Daily News: May 1, 2015

Wells Fargo Online Tool Will Help Business Owners

Wells Fargo introduced The Business Plan Center, a new Wells Fargo Works for Small Business 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% of business owners with plans versus 19% of business owners without plans)
  • Grow revenues (62% versus 51%)
  • Increase capital spending (39% versus 28%)
  • Apply for new credit (26% versus 14%)

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.

“Every business, big or small, needs a plan. We know from research and our direct experience working with business owners that a formal, written business plan is the foundation for long-term financial success,” said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo’s head of small musiness. “Many business owners have business plans in their heads. We want to help every business owner put a plan in writing, if they don’t have one already, so they have a guide to organize their goals, improve decision-making and focus on activities that will help their business thrive.”

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.