Want to succeed with your new business? You need a plan…

Taking a trip without a map may get you lost, and trying to run a business without a plan is likely to have the same result.

A business plan is a map, your companys written guide into the future. Not only does a good plan let you know where you are and where youre headed, it provides potential lenders and investors with a portrait of your company.

Each plan will differ, but certain items are essential.

* First, you must define your market niche and identify the competition. How does your product or service differ from theirs?

* Next, determine your product and delivery costs; then look at your product pricing.

* Do you need new equipment or skills to compete now and in the future?

* What is your marketing scheme?

* How will you get the capital you need for your plans?

* Examine your key operating ratios, and determine projected profits for years covered by the plan.

Most business plans fail because they lack detail. A well-developed plan gives a new company immediate respect in the eyes of lenders, not only because it shows you to be thorough and far-sighted, but because lenders rarely see good business plans.

Wayne Gretzky, when asked the reason for his success said, Some people skate to where the puck is. I skate to where the puck is going to be. A good plan should help you do the same for your business.

About Brenda J. McGivern, CPA

Brenda McGivern started her own certified public accounting and management consulting firm in October 2001. The full service CPA firm provides tax and accounting solutions to meet the needs of today's small business and individual. Brenda McGivern has become a trusted advisor and valuable resource her clients rely on for timely, accurate assistance when they need it. Before starting the firm, she worked as an accountant for three years at a local firm and prior to that five years at a large international CPA firm in Boston. She has performed the following tax services: federal, state and local tax planning, international tax planning, estate and succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, capital retention and IRS representation. She has also coordinated assurance engagements, such as financial statement audits, reviews and compilations from the planning phase through the reporting phase. She has prepared and reviewed regulatory filings for numerous regulatory agencies including the Security and Exchange Commission. Prior to these positions she was selected from over 2,000 candidates into an eight-person intensive financial management program at an international technology company. The program consisted of graduate level classroom study and two six-month rotational assignments in financial operations. She graduated cum laude from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. McGivern also holds a license in Massachusetts as a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. She resides in Stoughton, Massachusetts with her husband Brian, and their sons Sean, Ryan and Conor and their dog, Davis.
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