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The 3 Cs of a Good Business Plan

By Lane V. Erickson, Idaho Business Attorney

Being a business owner means much more than simply operating a business. It means that you have a good idea of what it is you want your business to accomplish. It also means that you have put some time and effort into thinking about what type of business entity you want to operate your business through. Finally, you should also have thought about who you want to be in business with and how you will fund your business until it can fund itself.

At the Racine law office, our team of Idaho business attorneys includes partners Lane Erickson and TJ Budge, and attorneys Nate Palmer and Dave Bagley. Our team of lawyers have the experience, skill, and knowledge, to provide sound legal advice to each of our business clients. Whether it is creating a small business, or working through the intricacies of negotiating contracts, or helping clients when something goes wrong, we have helped numerous Idaho business owners make good decisions so their business can succeed. We are confident we can help you too.

When it comes to creating a good business plan, we can help you with that as well. The purpose of this article is to provide you with a quick summary of the three C’s of a good business plan. These three C’s include: (1) having a concept of what your business is all about; (2) identifying who your customer or client will be; and (3) figuring out how the cash flow in your business will actually work.

Although this article is just a summary of these items, our hope is that by providing this information you will begin to have an understanding of the steps and ideas you should be considering and taking in order to help your business succeed. If you are interested in discussing how we can help you with your business or if you have any specific business questions, please contact us for a free 30-minute consultation.

The Concept of the Business

Having a good concept of what your business is going to be about is far more than just understanding the product or service that you want to provide. While this is important as a big picture, it doesn’t provide the details of how this will be accomplished. Additionally, the concept of your business should include your business structure, who your business partners will be, and what it will take to provide the product or service that you want to provide to your customers.

When it comes to business structure, we are talking about what type of entity you will use to operate your business. Will it be at regular corporation, or will it be an LLC. Alternatively, you could choose to use a partnership as your business structure or if you have no other individuals to be in business with, you may operate as a sole proprietor. Each of these options have requirements that need to be met in order to properly use the structure you want.

In addition to figuring out the business structure, you will also want to understand who you will be in business with. In other words, will your business be solely owned by you or will it have multiple owners or partners? By answering this question you also have a good idea of the type of business structure that you need to utilize. You will also have a better understanding of who will be in charge of each part of the business that needs to be handled.

The final concept that should be considered is how you will actually provide the product or service your business offers. Will this require a large building space or a small building space? Will you own the building or land or will you simply be leasing it from someone else? What type of equipment will you need? What type of personnel or employees will you need? And so forth.

Identifying Who the Customer Is

Understanding and identifying who your customer will be is also critically important. In fact, some people think this is more important than having the concept of your business in mine. I disagree with that simply because I believe the concept of your business will help you determine who you are client or customer will be.

Once you’ve identified your customer base, you will want to have an understanding of where they will be located. If your business is local, you will want to make sure that it is located in an area convenient to your customers and clients. Alternatively, if your business structure or product or service can be provided regardless of location, then you will want to look for a location that will provide the best tax advantages, and the lowest prices for purchasing.

Once you identify who your customer or client will be this will also help you focus on staying innovative with your business. Customers and clients are fickle. They will be looking for the best products, the best services, and the best prices. If you cannot provide this, then your customers and clients will go to a different business.

Understanding How Cash Flow Will Work

The final C of the three C’s is understanding cash flow. In other words, you need to have a good solid financial plan for your business. Where will your startup money come from? If your company needs additional cash infusions while it is operating where will it come from? How will you handle payroll for employees and other financial issues such as profit-sharing, 401K, health insurance, and so forth?

Having a plan in place for how your cash will flow into and through your business is important if you want your business to operate and succeed. Your business plan should spell out specifically how each of these things will be taking care of. Your business plan should also consider emergency situations and how cash will flow in the event an emergency actually happens.

Starting or operating a business is not an easy thing to do. However, when you have a well-qualified and experienced Idaho business lawyer helping, your ability to succeed substantially increases. We have helped numerous business owners work through the process of creating a business plan, structure their business, create the necessary business entity and so forth. Based on our knowledge and experience, we are confident that we can help you too.

Enlist an Idaho Business Attorney to Help You

Our team of Idaho business lawyers can help you with any of your business structure or operation needs. Whether you are seeking to create a new business or review a current business, we are available to discuss your options and answer your questions at an initial free 30-minute consultation. Call us toll free at 877-232-6101 or 208-232-6101 for a free consultation. You can also email us directly at lane@racineolson.com or stop by our office at 201 East Center Street, Pocatello, Idaho 83201. We will answer your questions and help you solve your Idaho business problems.

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