I see that a lot of you on here have your own shop. Did you have a business plan or did you just open the shop. I've been working on plan but it seems so hard because I currently am working out of my home (I know it is illegal) I really need the money to make ends meet though. Does anyone have a sample one that I can look at (especially if you started from home) TIA
Unless you are paying for everything yourself ... no loans ... then you HAVE to have a biz plan. I am more than happy to share mine. It's about 40 pages, took me close to a year to complete it. (THe good news is that when I did a biz plan for another area we are trying to penetrate, it only took me about a week to plug in the new numbers and data!)
PM me your direct email and I'll send you a copy.
I have found the Small Business Association in my area to be very helpful in this area. They have conferences to teach you how to do a business plan & many other areas are addressed. Google it & you can get most of the info that you need. They have even called me back to see how I'm coming along & inquire if I needed any additional help. I was very surprised at this & very encouraged.
The absolute best place to start with information regarding a small business is WWW.SCORE.ORG
There you will find templates for everything, business plans, financials statements, marketing, etc. They should even have local counselors and training available in your area that will help you get everything you need ready to present to the SBA when you apply for a loan. They are an invaluable resource and they work for free, so definitely take advantage of everything they have to offer.
I feel that even if you are not going to get a loan to open your business it is still really important to make a business plan. It will force you to think about aspects of your business that didn't know that you needed to be concerned with. I think that it forces you to be more prepared. There is not a specific formula that every plan must have. Each one is tailored to fit the business.
IMHO the most important thing in a plan is the exit strategy. I know that when you are planning the business of your dreams you so not want to think negative thoughts. Most banks will not talk to you unless you have a feasible exit plan in place.
Sometimes it is easier to write something like this if you are answering questions. Here are a few of the questions you need to answer.
A brief description of the companyÂ´s history.
Description of product/services.
1. How product will be made?
2. Management- who they are and qualifications.
3. What will it take to make a profit - break-even analysis.
4. How much money are you seeking (if applicable)?
5. How will the money be paid back (if applicable)?
Purpose of the business
1. What do you want to accomplish?
2. Mission statement.
3. Description of the business.
1. What is the market need for your product/service?
2. Complete a description of your product/service.
3. What is the cost and profit of each product/service? Describe the breakeven point.
4. What are the major sources of competition?
5. Proprietary features - should your product/service have a patent or trademark?
Are there opportunities for future development to make your product/service better?
1. Market research - size of market and how long has it existed, what are the barriers to entry and growth?
2. Target market - who will buy your product/service?
3. Where do most of your sales occur?
4. How much do you expect to sell?
1. Define your advantage - what is the difference between your product/service and your competitors? Why should someone buy from you over a competitor?
2. Evaluate the competition - what is the size of your competition, how long have they been around?
3. Pricing Strategy - is your price competitive?
4. Distribution channels to be used?
5. Promotion - how will you tell others of your product/service; and budget.
1. Identify organizational structure and key employees.
2. Provide resumes for each key person.
3. Identify management skills.
4. Professional services.
5. Will you provide any technical or specialty services?
Schedule of events
1. List critical dates.
2. Make short term goals.
3. Project long term goals.
4. Identify problems, barriers or risks and solutions.
1. Refine your financial statements.
2. What are the start-up expenses?
3. Sources of funds?
4. Equity - ownersÂ´ investments.
6. Use of Funds.
7. 12 month Cash Flow Analysis - how will you pay creditors/personnel and bills; when will you receive payment of sales?
8. Sales Forecast.
9. Income Projection.
10. Operation Expenses.
11. Methods of financial reporting you will use.
12. Breakeven Analysis.
13. Balance Sheet - Assets and Liabilities.
HTH If anyone was any questions please PM me I will help any way I can.
I feel that even if you are not going to get a loan to open your business it is still really important to make a business plan. It will force you to think about aspects of your business that didn't know that you needed to be concerned with. I think that it forces you to be more prepared.
I could not agree MORE!!! It is a FABULOUS exercise to go thru. I am SO glad you posted this comment!