Who should write your business plan?
My husband and I recently bought a food truck for healthy cuisine on-the-go. We've done a few 'soft opens' the past few weekends at smaller venues, but have yet to go anywhere that would attract too many customers. This is mainly because we feel like we are not ready since we don't have a business plan. We are both first time entrepreneurs and have never written one. If not us, who should write our business plan?
Eric Kaufman provided some excellent advice. You may want to obtain additional assistance, in person. I suggest you get some coaching to develop the business plan together. You can engage a professional consultant and/or you can contact SCORE (score.org) or the Small Business Administration (sba.gov) for coaching, free tools, free advice. Good luck!
Great to see that you are Up and running. Thats a big first step.
I have read most of the comments , which are fine. and Yes like the others the only person who should be putting the business plan together is "Both of you".
The main reason is that you have to own it.
I won't spend time covering the other points, that's already been done.
I just want to add a few more points for you to consider, within your plan.
1) Remember the BP is your road map. it is not a document that you just do once and put away in a draw. It should be a living document that you review, and adjust.
Some people may say that's once you have done it, that's it and it's in stone.
Things change all the time, great businesses always adapt.
2) The BP should be designed to take away the emotional side of your business. By this I mean that it is a document that is in black and white. Something that some plans fail to include is a "Exit" Strategy. They plan for the good times, but not the hard times. Great businesses plan for both, they include a savings strategy, a purchasing strategy, a countermeasures strategy, Risk analyses, including off road due to illness, or accident, even a bottom line When to consider walking away, before the business takes everything away from you. If you face this in your planning, you will also have an exit road map. So that when the emotional times come, you have already have some guidance within your plan. THis part of the plan we hope and trust will never have to be used. but at least by having it there you will be objective.
3) within the Marketing plan one should be asking:
A) What is it that I can bring that is different and or better than the others.
B) Why should my business exist.
C) You should also think from your customers perspective, and at least answer this one question that they will be thinking but may not actually say, and that is: "What's in it for me?" ONce you know that you should be telling them without actually stating it.
Good luck with your new business, you are on the right track, it is always amazing just how many new business start up and never think about putting down a business plan. Some will succeed, but many more will fail.
Like they say If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.
Rgds, George. - Melbourne Australia.
Business plans serve two primary purposes: to design a way to grow and run your business and as a means of obtaining financing. The financing business plans should be done by someone experienced in this area. The operating business plans should be written by you, the business owner.
I've seen many types of business plans, from 1 page to 30! You should be able to craft a well thought out plan in under 10 pages. Here are the areas to concentrate on:
1. A summary of your business and what you want to accomplish. Describe your business in detail and why you chose to get into this type of business.
2. Mission, vision and values. People want to know who you are and what you stand for.
3. Key goals and objectves. This is important for staying on track and focused.
4. Target market & customer profile: You must know exactly who your best customers are and what they want.
5. Product & service description.
6. Competitive envirnoment: What are your customers other choices and what separates you from them.
7. Marketing Strategy and Sales Process; Where will you spend your time promoting your business.
8. Revenue and expense projections.
9. Operating plan: How will you operate your business every day? Who's involved, what are their roles? How will you turn a profit?
10. Business development and growth sechule: What and when will you take action on that will grow your business.
Going through a process like this will uncover a myriad of things you need to consider before actually diving in. It's important to anticipate issues and opportunities before you step in them. Once you have created a first draft, give it to someone with business building experience and let them evaluate it. Then, write your final plan.
Keep your business plan with you always. It's your road map. It won't do much good sitting on a book shelf somewhere.
Whoa, hold on there! Put that key back into the ignition. You know how it feels when the engine is running. You also know now how it feels when you're paying attention to a pack of scardy cats.
You better 'grow up quickly' you'll say to your friends and young'uns when you turn your back on fear and head straight into hopefulness, fulfillment, satisfaction, smiles, and knowing you're right even if it's a close call with red ink!
When are you going to make yourself happy with you?
Forget that pack of nay-saying, hibernating bears only hungry for a growl and a choke on the flowers of life.
Now, start your engines, it's a race to your happiness, get there, now!
Greg Linn 417-520-6741
Hi Heather--I am an accountant in Chicago who works with restaurants and food trucks. Perhaps we could help each other. If you would be willing to be a "case study" I could help you set up your books and financial systems to make sure you get off on the right foot and do not run afoul of state/fed tax regulations before you even know you have.
Let me know if you are interested I'd love to jump on a quick call.
Congratulations on your business venture! I celebrate your healthy food truck focus. Yes, it seems you need a Strategic Business Framework that includes your, WHY, a Vision Statement, Core Values that drive decision making, a Competitive Edge, problems you solve, value you bring, why do business with you, and a Mission Statement of the WHAT and HOW of every day to guide you to work not only "IN" your business, but "ON" your business.
Your framework will drive your branding, target market, marketing, and sales to achieve success!
I'd welcome the opportunity to learn more about your purpose, focus, and goals. Choose to invest your time and energy in activities to achieve the results YOU desire!
I believe you should write your own business plan. Here's a free, easy to use business plan template from ThinkBusiness. It's worth practicing your plan before you present it to anyone. https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/business-plan-template/
As most of the suggestions above:
Ideally you are the best person to write down on your plan by considering your end goal, then available resources to how would you arrange for resources. Since you have your own unique ideas of business or inspired idea from other similar businesses, that would give you an idea as to how they market products. Basically business plan has two major purpose 1) How would you achieve the goal 2) How would you acquire required resources to achieve the Goal.
Now depending on specific purpose from above 1 & 2.
Ex: To achieve goal what would be you business plan - you can get information say marketing professional
OR To obtain Finances or banking facilities - you can get information say from Chartered Accountant.
Of course going forward when you exponentially grow to a chain, you can revise your strategic business plans by having a CEO (Which I wish for you)
All the best for your business.
As they say, if you do not have a business plan you do not have a business. I suggest reading "Four Steps to Epiphany" by Steve Blank. Then read the other books he mentions.
I am a business attorney and I always recommend that my clients write their own business plans, because if you are going to run the business you need to be a part of making the plan. The example I always give is this. Say you hire someone to do your business plan. They decide that you should have an ad on the outside back page of the yellow pages, which costs, depending on your market, $5,000 or more per month. You do it only to discover that your customers don't look for you using the yellow pages. You are in a long term commitment to pay for advertising that is not based on what you want to do with your business, but on assumptions that someone else made. It doesn't make sense.