By Emy Treurniet at April 16 2019 09:29:00
I mentioned the financial aspect of a plan earlier, so let me add this. Another fact about financials to consider: not all business activities are about making money. Point being, in most enterprises financial considerations are centric to the document. But there are some other considerations. For example, a few years ago I wrote a plan for a new subsidiary that was focused on developing an inventory of patents. The potential financial returns were years into the future. Those patents may or may not ever have commercial value. Another example is a non_profit enterprise that has need for a complete roadmap for growing their profile in a market, of which a marketing plan would be the centerpiece.
So, thinking about this principle, let me ask you a question. If your sales grew 10% and nothing else changed, would your profit margin be higher, the same, or less? Profit margin is % of profit against sales. If you said the profit margin would be higher, then you are right. Why would your profit be higher? If you said because of the fixed expenses, you would be right. Your material cost, labor cost, and variable expenses would have gone up 10% but your fixed expenses would have remained the same. You brought in more revenue because of more sales and you spent 10 % more on material, labor, and variable expense to cover the extra sales, but you didn't spend any more on your fixed expenses. So, less overall expenses, would give you higher profit margin. Make sense?
Figure Out How to Do It _ Every entrepreneur has a very idealistic image in their mind of the kind of business that they want. Getting to that point is a process though and you need to work out a path to get there. One great way to figure out how you will proceed is to first write down what you want to do. Next, write down as many questions as you can about how you are actually going to do it. These will include questions like 'Will I do on_site or off_site catering?', 'How will I get access to kitchen facilities?' or 'How many catering jobs will I need to land each month to break even?'. As you slowly work out the answers to the problems that you come across you can write them down in the appropriate sections of your business plan.
If a document needs to be developed that requires input from other disciplines_Finance, HR, Property & Facilities, Marketing, Procurement/Supply Chain_ then most likely you are looking at a team building effort to get the job done. In any event, don't look at the task as only as a roadmap that leads to a profitable product or enterprise. Business plans are a great way to build team buy_in, force a thorough review of options, define objectives, establish benchmarks to judge performance, and help arrive at a plan_of_action. Ultimately, it can lead to a Project Management approach to implementing a plan and that can be as involved and detailed as is necessary.