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Impress Your Investors with your Business Plan 

In order for any business to grow and evolve, it needs financing. For some, that means taking out loans through traditional banking institutions while, for others, it means finding investors to support your company. But how do you get those investors? One way to gain them is to impress them with your business plan which includes finding customers, improving your service or product, and growing the business over the course of several years. 

Entrepreneurs around the nation are always on the hunt for investors for their business. According to HackerNoon, “Searching for an investor is not easy, especially when there are high chances that your idea might get turned down. Looking to raise funds is an entrepreneur’s version of taking a job interview where you need to say the right things at the right time.”

The Role of the Business Plan 

A business plan is a written description of your business’s future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Most business plans are written to not only impress investors but also to provide direction to a young business hoping to be successful. The U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) suggests having the following categories:

  • Executive summary – a snapshot of your business
  • Company description – describes what you do
  • Market analysis – research on your industry, market and competitors
  • Organization and management – your business and management structure
  • Service or product – the products or services you’re offering
  • Marketing and sales – how you’ll market your business and your sales strategy
  • Funding request – how much money you’ll need for the next 3 to 5 years
  • Financial projections – supply information like balance sheets
  • Appendix – an optional section that includes résumés and permits

These categories will be able to tell your potential investors a lot about who you are as an entrepreneur and what your company will look like in action. The more concise and consistent you can be in this plan the more you will reassure investors that you have a well-thought out plan for your business, its services and/or products. 

In order to let investors know that you have done your due diligence in researching your field, be sure to include charts and graphs that make it easier for investors to grasp the projected evolution of your business financials. In addition, you will want to demonstrate that your projections are achievable and not just a pipe dream.

Investors like to know that every conceivable issue has been hashed out, so be sure to include possible challenges and how you will overcome each one. Look ahead a few months into your company, a year and then several years to find potential obstacles. That means you will need to be as honest as possible in revealing what you see as your potential strengths and weaknesses as you start your business. 

Do you need help writing your business plan or finding ways to impress your investors? Check out our workshop on Creating a Business Plan that is Investor Ready or Understanding your Business Financials

 

Bookkeeping for Small Businesses

Who keeps the books for your business? You know the dreaded invoicing, receiving, payables, reconciling, filing, general ledgers, liabilities, budgets, and reports. Many small businesses do not have a dedicated accountant or financial manager to take care of these tasks, which means that, often times, the job falls to a business leader or owner.

Chances are, if you are an entrepreneur, you have some grasp of handling the books and have been doing some aspect of it while your business has been growing. As your business evolves, however, the job of balancing the books and taking care of the bills or payroll gets more complicated.

That’s why Enterprise Center is offering Business Owners and Startups a seminar entitled “Bookkeeping Fundamentals for Small Business.” Every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-9pm, from May 21 to June 6, you can learn the basic steps of setting up and keeping track of your money in a simple, accurate manner that works for you.  

Bookkeeping doesn’t need to be the dreaded chore that keeps your sheltered in your office well into the evening. There are some fantastic apps that can help keep you organized and are fairly intuitive to use. Our advice is to do a bit of research before you download any software, as each app offers something a little different. Your business’s unique needs can be met with one of them.

QuickBooks

QuickBooks is a name that you probably recognize as it is one of the most popular small business accounting software programs out there. People love it because it has multiple tailored versions and top-of-the-line features. QuickBooks is meant for people who are not accounting experts. They put all the information in one, easy-to-use location.

Xero

Xero is great for businesses that are on-the-go and need something a little more mobile. Xero is a mobile app for accounting specifically geared for business leaders who need to do their bookkeeping remotely or while on the road. This is also great in case a client needs a quick update and you want to bring up the numbers on your phone. Xero has served over 1.2 million subscribers around the world.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks is yet another top accounting software that specializes in small business accounting. That means that it is geared for your company in mind, not the larger corporations. Each of the three versions of FreshBooks: Lite, Plus, and Premium, is tailored toward the specific needs of small businesses within a wide range of sizes and structures.

Have questions about keeping the books for your company or need a change in the app that you are currently using? Check out our seminar “Bookkeeping Fundamentals for Small Business” and register today.

 

Increasing Cash Flow

Is your small business having problems with its finances – specifically with cash flow? Finding the answers to this common problem can be tough. Thankfully. there are some things that business leaders and owners can do to solve this issue and prevent it from recurring in the future. No matter your budget, there are always ways to increase your sales and grow your business. Here are a few ideas to get you started to increasing your cash flow:

  • Current Clients – Talk to your current clients who already know your business and have had positive experiences with you and your company. It’s much easier to upsell a client who already is familiar with your work, the quality of your product and services, and has already incorporated aspects of your services into their business.
  • Ask for Referrals – In addition to adding services or products for your current clients, ask them to provide you with client referrals. If you know that a client is satisfied and happy with your products, ask him or her for the names and contact information of other small business owners who might also benefit from working with you.
  • Re-evaluate your Pricing – When was the last time you looked at the pricing of your products or services? If your pricing is too affordable, you won’t be taken seriously. But if your pricing is too expensive, you will lose some business to competitors. Complete some careful research about the prices of your products as compared to competitors and how a price change may impact your business.
  • Create Incentives for Ontime Payments and penalties for late payments. Part of the problem with cash flow is the issue of clients paying late or missing payments. Create an incentive program for those who pay on-time or even early.
  • Re-evaluate your Assets. Is it time to look at underperforming services or products and pull them from your business? Consider what brings in the cash and what does not.

BLS Provider CPR (1-day Initial or Renewal Course, multiple sessions available)

(Initial or Renewal Course based on the 2015 AHA Guidelines)
Basic Life Support (BLS) is the foundation for saving lives after cardiac arrest. This course teaches both single-rescuer and team basic life support skills for application in both in-facility and prehospital settings. This course is designed for healthcare professionals and other personnel who need to know how to perform CPR and other basic cardiovascular life support skills.

In addition, BLS training can be appropriate for first responders, such as police officers and firefighters, as well as for laypeople whose work brings them into contact with members of the public, such as school, fitness center, or hotel and restaurant employees.

Students must pass a written exam and skills test in order to qualify for a BLS Course Completion Card.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive a completion cad valid for 2 years.

Conveniently scheduled on Saturday, please choose the session that works best for you.

REGISTER NOW!

Understanding Cash Flow

Starting a business means a fairly large learning curve. While there may be many areas that you need to learn the “ins and outs,” understanding the concepts of cash flow is among the more complex and important in any business. Let’s examine the main concepts and terms associated with comprehending cash flow for your budding business.

What is Cash Flow?

Cash flow refers to generating or producing cash (cash inflows) and using or consuming cash (cash outflows). Managing cash flows is essential to the life of your company and is necessary to the successful operation of your business.

What is a Cash Flow Statement?

Josh Kauffman, author of “The Personal MBA,” explains it in simple terms:

“The Cash Flow Statement is straightforward: it’s an examination of a company’s bank account over a certain period of time. Think of it like a checking account ledger: deposits of cash flow in and withdrawals of cash flow out. Ideally, more money flows in than flows out, and the total never goes below zero.”  

Usually a cash flow statement keeps track of your company’s “bottom line.”

  • Positive cash flow indicates that a company’s liquid assets are increasing, enabling it to settle debts, reinvest in its business, return money to shareholders, pay expenses and provide a buffer against future financial challenges.
  • Negative cash flow indicates that a company’s liquid assets are decreasing.

 

Cash flow is not just  made up of profit and loss. It also is affected by:

  • Accounts receivable
  • Inventory
  • Accounts payable
  • Capital expenditures
  • Borrowings and debt service
  • Other “timing” differences

 

Managing your Cash Flow

  • Keep a daily record of incoming and outgoing cash
  • Deposit any checks received on a daily basis
  • Use numbered cash receipts and account for all of them
  • Use numbered checks for disbursements
  • Send customer invoices within two days
  • Collect receivables within two months