Is a Business Plan Necessary?

The plain truth is, business owners of any size that take the time to outline what they will offer, what they’ll need to start and what their goals are more likely to succeed.

What exactly is a business plan? It really isn’t a mystery; it is your plan for making your business a success. Not only will a good business plan help you in securing funds for starting your business, it can help you think about every aspect of your business, from who you plan to sell your services to, to what you’ll need before you even start selling your services.

You might even find yourself avoiding some common pitfalls of smaller businesses, such as not anticipating enough funds to keep you going for the first year of business or realizing that you may need assistance in an area you don’t have experience in, such as technical support or bookkeeping.

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Breaking Down Business Planning Roadblocks

Kicking & Screaming

Most business owners and department managers know they “should” have a plan. Yet in all my 25 years of helping business owners and managers grow their businesses, just four of my clients possessed a written plan, and only one was actually using it. Why do so many business owners skip this crucial step? Some common explanations I’ve heard go something like:

  • “I don’t need funding, so I don’t need a business plan.”
  • “My plan is going to change anyway, so why should I waste my time creating it?”
  • “It will take too much time.”
  • “I started to and found it overwhelming.”
  • “I didn’t start a business to do the types of things I did when I worked for someone else.”
  • “I don’t want a big company. I don’t want employees.” (I just created a J.O.B. for myself.)
  • “I don’t know which planning program to use; there are so many out there.”
  • “It’s expensive to plan and I need to spend my money on other things.”
  • “I don’t need to plan; I just want to work in my business.”

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Preparing a Business Plan For a New Restaurant

The preparation of a strong and detailed business plan is essential for a restaurant business for several reasons. Firstly, you will need it to be able to convince others, such as bank managers or investors of the viability of your plans. Secondly, it will be useful to you as the business owner as a place to compile your research findings, set goals and to run some hypothetical scenarios about how the business could run if things go better or worse than expected. Below we have outlined the key components of a business plan for a restaurant start-up.

Executive Summary

This part of the report should only be about one page in length and should introduce the reader to your proposal. Firstly you can set out your personal background and why you are interested in starting a restaurant. Secondly you should include basic details of your proposal such as the location that you have or are looking for, the theme or style of the restaurant, the kind of food that you will serve, whether of not you will be licensed and the type of clientele that you wish to target.

» Read more: Preparing a Business Plan For a New Restaurant