We specialize in the following areas of Business Planning. Please give us a call for more information on our services or to schedule an appointment.
New Business Formation
Thinking of owning your own business?
Opening your own business is exciting and thrilling. It's everything that comes after the excitement and thrill has worn off that dictates whether a small business will make it or not. It's up to you to maintain and stretch out the "thrill and excitement" period forever.
A methodical plan of action is needed to fulfill your dream or goal of being your own boss and running a successful business. Success lies in the approach you choose to take. We help you avoid the common pitfalls that many new small business owners make when starting their new venture.
We help you:
Prepare an initial business plan to clarify your marketing, management, and financial plans.
Determine your start-up capital needs.
Identify sources of start-up capital and backup sources if needed.
Evaluate and quantify your borrowing power so you know how much money you can get your hands on if needed.
Select a business structure that best fits your needs by evaluating tax advantages, legal exposure, ease of operation and portability should you need to relocate.
Select the right accounting software by evaluating your budget, needs and hardware.
Prepare a Cash Flow Budget so you know exactly how much money you need to keep the business alive each month for the first few years. Unplanned cash requirements are always emotionally painful.
Establish billing and collection procedures to maximize your cash flow.
Establish procedures to monitor and control costs.
Setup a home office so you can maximize your tax deductions.
Prepare and file all required state and local licenses and permits.
- Prepare and file your application for your Federal Employer Identification Number.
Provide payroll and payroll tax filing when you bring on your first employee.
Comply with employment laws so you don't get hit with fines and unhappy employees.
Identify your business insurance needs.
Develop a solid Partnership Agreement. This is an extremely important document for all new partnerships and will help prevent a tremendous amount of financial and emotional problems down the road.
Strategic Business Planning
A Strategic Business Plan is much more than a tool to obtain financing. If you still have all you plans and ideas locked up inside your head... preparing a strategic plan helps you clarify your company's direction, ensures your key leaders are all "on the same page", and keeps both management and staff focused on the tasks at hand.
A Strategic Plan is often needed when:
Starting a new venture, product or service
Expanding a current organization, product or service
Buying a new business, product or service
- Turning around a declining business
The Strategic Plan provides a blueprint, describing your company, its products, the competitive environment, management team, financial health, and business risks.
The plan allows you to:
Identify and describe the target customer profile, features, advantages and benefits of your new venture, product or service.
Justify that your plans are credible by fully researching the need being filled with your new venture.
Develop marketing plans including full descriptions of targeted promotional campaigns with implementation timelines. You also get to examine market conditions, the nature of your customers, as well as your competitors, sales potential, and projected results of your promotional campaigns.
Develop staffing plans including identifying the key players, skills, attitudes and expertise needed to build the venture.
Develop management plans including full descriptions of management systems and timelines for implementation.
Develop financial plans including projected startup costs, operating costs, revenue, profits, and break-even analysis for the first 3 to 5 years.
Projected financial plans allow you to effectively predict upcoming problems, or prevent them. In other words, the perspective gained through your Strategic Business Plan can make a significant contribution to your company's success, and help you get the funding you require. In fact, most lending institutions and private investors will not even talk to you without a solid financial plan.
Identify building and equipment needs including vendors and cost estimates.
- Formulate company milestones including timelines for upcoming products and services in development.
Remember: Failing to plan is planning to fail.
If you own a family business, retirement isn't simply a matter of deciding not to go into the office anymore. You've got some critical questions to answer like:
"What happens to the business when you're no longer running it?" and
"Will you have enough money to retire?"
The family dynamic complicates the whole transition because of the relationships and emotions involved. Most people are not comfortable discussing topics such as aging, death, and financial affairs.
Comfortable or not, succession planning should be a priority for any family business considering that more than seven out of ten family-owned businesses fail to survive the transition from founder to second generation, typically falling prey either to estate taxes or family discord - or both.
Developing and implementing a well-designed succession plan is essential to the survival of a family business from one generation to the next.
We help you with these key issues:
Keeping it in the family. Are you going to pass the business on to your family or sell it to a third party? We help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options.
Who's going to run the business when you're gone? Management and ownership are not one and the same. You may decide to transfer management of your business to just one of your children but transfer equal shares of business ownership to all your children, whether they're actively involved in the business or not.
Minimizing the tax bite. The tax burden when transitioning a family business can be significant. The challenge is that a family business is not generally a liquid asset, but taxes are typically due when ownership is transferred.
- Making it fair. Transferring family ownership often adds a tremendous amount of stress to individual family members. We talk with each of the family members to ensure that they feel they a getting an equitable and fair share of the pie.
Cash Flow Management
A wise business owner once said, "Happiness is a positive cash flow." As a business owner, I'm sure you agree. Everything is better when your cash-in exceeds your cash-out.
A cash crisis can be emotionally devastating and it can even kill your business. If you've ever had to beg, borrow and steal to cover tomorrows payroll you know what I mean.
Our cash management service allows you to:
Know when, where, and how your cash needs will occur.
Know what the best sources are for meeting your additional cash needs.
- Be prepared to meet these needs when they occur, by keeping good relationships with bankers and other creditors.
The starting point for avoiding a cash crisis is allowing us to develop a cash flow projection for you. We can help you develop both short-term (weekly, monthly) cash flow projections to help you manage daily cash, and long-term (annual, 3-5 year) cash flow projections to help you develop the necessary capital strategy to meet your business needs.
We also prepare historical cash flow statements to help you gain an understanding about where all the money went.