Business Plan Overview

(Submitted by Chris Smalley, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

2015 4-2 Business Plan Overview - C Smalley

A business plan is a roadmap to how your business operates; or if you are a start-up, how you envision it to operate. If you are seeking financing, it is generally required that you develop a business plan to some degree. To what extent your plan is developed is typically driven by the amount of financing you are requesting, coupled with your financial history and how the funds will be used.

A business plan usually consists of an Executive Summary, a Business Description, and the 3 M’s – Money, Marketing, and Management.

The Executive Summary is just that a brief overview summarizing the entire plan including the compelling reason the business will succeed. If you are seeking financing, the summary also includes how much is needed for what and from where.

The Business Description describes why the company exists and its relevance in the industry. It also discusses the products or services you will offer and what sector of the industry you will serve (are you in wholesale, retail, etc.).

The 3 M’s – the Money Section (or Financial Section) is typically coupled with a financial projections model showing the cash flow projections, profit and loss statement and descriptions of how each is achieved. It is best to not only show these numbers but also discuss how you arrived at them. To demonstrate your accuracy, utilize figures from industry standards or factual numbers from your current business or a like business. This Section is also where you will discuss details about the break-even and ratio analysis as well as where needed funds will be obtained. You will also need to include your personal financial statement; since in most cases, the business is not the only thing lenders look at and a personal guarantee is required for financing.

The 3 M’s – the Marketing Section can be a plan all on its own as the information supplied in this section is possibly the most important. You may have the best product or service in town but if not marketed properly that product or service doesn’t matter. You will want to answer questions like: Who is your target customer? What is your competitive advantage? What is your strategy on positioning your product or service? What marketing mediums will serve your business best? What kind of marketing budget are you planning? How will you gauge if the type of marketing you are doing is working? All of these are some very in depth questions that call for some detailed and well thought out answers.

The 3 M’s – the Management Section is also very important; however, it may come a little easier to most as this is the area that most business owners already have intact. Although, there still needs to be some leg work done in developing resumes that show the experience of owners and managers. This section should also include an organizational chart showing who is responsible for what and how the decision making process flows: How many employees are needed? What skills do they need to possess? How is risk managed? What professional support is needed?

A well put-together business plan can better your chances of securing funding at a financial institution as well as lead your business to success.

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for more in depth assistance on developing a Business Plan.

OSU-RIO BlogTalk business talk

(Submitted by Patrick Dengel, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center and Adjunct Instructor, University of Rio Grande MBA Program/OSU South Centers Collaboration, OSU South Centers)

2015 4-1 OSU-RIO BlogTalk Business Talk - P Dengel

OSU-RIO TALK are multi-media educational shows (Radio, TV, YouTube and Live Internet Streaming) that highlight different topics promoting small businesses, business support organizations, programs at The Ohio State University South Centers and educational programs at the University of Rio Grande/ Rio Grande Community College.

The shows air each Wednesday afternoon from the Radio and TV Studio at the University of Rio Grande. Guests include a variety of individuals representing educational programs, business development programs and organizational training. This is a collaborative effort between two universities and is hosted by members of the University of Rio Grande/ Rio Grande Community College and The Ohio State University.

Content of the shows include:
· 1:00 – 1:30 Business Talk, which spotlights small businesses, economic development support organizations, key program areas at The Ohio State University South Centers and the educational programs at the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College.
· 2:00 – 2:30 Focused Shows that have four (4) themes spotlighting Medical, Art/Culture, Agriculture and Small Business Training. Each theme show is scheduled once per month.
· 3:00 – 3:30 Administrative Shows that represent focused discussion on funding resources for the two Universities, research and programs at The Ohio State University South Centers, educational programs at the University of Rio Grande and Faculty and Educator programs at both universities.

One mission of this media program is to be an educational learning lab for students attending the Business and Communication Programs at the University of Rio Grande as well as to be a promotional tool for business development programs located at The Ohio State University South Centers.

The shows are telecast LIVE on Channel 17 – Rio and on Time Warner, as well as live on BlogTalk Radio on the OSU South Centers and University of Rio Grande Radio Stations. Shows are also placed on OSU South Centers and University of Rio Grande YouTube Channels.

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