Before beginning any business it is recommended that you make a plan or, at least, write a small business plan.
Having a business plan available from the start is a valuable asset for any business owner no matter how much you know about the product or service.
The reason you want a business plan can vary depending on what type of business you are considering to start or already running.
You can look at it as being a sales document or pamphlet, like a brochure to a nice exotic place.
Your plan will confidently inform people understand what your business is all about, in a clean and concise manner, and with the enthusiasm that your business will succeed.
The plan will also show that you have the level of dedication that is needed to make your business successful.
Depending on the type of business the plan can include information on the owner, location, type of services or products, expected number of customers and potential net income.
It is a document that will explain to potential investors that you are well worth the investment as you show present and future outcomes.
Once you have decided what type of business you would like to start but before you begin buying equipment or tools, before you start any other part of setting up your business, you should be preparing your business plan.
Honestly, I look at a business plan similar to preparing for a holiday trip.
A roadmap from where you are starting to where you want to be.
Sure you can wing it, jump in your car and drive, but if you didn’t plan it right, you may be left stranded on the side of the road, with a flat tire, empty gas tank and no money left in your pockets.
To plan your ‘Business Trip” you’ll probably have your brochure with all the beautiful pictures and one-liners to give a good outline of what to expect from your business.
Similarly to having a map, you can have an overview of where you are starting from and where you expect to be at specific points along the way.
Of course, you will need a calendar with dates marked where you expect to be on specific dates along your way, providing you opportunities to review your plan to ensure you do not get lost or sidetracked to reaching your goals.
Then there is always the need for the wallet, the moola, the financial part, how much you need to get started and operate, and how much you or your investor expects to make from the business.
If you don’t need investors then sometimes writing a business plan is just for yourself.
Again, mainly to ensure you have a plan and understand the challenges you may meet on the way so you can deal with them and allow you to review it on an ongoing basis to stay the course.
A proper business plan should allow you to anticipate many obstacles you may encounter on the way and work through them with the tools you’ve prepared in advance.
Need Money to Start Your Business? Have your Business Plan Ready!
Some are not so fortunate to start a business without getting some financial backing. In such cases, most lending institutions will not even look at you if you don’t have a proper business plan in place.
As mentioned earlier, having a business plan prepared in advance of meeting your potential investors shows confidence and dedication in making your business venture a success.
Let’s summarize the reasons for a business plan.
- Describe your business clearly for yourself and/or for lenders and investors
- Understand the steps required to set up and run your business
- Recognize obstacles that you are likely to meet along the way
- Have a plan in place if or when your business grows
- Prepare for selling or transferring your business
Ok now for the how to write a business plan.
Most business plans use common sections to be successful. You may require to add or remove some sections by considering what type of business you are planning to start.
Common Sections Of A Business Plan
- Executive Summary
- Business Strategy
- Marketing Strategy
- Operational Plan
- Analysis of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and possible obstacles
- Human resources requirements
- Plan for social responsibility
- Online Business Strategy
- Show me the money! Financial forecasts
- Strategy for leaving or selling the business
Ok, you may be thinking, “That it is a lot of sections! Do I really want to start a business?”
That question would be a good indication to see if you are ready to take on this new challenge.
Sure there may be many sections to fill out, but if you are passionate about making your business succeed, this is a very important first step on the path to success.
Alright, let’s get down to business at seeing what each of those sections have within them.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see that some sections can be quite short and that is an important point.
You don’t want to overcomplicate your plan.
When writing your plan you want to pretend that the person reading it has never heard of the type of business you are planning to start.
Keep it simple and to the point.
Here is an example of a business plan Executive Summary, keep it short and simple at 2 pages or less.
(Keep in mind that the name “WeCare4U” is fictional for example purposes only)
Executive Summary For WeCare4U
WeCare4U provides high-level, in home care services to help keep families comfortably together at home. Our team of superior caregivers will ensure your family receives the same level of care you would expect to give yourself.
The Company and Management
WeCare4U is headquartered in the City of Hereweare and incorporated in the State of Somewhere. The company is owned by Josh Sycamore. Josh is a registered nurse with over 20 years of experience in the home health care service industry.
Josh is the manager of the company but has hired an incredible team of advisers with the experience in the health care field to provide management expertise.
- Jason Lowe, RPN extended class
- Lucie Bonne, accountant
- Jennifer Lawson, communications.
Our clients are caregivers of family and friends that require assistance while they take a much needed rest from providing 24/7 care and supervision.
All these services are provided in the comfort of the client's home.
The services may include:
- personal care
- assistance with instrumental activities of daily living
- respite care
- nursing care
- shift nursing
The increase in the percentage of seniors living across North America is growing every day. With that daily growth increase there is an increased need to provide care for people with special needs due to health decline.
Market research shows a 10% growth in health care services year over year. In 10 years we will see the amount of people needing care services to go from the current 10 million to 100 million people. The research has also shown that almost 100% of those people would prefer to have the care in their own home instead of moving to a care facility.
Our Competitive Advantage
Although the current market appears to be saturated by caregiver companies only our company can provide the service and support of an RPN. This represents a huge advantage over other companies that rely on outside GP consultation. Requiring the person of need of care to attend external clinics at the schedule of the clinic.
WeCare4U avoids scheduling to see a medical professional. Our company takes care of it all from basic sitter service to performing medical procedures in the home, we have you covered.
The size of the market in the area would allow for a gross income of $100,000,000 in the first year. With the projected percentage of increase in care needs our gross income would also increase at 10% for the next 10 years.
The owner /manager will have a start up salary of $80,000 with a bonus of 10% per year if growth predictions are met.
The company already has 400 customers receiving various levels of care. The current rate of requests are exceeding the availability of staffing resources.
Finance Request for Start-up
We are requesting $200,000 to finance the next quarter to meet the current demands. The owner has already invested $100,000 to cover initial capital costs.
This is the first part in preparing your business plan. The executive summary gives the reader a good idea of what your business is about and what to expect in more detail within your business plan.
Please return soon to see an explanation and examples of all the other parts of a business plan.
If you need a template you can download one for free from BDC.
Please leave any question or comment below, we love to hear from you.