Preparing your business plan
A business plan is a structured description of your business – your reference guide and the blueprint to your success. It says who you are, what you do, what your aims are and how you will achieve these aims.
Every potential business should start with a business plan. And it should be updated every 3-6 months to keep you objective and focused on the big picture, not just the daily operational pleasures of dog boarding, walks and play.
Financial – the numbers don’t lie. If you keep an eye on the numbers you’ll instantly know whether you’re on track to success or it will highlight where you need to take corrective action. You may also need a formal business plan to obtain finance / loan.
Business development – a structured business plan serves as a reminder and focus of your reasons and aims for running your own dog business. It can be revised as your business grows to include for your future plans.
Established businesses can use a business plan as a means of a health check to evaluate its welfare and condition.
There are a number of key sections in any business plan:-
- Exec summary
- Personal details (contact details, dependents, support)
- Experience, skills and attributes
- Franchise overview (what does the franchise offer/include)
- Local market (research, location, customers, competitors)
- Business operation (premises, IT, transport, equipment, policies, processes, manual – licensing?)
- Key personnel – holidays/sick days/unexpected
- Marketing – analysis, SWOT analysis, strategy and plan
- Borrowing requirements; capital stake and security
- Personal assets, liabilities, income and expenditure statement
- Financial assumptions used eg Financial projections (cashflow, profit and loss forecasts)
- Exit strategy
But any business plan is only as good as the thinking and research that’s gone into it.
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