Small Business Success in Upton Starts with a Plan

Small Business Success in Upton Starts with a Plan Main Photo

18 Dec 2022


Over the past few years, individuals across the country have been creating new businesses out of their innovative ideas. While these entrepreneurs may be knowledgeable in the areas those ideas center around, they often need guidance in understanding how to start a business. Experts indicate the best first step to get that operation moving forward in 2023 is to write a business plan now.

Fortunately, Upton entrepreneurs can access expertise from Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and its Regional Director, P.J. Burns

“A good business plan is less of a reflection of a single point in time than a living document to keep the business moving forward continuously,” she said. “It should be thought of as a roadmap that explains how a business is structured, operates and expects to grow.”

Plans to meet needs

Burns has extensive experience with assisting businesses through the life cycle, from startup to exit strategies and assists businesses with developing business plans to help meet their needs. She will meet entrepreneurs and small business owners at her office in Gillette, the Upton Economic Development Board office, at their place of business or any other convenient location. 

Burns said the actual process of going through the creation of a business plan often helps to spur additional ideas and questions that need to be resolved.

“Going through that process helps business owners better define where they want to go and how to get there,” she said. “We are eager to meet entrepreneurs and business owners wherever they are in their business lifecycle.”

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan precisely defines your business, identifies your goals, and serves as your company’s resume. It shows all interested parties — employees, investors, partners and yourself — that you are committed to building the business. Creating a plan forces you to think through and select strategies to propel your growth, including market research to support your plans. The essential components of a business plan include a current and pro forma balance sheet, an income statement and a cash flow analysis.

Why You Need a Business Plan

A business plan helps you properly allocate resources, handle unforeseen complications, and make sound business decisions. A good business plan is crucial to any loan application because it provides specific and organized information about your company and how you will repay borrowed money. Additionally, the plan can inform sales personnel, suppliers, and others about your operations and goals. A business plan is for more than just startups. It is a living document that needs to be updated annually as your company grows and changes.

Components of a Typical Business Plan

The following are some of the chief parameters of a quality business plan, based on guidelines provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for creating a business plan. Breaking it down into several components and working on it step-by-step can make drafting a plan more manageable.

  • Executive summary - a brief mission statement.
  • Company description - list business goals, products or services.
  • Organization - management structure, relevant skills and practical experience.
  • Marketing and sales - identify customer demand, market size and advertising plans.
  • Financial projections - expected ROI and production estimates.
  • Concluding statement - summarize commitment, goals and objectives.

Business plan resources

December is National Write a Business Plan Month. The Upton Economic Development Board knows many people within its service territory have excellent business concepts. The resources below are available to assist with the creation of business plans, as well as to facilitate networking and to navigate the steps to secure essential financing and other operational tools.

In addition to Burns, the Wyoming SBDC is a team of expert small business advisors throughout the state offering free, confidential assistance. Its Start Your Business resources include a template for writing a business plan. Additionally, the SBDC’s Market Research Center is an excellent resource to provide information on target audiences, a competitive analysis, industry trends and financial data and more. Contact Burns for more details.

Financing is commonly a limiting factor for entrepreneurs. The Wyoming Business Council offers small businesses and entrepreneurs incentives to ease operation costs. Its startup resources, financing and advisors can be found here. New loans recently created are now listed and specifically designed to assist small businesses - see the Contract Loan and the Succession Loan. Additionally, UEDB awards grants and scholarships to Upton area organizations and students of all ages. 

In addition to its Business Plan Tool, the SBA’s online, self-paced course on How to Write a Business Plan is an excellent resource for learning more about putting your business plan together. The course explains the importance of business planning, describes plan components and provides access to resources and sample plans.

Bplans and the SBA’s Business Planning Guide have many sample plans across specific business categories that are excellent resources to apply to your business. 

Make your plan for success now!

Whether you have an established business or expect to start one, a business plan is critical to meeting your goals. If you have a draft of your business plan or do not know how to start, contact P.J. Burns today for assistance. Once that step is complete, and if you require financing, make an appointment to review and discuss it with your banker. As the year progresses, review the business plan and decide if changes are necessary.

If you require further assistance after reading this document, please do not hesitate to contact the Upton Economic Development Board for help accessing expert resources to help make 2023 your best year yet.