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Using the Business Plan

The business plan should define what the business will look like in three to five years. In that time the business should be functioning without the critical involvement of the owner, stable in cash flow, and making a profit. That status will define certain business goals stated in the business plan and the progress toward those goals marked by milestones also established by the plan.

When the definition of the business in three to five years is clear, it is possible and imperative to establish that the market for the services or products of the business will support that definition. Often this is a critical area where independent expertise and advice can be helpful in establishing whether the definition of the business in three to five years is realistic or wishful thinking. If it is realistic, then the market will support the projected growth of the business. The documentation of this should be in the business plan.

This timeline established by the business plan will suggest any number of questions. Will the business have adequate capital to accomplish the contemplated growth? How many employees will be needed to run the company? How consistent will the cash flow of the business be? Will the working capital requirements of the business be in proportion to growth or will there be other factors changing working capital requirements? What are the governance issues raised? Will the organization of the business have to change to accomplish the growth? How many offices will the business require? Will the business become a national business or a world business? These and other relevant questions should be stated and answered in the business plan.

The questions and projections will also impact thinking about business entity and tax choices. These issues and resultant decisions should be in the business plan.

The table of contents of a business plan should have the following sections: executive summary, company, services or products, market analysis, implementation, management, and financial. The executive summary, written last and read first, will summarize the business plan coherently and succinctly. The company section should describe the business entity to be used and the governance of that entity from a legal perspective. The services or products of the company should be described with their relevance to certain markets. The market analysis should show in an objective and authoritative manner that a market exists for the current production and the projected production of the company. The implementation of the plan should be described in sufficient detail to demonstrate that the contemplated plan can be executed and include milestones to measure the progress of the plan. The management positions both as to job descriptions and personnel should be described in detail. The financial section will contain projections of future financial experience including initial funding, cash flow, profit and loss, and working capital.

The business plan should be dynamic – constantly referred to and constantly revised. The question at each milestone should be: why did it not go as projected in the business plan?

Unsecured Business Credit – The Key Essentials You Must Have

Getting unsecured business credit is not as difficult as you might think it is. If you follow certain guidelines and prepare yourself to apply for unsecured for business credit you will be surprised as to how much business credit you are able to obtain.

If you are looking for unsecured credit you may be under the impression that unsecured credit is no longer available in these times or that it’s super hard to get any type of unsecured business credit.

It’s important to realize that in order to be successful in obtaining unsecured credit now more than ever requires having a strong foundation of essential things that banks and creditors look at when giving unsecured business credit to businesses. These are the essential things you need to build a solid foundation to get unsecured credit:

o Choosing the Business Entity or Structure for Your Company

What this entails is choosing which one of the following business structures you will use to operate your business:

A Sole Proprietorship
A General Partnership
A Limited Partnership
The C-Corporation
The S corporation or S-corp
LLC or Limited Liability Company

o Choosing A Name For Your Business

There are different things to consider when choosing a business name. You want to choose something that lets people know what your business is about. You also want to make the name short and catchy and easy to remember.

o Incorporating or Forming an LLC

If you choose to incorporate or form an LLC you may want to consider utilizing the services of a business that has experience in filing incorporating papers. There is a handful on line and the cost can be relatively inexpensive. You may want to consider shopping around to get the best price. You can also ask your business associates to refer you to someone they may have used who has done a good job for them.

o Establishing a Permanent Business Address

If you do not have a physical or commercial address because you are just starting your business, you can use your residence address as your home business address but make sure that you are actually conducting business there. D & B which stands for Dun & Bradstreet, is the major business credit bureau, will periodically send field officers to verify business addresses so your residence must look like you actually have an area where you conduct your business. Which means you at least have a desk, a computer, a business phone line, filing cabinets, etc.

o Filing A Fictitious Business Name With The County

If you are going to operate your business using a fictitious business name or what is also known as DBA (Doing Business As) you need to file a fictitious business name with the county where your business is located.

o Listing your Business Phone number with 411

Having your business phone listed with the 411national directory is very important because oftentimes creditors and D&B will verify that your number is listed with the 411national business directory and they will also call to verify that a live person is actually answering the phone.

o Obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The IRS issues the Tax ID numbers also called EIN which stands for Employer Identification Number. You can apply online to get an EIN number by simply visiting the IRS website at

o Complying With Your Local & State Licensing Laws

Make sure you get all the necessary licenses and permits required for your business in your area. You can call city hall and ask to be transferred to the correct department to find out what licensing and permits you might need.

o Having A Business Website

Having a business website adds credibility to your business. It’s a necessary thing in order to be competitive in the current business environment. Some potential lenders actually do go and look at your website before approving credit. They want to get a sense that a business is not fly-by-night.

o Getting a Business e-mail Address

If you don’t already have a business e-mail address you need to get one. This adds credibility to your business. A business e-mail address is simply an e-mail address that has your business name where e-mails get sent to.

o Opening a Business Checking Account

It’s better to open a business bank account with banks that issue corporate business cards your odds of getting unsecured credit is better.

o Obtaining a DUNS Number

Most lenders nowadays require a DUNS number.

If you make sure you have all of these essential things in place before you start to apply for business credit you increase your odds dramatically of getting approved for unsecured business credit [].