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DiSantolandscaping
11-20-2011, 10:27 AM
ok so i have a few accounts, and so on. I figured out all of my over head and got insurance and so on. The question i have is i wrote up a five page business plan. but what do i do with it now? I really want to go full time this spring, so i plan on making flyers, business cards, word of mouth and so on.

lukemelo216
11-20-2011, 12:33 PM
I guess it all depends on the content of your business plan. A business plan should be reviewed at least once per year. It should be the core of your business. Meaning it has your mission and vision statements in it. Your target market, what your niche will be. How your going to seperate your self from the competition. Growth projections, long term and short term goals, market strategy, your services, financial management, how you plan on getting business, the structure of your company, etc. I strongly suggest visiting SBA.gov and reviewing what they state about a business plan. A business plan is the road map to your business. Too often people will just write up a business plan and then it gets put in the back of the file and then thats it, or they revisit it every 2 or 3 years. In our industry realistically it should probably be reviewed at the beginning and end of the season.

a business plan isnt just about what forms your going to advertise. Its about all those things I listed above, and much much more. Any person you deal with (banker, accountant, business consultant, etc) will request a business plan from you.

DiSantolandscaping
11-20-2011, 01:38 PM
ok thanks im not asking the banks for money so ill just hold on to it and review by the start of the spring season and then review it again at the end of next season.

lukemelo216
11-20-2011, 08:00 PM
im not saying you just need it to deal with the banks or something. I am saying they will request one from you if you ask them for a loan or a line of credit or whatever. I actually didnt even ask my bank for any money, but when I sat down to talk to my banker about opening an account he requested one, and I got it to him. When I eventually did ask for a line of credit he said sure thing. Not just becasue of the business plan, but ecasue I stay in constent contact with my bank. usually every quarter I go in and sit down with him, bring him in some P/L sheets and he reviews them and adds them to my file, and he helps me with my growth. I run future ideas by him and costs associated with them and what I believe they will bring me and he gives me input.

But aside from that, a business plan is an extremely important part of your business. My first one was 15 pages, and i believe now its upwards of about 30 or so. You cant just re read it and say ok, and put it back in the drawer. You should review it, make notes about what you wanted to achieve and what the actual results were. Make changes to it where its needed. Maybe you were doing strictly mowing and suddenly your picking up landscape renovations and installs, and you originally werent planning to do so, but realize its a hard area to pass up. As soon as that happens and you make the decision to go ahead and work your way more into that, you should be sitting down creating a budget for it, listing goals, projections of that service, etc.

GMLC
11-21-2011, 07:00 AM
Great news you have a business plan! Your already ahead of the game. Part of your plan should include how to implement it. I know it can be tough in the winter but it can be done. I would start by networking and getting active in your community. Make sure people know you and your business by name. That way when spring comes you have a head start and people will think of you!

Roger
11-22-2011, 08:41 AM
I echo other comments here that commend you on getting this step done. Without a business plan, you are just wandering, with no goal, nothing to use as a guide in making strategic decisions. The time to get the strategy in order is beforehand, not while in the midst of turmoil and making decisions.

For the "now what?" my suggestion is to find two or three people with business experience, and proven records of success. Sit with them, as a group, or individually, and ask them to review your plan. Be open to constructive criticism and suggestions. These people do not have to have experience in your industry, but rather (and more important) a good understanding of business planning, strategy, goal setting, growth patterns, compliance, etc. They will be able to ask you questions you have failed to ask yourself, questions that can be important for your success. Maybe they are questions you did not want to ask yourself.

Yes, having a good plan may be important for outside exchanges (e.g. banker). But, it is far more important at this stage for YOU. It is one thing to "think of things," but yet another to articulate your ideas on paper, where those ideas can be scrutinized.

I doubt you will find any business course, any business consultant or business group, who will tell you to ignore this important part of your business start-up. Ignoring a good business plan, and using it, is a menu for mediocrity.

LindblomRJ
11-23-2011, 10:45 AM
I echo other comments here that commend you on getting this step done. Without a business plan, you are just wandering, with no goal, nothing to use as a guide in making strategic decisions. The time to get the strategy in order is beforehand, not while in the midst of turmoil and making decisions.

For the "now what?" my suggestion is to find two or three people with business experience, and proven records of success. Sit with them, as a group, or individually, and ask them to review your plan. Be open to constructive criticism and suggestions. These people do not have to have experience in your industry, but rather (and more important) a good understanding of business planning, strategy, goal setting, growth patterns, compliance, etc. They will be able to ask you questions you have failed to ask yourself, questions that can be important for your success. Maybe they are questions you did not want to ask yourself.

Yes, having a good plan may be important for outside exchanges (e.g. banker). But, it is far more important at this stage for YOU. It is one thing to "think of things," but yet another to articulate your ideas on paper, where those ideas can be scrutinized.

I doubt you will find any business course, any business consultant or business group, who will tell you to ignore this important part of your business start-up. Ignoring a good business plan, and using it, is a menu for mediocrity.

This. Even if your goal is have enough to "just get by" you should still have a plan. Eventually a person gets tired of spinning their wheels or working for peanuts. If you're happy making "just enough" that is well and good. But you still have a business and should run it as a business instead of a job or a hobby.