Plan act like Anchors........
I sometimes act as a sounding board for start-up food entrepreneurs……it’s all very well having a business coach or mentor, but there are sometimes elements of a business that are very food specific! Elements such as labelling requirements, best before dates, storage instructions etc……things that you maybe don’t have to worry about if you have a service company. Having started Breckland Orchard from scratch, I don’t mind sharing my learnings with others just starting out on that same journey.
I was speaking with someone who is just about to launch a company last week. If you read my blog regularly, then you know I’m a bit of a ‘plan obsessive’, so one of the questions I asked was about how her plan stacked up. To which came back the reply ‘Oh I haven’t really done a thorough one, because I don’t need external funding’.
It’s one of the common misconceptions – that plans are for Bank Managers or lenders, whereas I would actually argue that if you don’t have external investment then its even more vital to have a living vibrant plan. They act as anchors and give you direction.
At a top line level a Business plan will force you to think about:
- What you are going to be making, who the competitive set is, and why your product is going to be different
- Who you’ll be selling it to, how many outlets you want to aim at, what the price will be, and how many units you think you’ll sell by outlet
- How much you expect to be making, how often you’ll be making, how much cash you need to fund the making, how soon you expect to be paid
- How people are going to find out about your product, how you’ll get the product to the customer
The beauty of a plan is that it will ALWAYS be wrong! But at least you can track what actually happens versus what you expected, and that’ll allow you to alter your course, and adjust things. But essentially it will give you an anchor, and when you get going with a new business believe you me you need some kind of an anchor!