Advance plan

Small business plan

When putting together a business plan for starting a small business, projecting the startup cash flow is typically done with a spreadsheet. There is a plethora of templates available for doing this. After a small business opens, it is recommended that the cash flow projection spreadsheet be updated periodically, but that chore is often neglected. The pressure of day-to-day operations gets in the way of doing any business planning with manually prepared documents.

The advance plan feature in A Real Budget overcomes the disadvantages of having to create and maintain a static business plan spreadsheet.

When first preparing the small business plan, an advance plan budget space is added in A Real Budget with a start date of the business' opening day. The cash flow plan for the first twelve months of business operations is created by working through the Getting Started guide, but not paying bills the first time. (The group name “Allowance” could optionally be changed to something like “Petty Cash.”)

On opening day, the budget space's advance plan checkbox is unchecked and the Getting Started guide is completed by paying bills the first time. Using the budget space thereafter to manage daily cash provides a dynamic business plan that is driven by day-to-day operations. Planning cash flow for the coming year becomes a natural part of doing business.