Having a successful business is the dream of any one dreaming of starting one or investing in a business venture. The journey to a profitable business is paved with hard work and persistence. Before one can erect a good business a feasibility study has to be conducted together with the drawing up of a business plan. Business plans always take into consideration a financial plan. The latter is a comprehensive estimation of the present and future financial state of a physical or moral person via the utilisation of predictable variables such as cash flows, asset values, projected expenditures and withdrawal plans. There is a conventional template for drawing up a financial plan but there are common inevitable factors or elements that usually feature in most financial plans.
What is a Financial Plan
A financial plan aka investment plan is a plan the takes into consideration the income and expenses of an organisation, company or an individual. In the case of personal financial plans it is centred around one’s or family’s direct aspects such as property management, college funds or retirement. A financial plan in the business milieu usually refers to the balance sheet, income declaration and cash flow report which are all a part and parcel of the business plan. This plan is a forecast that projects the income and expenses of a company, department or an individual over a predefined period of time.
Objective of a Financial Plan
A financial plan elaborates how a budget could be raised to meet the cash estimates that have been predicted. This document describes the current financial status and goals; timeframe to achieve them; and strategies to be implemented so as to meet the envisaged goals established. This plan could also be used as a reference point for estimating the progress achieved hence giving room for updates and improvement as the timeframe and goals are being modified.
Why Have a Financial Plan
- It helps in the prioritization of your financial goals so as to save money to attain these set goals
- Widens focus to see the bigger picture
- Aids in the Organization of finances and record keeping
- Relieves stress from worrying over money
What a Financial Plan should Cover
A financial plan ought to cover the following aspects:
- Savings and investments;
- Debt payment sequences;
- Insurance coverage and taxes;
- Property or estate management; and
Making a Financial Plan
Financial plans are very important in a business plan and also to secure the financial future of individuals and enterprises. A financial plan should incorporate the following components or constituents so as to make it more effective.
- A financial plan is based on clearly defined financial goals for either a family or company. These goals should act as benchmarks to monitor progress and updates.
- The net worth (which is a balance of assets and liabilities) for determining evolution.
- Analysis of the income and expenditures.
- Evaluating over a given period of time, the amount that can be used for repaying debt, savings and investments.
- A detailed risk management aspect of the plan identifying risks that could lead to financial handicap and providing adequate measures to counteract or guide against this.
- An investment plan with objectives to meet vis-a-vis choosing the right investment opportunity and setting methods for progress evaluation.
- Review and implement the best tax policy that favours the investment.
- Property or estate management with a kin look into aspects such as wills, trusts, power of attorney, medical and marital trusts.
- A financial plan should equally take into consideration strategies for retirement. The plan should elaborate means of achieving financial autonomy and sustainability during retirement.
Benefits of Developing a Good Financial Plan
For companies and organisations:
- Critical to the success of any enterprise by validating the business plan
- It confirms the objectives set are achievable from a financial point of view
- It aids set financial targets for the companies or organisations and evaluates performance.
For individuals and families
- Enhances confidence in approaching life’s challenges
- It helps reduces ones stress levels
- Ensures future financial security for one and his/her family
Importance of Financial Planning
Financial Planning is a process of assembling objectives, policies, procedures, programmes and budgets with respect to the financial actions of a physical or moral person.
Financial planning is important in the following ways :
- ensures sufficient funds and financial viability
- ensures a balance between cash influx and exit
- helps in the perennation of organisations and companies via ensuring growth, development and progress
- diminishes doubts as per the changing trends in market
- helps in reducing or eliminating uncertainties that could lead to the interference with the company or organisations progress and growth.
- assist in safeguarding the constancy and profit of the planner.
This is a very important but skill-specific job and unless the individual or organisation is well versed with the requirements or demands of a financial plan, it is highly recommended that they make use of a professional in the elaboration of this plan. The hiring of a specialist or freelance financial consultant could go a long way to ensure the production of a very good financial plan and subsequently its implementation.