Sally, a fourth-year student in the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), has approached you about the establishment of a business the two of you have dreamed about for years: opening a restaurant in Florida! Sally, your best friend from childhood, indicated she performed some preliminary research and decided, “It’s now or never!”
After reviewing her notes, you both agreed that if the two of you could assemble a start-up plan, it would result in substantial start-up costs savings. Fortunately, you have a business law course this semester designed to integrate legal theory and business operations that should be helpful.
Your course is designed to provide hands-on use of authentic legal and business-planning tools and documentation required to start and operate a business. The course is going to provide a wealth of information. Sally suggests that since you will shortly be a “Legal Eagle,” you should handle the details related to starting a business. This includes researching the legal and business aspects required to get a business up and running.
Sally agreed to handle the food and beverage aspects and provide various issues that need documentation. As a lifelong friend of Sally, you remember one important thing; she always has many questions, and she expects perfection. Sally consistently wants to assign a grade to everything! So you have developed the habit of reading all the support material you can find and perform research that you can use to document everything you submit to her for review. Her expectation is that you will read your course textbook, perform outside research, and review other resources that she will provide to assist you in constructing your work product critical to building a business plan.
When it comes to writing a business plan, there is no one way that is superior to another. It is essential that your plan accommodates all of your requirements.
The majority of business plans are classified as either traditional or lean startup. These are the two primary classifications.
Traditional business plans are more prevalent, employ a standard organizational format, and encourage you to go into detail in each section of the plan. They typically demand additional work up front and can be several dozens of pages in length.
Although less common, standard business plan formats are still followed by lean startup business plans. They are primarily concerned with summarizing only the most significant aspects of the fundamental components of your plan. The creation of one of these can take as little as an hour, and it typically consists of only a single page.
If you are extremely detail-oriented, desire a comprehensive plan, or intend to request financing from traditional sources, you may find that the traditional format of a business plan better suits your needs.
When you are developing your business plan, it is not necessary for you to strictly adhere to the business plan outline. Instead, you should focus on utilizing the sections that are pertinent to your company and your requirements. The conventional format for business plans is comprised of some combination of these nine parts.
Summary for executives
Explain to the reader what your company does and why it will be successful in as few words as possible. Include your company’s mission statement, the product or service you offer, as well as some fundamental information about the leadership team, employees, and location of your business. If you intend to ask for financing, you should include financial information as well as high-level plans for expansion in your proposal.
Make use of your company description to supply specific information about your business. Explain in great detail the issues that your company is able to solve. Be specific and make a list of the customers, organizations, or companies that your company intends to serve in the future.
Describe the advantages your company has over its competitors that will contribute to its continued success. Do you have any specialists on your team? Have you finalized your search for the ideal spot for your shop? It is appropriate to brag about your company’s accomplishments in the company description.
You will need to have a solid understanding of the future prospects of your industry as well as your target market. Researching your competitors will shed light on both what they are doing and where they excel in their respective industries. When conducting research on the market, you should look for patterns and recurring themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Do you think you could do it better? It is time to provide responses to these questions at this point.