PDA

View Full Version : Business Plan


NYLAWNMAN01
06-17-2007, 11:51 AM
Can someone help me out with like an outline on writing up a business plan???What needs to be included in it? What info? I am clueless where to start..Thanks

Petr51488
06-17-2007, 01:21 PM
Google it. I pretty much had a whole college class on this topic. There's tons of things that should be in it. Marketing, Pricing, Objectives, SWOT analysis, financial sheets, etc....Look it up

echeandia
06-17-2007, 03:20 PM
Buy Business Plan Pro. It will walk you through the entire process and provide samples.

wooley99
06-17-2007, 10:12 PM
http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/start/financestartup/ SBA_TRAINING_ONLINECOURSES.html

grassnazi1
06-17-2007, 11:25 PM
Business Plans contain 7 basic elements and are written in a 3rd person format. (so dont say I, we etc) A good reference site for writing a business plan would be www.bplans.com I wouldnt reccomend using Business Plan Pro software, they leave out some VERY important information and my banker friends think it's a joke when someone comes in with a Pro Bplan. So here's a outline to follow and use these as formats for your plan.

-Title page (list your business name, address, numbers, website etc and who YOU are)
-Cover letter-Include who you are and EXACT amount of funding you are seeking
-1) Executive Summary (do this last, its a couple paragraphs on all the other sections of the plaN)
-2) Product/Service- Clearly and technically describe all your products and services in GREAT detail (include pictures etc)
-3) Market- Include your Total Market, Primary Market, Target Market and Competition in this section.
-4) Facility Section- Give a physical address, sketch out a floor plan of your facility on graph paper, list your Capital Equipment you need in a list with prices
-5) Sales- List how you intend to advertise, promote, distribute your services, List all different forms of media and how much it cost and who your using.
-6) Management- List all your credentials, what qualifies you to run this business, any relevan expericemce, list who makes the decisions in your company, who your Accountant, lawyer, Insurance companies are and any pertners etc.
7) Financials- This is a *****..... You need to list financial FUTURE projections-FOR 3 YEARS!! This includes a profit/loss 3 year projection, Break even 4 year, balance sheet 3 years and Key business ratios as well as a pro forma cash flow summary showing how you are going to use EVERY dime you are asking for.

Basically, thats the outline of a GOOD business plan, it is ALSO the exact format EVERY SINGLE LENDER IN THE US IS LOOKING FOR! If its not in this format, chances are VERY GOOD they will not review or even consider your plan, so you really need to pay attention on how you put it together, if you dont understand the terms i used, go to the library and do a little research, or PM me and i might be able to help you put something together. Hope this helped.

MOWEMJEFF
06-18-2007, 01:14 AM
I'm not sure how much business plan pro is but I used it for a class project a year ago and the BP seemed cut and try with not much personal touch. Go to a used bookstore and get a cheap textbook based on this topic would be my opinion. I have one favorite teacher from college who I still email whenever I have a question and have him proof anything I do just to get advice from someone who knows the textbook methods of business.

NYLAWNMAN01
06-18-2007, 05:37 PM
Now this may sound stupid but do I really need to do this if im going to be doing this myself? And who is getting this plan and the purpose of writing one?

MOWEMJEFF
06-18-2007, 09:21 PM
The people who will judge your business plan are often the reason you absolutely need one such as banks. The the person who will use the business plan is you, it will help you set goals and meet all the different parts of the whole business spectrum other then just mowing lawns, because theres a lot more to running a succesful full time business then just the work itself.

grassnazi1
06-19-2007, 01:18 PM
Couldnt agree more with MOWEMJEFF..... The business plan is not only a tool to assist you in getting financing, it is ALSO a tool to help you grow a REAL business. A very famous line around the business world relating to the writing of a business plan is this.... "If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail" It really is just that simple. For instance.....

What do you do with your business if the phone isn't ringing and you dont have any customers wanting there lawn cut because it hasnt rained for 2 weeks?? Your plan should have this covered and you can see EXACTLY what you planned on doing in this down time.

What do you do when you have $5500 bucks total at the end of the year and are worried about the winter months?? Again, look in your plan and see how you budgeted for this and what you need to live on and do for the winter months.,...

Only 2 generic examples but you will quickly see how valuable a tool this can be if you only take the time and put the effort into doing it now. Hope this helps.

NYLAWNMAN01
06-19-2007, 08:46 PM
Thanks for the replies....Is there any programs that does it for me all I have to do is enter the information I want. I am not that good with stuff like this...thanks matt

lawnman_scott
06-19-2007, 09:12 PM
For a small lawn maintenance/landscaping business I think a business plan is a waste of time. How do you project sales 3-4 years out? How can you possibly estimate costs of maintenance for equipment that doesnt even exist? 30-40 pages???????? And a bank will look at this from a new landscaper?

Look at the building business credit thread instead of wasting time on a business plan unless you have impecible personal credit, then you may have a snowballs chance in hell.

To those who are going to bash me, if you dont mind: What equipment will you have in 4 years, how many customers and what will your gross income be? And how will you get those customers? Dont forget to figure in advertizing costs going up every year.

I kinda feel for the poor guy who didnt figure on Katrina hitting and raising the price of gas forever.

NYLAWNMAN01
06-19-2007, 09:29 PM
Lawnman i was thinking the same thing when I was debating whether or not to write one up. I will read over some stuff n the other threads you mentioned. I really didnt want to waste my time writing one up. I am also gona talk to my cousin who is a financial planner/advisor this weekend and ask his opinion whether i need one.

MOWEMJEFF
06-20-2007, 12:17 AM
Luckily for me I did mine as a final project in one of my business classes so I had extra motivation. But if your goal is to simply keep a few bucks in your pocket, do all the work yourself with the equipment you have then by all means don't write one. If in 3-4 years you want to have built your company to the point that youhave to have 2 guys either working for you or working with you then you should definitly have one. I know that if I am doing this by myself in 2 years just making ends meet then that is not good enough for me. So ask yourself is this to make some money over the next year or 2 or is this to make not only ends meet but the luxuries of life possible.

lawnman_scott
06-20-2007, 12:54 AM
Luckily for me I did mine as a final project in one of my business classes so I had extra motivation. But if your goal is to simply keep a few bucks in your pocket, do all the work yourself with the equipment you have then by all means don't write one. If in 3-4 years you want to have built your company to the point that youhave to have 2 guys either working for you or working with you then you should definitly have one. I know that if I am doing this by myself in 2 years just making ends meet then that is not good enough for me. So ask yourself is this to make some money over the next year or 2 or is this to make not only ends meet but the luxuries of life possible.Well I was able to accomplish all of that without a written business plan. Just had some good ideas in my head. I'm not trying to start an argument, just a debate, but can you awnser any of the questions in my previous post?

Things change. I just think 3-4 years out is a fantasy, just my opinion.

grassnazi1
06-20-2007, 07:48 AM
well, the harvard school of business has a pretty decent outline, which is kind of a fill in the blank. Send me a PM with your email and I can forward it to you.

wooley99
06-20-2007, 05:00 PM
I did one before I started up two months ago. I don't think anyone has read it but my wife and I, but I did it to see if I thought this would be a viable way to make a living and if I thought I could survive the first two years. The out year projections are pretty much fantasy but at least you are setting written goals. I used the templates on the SBA site, they're free. Your local college probably has a small business cooperation office too. They have free software and their counseling is free too but they will probably tell you how you'll fail.

good luck and happy writing

lawnman_scott
06-21-2007, 09:34 PM
For a small lawn maintenance/landscaping business I think a business plan is a waste of time. How do you project sales 3-4 years out? How can you possibly estimate costs of maintenance for equipment that doesnt even exist? 30-40 pages???????? And a bank will look at this from a new landscaper?

Look at the building business credit thread instead of wasting time on a business plan unless you have impecible personal credit, then you may have a snowballs chance in hell.

To those who are going to bash me, if you dont mind: What equipment will you have in 4 years, how many customers and what will your gross income be? And how will you get those customers? Dont forget to figure in advertizing costs going up every year.

I kinda feel for the poor guy who didnt figure on Katrina hitting and raising the price of gas forever.Do other people think that by ignoring my questions it shows that they are largly unawnserable, making a business plan virtually useless in this business?

grassnazi1
06-21-2007, 11:06 PM
Your questions are ridiculous.... Feel for the peeple who planned for Katrina?! what is that crap? at least the people of Katrina had some paper in their hand, which was a lot more then your business credit! Also, you obviously have NEVER spoken to a banker because YES they would expect a 3 year financial projection from a landscape company... What equipment you ask? It's a variable for everyone, that's why NO ONE has the exact same business but have you EVER heard of a thing called Depreciation rates on equipment and how the BUSINESS PLAN accounts for tool replacement?! Customer base is a simple numbers crunch between population increase, which infact dictats your advertising and WHAT type of media you will be using to advertise. For everyone other then YOU, i would highly reccomend putting a plan together, it accounts for a lot of factors and places your business in a tangible stage and gives you a VERY clear idea of where you are at and will be able to telly ou if you are even going to make money doing this. So for the uneducated lazy individuals, work on pressing the business credit with crap companies so you can have a 2k spending limit on your Sears card, for anyone who seriosuly wants to get into business and takes time to research the issue before opening their mouth, I would start with a plan.

lawnman_scott
06-21-2007, 11:36 PM
Your questions are ridiculous.... Feel for the peeple who planned for Katrina?! what is that crap? at least the people of Katrina had some paper in their hand, which was a lot more then your business credit! Also, you obviously have NEVER spoken to a banker because YES they would expect a 3 year financial projection from a landscape company... What equipment you ask? It's a variable for everyone, that's why NO ONE has the exact same business but have you EVER heard of a thing called Depreciation rates on equipment and how the BUSINESS PLAN accounts for tool replacement?! Customer base is a simple numbers crunch between population increase, which infact dictats your advertising and WHAT type of media you will be using to advertise. For everyone other then YOU, i would highly reccomend putting a plan together, it accounts for a lot of factors and places your business in a tangible stage and gives you a VERY clear idea of where you are at and will be able to telly ou if you are even going to make money doing this. So for the uneducated lazy individuals, work on pressing the business credit with crap companies so you can have a 2k spending limit on your Sears card, for anyone who seriosuly wants to get into business and takes time to research the issue before opening their mouth, I would start with a plan.
Just as I figured. You bashed me with your opinion (your wrong on everything you think). How much was your loan at the bank?

PS--- You forgot to awnser any of my questions. Is that because you cant? Of course it is. By the way, I dont have a sears card, but do have a loan through ford & a m/c with a nice limit. And I have been around a bit longer than you.

So go ahead give my your predictions for 3 years out. I am GUESSING about $350,000 gross per year.