By: Jeff Bell, Partner at Rankin McKenzie

A business plan is a compass that can lead entrepreneurs to make the right decisions over and over again. However, many business owners find excuses to not write a business plan. Here is a list of just five of the many reasons why a business plan can fast track your success.

  1. You are forced to be clear about your strategy. By answering questions about your target market, products offered, and pricing models, you can properly find your niche through your business plan. Once your niche is clearly defined, you can make decisions about the best strategies to focus on those customers.
  2. You assess the competition. A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) helps you identify how to be successful in the market by offering benefits and solutions that your competition may be neglecting. In addition, the SWOT analysis helps you anticipate and prepare for potential problems (threats) that could arise in the future- social, economic, and regulatory and others.
  3. You develop a marketing plan. Using the SWOT analysis and the crucial niche, the marketing plan further develops the target market, the most effective promotional strategies, and can even define the brand voice of the company. Without a defined marketing strategy, companies often fade into the sea of other businesses in their industry.
  4. You set goals, objectives, and proposed milestones for the future of the business. These projections can fuel the growth of the company as business owners and employees work to meet those standards. Everyone needs a little motivation and the business plan can be where it all originates.
  5. Finally, you forecast revenue and expense projections for a particular length of time, usually at least two years. It is essential to figure out how long it will take to be a profitable entity. By going through the exercise of listing all the expenses (rent, utilities, technology, salaries, etc), you calculate how much revenue needs to be generated for the company to be profitable on a monthly and annual basis. If your business is offering an amazing service but won’t be able to pay the bills for the first year, the business plan can be the reality check you need to realize that you might need more cash to get started.

Clear strategy. Analysis of the competition. Marketing plan. Business goals, objectives, and milestones. Revenue and expense projections. Just five of the many ways a business plan gives you a competitive advantage.





“Christine’s experience working with top management to design and create accounting and business solutions for all sizes of companies, from start-up to large, public companies is a great addition to our team”, says co-founder, Robert McKenzie. Please read more about Christine here – Christine’s Bio.

Congratulations to our client, Brii Biosciences and our CFO, Jim Klein!! #greatpartnership

Read the full article here – This startup CEO swiftly gained $260M and a dream team of biotech backers — on both sides of the Pacific

Rankin McKenzie is very excited to be working with these dynamic companies! Please join us in welcoming our newest clients and learn more about who they are:

Kurtosys, SusteonStealth VigilanceSengenix and DHIC .


Congratulations to our client, Element Genomics, on a successful acquisition!!!

Read more – Element Genomics gets acquired

By: Robert McKenzie, Co-Founder and Partner at Rankin McKenzie

A business that doesn’t budget sets itself up for an array of financial problems down the road. This is true for businesses of all ages and sizes. For startup entrepreneurs, a budget is like a roadmap that can help them set goals and assess the soundness of their business concept. For established businesses, a budget can be used as a pulse check – determining how the business is performing year-over-year and helping identify potential future investments. Conversely, businesses that develop short- and long-term business objectives by creating a detailed business plan can design a blueprint for financial success and opportunities to expand.


Carefully constructed budgets help businesses continually track where they are financially. This allows for strategic, long-term planning and forecasting for everything from operating costs to potential expansion. By regularly consulting a budget, businesses can compare actual figures and catch potential business shortfalls or other problems early. Knowing where the budget stands opens up the ability to hire employees, invest in new products and set earnings goals in line with the organizations’ corporate financial objectives. Budgets and forecasting can also be instrumental in winning over investors, convincing banks your business is a good loan risk, or bringing on new customers or partners.

Bottom line: Without a budget, business owners are flying blind. A solid budget identifies current available capital, estimates expenditures and anticipates revenues. And businesses should continually refer to them as a way of measuring performance against expectations.


Perhaps the single-most potential benefit of formal budgeting and forecasting lies in ensuring that knowledgeable and responsible executives take time each year — and again at fixed intervals throughout the year — to think about their operation thoroughly/comprehensively/exhaustively. Typically this process is led/driven by the company’s chief financial officer. Hiring an interim or part-time CFO can help focus on key financial elements rather than get lost in the day-to-day operational details of the business. Part-time CFOs are cost effective and offer an outside perspective that delivers invaluable input and insight to strategic decisions. Click here to learn more about Rankin McKenzie’s part-time and interim CFO and Controller services

 About Rankin McKenzie: For 16 years,  Rankin McKenzie has been a trusted resource serving as part-time CFO’s or Controller’s to growth companies in the Triangle. 


Rankin McKenzie is thrilled to be working with these exciting and forward thinking companies! Please join us in welcoming our newest clients and learn more about who they are:

Zig Zibit, CompostNow, Anuva Resources, Kurtosys, Daymaker, Clear Sky Horizon and Mine Capital.

“Mike’s experience and skill set is an invaluable addition to the RM Team”, says founder John Autrey. Please read more about Mike here – Mike’s Bio.

Rankin McKenzie is excited and proud to be working with these amazing companies. Please join us in welcoming our newest clients and learn more about who they are and what they do:

Cary Clean Team, Bateman Civil Engineering, Carolina Solar Services and Momentum Learning.

“We are thrilled that Jeffry Sherwood has joined the RM team”, says Director of Business Development and Partner, Beth Mullaney.   Please read more about Jeffry’s experience – Jeffry Sherwood.