing for Businesses
After you have completed financial statement, projections and calculations, you will have a clear idea on how to finance your business.
The two main financings are:-
- Equity Financing
The financing in which you and your partner put the money or raise from the investor’s for the business.
Equity financing is not a debt or loan, but the investors just share the profits or losses.
2. Debt Financing
With your equity capital, you are now in a position to approach lenders for a business loan. It is the money you borrow for business. Unlike equity financing, it should be repaid with interest over a specific period. The lenders won’t be getting the profit however, they must be repaid-with interest no matter whether the business is in profit or loss. The potential lenders include banks, credit unions, private investors, trust companies etc.
In the end, financial planning is a crucial step in mapping out a company’s financial future. In that sense, it is financial planning which gives clarity to your business plan and thus to one’s life!