A business plan is critical when you're getting ready to launch a business. It helps you stay organized on the path to your goal, while also helping you to hone in on key concerns such as funding objectives and marketing plans. At the same time, your business plan can also help you attract investors.
Because your plan plays such an important role in your business, you want to make sure that it is as well put together as possible, and the right help can be essential. To ensure you're heading in the most effective direction, you may want to consult with some of the following types of people.
There are a lot of laws that affect businesses, and if you are not aware of certain laws, you may run into unplanned expenses or even face a potential shutdown of operations.
To explain, imagine that you must meet a certain safety requirement to be compliant with local regulations. However, you weren't aware of this regulation, and once you launched your business, you realized that you needed a lot more capital to become compliant with that particular safety rule.
In that situation, your lack of knowledge about the law threatened to overextend your budget or even take your project under. To avoid these types of issues, you should ask a lawyer to review your business plan. Ideally, you want to work with someone who is experienced with business law in general or your industry in particular.
A mentor can be extremely helpful when you are trying to start a business, and one of the first areas where they can guide you is with your business plan. You can hire mentors, or you can find them through nonprofit business organizations and alliances in your community.
Tax codes can be complicated for new businesses, and you need to make sure your business plan includes contingencies for covering your tax liability. Consider bringing your business plan and your questions to an accountant.
In addition to offering tax prep and accounting services, many accountants offer help with tax planning and business consulting. You may have detailed knowledge about your products or services, but an accountant can help you assess the numbers.
Banker, Loan Officer, or Investor
Your ability to get funding will largely hinge on your business plan. To get a sense of its efficacy, show your business plan to a banker. If you know a banker, a loan officer, a venture capitalist, an investor, or a similar professional, have them look over your plan and give you feedback. Then, adjust the plan to make your presentation more compelling to potential financiers.
If you don't know someone personally who can help you, consider bringing out your plan slowly to lenders. Rather than applying for multiple types of financing all at once, show your plan to a single banker or investor. Then, based on that experience, adjust the plan before presenting it to any other lenders or investors.
A Financial Professional
Finally, consider talking with a financial professional about your business plan. These people work with numbers and financial goals all day every day, and they may have unique insight on how to fund your business or the direction you should take to reach your goals.
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The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor.
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