Business Plan Resource Support

Section XI: Financial Plan

In the write up of this section, discuss the highlights of your financial statements and what you are requesting from investors. The more columns and rows they see the more difficult it will be for them to challenge the assumptions you have made to produce these numbers. The financial plan is basic to the evaluation of an investment opportunity and needs to represent your best estimates of financial requirements. The purpose of the financial plan is to indicate the venture’s potential and to present a timetable for financial viability. It also can serve as an operating plan for financial management using financial benchmarks. In preparing the financial plan, financial exhibits need to be prepared. The analysis needs to cover three years (or five depending on your type of business) (Nuts & Bolts of Great Business Plans).

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Many of the books about Understanding Financial Statements found in the University of Florida Business Library can help you in preparing these financial columns and rows for your investors.

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  • Accounting Coach
    This site provides short tutorials on financial accounting topics, ranging from accounting basics, to balance sheets, to cash flow statements, to how to compute break-even analysis.
  • Four Financial Statements
    Guide explains balance sheets, income statements, statements of owner’s equity and statements of cash flow from QuickMBA.
  • Hoovers Online
    Good resources for looking at business activity, including the number of competitors, at a city, county or state level. For example, you can find the number of dry cleaners (or any other business) in a specific zip code or city. Though free a premium version may be available through a university library.
  • Investopedia – Financial Statement
    This site contains excellent tutorials on financial statement basics.
  • Preparing Financial Statements
    The Business Owner’s Toolkit guide in preparing financial statements for your business
  • ReferenceUSA
    The site provides contact information, estimated annual sales, credit rating score, year established, news, and other information on both public and private companies. Helps start-ups estimate the financial performance of similar businesses. Fee based but may be free if accessed through a university library.