A Business Plan Can Secure Financing for a Professional Practice or Small to Mid Size Business

Writing a business plan can be intimidating. It is however a necessary step towards earning a business loan for the launch or expansion of a professional practice or small to mid size business. Gaining an understanding about the expectations that the bank, government or other type of investor have about the contents of your business plan can help you to get started.

The following is a comprehensive list of the basic components of a business plan focused on securing financing:

  1. Executive summary
    The executive summary of your business plan should be a short paragraph that summarizes:
  • Core strengths and point of difference business offers
  • Projected sales and profitability
  • Details with regards to financing request
  • Mission and vision statements
  • A mission statement is a single sentence that communicates the core values of the practice or business. It establishes the reason for being for the organization.
    A vision statement is a single statement that communicates business goals for the next 3-5 years in terms of the most appropriate benchmarks whether they are market share, reputation or financial.

  • Human resources:
  • The objectives of this section of your business plan are to present the strengths of the core management team as well as the projected costs of the employees:

    • Biography of the founding team members and relevance
    • Staffing requirements
    • Core strategies to manage team
  • Business environment:
  • A discussion on the business environment in your business plan demonstrates expertise as well as comprehension of the changing dynamics of the marketplace:

    • Industry overview
    • Positioning statement
    • An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
    • Competitive grid
    • Barriers to entry
  • Marketing:
  • A marketing plan is relevant to a business plan whether it accounts for traditional or non-traditional promotional types of activities:

    • Consumer insight
    • Description of service, promotional activity, location, fees
    • Core strategies to market practice
  • Operations:
  • Outlining the operations of your business may account for standard, special or proprietary processes:

    • Core strategies to operate practice
  • Finance:
  • Financial statements enclosed within your business plan need to be achievable rather than overly optimistic:

    • 3 year detailed sales projection
    • 3 year detailed profit and loss statement
  • Risks & conclusion:
  • Your business plan should identify which risks you consider to be inherent to the business and how you expect to handle them. It should detail the core strategies you plan to employ in order to mitigate risks.

    Remember that the objective of your business plan is to communicate why you are a good candidate for this business loan. Ideally your business plan will have demonstrated expertise accompanied by achievable sales projections, key ingredients to developing the perception that your business is a low risk investment to a bank, government or other type of investor.

    Business Plan Tips for a Restaurant Business Plan

    We’ve covered the basics of writing a restaurant business plan in another article, but here are some more tips to help you really make your plan pop and create an extremely positive impression on your partners, lenders or investors when you present it for their inspection.

    Do add an extensive appendix

    You can throw everything in here you can think of- the more there is, the more you give the impression you have been hard at work on gathering info, doing research and generally getting things started as opposed to simply wishing it was going to happen.

    You can include things like a sample menu, marketing materials, sample coupons, a supplier list, a staff list, an equipment list, floor plans or blueprints, decorating item photos, uniform samples, a printout of the restaurant website design, the sign design, the restaurant logo, sample printed materials, your incorporation papers, a copy of your health permit, and literally anything else handy.

    Do recruit and list an advisory board

    The more people you can attach to the project, the more considerable it looks. Try to find people with extensive restaurant experience, business experience or preferably both. They don’t have to agree to do anything more than meet with you occasionally to review your progress and allow you to use their names as advisors. The more the better.

    Don’t worry about fancy binding

    It really makes no difference. This is one area that people simply don’t care about. It is what inside the cover that counts.

    Do include financial projections

    You can tell a great story, but sooner or later any serious investor or banker wants to talk numbers. Not including solid and industry standard financial projections in your plan makes it look amateur at best or like you are hiding something or simply don’t know at worst.

    Do include a comprehensive list of the competition

    People aren’t starving to death waiting for you to open, so there must be some alternatives to your restaurant concept. Include each one, and explain why you can out do them, or simply co-exist with them. Not acknowledging the competition shows a kind of arrogance and inexperience most serious money sources will shy away from.

    Don’t spend a lot of time on national statistics

    Trends may be up or down nationally, but who cares? It is what is happening in your neighborhood that counts. Make sure you can explain the local numbers in terms that work in your favor.

    Don’t write a lot of vague, wishy washy or unsubstantiated claims

    A business plan is no place to “hope things work out” and ask that “people just give me a chance to show what I can do”. This is business, and if you aren’t sure you can succeed, don’t expect other people to want to invest in you. Stick to facts and avoid anything that sounds emotional, unsure or like pleading.

    Do You Like Doing Nasty Things With Your Home Based Small Business?

    The dirty truth about building a successful home based small business can be a bit unpleasant. It is “fun” but one must be willing to do the things of necessity in order to be recognized and deemed as successful. Seems most everyone is looking to increase his or her income in some way or another. Truth be known, if you’re reading this article most likely you are either “doing it”, thinking about “doing it”, or have “done it”! Biggest challenge I’ve faced is remaining focused on the venture and staying dedicated to the task at hand. It’s been suggested to me to define your “why” and know your outcome. If you can develop a big enough “why” for your home based small business, your passion alone will carry you through the tough times.

    I dare say, the main reason anyone chooses to start a home based small business, is the need for more money! Although there are some who have started one (or needed one), just to keep busy. Kind of like, “doing it for the fun of it”, which in itself is sort of funny. Seems some of those type people (ones just in it for the fun), go on to develop a true business and experience success on many different levels.

    Doing “Nasty things” (by that I mean unpleasant) is doing things that others are not willing to do. It’s been said, “Successful people are the ones willing to do the things that others are not willing to do”. That can be anything from performing simple daily tasks, to throwing yourself into a deep methodical form of research and development!

    Take for example a PPC (Pay Per Click) program, let say with Google. If your topic is home based small business, you would then want to select keywords that center around that subject matter. One may start out with the obvious or easiest to figure out like; home based small business, home business, small business, work from home, home business success or make money from home. These in my opinion are to “popular” and therefore tons of people are using those specific keywords with their PPC campaign. You want to get “down and dirty”, do some detailed research and develop a more targeted less sought after group of keywords.

    If you are creating a home based small business, then do a Google search for those keywords. Look to see whom else is involved with that subject matter. Do you find other individuals such as authors, product developers or service providers? What items are for sell that are in common with a home based small business? Ask yourself the question, “What other things might people be searching for that are similar to the products and/or services you’ve found?” Very often people have an interest in things that go along with or compliment, their original keyword search.

    Build your PPC ad group around a renowned author or popular product. Incorporate keywords that are closely related to your original topic of home based small business. Take a close look at other ads that get your attention, most likely if it gets your attention then other ads similar to it will work for you too. Spend the necessary time researching, dig deep and select a group of keywords that aren’t as “popular” as mentioned above.

    You will want to take advantage of the Google’s tool, Traffic Estimator. IT will show you the results of your keywords and give you an idea of how you will place in the top 10 or if you will place there at all. This will let you “see” your potential results and in the long run give you a much better return on your investment.

    So do the “nasty things” necessary for your home based small business and you will experience a more fruitful and productive outcome. The money usually follows the effort given!