Been busy writing your food business plan?
Let’s make sure that you’ve covered all the ground …
|You as a person||Do you fully understand your own personal objectives?|
|Are you clear about your business objectives?|
|Are you physically up to it?|
|Is your partner/family with you on this? They have to live with you through this process!|
|You as a business person||Do you fully understand the business you are planning? The market, the competition, the production and development processes?|
|Do you have enough experience?|
|Do you need to draft in extra skills from the outset?|
|Market||Do you know how large it is? Where it is? How much it will cost you to get to it?|
|Does the competition look good? How will you be different/better? Bad? You might be kidding yourself!|
|Product/service||Do you know how much it will cost to produce or develop it?|
|Do you know where you are going to do it?|
|Have you tested it? Does it work? Will customers want it?|
|Price||Do you know the best price you can get?|
|How does that relate to your production costs? Can you achieve a reasonable gross margin?|
|Can you cope if you have to drop your prices?|
|Suppliers||Do you know who they are?|
|Can they supply you at a price that gives you a good margin?|
|What credit terms will they give you?|
|Infrastructure||What premises will you need? Will they be enough?|
|How much will it cost?|
|Vehicles? Machinery? Equipment? IT?|
|People||Are you going to be an employer from the outset?|
|How many staff? How much will you have to pay them?|
|Are you aware of your legal responsibilities as an employer?|
|Will they need training?|
|Financial controls||Have you prepared credible budgets and P & L and cash flow projections?|
|If so, what assumptions have you made? Are they valid?|
|Have you prepared scenarios? What happens for instance if sales are half of what you forecast? And what happens if they are double? Can you invest enough to keep pace?|
|Finance||How much do you need?|
|What source would you prefer?|
|Do you know how you are going to pay it back? When?|
- The business plan is written for you by you. It’s your blueprint for your future. It provides a framework for managing your business, a yardstick which sets limits and goals so you can measure your business performance.
- A business plan sells your idea, persuading a funder or investor to buy or invest in what is on offer. You may need to write more than one version of your plan.
- Writing down a plan can highlight opportunities and risks and uncover inconsistencies that hadn’t come to light when the plan was just in your head.
- It’s a document that you have to believe in. If you don’t, how can you expect anyone else to? There’s just no point in trying to fudge it.
- Once written, don’t let your plan get dusty! Keep referring to, using and updating your business plan.