Business Plans

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by lawnkid, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 935

    This topic has been brought up quite often on this forum and I wanted to see how others did things. When I first started my business five years ago, I never had a business plan. I flew from the seat under me not having any detailed plans, just out to make money. Well over the years I picked up some things that have helped and have set goals, made budgets, and targetted certain markets etc.. but never had a technical written a business plan up until about 2 months ago. I had big visions fo rhtis year but last winter we made a big move into our shop/office and it seemed with all that goin on and all the plowing we were doin mixed in with sleep and all the other b.s., I never made time for any business plan. We have been doing very well with the maintenance end and doing small jobs but I am only slowly getting into hardscaping due to not having a lot of time with school. Next year, things will definitely be different and business from here on out will be all planned out accordingly. Anyone else care to share their honest stories about starting out and when they decided to form a business plan and so on?
     
  2. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    There are many things that I wish I had done differently, but failing to plan wasn't one of them. My favorite cliche:
    "Fail to plan and plan to fail..." right after
    "Advertise your business to customers or to buyers, it's your choice..."

    First Business Plan was created when I came into the company (4 years into business). Seems that small job contractors have a tendency to forget the little stuff, like knowing where they're going. Not all, but certainly the majority.

    Table of Contents:

    Executive Summary 1-1
    Mission 2-1
    Company Overview 3-1
    Legal Business Description 3-2
    Strategic Alliances 3-3
    Product 4-1
    Current Product 4-2
    Research and Development 4-3
    Production and Delivery 4-4
    The Market 5-1
    Market Definition 5-2
    Marketing Plan 5-4
    Sales Strategy 5-5
    Distribution Channels 5-6
    Advertising, Promotion, PR 5-7
    Competition 6-1
    Risk/Opportunity 7-1
    Management Team 8-1
    Capital Requirements 9-1
    Exit/Payback Strategy 9-2
    Financial Plan 10-1
    Assumptions 10-2
    Financial Statements 10-3
    Conclusion 10-4
    Exhibits 11-1

    A Marketing Plan was also created immediately.

    I'm not trying to sound "holier than thou" to those who don't have these things written because success isn't partial to planning, but I hope I have stressed the importance enough.
     
  3. Ron Marston

    Ron Marston LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 31

    Im working in mine asa we speake i think it will help keep me on trak and stady and is helping with bank lone a lil bit to show them what the "plan" is
     
  4. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    Use spell check before you give it to the bank.
     
  5. AJ Lawnscapes

    AJ Lawnscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 322

    LOL - was just thinking that.
     
  6. Ron Marston

    Ron Marston LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 31

    so im not a top speller this is abouit lawn ect! not my spelling and yes i do use spell check
     
  7. britsteroni

    britsteroni LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 334

    No offense but the bank will care about things like spelling. You are asking them to lend you money, competency will play a huge role in that. They will be looking for little things like that and it especially will help the professional image of yourself (which directly reflects your business). Remember, there are already 12 billion people who think they can run a lawn care/ landscaping/ show removal company, so the bank will be very hesitant to lend any money for that type of operation in the first place. You have to set yourself apart if you want to have any chance of landing a decent size loan. Just trying to help out, sorry if I came off like a jerk.
     
  8. Adam's Lawn and Garden

    Adam's Lawn and Garden LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    well, i wrote one for entrepreneurship class last year. Since then i have changed it for a graduation exit project, and there is still more i would like to change. The biggest thing i can tell you, is either decide for maintenance or install services. It's extrememly hard to do both. Don't expect to be a huge company doing installs. I can tell you though, it's hard to write one for a company that's already going. My first plan i did was all screwed up becasue the finances were for a new business, which i wasn't.

    adam
     
  9. Ron Marston

    Ron Marston LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Posts: 31

    sorry, no bank (personal loan) <<the bank let just stop i just replied to that guy post saying that biss plan is good ect lets leave it at that.............
     

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