1. RESEARCHING YOUR
FREE LIBRARY OF PHILADELPHIA
Part III: Researching Your Industry and Financial Plan
2. In This Class You Will Learn…
 Why you should follow industry news and trends
 How to follow your industry using library resources
 How to most effectively follow your industry online
 What is a financial plan and why your business needs
 How to research your financial plan using library
 Business plans wrap-up
3. Why follow industry news?
Entrepreneurs are busy enough and dedicating time to
following industry trends and news may seem unrealistic.
However, staying informed can provide real
benefits, allowing you to…
 React well to new trends and upcoming changes
 Get out in front of your competition
4. Mini Case Study: Green Business
The impact of environmental awareness on business is
everywhere. Entrepreneurs who anticipated the trend
were able to position themselves well. For example:
 The appliance dealer or window installer who was ready to help
customers take advantage of high efficiency and Energy Star tax
 The pizza shop offering whole wheat pizza dough and toppings
made with organic veggies and free-range animals before the
 The Caterer who offers to recycle all trash and compost leftovers for
a carbon-neutral wedding reception
5. Staying Informed
At the library:
 Search for industry and trade articles using the
Business Insights database, which provides full-text
articles from over 3,500 periodicals, newsletters and
 Search for other industry and trade articles using the
databases Business Abstracts with Full Text and
RDS Business and Industry on the Web
6. Staying Informed
ReferenceUSA OneSource is available on the
database page of the library’s website :
www.freelibrary.org. Follow the ReferenceUSA
link and choose OneSource on the next page.
Refer to your handout “Accessing Electronic
Resources From Home,” to learn how to access
7. Staying Informed
Using the web effectively:
 Join a listserv for industry news delivered to your email
(check Yahoo Groups or Google Groups for lists to join).
 Consider setting up a Feedly account to get RSS feeds of
the most useful sites and blogs
 Consider joining Twitter
 Network with other people and organizations by
becoming active on social networking sites like Facebook
8. Your Financial Plan
“It's at the end of your business plan, but the financial
plan section is the section that determines whether or
not your business idea is viable, and is a key
component in determining whether or not your
business plan is going to be able to attract any
investment in your business idea.”
-- Susan Ward, “Writing the Business Plan,” About.com
9. Your Financial Plan
 The financial plan takes into account all the costs of
doing business on a monthly basis and shows how
much money you will need to earn to be
 Your plan should include startup costs and
10. Your Financial Plan
Startup costs may include:
Business registration fees, licensing and permits, starting
inventory, rent deposits, down payments on
property and equipment, utility set up fees, etc.
Operating expenses may include:
Salaries for yourself and your staff, rent or
mortgage, utilities, raw materials, promotion, loan
payments, office supplies, maintenance, etc.
11. Your Financial Plan
Once you determine your operating expenses, add
them up. Multiply by 6 or 12 for a 6 month or one
year projection. Add this figure to your startup
costs. This is a ballpark figure for what it will cost
to get your business off the ground.
12. Your Financial Plan
The financial plan section of your business plan will
include at least three parts.
1. Income Statement
2. Cash Flow Projection
3. Balance Sheet
To generate this information you will have to estimate
what your monthly revenue or sales will be.
13. Your Financial Plan
 Revenue – Expenses = Profit/loss for a particular period
of time (usually monthly)
Cash Flow Projection
 Shows how much cash revenue you receive and how much
you will have to payout with the cash you have on hand in
a given month. In other words, if all your bills came due
this month, would you be able to pay them? This tells
your loan officer whether or not your business is a good
14. Your Financial Plan
 Shows all of your businesses assets and liabilities
for a particular point in time.
 The Balance Sheet will summarize all the
information found in the Income Statement and
Cash Flow Projection. Established businesses
usually prepare a balance sheet once a year.
15. Your Financial Plan
To create the best Financial Plan, look for examples:
 Read example plans in the Gale Virtual Reference Library
database (refer to slides from Part I of this series for access
 You can also read sample financial ratios in the following reference
texts (Visit the Free Library’s Business, Science & Industry
Department for access)
 Risk Management Association. “Annual Statement Studies: Financial
Ratio Benchmarks, 2008-2009”. RMA: Philadelphia. 2009.
 Troy, Leo. “Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios”. CCH:
16. Your Financial Plan
In addition to industry
OneSource also contains
RMA Annual Statement
Studies, which can help you
with your Financial Plan.
17. Your Financial Plan
 Ultimately, your financial plan will reflect the
seriousness of the work you put into it. Consider
speaking with a loan officer and a small business
counselor about your plan.
 Your financial plan is unique to your business.
Library research and librarians will be able to
offer only limited assistance.
18. Business Plan Wrap-up
 Your business plan is unique to your business.
 No one knows your business as well as you do.
 The process of writing your business plan should
force you to question your ideas. This process can
make your business stronger.
19. Business Plan Wrap-up
 SCORE Philadelphia, “Counselors to America’s
Small Business” offers one-on-one business
counseling with a professional.
 Pennsylvania’s Small Business Development
Centers offer a variety of services to
entrepreneurs including education, workshops, and
information on funding. http://pasbdc.org
20. Business Plan Wrap-up
Slide presentations and handouts from this
series of courses are available online:
21. Contact Us
Free Library of Philadelphia
Business, Science & Industry Department