Small Business Advice: Create a Business Plan for Tax and Profit
Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
Over the years, I have worked with all kinds of wild and wonderful clients. Some of them have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, while others have failed miserably. What’s the big difference between the successes and failures?
A business plan.
Small business advice: Tips for creating a business plan
Creating a business plan is well worth doing right now, even if you’ve been in business for years. It can help you increase your income while you reduce your headaches.
You don’t need a big, fancy, expensive plan to be successful. In fact, the only business I know of with a business plan that failed did so after spending nearly $10,000 on a professional plan. Instead, you may want to produce the plan yourself. After all, you can best answer the questions about the direction in which you want your business to go, the products or services you want to offer, and the amount of time and energy you want to expend on your business. You will likely want to update your plan at least once a year.
A good plan covers many aspects of your business, but be sure to include these three:
1. Identify your prospective target customer base for the year. Your business plan should specify what needs you plan to meet for your target market, and it should outline how best to reach that target market with the least amount of investment. It should also include how to provide support services to your customer base so they continue to enlist the services of your company.
2. Outline technology updates you plan to implement for the year. The plan should outline the new technology you are going to implement both in your office and for your customers. You don’t need to jump on the bandwagon of every new techno fad that comes along, but it is important to keep up with the key trends your particular customer base is apt to adopt.
3. Include a plan for your taxes. Meeting with your tax advisor will help you learn about tax breaks and opportunities that you might have missed in previous years. Examples include the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, a tax break for hiring veterans or under-privileged individuals; city, state, and federal breaks for situating your business in certain enterprise zones; special breaks for hiring family members who actually work for your business; and many more very lucrative tax credits or deductions.
You can find free business plan tools, templates, and summaries at these three sites:
With all of the information available to you, creating a business plan is simply a matter of taking the time to document what it takes to run your business. Knowing what you need to accomplish each week or month can help lower your stress level and increase your chances of running your business successfully.
In addition, a business plan can help you clarify your goals and strategies and make you think through your marketing plans, cost structure, and various other aspects of your business. The value is in creating the plan, not the plan itself. As Dwight Eisenhower noted, “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
Eva Rosenberg, EA is the publisher of TaxMama.com, where your tax questions are answered. She is the author of several books and ebooks, including Small Business Taxes Made Easy. Eva teaches a tax pro course at IRSExams.com and tax courses you might enjoy at http://www.cpelink.com/teamtaxmama.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.