Your Financial Plan answers the questions:
- What are my start-up costs?
- How will I fund my business?
- How much will I make over the next 3 years?
This section of the One-Page Business Plan works a little differently.
It will most probably be useful for you to work out some of these figures elsewhere (note paper, spread sheet, etc) and then simply note down the key items here to keep a summary.
Here are the steps for completing this section:
- Ensure you have completed all the previous sections of the business plan and have assigned an expense or income figure to everything. Little costs tend to get missed but mount up to quite a bit.
- Ensure you have completed your research so have an accurate idea of how much the items cost on your list of expenses.
- Make sure you’ve jotted down any assumptions you are making while creating your cash flows. You’ll need to remember these later.
- Create a list of:
- Firstly, start up costs (the things you’ll need to pay for to get your doors open on day 1 including start up stock, equipment, and marketing expenses for launch);
- Secondly, ongoing maintenance costs (the things required to keep your doors open month on month);
- And thirdly, solely the costs involved with creating or supplying each product or service.
- Ensure you’ve also decided on the price you are going to charge for each product or service, and how much you are estimating you will sell over the course of the first year, the second year, the third year of your business.
- Using the list of figures you created in b, c, d above, create 3 versions of your cashflow forecasts for each of the first 3 years of your business. Create the best case, worst case, and mid range. Decide which one you are happiest with in terms of your risk comfort levels and write this on the One-Page Plan for each revenue stream. Download our cashflow spreadsheet here: Small business simple cash flow
- Argue your figures (with yourself). What’s your gut feel?
- Be prepared to answer questions about your forecasts. If you do decide to approach a financial institution or look for a partner, you may be asked to justify your forecasts.
Some financial planning errors to be aware of are:
- Assuming the best.
- Assuming the worst…
- Not accounting for all costs.
- Creating costs based on emotion or opinion – rather than research.
- Not considering rollout strategy, promotions, or seasonal variations.
- Forgetting to pay yourself.
- Forgetting to pay your lender.
- Treating GST as income.
- Asking for (or expecting) the moon on day 1.
Look at the Financial Plan section of the 1-Page Business Plan template.
Complete the sections, briefly. If you’ve not had time to do your research yet, you can try some ball park figures but they should still be reasonable.
If you’ve got gaps, make yourself a note and add to the plan as you learn more.
Now let’s wrap up.