I had a quick question about starting up your own business.
I'm taking my time setting everything up - I wanna make sure I cover every avenue before the "open" sign flips - I am starting my business plan up now and I was curious if/how you made one for your business.
I don't really know where to start - or if there are any good outlines to follow - any suggestions/advise would be great!
You didn't find any templates when you Googled "business plan"? that's odd, because usually dozens pop up . . .
Smh, actually there's not alot of bakery business plans that pop up.... anywho if you don't know where to start its always best to go to a professional to ask for advice/guidance or even have then make one for you. Good Luck
Business Resource Software, Inc. (businessplans.org)
Palo Alto Software, Inc. (bplans.com)
Most bakers do the business plan out of their own heads after they worked at least part time in a bakery to see if they like the hard parts of the job.
If you are starting a "cottage" custom cake business, you use one sort of business plan. I did that, and put my profits into buying pans and equipment until I had a good stock. My advertising was word of mouth.
If you are getting certified and inspected, there are external requirements that drive the business plan. You also follow your local tax regulations to keep track of salary and tax withholding, deductible expenses, depreciation, etc.
So there are many different business plans--tell us more about YOUR business.
If this is going to be something with a larger investment, where assets are on the line, or the income is vital to the family, I would suggest taking some business courses and getting some practical experience.
85% of all new businesses fail in the first year, higher for the food industry. The red flag to me is not knowing where to start. Please get some education and experience in business where you have responsibilities for the bottom line.
On the other hand, if this will be a low investment operation, such as CFL, you still need the education and experience, but the lack of will not be able to harm you.
If you have done your research thoroughly, you will find that you do not need an industry-exclusive business plan template, as all thorough business plans require you to customize.
I recently bought the book "Start your own business" (by Entrepreneuer press) and I'm almost done reading through all 729 pages. I find it very helpful. Not only has it a good chapter on business plans writing, but it also has tons of advise on how to market your product, finance the business, etc.
Another great education experience is to take Accounting 101 at your local community college. It will help you understand so much about how to set up your finances and price your products.
Other great learning sources are adult education classes.
But I'm with bcwalti. I love studying books and there are so many good ones out there for every level. I've been out of college for 25 years and I still love keeping up with the changing business environment.
Depending where you live too, there are many FREE small business advice centres that are run by local and state government bodies. Where I live its called the "BEC" (business education something)...LOTS of free resources, free talks and seminars, free help with business plans and networking assistance.
Find out if you have a SCORE organization in your area. They typically offer free advice and guidance. I attended a SCORE event for small businesses, took 2 business courses at the local college and Accounting 101. Having that knowledge helps a lot because I didn't really have a business background.
Edit: Thought I'd add that one of the classes was a business plan class where at the end we had a business plan to begin refining. It's not the finished product but it helped pull our ideas out and put them on paper so that we had something tangible to BEGIN working on. Check your local community college.
I have a degree in Entrepreneurship. I'm by no means an expert, but if you're truly ready to write a business plan, don't expect to do it in a day! Get some advice with a local small business bureau, invest in some software that will help guide you through the process, and take your time! Really think about each step of the process: how you'll handle accounting, marketing, employees, any local/state laws, taxes, etc. Research, research, research!!
abchambers, I have been so impressed with the new entrepreneurial degree available through top business schools. Twenty five years ago I had to create my own course of study to get the knowledge. Not only does it prepare you to start up your own business, but employers look to these candidates to manage operations where a knowledge of all aspects of business are required.
I can't stress enough the value of education when one is looking at self employment. SCORE and other programs are helpful, but knowledge will help you succeed.
I wrote my business plan two years ago after reading mimifix's Start & Run a Home-Based Food Business. Her book helped me set up my business. Too bad many of these new people don't make legal businesses. The last two markets I had lots of muffins and cookies left but the newbies sold out. Muffins 50 cents each, cookies three for $1.00. At the end of the day one lady asked me if I knew how to price everything since she thought she lost money. I told her she needs to write a business plan. She said she didn't have time for that.
This book is availble through amazon in the UK, it has a great section on business plans, e-commerce, costs/profits and lots more.
Im thinking about a business too. It is way way in the future but I found two books that helped. Starting a Part Time Food Business... by Jennifer Lewis and Hone-Based Food Business by Mimi Shotland. Both from Amazon. They have many recources, web sites and direct you to your Small Business Admin, SCORE, etc. in your state or Canada. The one by Mimi Shotland comes with a Disc. with sample and outlines of business plansd, ledgers and ideas for marketing.