Your work this week will vary depending on what type of business plan you are working on, a business plan for a start-up business or an established business. Make sure you download a copy of the grading rubric for this project (located in the Course Info area on the left navigation bar) and note the various elements that will be graded depending on the type of plan you are formulating. Note: there are 3 separate tabs on the spreadsheet. Use the tab most applicable to your project: Existing Business, New Business Venture, or New Product or Enhancement. You can select the correct tab on the spreadsheet by clicking on the gray bar located at the bottom left.
Your goal for either type of business is to create a complete and well-supported pro forma or projected profit and loss document (Income Statement or other similar name depending on the type of business). In a typical business plan, you would generally be required to include a Balance Sheet and a Statement of Cash Flow, but, for the purposes of this course, you should only provide the P&L document. Other documents may be added but they will not affect your final grade for the project. If you are working on a plan for an established business, you must review historical financial data in order to complete your projections, and obtain detailed financial operating statements for a minimum of three years and preferably five years. If you are working on a plan for a start-up business, you will reflect on research gathered related to your particular industry and analyze comparable businesses in your industry.
In preparing the statements, it is commonplace to start with a monthly analysis for the first operating year, a quarterly analysis for the second and possibly the third operating year and an annual analysis for the fourth and fifth operating years. In most start-up businesses, profit is not expected to be achieved until the third operating year or until a point where the operations are normalized or "stabilized."
Be sure to peruse the Supplementary Resources for this week for supporting articles and Web sites for this assignment.
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