business plan

Wells Fargo Offering Free Tool to Help NJ Small Business Owners Create a Business Plan

In a recent national survey, only 33 percent of business owners said they have a formal business plan, yet those with a plan also have significantly higher expectations for the year ahead than those without. These results were among survey findings pointing to the value of business plans as Wells Fargo introduces The Business Plan Center, a new Wells Fargo Works for Small BusinessSM offering that provides online tools to help business owners create and update their own business plans.

In the January Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey, business owners who said they had a formal, written plan reported much greater optimism for 2015 – their future outlook score (+51) was 12 points higher than business owners without a plan (+39) and 8 points higher than business owners overall (+43). Further, those business owners with plans compared to those without were more likely to report that in the next 12 months they expect to:

  • Increase jobs at their businesses (32 percent of business owners with plans versus 19 percent of business owners without plans).
  • Grow revenues (62 percent versus 51 percent)
  • Increase capital spending (39 percent versus 28 percent)
  • Apply for new credit (26 percent versus 14 percent).

In an effort to provide business owners with a simple, convenient way to create or revise business plans, Wells Fargo is launching The Business Plan Center, a free, online resource now available on The Center features the Business Plan Tool, a step-by-step guide to develop a written business plan. It also offers a Competitive Intelligence Tool, which provides business owners with key insight on competitors and the market for their businesses that can be used as part of the planning process. Other interactive learning resources on the new Center include videos, articles and infographics covering essential elements of a business plan.

The new Business Plan Tool will enable business owners to develop and update written plans that include a high-level summary of the business; an overview of business history, structure and management, and its current and planned products and services; a detailed marketing plan; and market and competitive analyses. It also will allow business owners to enter financial data – such as starting balances, fixed assets and liabilities, sales forecasts and expenses. The tool will generate financial statements, such as a detailed cash flow statement, profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet.

Wells Fargo is also announcing other initiatives to expand the support it offers small business owners through Wells Fargo Works for Small Business. These include:

  • Wells Fargo Works Project National Contest. For the second year, Wells Fargo is inviting eligible business owners to enter a nationwide contest to win $25,000 and a business mentorship opportunity. To enter, business owners must submit a 2-1/2 minute video or 600-word essay with a photo responding to questions about their business.  Twenty-five finalists will be selected to each receive $1,000 for their business. Five grand prize winners will be selected from the 25 finalists to receive $25,000 each for their business. The contest runs from May 1 through June 30, and winners will be announced in September. View webisodes from last year’s finalists to see how they’ve taken their business to the next level since participating in the contest.
  • New and enhanced content on The online learning resource will feature videos, articles and infographics on the importance of creating and updating business plans, as well as offer useful tips on how to approach building a plan. Later in the year, webinars will be available, focusing on the key components of a business plan, such as marketing, legal and finance. The expanded site includes hundreds of informational articles and videos, featuring financial guidance from small business experts.

Introduced in 2014, Wells Fargo Works for Small Business is a broad initiative to deliver resources, guidance and services to help more small businesses achieve financial success. It provides wide-ranging support for business owners throughout the U.S. to help them build knowledge, access capital and expand their community of support. Wells Fargo Works for Small Business encompasses the company’s commitment to helping small businesses take the next step toward their goals.


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