Winning with your Business Plan!

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.


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