Researching the business plan information online is really simple compared to actually writing one. It really does take a lot of thought. In fact, it makes you really ponder and question your own ideas.
Many aspects are involved in preparing a business plan. *a serious business plan* includes everything from $ per square foot, store layout and building codes to purchasing costs and local food codes to human resources and state, local and federal tax information and government regulations that affect your business for instance- what type of business are you planning- a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or a limited liability company?
Your research should include Insurance information, i.e. - what happens if someone sues you? Depending upon your business structure- you could literally lose your own home.
I look at the above information as the not so fun stuff involved in owning your own business. This is the information that the banks and insurance companies are interested in. They do not care about your passion for coffee or whether you can pull a great shot or not. (We care about that of course, but they are loaning the cash, we're not.) the banks are interested in whether you understand the processes involved in determining financial your requirements. What are the sources of your start-up capital can you describe the components and uses of financial statements such as a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement?
Are you able to interpret financial ratios to diagnose the financial health of your business?
Will you be able to identify ways for improving cash flow?
Do you have a marketing strategy?
Can you identify the current causes of small business failure?
Honestly consider your (desired) lifestyle and discuss this with your wife (as I’m sure you have already). What exactly are yours and her expectations and what are potential conflicts that could arise from owning your own place? How will you two work it out? You must have a plan in place. How many hours do you expect to work? Any staff that you hire - whatever you pay them- is money that you could be earning. I understand it takes money to make money= but you've got to make a living. As a new business owner, you must put yourself first and foremost.
Will you be able to pay the mortgage, the utilities, the car payment, put food on the table......play with Junior, while also running a business, paying the rent, the utilities, the vendors…
i totally understand your original defensiveness, you were sharing your dreams and desires. However, i can also see through the eyes of many of the posters that responded to your questions. They have either been in your shoes, dreamt the same dreams or have witnessed someone else who has.
Think of the original posters as your Loan Officer, or Leasing Agent......they may be asking you the very same questions. How will you respond?
Don’t be too defensive and put on some thick skin- you are about to embark on a huge...and very risky...endeavor. Not only will you have those wonderful customers to serve, but you'll also have the employees to train (and reprimand), the toilets to repair, the health department to appease and the tax man to pay.
Many of the above questions that I’ve asked have been taken straight from the syllabus of a Small Business Management class that I took a couple of semesters ago. Tough questions- and so was developing the business plan (our project).
Food for thought. Pieces to chew on.
We do wish you the best of success and are here to offer suggestions (and suggestions they are), because ultimately this is your dream. I know that I for one am very excited to hear the outcome!!!
Small Business Administration