Even if your plan will be used only as a road map for your business development, you still should create a cash flow statement and an income statement so you have figures by which you can gauge your company's performance.
The following list of problems is by no means complete, but should give you an idea of some possibilities.
An income statement for a business plan should be broken out by month the first year. The second year can be broken down quarterly, and annually for each year after. Analyze the results of the income statement briefly and include this analysis in your business plan. If your business already exists, include income statements for previous years.
Investors will also want to know what they will receive in return for their capital. Be as clear as you can in this section both about the potential upside and the potential downside of investing in your business. A common mistake in a business plan is to be unclear in this section, which turns potential investors away. If the company founders have invested in the company, include this in your plan. Some investors are encouraged by founders putting their own money on the line.
Finally, create an exit plan that describes how investors will get their money out of your company. One common investor worry is that even if a business is profitable, it may be difficult for them to get a good price for their shares. A cash-out option in five years or assurance that the company will become a strong candidate for a purchase or an IPO (Initial Public Offering) are what many venture capitalists and lenders will insist upon.
Include the following elements as appropriate:
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