Staff Writer

It’s important to monitor and update your business plan — it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it document. After all, the needs and goals of a company can change dramatically. You want to make sure that your visionary plan keeps up.

If you’ve never created a full-fledged plan before, now’s a terrific time to build it from the ground up. Just make sure that your plan includes not just your dreams and objectives, but also a road map on how you’ll achieve them. For instance, if one of your 12-month hopes is to scale up by bringing on temporary seasonal workers throughout the year, you’ll need to know not just where you’ll put them, but also how you’ll pay them.

That’s where adding financial information into your business plan becomes a must-do. Otherwise, you might realize partway through Q2 that your targets for Q3 are unrealistic because you have no money on hand.

To avoid unwanted surprises, be specific when it comes to money. For instance, if you know that you’ll be expanding your lease to include more space or purchasing high-level software to add to your tech stack, mention how you’ll pay for those items through vehicles like fast working capital loans.

This requires you to imagine the road ahead in a practical sense. The more exacting you can be in your business planning process, the simpler it will be to use your plan as a guide. Aim to make your plan so understandable that someone outside your business, such as the lender you work with when you apply for a small business loan, feels confident that you’ve thought of everything.

Of course, you will likely hit a couple of hiccups along the way. Here are three common stumbling blocks and the best solutions when it comes to planning ahead:

Stumbling block 1: One of your biggest goals will require more money than you have on hand.

Solution: Plan for tools like working capital loans to help scale.

It’s a tough realization that you currently can’t afford to bring one of your goals to fruition. However, you might not have to give up on it. Ask yourself if business working capital loans could be the key to opening the door to that future growth. Specifically, would a short-term loan offer you a reasonable way to take advantage of an upcoming opportunity, such as meeting the unexpected demands of a new client? If so, investigate the different types of small business loans on the market. Then, lay out in great detail the fiscal steps you expect to take.

Stumbling block 2: You don’t have the financial documents to successfully finish your business plan.

Solution: Dig in even more.

The fastest way to feel more in control is to put your financials in order. Gather your bank statements; sift through your tax returns; and organize your invoices and income statements. The more you can do to get on top of your cash flow situation, the better you’ll feel about constructing reliable forecasts. Additionally, you’ll make your company more attractive to lenders that offer business loans for small business entities like yours.

Stumbling block 3: You notice seasonal troughs in your financials.

Solution: Prepare for the dips now.

Again, this is where getting a small business loan could help close gaps. The more you analyze your revenue and expenses on a yearly basis, the more you’ll notice periods when you might need a little help. Working capital loans for small businesses can have repayment terms as little as six months. Consequently, you might not need to worry about those types of predictable hurdles. Instead, you can note when you plan to apply for a working capital loan over the coming year, as well as how you’ll pay it off.

Writing a business plan should be a priority for every company, no matter its size or industry. By putting your thoughts, hopes, and brainstorms in a logical format, you can more confidently work ahead. You can also ensure that the need for getting a small business loan doesn’t happen out of the blue.

Steer your organization into a successful new year. Complete a working capital loan application now for a fast response.