Why You Need to Write a Business Plan
By writing a detailed and thorough plan, you'll be able to flesh out the financial and marketing plans for your business. A well-thought-out plan will serve as a blueprint for your business, helping you organize and run your business more effectively and enabling you to achieve your goals and objectives.
A business plan will help you run your business. Your well-written business plan will be the primary document you give potential investors if you need to raise money through outside investors or loans. They'll look at your concept, your marketing plan, your resume, and your financial statements to make a decision. In the future, you will also be able to use your business plan to see whether your goals have become reality. Assess your strengths and weaknesses, and revise your business plan as necessary.
Show your plan to some successful businesspeople whose opinions you trust to get their feedback and ideas. Befriend an established caterer or two and let them look at the plan to see if they think it's realistic.
Your final business plan should contain an executive summary, a mission statement, a business overview, a market analysis, a competitive analysis, a marketing plan, an operations plan, and a financial plan. Your executive summary will appear first, but you should write it last, after you have completed your research and have a firm handle on your financial information and your marketing plan.
Even if you don't need investors to assist with your initial costs, you still need to develop the financial statements to have an idea about how many catering jobs you'll need to do to make a profit. Assemble a budget showing your planned monthly expenses, as well as any large capital expenditures you'll need to make for any equipment or for a vehicle. You'll also need to do a cash flow analysis to understand how much money you'll need to run the business.
Visit your local Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) office. SCORE is a not-for-profit organization that matches entrepreneurs with experienced, retired business executives. SCORE's experts can provide guidance and advice with your business plan and with other aspects of your business planning (
Running the financial models will let you know how much business you need to generate to make a profit. It will also help you gauge whether the prices you've set are appropriate and reasonable. By constructing a budget, you'll be able to tell if your business plan is in line with industry standards.
More than half of new businesses fail within the first year. You should do everything you can to avoid being part of that statistic by carefully planning. Make sure you start with eight to twelve months of operating expenses in the bank. An established bank account and an affordable line of credit can help keep you afloat until you establish yourself.
Launching Your Brand
By developing a detailed marketing plan, you'll have a step-by-step guide for how to introduce potential customers to your services and your new brand. By breaking down the plan into actionable tasks and creating a marketing calendar, the job of marketing your business and launching your brand won't seem as daunting.