What is the purpose of a business plan and why is it an essential first step for a start-up firm? This essay also addresses commom problems with small businesses.

Essay by lolliegagindeUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 2004

download word file, 3 pages 4.2

What is the purpose of a business plan and why is it an essential first step for a start-up firm? A business plan can get you in to action when just beginning to plan the future of your business. Starting a business can seem like a long, intimidating and drawn out process. A business plan will help you ease this task by setting things apart so that they may be seen more clearly. It also helps by breaking the process into pieces. So, writing a business plan can help to move you by breaking down a seemingly impracticable task into smaller, less upsetting tasks. Once you have your business going, a business plan can be very useful to help keep you on track and focusing on the goals you have set. With all the hard work and continuous effort it is very easy to lose sight of your objectives and goals.

A business plan also serves to help others to understand your vision, including prospective partners, suppliers, customers, and employees. A well-written and thought out business plan can prove your success and happiness or the future failure within your business depending on it's accuracy.

What are some of the sources for financing that these Web sites recommend exploring? The options available to you in financing your new small business depend upon the opportunity you are pursuing. Small businesses usually need more than just cash, they need reliable money. By reliable money I am referring to financing that puts your business in the condition that you want it in and feel comfortable with it in, where the financier provides not only capital, but support and knowledge to your business. Reliable money cold mean a variety of things such as personal savings, friends and relatives, banks and / or credit unions, angel Investors, or credit cards.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of different sources of funds? The primary foundation of capital is normally received from savings and other personal resources such as family or friends. This can sometimes be more beneficial to the business owner because of the fact that the loans are often interest free and not as hard to acquire. However, this can put a strain on the relationship with the relative or friend. Another form of financing could be a small loan from a bank or credit union. This could be an excellent form of financing if the interest is within reasonable standards and the bank or credit union is willing to provide the loan, which could be a little harder compared to a relative or friend. You must demonstrate that your business plan is reasonable and will prove to be successful. Angel investor can also be a very promising form of financing. Angel investors are mainly thriving entrepreneurs who want to pursue success but do so at arm's length. As such, they can be very valuable to an aspiring company. The advantage of angel investors is that they go in where more formal investors would not be interested. Angel investors can be hard to find, because they're often busy running their own businesses or they become more involved than planned. Some also require equity or deposits that are extremely high.

Identify and discuss some of the legal issues with which entrepreneurs and small business owners are likely to be faced. Taxes, business laws, financing, and finding experience employees can be just a few of the many problems small business owners are faced with. Tax laws in some states can be very strict and extremely hard to understand. If a small business owner was to misinterpret one of these laws, they could face extremely high fines. Many avoid this situation by consulting an accountant, who can help with the laws containing tax obligation. Another common problem is laws that business owners must carefully follow. Most states require a license or permit before business may legally operate. There are also many other laws that small business owners are unaware of that hold high penalties. Finding qualified employees can often be very difficult, but with today's technology it has become a little easier. Business owners are able to post ads in newspapers, magazines, online, or even put signs up in the neighborhood or window of the business.

What are some of the issues that married couples face in the start-up and operation of a "family business?" One of the most common is disagreements on the operations of the business. They may have trouble working together or find their personal lives spill over into their businesses. Couples who work together must have strong communication skills, passion and respect for one another and their business, and most of all a strong marriage. They must also take in each others strengths and be able to share duties with one another equally.