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Business plan questions

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by kc2006, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I'm about to put together a business plan for this year and I have a question. I've been looking at some different structures for business plans and they all make me wonder. Whats their real point? I printed out one that Gopher has on their site, its about 2.5 pages long of questions. Its pretty similar to others that I have they all basicly have the same questions.

    Now looking at the questions, what is this going to do for me by writing this all out? I've never really understood how it will benefit me and thats why I didn't make one last year. Ignorance. Everyone says the old saying "No one plans to fail, they fail to plan" well I agree, but the business plans that I'm looking at really do nothing for me. I know who my competition is (everyone), I know where my business is and what legal structure it is. I don't know fully what my competitions strengths and weaknesses are.

    I already have a marketing plan written out, that was a big help to me, it keeps everything orginized and I know when to take action with each different method and it makes sure I get it all done. Is that basicly what a business plan is going to offer me?

    Sorry for such a stupid question, but I was just wondering what everyones view is on a business plan. Don't bash me here, I'm all for it, and I will sit down and write it all out, but I almost feel lost doing it because I don't fully know why I am. I do know why I am, but I don't, as strange as that sounds.
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    A business plan can be simple IE I need to make X amount of money.
    Or it can be very complex, the size of the company determines the scope of the plan. The most important part of the plan is knowing your cost, and how much $$$ you expect to earn. Then you fill in the blanks with how you expect to get from your cost to your profit. IE you have 25k in cost and want to net 75k for the yr. now plan on how many new customers or services it will take to get you there and add in an extra 10% margin for a cushion. Writing it out will make it easier to stay focased on the goal and how you have to arrive at it
  3. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Messages: 1,796

    Well there are various reasons, raising capital for instance. Shows that you have thought out how you will make money. Basically its the product of doing your homework on the industry, where you stand against the competition, what your distinctive competency is in regard to the industry,potential weaknesses or pitfalls. What will it do for you? Hard to say, maybe nothing. If you feel you don't need one, don't write one. Demographic analysis,competition, the structure of the business and all that info will help if you sell it eventually and you will have to have one if you decide to franchise because that is more or less what you do with a franchise is buy a plan. It's pretty in depth work to make one. I'd say its a good thing to have, especially if you're starting out but if you are well established and have no intent of selling then maybe you should not write one. Up to you. No 2 are the same that I have seen because everyones business is different. Check out SCORE.org and ask to talk to a rep in your area if you really decide to do one.
  4. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Thanks guys. Thats basicly what I thought. It will be nice to have it all written down so I can stay focused as Mac said.

    I'll check out score.org too
  5. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    On another note, if the need for financing arises, most lending institutions will ask to see a copy of your business plan. Lots of folks forget, when trying to get a business loan, you are trying to sell yourself and your business to the bank. A well thought out, comprehensive and visually appealing packaged business plan can make the difference.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    A detailed business plan written out on paper or on your computer is something you can always refer to...unlike something that is just "in your head" (of which will probably be forgotten) over time.

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