Creating your business plan
Business plans are inherently strategic. Today you are here with certain resources and abilities. You want to get to a there: a point in the future (usually three to five years out) at which time your business will have a different set of resources and abilities as well as greater profitability and increased assets. Creating your business plan will give you a template for your journey from here to there.
Part of your business plan creation will cover creating a budget for start-up costs and ongoing operational expenses, as well as obtaining financing from banks and investors. This article
intends to illuminate some of this daunting task for you and help you in the creation of your family entertainment centre, bowling ally/arcade, children’s birthday party place, water park, mini golf park or amusement rentals warehouse.
Before creating a business, you need to determine the idea is a profitable one. In order to determine this, you need to do research and/or have a feasibility study done. The feasibility study is an extensive examination of the demographics, population, traffic, competition potential area growth, profit vs. expenses…to name a few. The feasibility needs to answer the question: does my family entertainment centre (FEC) make economic sense? The study should look at all the possible roadblocks that may stand in the way of your success. The outcome will determine whether or not to proceed with the proposed venture. If the results are positive, then you may proceed with your business plan.
Creating a budget
Your budget will cover start up and on going operational expenses. A pro forma needs to be included to explain expected operational costs and estimated revenue. The budget will include the build out costs and financial draws from your lenders and it should include the expansion of the business if the possibility is there.
You should be able to provide a reasonable projection from years one to five at minimum. Consider and include programs, services and other offerings that the business will expect to earn money from. Diversifying your revenue stream show business competence and increases your chance at growth. Why not look into including roller skating into your FEC? Now you have potential earnings from skate rental, concessions, birthday parties and group bookings and even potential facility rentals. Your budget should include all programs, services and other offerings the business will expect to earn revenue from.
Financing can come from banks and/or investors who may be private, family and/or personal. You will want your business plan to encourage identified potential investors. Ergo, the business plan must highlight and provide details on how the lender will get his/her investment back. Additionally, it must determine when the money will be returned.
You will want to highlight everything that you, as a business owner, are bringing to the table. Be it expertise, money, investor connections, or partners with a history of operating similar entrepreneurial enterprises; this will build trust.
Trust is important in all aspects of your start up. You have conducted your feasibility study to build trust in your idea; written up a business plan to outline your trajectory and budget to build trust in the executable nature of your idea; and you have outlined investment returns and highlighted what you are bringing to the table to build trust in you, for your investors.
You are growing your business from the ground up, carefully, and this will help you avoid common pitfalls that will swallow up some of your competitors. Be sure to maintain this strategy as your business starts to materialize in the next few transitional stages as well: utilize contractors, consultants, materials and software that continue this legacy of trust. Be prepare to invest in products that reflect this, such as LilyPad point of sale software, as products like LilyPad will save you in the long run by streamlining many aspects of your business management while still holding the potential to support you along your business as it expands and grows.
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