Today, out of the complete blue, I was contacted by a business associate of mine. He’s about my Dad’s age, incredibly successful, and I actually look up to him and his accomplishments.
So you can imagine my surprise when he called me, embarrassed, asking for help in writing a business plan for an industry I have experience in…the restaurant biz. He told me he wouldn’t get into a business without a solid plan. I could hear the wisdom and experience oozing from the words as he spoke them. Most beginning entrepreneurs don’t understand the importance of that statement.
Create a well thought out, well researched plan, and STICK with it. Be realistic with your projections, maybe even pessimistic. And don’t EVER sell yourself on an idea before considering the realities, pitfalls and weaknesses of it. I’ve made to many bad decisions in business because my judgment was clouded by visions of grandeur and only the good. I suppose you could call it “dreamer’s denial.”
I’ve used business plan writing software, and worked from premade templates which you can find all over the internet. Look for industry average numbers (ex. Labor should be 25% of your gross, etc.) which can either be found from research or contacting someone who has experience in that specific industry.
But always remember…make a plan and follow it. You may have to improvise and adapt, but the core business plan should remain intact. If you wing it, you’re weakening your position and greatly reducing the odds of being successful.
Don’t be a gambler…be a planner…