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Better Business Ideas

When you have your own business, you don’t want to do just ok; you want to do better business. You want to be busy and successful, and you want to be around for a long time. What your business gives to you will reflect what you have put into it. Many come and go, and only the truly great business will stand the test of time. If you don’t know what you are doing, you had better partner up with someone who does. Sometimes it takes two people to make a better business that will stand the test of time.

You may have the idea, but do you have the knowledge to back it up. It is a rare person indeed that can come up with a better business plan on his or her own. Almost every successful business has come from at least two people, though there are exceptions. You really can’t expect to do it on your own because there are just so many things that you need to know. If you want to do it on your own, you may want to ensure better business sense by taking some business courses before you dive in.

Running a better business might mean knowing that you don’t know everything. Have you ever seen a store and thought it was an awesome idea, only to see that they have gone out of business less than a year later? It happens all the time, and in many cases it is a matter of someone thinking they could do it all on their own. If you can admit that you can’t handle everything, and that perhaps having help might be the best tool towards running a better business, you are already half way there.

The same can work in advance. You may have all the knowledge to run a better business, but you need that one amazing idea that no one else has had. You can do the same old tired thing, but why would you want to? To be truly successful, you want to come up with a better business than anyone else in your area. You want something they can’t get somewhere else, and you want to keep them coming back for more. There are many successful businesses that you may think of and think of only one name, but you can be sure they had a great team backing them up all the way.

5 Reasons Why Writing a Strategic Business Plan Dramatically Improves Your Business

Writing a strategic business plan is a critical business management skill that unfortunately in small business is often neglected or ignored. Various studies show that only one in ten businesses have an up to date written business plan. Many businesses do a plan at some stage but 90% do not have an up to date consistent and competent planning process.

As a business coach, I create 90 day action plans every 90 days for all of my clients and the direct result is motivation, direction, focus and better results.

So what are the benefits of writing a strategic business plan? Well here are 5 main reasons why writing a strategic business plan equals maximum business success.

1.Better Management Results

Business planning has long been recognized as one of the first and critical functions of superior management. When planning is not done it is so much harder to lead effectively, to organize key staff, to know which marketing strategy to implement and to know how to grow your enterprise effectively.

2.Keeps your business on track and in better control

There is a proven link between effective leadership control and planning. Why? A business moving towards a set of pre-determined goals and targets, with specific strategies, has against this, a set of measurements and tracking to control if it is effective or not. With this crucial information, a business can therefore make better decisions enabling a better chance of success.

3.Integrate personal and business goals effectively

By focusing on a mix of personal and business goals creates a more realistic feeling going forward. After all, business and personal are always entwined. We all want to achieve more in our work or career so that our personal live is more effective.

A great idea is to put into every plan your three top five year goals for your company. Then your top three personal goals (only if you are the leader or owner).

Then deviate to the short term. Write down your three top one year business goals and personal goals. Have the courage to do this and put it in writing. Review it weekly and look at the possibility of changing your plan every 90 days. Follow this formula for the best chance of long term success.

4.Focus on goals and directions

Goal orientated companies generally out perform those without goals. A big statement but a truism as far as I am concerned. Are your business goals written down and clear?

If not, consider a 5 year view, a 1 year view and a 90 day view of your business and personal goals that are written down and smart tested. Smart tested stands for Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and have a Time-frame.

5.Improve the efficiency of your systems and overall business performance

Policies and procedures are a vital part of your business improvement so writing a strategic business plan must outline what procedures you intend to improve over the next ninety days and beyond. A practical step depending on the size of your organization is to take one system or procedure every one to two weeks and write it down, look at it’s process and involve your team (if applicable) in improving it and document it further.

Imagine the difference in your business if twenty six policies and procedures were focused on and ultimately improved each year. Now that is continuous improvement at its greatest. Writing a strategic business plan with the planned procedures is an important bridge between thinking and implementation.

Writing a strategic business plan need not be a complicated, drawn out process. It can be motivating, enlightening, empowering and reflect the true feelings of leaders and others to achieve outstanding success. If you are serious about getting business success you must have a strategic business plan. Otherwise where you want your business to go and where you want it to be might not be where it finishes. Business failure and the lack of planning go hand in hand. The statistics tell us this. You need a plan to give yourself the best possible chance of outstanding success.

If you would like to learn how to write a strategic business plan with some of the world’s best planning resources, then you must check this program out. Best Business Planning Resources It’s guaranteed and thousands have got the results to prove it! Write a Strategic Business Plan

A Sample Catering Business Plan Template

Before you start a catering business it is wise to put together a comprehensive business plan. It is important to set out clearly what you hope to achieve in business and to set measurable goals. Having a business plan will give you direction and keep you on a course for success.

A plan may be essential in order to prove that your concept is viable when it comes to talking to investors or seeking funding from other sources. However, even if you are independently funded and have nothing to prove to anyone a plan will still be useful. It will help you to confirm that your plans are indeed possible and it will give you a place to compile all the data that you collect from your research.

Once you start your catering business it is important to continue to refer to your business plan to make sure that you remain on track to meet your goals. You can also make changes to it if necessary as your business develops.

There are many ways to set out a business plan. Below we offer a sample catering business plan template that is divided into twelve sections.

Cover and Table of Contents

Wrap the plan in a binder. On the cover you should give it a title and state clearly who the main contributors are and when it was prepared.

Then you can include a contents page that clearly divides the report into sections with page numbers so that interested parties can easily find the information that they are looking for.

Executive Summary

This is basically an introduction where you can summarise the other sections of the report and give a very basic outline of what the proposed business is about.

Mission Statement

Try to sum up what the business will be about in a few short sentences. A mission statement is similar to a slogan. It is a quick way of letting readers know about the ideals and standards that a company represents. Putting profits aside for a minute, try to think about the purpose of the business. How is your catering business making people’s lives better?

Background

Include some information on the catering industry at both the national and local levels. Take note of industry trends and try to forecast future developments

Include a personal background. There are many good reasons to start a catering business and you should let readers know why you are drawn to this industry above all others. Outline your working history and attach any relevant reference letters as an appendix to the plan.

Outline any competitive advantages that you may have. Do you have any catering business qualifications or skills? Have you have experience in the hospitality industry? Do you have existing relationships with suppliers or prospective clients?

Goals

Set out some growth targets and other goals over the short and medium terms. Goals for a catering service could be the number clients, the number of events, total revenue or average profit margins on events. Refer to your business plan regularly and push yourself to keep up with the goals that you set.

Startup Costs and Considerations

List out startup costs and initial operating costs and then calculate the total amount of startup capital that is required before you can open your doors to clients.

Make a note of the sources of funding that are available to you and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.

Outline all of the other hurdles that must be overcome before you can start operating as a catering service. Depending on the requirements in your state or country you will have a number of licenses and permits to obtain. You may even have to do a short course to get certified in food management or hygiene. It is important to set out the costs involved as well as a time frame for compliance with these local regulations.

Ownership and Management

This section of your catering business plan should suggest whether you intend to structure your business as a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a limited liability company.

If the business will have multiple owners then you should set out clearly what their respective interests will be and the role that they will play in the management of the business.

Set out a basic management structure outlining who has responsibility for various aspects of the business. This will be easy in the beginning but eventually you may have marketing staff, administration staff, kitchen staff and servers. Make it clear how you plan on delegating tasks, leadership and responsibility for decision making down to your employees.

Operations

This section is important for including details on how the business will operate on a daily basis. Information that should be mentioned here includes location, administration, employees and equipment.

Set out a plan of attack for catering an event. Outline some of the problems that you will be facing and offer some solutions.

Market Analysis

Undertake some market research to get a better idea of the opportunities that currently exist in your market.

Do a competitive analysis to get a better understanding of your competitors. Once you understand more about them, set out a plan for competing against them by offering something different in the way of menus and services.

Marketing Plan

There are many different catering niche markets. Before you start your marketing efforts it is important to have a good idea of your menus and the niches that you are targeting. Try to identify a gap in the market that is not being met by other caterers and go after it.

Once you have a better idea of what you are selling you can then look at how you can sell it effectively. Start by packaging your offerings nicely into menus, brochures and a website. Then work out a system for pricing catering jobs profitably.

Outline how you plan on getting leads and enquiries. You can run advertising, buy leads or try many other marketing strategies.

Lastly, you need to have a sales strategy. Tell readers how you plan on selling your catering products and services in a way that you make the most of the limited number of enquiries that you receive.

Financial Planning

Perhaps one of the most important parts of any business plan is the financial plan. You need to make some forecasts of revenue and expenditure over a period of several years. You can then estimate when you will reach a break even point and how much profit will be possible in the future.

Set out anticipated monthly cash flows in a spreadsheet program on your computer. As businesses often don’t grow as fast as their owners expect them to you should outline several scenarios. One scenario can show your expected outcome, one can show a more optimistic forecast and the third one can show a worst case scenario.

Appendix

Attach an appendix to your report with your resume and photos of menu items. Also include anything else that is relevant or that you have referred to in your catering business plan.

Having a good catering business plan template can help you to write your own as you have a basic layout to follow and you can make small adjustments for your own unique situation.