Business plans are long. And lengthy. And should really take you a while to make. But what is a business plan? A business plan usually plans and outlines the projected losses and earnings for 2-4 years. But if you’re anything like me, business plans probably look like the last thing you want to sit down and write up when dreaming out your future restaurant or commercial kitchen. I would rather pick out furniture and restaurant equipment and leave it for someone else to sit down and write out a bunch of boring math equations that show how much I’m going to be spending and making.
One Fat Frog has addressed how to write a business plan here.
And here, here, here, here, here, here, aaaannnnd here.
(Hey, I told you, business plans are long. And lengthy. And take a while.) They are much more technical than this discussion will be, and when you have time, I really suggest that you read them as they are full of useful information.
And let’s be honest here, Google is pretty terrible at making business plans seem appealing and fun. There are templates upon templates of 10-50 page business plans, and I just can’t handle it. As the kids say, “I can’t even-“. So I sat down, read through a bunch of other people’s business plans, and came up with the questions that are answered most commonly in business plans.
- What will you sell or offer?
- You must first decide what your product will be. What product or service will you be offering?
- Who will buy it?
- How will your business idea help people?
- You need to decide what will draw people in. How will you market your product or service (no one will spend their expendable income on a product or service that is not beneficial).
- What will you charge?
- How will you get paid?
- What form of payment will you accept: cash, check, credit cards (remember you will typically have to pay a fee for credit card transactions), paypal (also typically charges a fee for large transactions), money orders, bartering (probably not the best if you’re planning on paying taxes and such, just sayin’)
- How else will you make money from this project?
- Will you do anything else to bring in money?
- How will customers learn about your business?
- How can you encourage customers?
So, while you’re in the business of making business plans, keep these questions in mind.