Week 14 Business Plan Introduction: Think about your approach to writing other formal reports—what requirements were expected? Objectives: Develop your writing style to meet the expectations for writing a formal business plan. Know the format expectations for a formal
Think about your approach to writing other formal reports—what requirements were expected?
Develop your writing style to meet the expectations
for writing a formal business plan.
Know the format expectations for a formal
Name of Business
MGT253 – Owning & Operating a Small Business
[1-1/2 inches from top of page]
[2 blank lines]
Provide an introductory paragraph to each major section of your business plan. These will probably be: Marketing Plan, Management Plan, Financial Plan, and maybe Strategic Plan.
[2 blank lines]
[1 blank line]
The sub-headings help the reader move through the plan, so use them as needed. Your headings and sub-headings could be a font-size larger than your text body. This sample is using 14-point type for the body and 16-point for the headings—which are also bold. The body will be typed in single-spaced format, using 12- to 14-point type.
[1 space between paragraphs]
When your content is drawn from resources, you should include the relevant pages from those resources and reference them in a parenthetical note (see Appendix A). All your appendices will be together at the end of your plan. The page numbers will not continue, but each appendix will be labeled A, B, C, etc. You could type a cover page at the beginning of that section, and you will always label each appendix as shown on the next page of this description.
When you reach the end of a major section, just stop there (mid-page) and start the new section (Management Plan or…) as shown above.
[1-1/2 inches down, same font as prior headings]
You may want to have an introductory paragraph (as in other sections) to describe the significance of the appendix. But, in any case, your appendix should be clearly marked regarding the significance of the content. In other words, emphasize which part of the appendix display is important to your business plan content. See below:
In the above sample, I’ve copied a MapQuest image by right-clicking my mouse and choosing, “save image as”…map.jpg, then inserting it into my Word document. Then, I’ve circled my business in red and competing business areas in black. You will want to add a note or a legend to describe this on the page.
In any case, do not print the entire web-page (with all the garbage) and include it in your plan. Your appendix should look clean and professional.
In another example, as before, you will want to highlight the parts of the document or table that are important for your business plan documentation. This can be done by using a yellow highlight or a box drawn around the selected paragraph of a journal article (referenced in your business plan). Your library has many news services on-line, so it is relatively easy to copy text to a Word document, as I have done below:
For Some Small Businesses, Recession Is Good News By Stacy Perman
The current economic picture is certainly a gloomy one, with massive layoffs, bankruptcies, the collapse of financial institutions, and a severe credit crunch. But the recession has also injected life into a slew of small businesses that are thriving either in spite of or because of the economic downturn, giving new relevance to the old adage that one man's misfortune is another's opportunity.
Among those businesses that are thriving are pawn shops and thrift stores, which have traditionally catered to those in tight financial straits and which have historically seen an uptick during economic slumps. They're reporting higher volumes of business and even a broadening of their customer bases among those who have recently found themselves with greatly diminished stock portfolios or among the unemployed. "More people are trying resale than may have done before," says Adele Meyer, executive director of the National Association for Resale & Thrift Shops, a trade association based in St. Clair Shores, Mich. "And once people shop resale they realize what value and quality they're getting for the price. They become hooked, and this becomes their way of shopping." Now, many thrift stores are finding that their inventories are running especially low: Business is booming, and goods for resale aren't being replenished as fast or as easily.
Using the preceding four factors, you should describe strategies that use your strengths to take advantage of opportunities and overcome threats; and strategies to reduce weaknesses and avoid the threats to your business. The strategies should identify intermediate goals (yearly) and the marketing, management, and financial resources to be used to achieve these goals.
See sample plan for Lemon Delight
This sample plan is intended to demonstrate the appropriate writing style for a business plan. Keep in mind that it is written more concisely than your plan in order to provide you a quick study and because the business itself will be simplistic. Your business venture will require more substance and therefore will have more volume—especially the Appendices.
The business plan example will be a lemonade stand that caters to three middle-school markets. The plan is written, as much as possible, in response to the questions posed in the business plan guidelines provided in this course. These guidelines here have been used by many entrepreneurs to successfully acquire business loans and establish an operational baseline for their venture. These guidelines are reprinted in the Arizona Department of Commerce Small Business Book (Entrepreneur’s Encyclopedia). This publication is an excellent resource for small business guidance and research because it includes up-to-date resources to assist any business operation.
To acquire the Small Business Book, simply call the Arizona Department of Commerce’s Business Connection at (602) 280-1480. In addition to the book, they will provide an incredible supply of other resources—just ask for anything.
about your business vision—in detail.
Use the information already acquired in
your “blue sheet” assignments to form the
structure—then fill-in the gaps.
1433 E. Link Street
Mesa, AZ 85202
The Lemon Delight lemonade stand is established to provide after school refreshment required by middle-school children. Initially, it will provide only two items: lemonade and chocolate chip cookies to satisfy consumer needs.
The Lemon Delight lemonade stand will be the choice of discriminating 10- to 12-year-old children in the Kyrene Middle-school neighborhood. It will provide refreshing drink, tasty homemade cookies, and a place for friends to gather. It’s financial success, based on increased demand, has stimulated the establishment of three branch locations at nearby middle-schools and managed by responsible 12-year-olds.
The Lemon Delight lemonade stand will be successful through the use of fresh ingredients, grandma Christian’s prize-winning recipes, convenient store hours immediately after school, and regimented production methods to ensure consistent product quality. Personnel will be trained to provide customers with respect and represent the business with a clean, professional image. They will be rewarded for their efforts through a profit-sharing plan.
Current sales projections indicate that the business will sell 3,900 orders of lemonade and cookies per week. This volume should produce an annual income of $2,925 during a fiscal year that extends from mid-August through May. The established price-structure is lower than existing commercial cookie establishments because of lower overhead.
Our unique blend of personal service by contemporary-aged sales personnel, fresh home-made cookies and lemonade made from real lemons, and stand locations adjacent to the school grounds will sustain a good profit margin.
This portion of the plan will focus on an analysis of Lemon Delight’s target market and competition in that market. It will also identify the important factors relating to the choice of location, price structure for the product, and the approach that the business will use to attract target customers.
Target Market Analysis
Lemon Delight’s target market consists of children in grades four through six that attend middle-school in the Kyrene School District. Survey results (see Appendix A) indicate that 83% of the 984-student population of three target schools will actively seek a snack consisting of cookies and lemonade at least one day per week. It has been determined that the optimum hours for the stand will be from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., immediately after classes are dismissed for the day.
Based on available data, 20% of the total market of 550 students in Middle-school #1 will seek one serving (1 lemonade & 2 cookies) one day per week. This will produce a customer traffic volume of approximately 110 students per week (440 per month).
The target customer profile will be primarily male, age 10 to 12. They have an active interest in sports, like to socialize with fellow classmates, and have an average allowance of $5 per week. They live in an upper-middle-class community and have relatively flexible time to return home after school either by use of bicycles or skateboards.
The immediate area around the school is devoid of direct competition. However, within three blocks to the East, a Circle K provides packaged cookies and soft drink choices. Within four blocks to the South is a Safeway grocery store that provides individual cookies, packaged
cookies, and soft drinks. Occasionally, there are stand-alone lemonade stands that will provide a similar venue to Lemon Delight, however, their product quality varies widely and their presence is too inconsistent to be a competitive threat. Aside from these commercial choices, many children acquire these products when they arrive home from school.
Circle K and Safeway provide a convenient, consistent product at affordable prices and are on the homeward route for many students. They have a recognizable name and extensive product line from which to choose. It is determined that they will, collectively, take away approximately 10% of our market.
Lemon Delight’s competitive advantage lies in the fresh-made, natural ingredients that are used in the manufacture of its products. The immediacy of the business’ location to the school grounds and the engaging personality of the staff provides a more inviting meeting place than competitors can offer., Also no competitor offers home-made lemonade nor the immediate venue for camaraderie., the market share for Lemon Delight is 90% of the expected target audience.
A key ingredient to Lemon Delight’s success is its prime location. Located at the corner of First Street and Messina, it is on the most prominent corner of the middle-school yard—where most of the target market naturally congregates. It has a spacious, grassy area, and four permanent benches adjacent to the food cart location. This is a strategic location because it catches the target prior to their travel home, and while they are still in direct contact with their school friends (see Appendix G, Location Map).
Since the school is located in a primarily residential neighborhood, there are few other businesses to complement or detract from the business image. In the adjoining block, just Northwest of Lemon Delight’s location, is a YMCA. This business has a wholesome quality and an image that attracts target customers to the business area.
Since the business is new, the physical assets are in good shape with no immediate renovations expected. The food-cart/counter is sturdy and provides space for storage of paper goods and transport of fresh lemonade and cookies each day (see Appendix F, picture of cart).
The food-cart business is licensed with the City of Phoenix with a permit to locate on city right-of-way property in zone 2. Management of Lemon Delight has an agreement with the school administration that allows the business of operate as long as there is no evidence of negative behavior on school grounds as a result of its presence there. (See Appendix G, school agreement)
Students who ride their bicycles leave them in the school bike racks until ready to go home. Students who are on-foot are under the supervision of crossing-guards (that are on-duty during the entire time Lemon Delight is open for business) as they walk across the street to head to their homes.
Since Lemon Delight’s target consumers are on a limited budget, price is an important part of the marketing effort. Each serving of lemonade (8 oz.) costs eight cents, each pair of cookies costs nine cents, and overhead costs are approximately six cents per serving. A modest retail price of 75 cents would yield a 52-cent profit on each transaction.
A similar purchase at Circle K or Safeway has a retail cost of $XX. Even though there is less variety of product, the favorable price differential for Lemon Delight’s products will attract many customers. The management at Lemon Delight also offers special incentives for regular purchase. All sales will be cash—no credit accepted.
The results of a survey administered to 265 students as they were leaving school indicated that 53 students (20%) would purchase a snack of two cookies and a lemonade at least one day per week after school. The 20% factor was then applied to the entire school population of 550 students.
Clearly, word-of-mouth promotion of Lemon Delight’s products is the most common source of business. To promote this, periodic efforts include a “Bring a friend, get a cookie” campaign to familiarize new people to the business. Since the image of the business focuses on “fresh and friendly”, cookies are stored in air-tight clear-glass containers and the clerks are trained to exhibit customer-friendly attitudes at all times.
To assist the word-of-mouth efforts by our loyal customers, flyers will be used to communicate up-coming specials. The school administration has graciously allowed the distribution of flyers in school in exchange for a contribution to the PTA of 10% of any special event profits (see Appendix J, Advertising Flyer, and Appendix H, School Agreement).
Daily sales totals are examined for buying trends, and analyzed for every special campaign to determine its effectiveness. Sales staff is evaluated on daily sales volume and customer comments. Personnel who exceed expected volumes are provided a 25% profit-sharing bonus.
The operational plan for Lemon Delight will identify the qualities of the management team and show how they drive the business and describe the personnel policies. It will also explain how the operational controls will enhance the efficiency and profitability of the business.
The management of Lemon Delight is comprised of one person—Rod
Christian. He is the sole proprietor and assumes the entire responsibility for the operation of this business venture—including purchase of materials, care of the cart, managing funds, and design/delivery of marketing efforts..
His management and leadership experience includes fourth-grade class president, a lead role in the fifth-grade class play, and presently captain of the soccer team. He acquires bookkeeping guidance from his father, who owns a business, and acquires kitchen guidance from his mother. This background effectively drives this business because it has provided leadership, cooking, and administrative qualities that are necessary for this business to survive.
The business is organized as a sole proprietorship, and as such, will be under the total control of Mr. Christian. Guidance for the technical aspects of the business will be acquired from his parents, and sales activities will be aided by qualified students. The books will be simple—no accountant will be needed (see Appendix K, Management Resume).
He is supported by two employees with alternating work schedules of two days one week and three days the next. If one person cannot be to work, the other is on call to serve as a ready replacement as needed. Both will work special events that draw larger customer numbers (see Appendix I, Employee Manual).
Skills required to be a member of the sales team will include an engaging personality, ability to count and make change, and neat appearance.
The process for hiring will be informally accomplished by approaching potential candidates (primarily 7th grade girls) and inquiring about their availability to work. They will be paid a salary of $6 per hour and profit-sharing plan for special events which should be enough to attract top-notch candidates, keep them to avoid retraining time, and encourage good performance.
While only two people are needed at start-up, if the venture is successful, expansion to two other target schools will involve the recruitment of four more individuals. An evaluation and incentive plan will encourage top-end performance and profit-sharing for good performers (see Appendix I, Employee Manual).
The maximum capacity of Lemon Delight will be 65 servings per day (1-1/2 hour window after school). This will be possible because the cookies will already be packaged in small paper bags for easy retrieval. Preparation for each day’s business will be done prior to going to school in the morning and product will be organized in the lemonade cart and ready to go.
Key to the success of the business is: reliable service, high-quality products, friendly sales people, competitive pricing, and accurate accounting. These factors are detailed on checklists to assure that all preparatory steps are accomplished. Sales staff is trained and coached as needed to assure consistent service delivery.
Anticipated hazards that could negatively affect the business could include rain. If rain is anticipated, the owner’s father has a golf umbrella that is large enough to protect the cart and immediate selling area. However, rain is sure to slow the sales for days it occurs. To avoid losing too many sales, “rainy-day specials” would provide incentives for students to still stop and purchase.
Policies for the operation of the business include: no credit—only cash, no rowdy behavior in the immediate area, customers are to be treated with respect, and the area will be kept clean—no trash anywhere.
This financial plan will show the immediate needs to run the business, the contribution to this effort by the principle owners, and the impact of our unusual business cycle (no sales during summer months). It will also show the long-range strategies for financial success.
Current Funding Requirements:
The start-up requirements to establish Lemonade Delight is minimal. The fixed capital costs for the business will require $20 for a cooler, $25 for equipment (see Appendix D, Start-up Costs). Working capital needs will be $10 for initial advertising, $100 for food vendor license, and $10 reserve cash. The start-up capital requirements total $165.
The owner’s equity contribution will be $40; drawn from accumulated personal savings. Remaining funds will be acquired through loans to the business from the owner’s parents. The lending agreement calls for total interest and principle payments of $15 per month at a 5% interest rate.
Since expected return on investment (ROI) for the business is projected to be 17%, the loans will contribute to business profitability because they allow the acquisition of needed equipment at an interest rate that provides 12% leverage on the borrowed funds (see Appendix C, Income Statement).
The projected business cycle identifies three months (June, July and August) where cash flow will be zero because school will be out of session. The owner will, however, open the stand on special occasions as appropriate. (see Appendix E, Cash Flow Projection).
Long-range Financial Strategies:
Because the demand for Lemon Delight is expected to grow rapidly, the business intends to expand to two other locations; one in January and one in March. This will require an additional $50 for equipment. This expansion effort will be funded from the accumulation of profits during the first months of operation (see Appendix C, Income Statement).
This sample plan will not include copies of the appropriate appendices, but at this point it would be appropriate to include:
A Marketing study questionnaire and results
B Start-up costs and/or Capital Equipment list
C Income Statement
D Balance Sheet
E Cash Flow Projection
F Picture of physical location
G Drawing showing streets, access, neighboring businesses, traffic flow, etc.
H Permission contract with the school principal
I Employee manual
J. Advertising samples
K. Resume of Management