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BUSINESS NEEDS ASSESSMENT

Client Name: Phone Number:

Client Number: Date Conducted:


LEG AL FO RM OF OW N ERS HIP
Under what form of ownership is the firm now If more than one owner exists, does a buy/sell
operating? agreement or succession agreement exist?
Sole Proprietor S Corporation Yes No
Partnership LLC
Corporation Taxed as ______________
Is unlimited liability a serious problem for the Is there any reason to consider changing the legal form
owner(s)? of organization?
Yes No Yes No

Is the firm meeting its legal reporting requirements? Yes No


MAR K ET EVAL U ATION
Have sales been increasing or decreasing over recent Has the firm conducted any type of market research?
years? Yes: What type and what are the results?
Increasing rapidly
Increasing slowly but steadily
Staying the same No
Decreasing rapidly
Decreasing slowly
Uneven: No pattern or trend
Have there been any demographic factors or At what stage is the industry in which this firm
competitive factors that may dictate changes in the operates?
way the firm operates? Development
Demographic Introduction
Competitive (Trends, Legal, Regulatory, etc.) Growth
None Maturity
Decline
Does the firm have a written marketing plan? How has the firm positioned its products or services in
Yes No relation to the competition?
Low quality, low price
Low quality, high price
What market segments are being targeted? Medium quality, medium price
B2B Product High quality, low price
High quality, high price
B2C Service

PPRODUCT
With regards to your product service offering, how Describe your quality tracking system.
innovative are you?

Describe your returns/guarantee policy. Describe how you resolve customer


disputes/complaints.

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SAL ES D EV ELOPM ENT
Does the firm generate enough sales volume to The firm’s sales come from:
maintain its market position? Existing demand
More than adequate Created demand
Just enough
Not quite enough Are advertising objectives defined in measurable
Not nearly enough terms? Yes No
Are promotional objectives defined?
Yes No

Are the most effective direct and indirect sales Is the firm’s business dependent on a highly limited
promotion methods being utilized? (Check all that customer base?
apply) Yes No
Radio TV Direct Mail
Does the firm have a customer feedback system in
Newspaper Newsletter Telemarketing
place? Yes No
Trade shows Internet Other
How does sales volume compare with the projected What is the image of the firm in the community?
level of sales? Positive Negative
Greater than projected Less than projected Neutral Other
About the same
Does the firm use the Internet?
Are the advertising, sales, and marketing expenses tied Yes No
to sales volume? Yes No Used for: _______________________________________

Does the firm sell products or services to the Federal Government? Yes No

Does the firm sell products or services Internationally? Yes No ______percent of sales
SEAS ON AL VA RIATI ONS
Does the firm have seasonal sales? Is inventory adjusted for seasonality?
Yes No Yes No

Can additional merchandise lines or different products Are seasonal variations significant enough to warrant
help even out the seasonal variations? closing the business for part of the year?
Yes No Yes No
PRICIN G POLICI ES
Is the gross margin of the firm consistent with industry Is slow moving merchandise identified and priced
norms? accordingly?
Yes No Yes No
Do you monitor margins? Is the firm's pricing affected by any of the following?
Yes No Fair trade laws
Have margins compressed the past 5 years? Competitor pricing
Yes No Nationally advertised prices
Are loss leaders used? Franchise agreements
Yes No Other
How important is “low price” to your competitive advantage?
Very Somewhat Not Not sure
AD EQU AC Y O F A CC OU NTIN G R ECO RDS

Is there an accounting system in place? Yes No

What does it contain?


Accounts receivable Accounts payable Inventory/order entry General ledger Payroll

What accounting method is used by your firm? Does the company utilize any of the following? (Check
Cash those that apply)
Accrual CPA
Hybrid Outside bookkeeping service Inside bookkeeper
Spouse doing bookkeeping Other

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Are financial statements and other information generated on a timely basis?
Monthly Quarterly Semi-annually Annually Without schedule Not at all Other

Is the accounting system computerized? If yes, what Are the financial statements regularly reviewed,
software is being used? analyzed and used to manage the business?
Yes Software_______________________ Yes No
No

Are sales, cost of sales, expenses and profit being Are the monthly adjusting entries (i.e. depreciation,
shown by department or product line? amortization, interest, inventory) being made timely
Yes No and in the proper amounts and in the proper places?
Yes No

FINA NCI AL C ON DITION


Is quarterly financial statement ratio analysis being Does the firm account for obsolete inventory?
performed? Yes No Yes No
Is there a policy for writing off old accounts Does the owner/manager know what the working
receivable? Yes No capital requirements of the firm are?
Yes No
What is the firm's credit history? What is the trend of the firm's credit history?
Excellent Poor Improving
Good Don’t know Stable
Fair Getting Worse

Has the firm experienced cash flow problems in the Is the firm capitalized enough to survive a downturn in
last six months? Yes No sales or other unforeseen events?
Yes: there is more than enough capital
Is the owner's compensation comparable to other firms Some leverage exists but still below comfort
in the industry? level
Above average Average Less than average No: the firm is highly leveraged
Does any of the following apply? Would additional asset acquisitions help this firm
All available purchase discounts taken increase any of the following? (Check those that
Creditors withholding credit due to slow paying apply). If so, list them and the cost.
Long-term assets being financed properly Sales Image
Operating expenses in line with other firms in Profits Customer service
the industry as compared to industry ratios
Describe your growth/cash position. What is the Average Days Accounts Payable?
(High Growth/Strong Cash/Low Growth/Weak Cash/etc.) Trend: Increasing, decreasing or the same.

Are accounts payables current? Yes No


RISK MA N AG EM ENT
Has the firm's owner addressed any of the following Which of the following types of insurance does the firm
security issues? Yes No have? Fire Automobile
Business interruption Glass
Check those that apply. Group life Disability
Shoplifting Key-person Credit life
Employee theft Liability Crime
Employee embezzlement Worker's Compensation Rent
Burglary Group health Retirement income
Natural Disaster Other (explain)
Product & completed operations
CR EDIT POLICI ES
Does the firm have the capital to carry all of its Has the firm compared the cost of alternative credit
receivables? Yes No card programs? Yes No
Factoring? Yes No
Are the accounts receivable aged on a regular basis? What is the Average Days Accounts Receivable?
Yes No Trend: Increasing, decreasing or the same.

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Is a formal collection policy in place? Describe the write-off of bad debt.
Yes No Realistic Too high Too low

Describe your credit application procedures. What types of credit accounts & terms are available to
customers?
Credit cards _____day terms
Early payment discounts Revolving accounts

PUR CH ASIN G A ND INV ENTO R Y C ONT ROL


Does the firm have problems with any of the following? Is there a system for determining any of the following?
Shortages Back orders Minimum inventories Order points
Changing prices Order quantities
Are policies in place dictating who is authorized to Is inventory computerized?
purchase goods or services? Yes No Yes No

What is the Average Days Inventory?


Trend: Increasing, decreasing or the same.

Have potential vendors been checked to verify that Does the firm purchase at a volume that would allow
they can meet price, quality, quantity, and service buying direct from manufacturers rather than
requirements? Yes No middlemen? Yes No
Describe your approach to negotiating with vendors.

Do you conduct an ABC analysis by product? Yes No

Are your inventory levels based on this concept? Yes No

COMPLI AN C E
Check “ v “ any of the following with which the firm is Is the firm current with existing lenders?
out of compliance or a “D” if you don’t know. Yes No
IRS: federal income tax FICA If no, list lenders and past due amounts:
State income tax SUTA
State Workers Comp. State payroll withholding
State sales tax EPA
Any federal fines or levies Federal Workers Comp.
Federal payroll withholding tax

PERS ON N EL MA N AG EM ENT
Describe how you acquire and retain talented Describe how you use financial incentives with
personnel. employees.

Has there been turnover of key employees? Is there an observable pattern or recurring reason
Yes If so, why? ____________________ given for resignations?
No Yes No

Is there a written personnel manual? Do employees know company policies?


Yes No Yes No

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Are there incentives for employees to seek Does the firm provide training or orientation for new
advancement? employees?
Yes No Yes No

Do opportunities exist for employees to cross-train or Do the employees consider this firm a good place to
work at other positions in the firm? work?
Yes No Yes No

Are pay scales and/or benefits consistent with firms in Are employees provided performance evaluations on a
the area? regular basis? Yes No
Yes No

MANAGEMENT
Describe your leadership style. What are your sources of innovation?
(product, service, customer, employee, etc.)

Describe your team of experts (paid and unpaid). Are you concerned about being sued by employees,
customers or vendors?

IMPACT A N AL YSIS
Start with the oldest year 200__ 200__ 200__
(left to right)
Gross Sales
$___________ $___________ $___________
Sales Growth
__________% __________% __________%
Gross Profit %
__________% __________% __________%
Operating Expense %
__________% __________% __________%
Net Profit %
__________% __________% __________%
Full Time Employees

Part Time Employees

Jobs Saved Full Time

Jobs Saved Part Time

Loan Requested
$___________ $___________ $___________
Loan Approved
$___________ $___________ $___________
Equity Injected
$___________ $___________ $___________

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