I have been asked over time what goes into a Business Plan, here is the start of a recent plan:
Business Strategic Plan – ******* Batteries
Company: ******* Batteries
Is a distributor of truck and auto batteries to supply car shops, auto dealers and trucking companies. The company is a proprietorship and has a book value of $730,000 but it is highly profitable. The market value is now $1,200,000. There are 10 employees, but only one is critical to operations – John’s son Billy.
Business Owner: John *******, age 53
John established the company 20 years ago, and has focused his attention on it almost exclusively, as he has no special hobbies or sports and rarely takes a vacation.
Owner’s Spouse: Elizabeth *******, age 51
Elizabeth is not employed. She has no plans or interest in returning to work.
Owner’s Son: Billy *******, age 30
He worked at ******* Batteries during high school. He completed college and started work in the company at age 26. He handles all sales and is gradually learning the company’s accounting and billing programs. Billy is engaged now, and has just purchased a local home for his fiancé and himself.
Owner’s Daughter: Barbara (*******) *********, age 28
She is married to Reggie ******** who is a minister. She is very active in the small church where he is the minister. They have two small children.
Owner’s Desire: John wants Billy to continue his outstanding job in sales, gradually expanding their customer base. John has observed that Billy has the education, talent, interest and is a very hard worker.
Business Indebtedness: The company has no bank loans. Accounts payable are approximately equal to receivables.
Survivor Income Goal for Elizabeth:
- $60,000 per year. They consider this would be adequate, since the house and all business debts are currently covered by life insurance.
- If the business is willed by John to Billy, he would control most of the income and the family assets.
- If the business was willed to Elizabeth, and then she divided her estate equally, the company ownership would be split between her son Billy and her daughter Barbara, although Barbara has no interest in the company nor does she feel it fits the interest of her husband whose ministry career choice will likely cause them to change locations about every ten years.
Sibling Relationships: Billy and Barbara are cordial, but not real close and Barbara’s husband is devoted to his religious career.
Estate Planning: None. John has focused entirely on the business and has felt that ******* Batteries would provide for Elizabeth. However, he has no idea how this would be achieved. Neither John nor Elizabeth have wills or trusts.
Estate Distribution Objective: John wants to provide an equal distribution of his estate between Billy and Barbara.
Family History: John’s older brother, Samuel, died leaving a fairly large estate to his widow Susie, who has remarried. Susie is very close to her new husband’s children who are always wanting and getting financial support. The family is concerned that if Susie (who has serious diabetes) dies, all of her substantial estate will go to her second husband and that Samuel’s two daughters, who are both self-sufficient teachers, will get nothing.
Income for Spouse: Where would Elizabeth get her income if John died?
Succession Challenge: If the business were left entirely to Elizabeth, how long would Billy run a business if he had no ownership? He and his father have discussed the future and Billy “expects” to be the successor owner – but there is no guarantee. After he is married, Billy may easily become more concerned about these issues. He has commented that his sister Barbara “Knows nothing about the business, and neither she nor Reggie have ever expressed any interest in it.”
John *******: Self-employed income of $186,000
Billy *******: Salary of $4,000 per months ($48,000) plus commissions of $92,000 – total $140,000
Is your business plan up to date, this checklist will give you a good start to answer that question. If you have questions, give my office a call at 215-886-2122.