Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Write the Right Business Plan

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Write the Right Business Plan

Article excerpt

CPA entrepreneurs and business owners need professional business plans to get organized, apply for bank loans or bring in new partners. If you're at a loss on how to begin, get over the hurdle by following these 10 steps.

[] Decide why you're writing your plan. Is your focus raising money, launching a new venture or finding strategic partners? Begin by preparing a short paragraph, much like a mission statement, outlining why you're writing a business plan. Refer to it frequently to keep motivated and focused on the message you wish to convey.

[] Do your homework. Before starting your research, take a look at all aspects of your business plan to see the big picture. Read a few books on business plans. Look at Web resources, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) business-planning outline. Get a feel for what a business plan is, what it isn't and what those who read it will expect.

Then prepare an outline of the major sections and subsections you think should be included.

[] Compile your information. Dig through every box, file cabinet and computer document you have--articles, financial statements and press releases. Don't rate the quality of the information at this stage--just gather it.

[] Start typing. Write down all your ideas, notes and questions for each section of your outline. Approach it like a brainstorming session, jotting down ideas that demand further consideration or input from others. Then arrange the sections in the most logical order. …

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