The Organizational Structure section is where you will include information about your entire team. Be sure to include the chain of command and indicate who is responsible for what job. Most importantly, you want to clearly indicate who is held accountable and what are the performance standards. Tell your reader about any existing gaps in your team and how you plan to address those challenges. Wrap up this section with your prediction on expected future hiring needs.
Your Sales Forecast is exactly what it sounds like. This is where you will tell your readers about how you plan to make money. This is not a place for you to embellish on the numbers. Be realistic. We all know that these are only predictions. Be sure that your predictions are based in reality. Indicate how many items are to be sold and at what price. It is customary to provide monthly numbers for the first year then annual predictions after that. Three years of predictions is sufficient.
The next three sections of Profit and Loss, Cash Flow and Balance sheet can be included in one document. For a small start-up or existing operation, this can be a clean and simple one or two page document with basic financial analysis. Do not make these sections more complicated than they should be. Your Profit and Loss Statement shows how much money you made or lost. Cash Flow is not much different than your own personal checkbook. It shows what came in, what went out and where it went. The Balance sheet supports the other documents with detail on where you stand financially.
Note that Bennett’s Six Step Business Plan process uses a single page financial spreadsheet for all of the financial analysis. It is not possible to provide that spreadsheet in this blog post. WRITE TO ME and I will be happy to share with you what that single page analysis looks like.
Your Management Summary is the sixth and final step in our Six Step Business Plan process. This is where you will summarize and support everything else that has been written. You will explain your philosophy on hiring and leading your team. This is also the section where you tell your readers how you plan to manage your assets. Following this will be your appendix with your financial spreadsheet. Here are the common sections of a good Management Summary:
- Organization Structure
- Sales Forecast Spreadsheet (In Appendix)
- Profit and Loss Spreadsheet (In Appendix)
- Cash Flow Spreadsheet (In Appendix)
- Balance Sheet (In Appendix)