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business plan

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by HBFOXJr, Feb 8, 2003.

  1. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    For those that have done official business plans regardless of the reason, define the impact it has made on your operation .

    How quickly were the changes noticed?

    Have things evolved a lot since then or has it been used as a tool to keep focused on the object of the original plan(s)?
  2. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    I had a 20 page business plan when I purchased my business. Not only was it very helpful in getting a biz loan, I found it helped me direct the business in the right direction, and helped me predict cash flow for the first two years. I would like to make another one, as we are branching into landscaping (I'm just a procrastinator and never get to it):) It is one thing to say what changes you want to make, but if you spend time to create a business plan, and put it in writing, it compells you to actually do something.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501


    Although you can still be sucessful in business without a plan, IMHO, a business plan helps put the odds for success in your favor.

    "Wingin it" these days are ok if you're just doing this kind of work and only to make a couple of extra bucks each week. On the contrary, if it's your livelihood, a sound business plan is needed.

    "If you don't know where you're going, how will you know if you ever get there?"
  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Tell me some of the things it made you do that you may not have done with out it.
  5. Precision Care

    Precision Care LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 28

    I business that fails to plan, plans to fail. I was always told that 0% of businesses that had no plan failed. There was a 50% chance that a business would succeed if it had a plan.

    All a plan is a map of where you were, where you are and where you what to go. It gives you goals to reach which makes your and your business stronger.

    There are books that can help you develop a plan. To give you an idea how to write up a plan.

    That my 2 cents.
  6. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 301

    I found it helped me on the things that you don't neccesarily think of when you are out there working. It is easy to just get up mow lawns come home and call it a day, but there is so much that needs to be done that can be easily overlooked when you don't have a plan. Planning for low points in cash flow, advertising/marketing, paper work, and driving your businesss in the direction you really want to go. If you want your business to start providing new services, you need to have a plan as well, because likely you will always be "to busy" to get around to working on it. At least thats my problem:D The biggest thing is that it helps you focus yourself on what you want to do with your business. It is basically a structured step by step process, so it doesn't all come at one, but is a gradual, and manageable process.
  7. bubble boy

    bubble boy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,020

    i had an intense plan to start, it had to be good as we were trying to get a gov grant.

    helped in the first year to keep me on track. specifically on the expenses side, allowed me to accurately predict where cash was going.

    has never really helped me on the revenue side, the nature of our biz (mainly maintenance) we know our inflows month to month.

    i've never updated it officially. but i am constantly using the knowledge gained from doing it once to predict outflows month to month. i would say that is where it helped me most-cash flow budgeting.

    but i never saw a need to make a new one. it's all in my head, or scribbled on paper on my desk. nothing i could show to, say, a bank.
  8. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Harold, I drew up my first official business plan this time last year. I'm almost embarrassed to say that, considering I was heading into my eighth year. As most have said, it really DID give me a plan to follow. To me, the improvement was seen this past season, my sales were way up, and more importantly, the bottom line was significantly better.
    I really didn't make any groundbreaking changes. I got rid of unprofitable, distant, or complainer accounts. I won't take the account if it's out of my range or it seems very "high maintenance". I can turn down the account knowing that I am following my plan.
    It has helped me when making equipment decisions, too. One was buying the enclosed trailer to cut the wasted time at the yard in the morning and at night. I also started replacing some of the backpack blowers, string trimmers, and hedge clippers rather than to continue fixing them. My overall equipment expense was actually down from the year before.
    Most importantly, I think this past season was the least chaotic and stressful because I had a plan to follow. It helped not having those complainers anymore, too.:D Mike

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