How to Make a Business Plan
Financial Data Section
What is the Financial Data Section of a Business Plan?
When writing your business plan, the Financial Data section outlines your current financial situation and future goals. This section includes:
- Your balance sheet, which is a statement of the assets, liabilities, and capital of your business and shows the balance of income and expenditure over the preceding period.
- Breakeven analysis shows when you'll cover all your expenses and begin to make a profit.
- Income statement provides information on the income and expenses covering a specific period. Sometimes it's called a "Profit and Loss" statement.
- Cash flow statement is the amount of cash on hand as well as spent during a specific time.
Your financial information should include your startup (i.e. registration), as well as your ongoing operating expenses (i.e. marketing). Further, you want to outline your income from all sources.
How much information you provide in this section depends on the purpose of your business plan. If you're seeking outside funding for your business, such as a loan or angel investor, you'll want to provide detailed information.
As a small, solo-preneur, you'll still want to get a sense of your financial situation by creating a profit and loss history, and income and expense projections, and a statement of cash flows.
Help In Creating Your Financial Data Statements
If you're not money savvy or confused by all financial terms, you can hire an accountant to prepare the statements. Another option is to use business financial software, which can take your imputed bank data (income and expenses) and other financial information to prepare your financial statements.
When preparing your financial statements, gather past information so you can see what has occurred, but also work to make projections on future income, which helps you to plan your business building strategies such as marketing.
Understanding Your Financial Data
Because numbers are used, it can be easier to use graphs or tables to understand wat the data is telling you. Tables, graphs, and charts can give you a quick glimpse of what's happening financially in your business without getting bogged down in text. Business plan software is helpful in creating charts and graphs that look appealing and that convey information effectively, or you can create your own using tools like Microsoft Excel or your business bookkeeping package, such as QuickBooks.
Using the Financial Data
Too many business owners create their business plan and then stuff it in a drawer. But a business plan is a living breathing document. Especially the financial section, which is the life blood of your business. Without detailed knowledge of your income and expenses, you can run out of money quickly.
Your financial data will let you know if your projections are on target, expenses you didn't anticipate or don't need, and give you a snapshot of your current business health.snapshot of your current business health.
If you're hoping to get funding, this data will be used to determine the viability of your business, but also, ongoing financial reports will likely be needed, especially if you get investors.
How to Make a Business Plan Example
Here is more information on creating the reports for the financial section of your business plan.
Next how to make a business plan topic: Steps to write a business plan: Funding Request
Updated December 2015 Leslie Truex