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HotShot
12-10-2008, 09:29 PM
Hey guys and gals. I thought a thread like this would be very helpful for new contractors and even some of the old timers that never really put together a business plan and now they can't figure out why year after year they can't seem to get ahead. I think a business plan is one of the most important things you will ever do for you business, so....

UAMCC...help me put together a business plan, please :saai:

Terry Miller
12-10-2008, 09:55 PM
Anthony,
There are many cookie cutter business plans available. Each one has to be done on your business terms. Your info and ideals will determin what your business plan says. Check on line and you will see many ideas on this subject. You are correct. Each business needs a business plan. It is our map of yesterday, today and tomorrow. Thank you.

Ken Fenner
12-10-2008, 10:09 PM
Anthony, one of the member benefits will be assistance with getting together a business plan. To get the ball rolling and in the spirit of the thread, here is the first thing one needs to do:

Is Entrepreneurship For You?
In business, there are no guarantees. There is simply no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business - but you can improve your chances of success with good planning, preparation, and insight. Start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses as a potential owner and manager of a small business. Carefully consider each of the following questions:

Are you a self-starter? It will be entirely up to you to develop projects, organize your time, and follow through on details.

How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including customers, vendors, staff, bankers, and professionals such as lawyers, accountants, or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor, or a cranky receptionist if your business interests demand it?

How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly - often quickly, independently, and under pressure.

Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be exciting, but it's also a lot of work. Can you face six or seven 12-­hour workdays every week?

How well do you plan and organize? Research indicates that poor planning is responsible for most business failures. Good organization ­ of financials, inventory, schedules, and production ­can help you avoid many pitfalls.

Is your drive strong enough? Running a business can wear you down emotionally. Some business owners burn out quickly from having to carry all the responsibility for the success of their business on their own shoulders. Strong motivation will help you survive slowdowns and periods of burnout.

How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start­up can be hard on family life. It's important for family members to know what to expect and for you to be able to trust that they will support you during this time. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk in the short-term.

Why Small Businesses Fail
Success in business is never automatic. It isn't strictly based on luck - although a little never hurts. It depends primarily on the owner's foresight and organization. Even then, of course, there are no guarantees.

Starting a small business is always risky, and the chance of success is slim. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.

In his book Small Business Management, Michael Ames gives the following reasons for small business failure:

Lack of experience
Insufficient capital (money)
Poor location
Poor inventory management
Over-investment in fixed assets
Poor credit arrangements
Personal use of business funds
Unexpected growth

Gustav Berle adds two more reasons in The Do It Yourself Business Book:

Competition
Low sales

More Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail
These figures aren't meant to scare you, but to prepare you for the rocky path ahead. Underestimating the difficulty of starting a business is one of the biggest obstacles entrepreneurs face. However, success can be yours if you are patient, willing to work hard, and take all the necessary steps.

On the Upside
It's true that there are many reasons not to start your own business. But for the right person, the advantages of business ownership far outweigh the risks.

You will be your own boss.
Hard work and long hours directly benefit you, rather than increasing profits for someone else.
Earning and growth potential are far greater.
A new venture is as exciting as it is risky.
Running a business provides endless challenge and opportunities for learning.

Ken Fenner
12-10-2008, 10:15 PM
Here's another part in the series. Its a checklist every prospective owner should fill out.

http://web.sba.gov/sbtn/sbat/index.cfm?Tool=4

David Vicars
12-10-2008, 10:48 PM
Great info, Thanks Ken.

HotShot
12-10-2008, 11:06 PM
Terry... thanks for the reply, but I don't think I explained myself very well. I don't really need a business plan; I have one. I was in business for about 3 years before having one though and I wish that somebody would have slapped me upside the head back then. I can't stress how important one is to somebody that thinks they can just wing it.

With that said, I think Ken started the ball rolling nicely. I didn't know that part of the bennies of membership here was help with starting a BP, but that is great.

Florin Nutu
12-11-2008, 12:54 AM
How often should one update their business plan?

HotShot
12-11-2008, 01:10 AM
How often should one update their business plan?

My personal experience is at least once a year...or... whenever anything big happens. For instance: You land a HUGE account and must hire several people a lot quicker than you planned on.

Florin Nutu
12-11-2008, 01:25 AM
How in detail do you go with your business plan. Do you nitpick every part of your business or do you just keep it generalized?

HotShot
12-11-2008, 01:28 AM
Well...I started pretty general...I've changed it I don't know how many times to where it's pretty darn specific. It would not be hard for somebody that has never seen a kitchen hood in their life to read my BP and walk away knowing exactly what I was expecting, what systems I'll use to get there and how much money for everything...plus a lot more, but you get the picture.

HotShot
12-11-2008, 01:30 AM
Let me just add that the E-myth books and dudes like Jon Fife, Matt Bryan and others have helped me soooo much. Even if they didn't know it ;)

Terry Miller
12-11-2008, 01:45 PM
How often should one update their business plan?

As needed.

cleanhoods
12-15-2008, 08:15 AM
Nice thread Anthony.Well as you know i am a 1 man show and been in business since 1997.Does a business plan apply to me? If so what step do i need to take to produce one? See i honestly never thought of one so this is new to me.Would a business plan benifit a business like mine since i havn't had one at all? If so how?Thank You,
Marko

cleanhoods
12-15-2008, 12:34 PM
Yes a business plan is crucial. It will help anyone regardless of goals or status...

Here is a outline to help..

http://pressurewashingusa.com/BusinessPlanforanEstablishedBusiness.doc

Thank you for the advice and i will check it out.
Marko

Florin Nutu
12-15-2008, 12:54 PM
Thank you for the advice and i will check it out.
Marko

A business plan is a must. Mine is kinda mediocre and am working on making it better but you should at least have something written down for goals and such