As many businesses are adjusting their operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, The Ozarks Small Business Incubator (OzSBI) is incorporating new services to help meet the needs of business owners and entrepreneurs. Along with an online hub of COVID-19 business resources and video conferencing tools used by staff to converse with businesses who have questions regarding the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Programs, OzSBI is now offering access to LivePlan, an online business planning tool to entrepreneurs and business owners.
While people are practicing social distancing, now could be an opportune time to plan for a new business or make adjustments to grow an existing business. OzSBI can help entrepreneurs and business owners in both scenarios with its new access to LivePlan. LivePlan simplifies and streamlines business planning, budgeting, sales projections and more for small businesses and startups.
“A strong business plan is essential for any type of business’s success,” OzSBI Executive Heather Fisher said. “A business plan acts as a roadmap for an entrepreneur to use in all aspects of his or her business. When business owners need to make decisions regarding marketing, financing, or developing products or services, a business plan will help guide them through that process.”
While many entrepreneurs and business owners find creating a business plan challenging, OzSBI can help break down the process into stages through LivePlan, Fisher said.
“LivePlan simplifies the business planning process into manageable steps with instructions and over 500 free sample plans for inspiration. Your plan is organized with traditional sections, yet it is fully customizable,” Fisher said. “Once you have a basic strategy built, you can use LivePlan to project sales without complex spreadsheets. You can practice forecasting sales with automatic financial statements and then track finances in real-time to see how your data compares.”
Other LivePlan features include access to stylized themes that can help overall plan organization and appearance, which can be important when lenders review plans for funding opportunities. LivePlan also stores a business plan in a format that can be shared with others to gain feedback. OzSBI connects clients who use LivePlan to mentors who are able to provide expertise and guidance.
“We’re excited to connect LivePlan to our OzSBI mentoring program,” Fisher said. “OzSBI has a robust network of mentors with a wide range of professional backgrounds. We’re able to bundle LivePlan access with a select number of mentoring sessions, which provides entrepreneurs with valuable, experienced feedback that can be used to help launch a new business or streamline an existing one.”
While it can be difficult for business owners and entrepreneurs to think about planning for the future due to uncertainty surrounding the current COVID-19 pandemic, OzSBI can also help individuals navigate changes with LivePlan.
“We recognize the challenges and disruptions small businesses are facing amid COVID-19,” Fisher said. “With LivePlan’s flexibility and mobility, this is a tool that can help business owners modify existing business plans, if needed, or pivot into new directions that could help build sustainability during this unprecedented time.”
In addition to LivePlan, OzSBI also offers in-depth business mentoring, office and coworking space and capital that can be used to start or grow a business through its microloan program. To inquire about LivePlan or any of OzSBI’s additional services, please call 417-256-9724.*
(*Please note: Due to COVID-19, OzSBI is currently closed to the public. Anyone seeking business guidance is welcome to visit with OzSBI staff members by phone during OzSBI’s normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)