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  #1  
Unread 04-18-2010, 05:39 AM
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wrench for hire wrench for hire is offline
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Default Business Plans

In the past I have been going with the shoot from the hip method. From reading I have been doing lately I have come to realize the importance of a good business plan. I figured it would be no big problem and I could bang most of it fairly quickly except the financial part I figured would take a little longer. Man was I wrong this is proving to be harder than I thought.

So how many of you have a business plan? How hard was it for you to write it?
I have been to a couple SB websites trying to get this all figured out but i,m still having difficulty. I would be ever so grateful to advice you guys (and gals) could give.

Finally to make me feel better give any stories or analogies about your first time writing a business plan. And as always if you don't want to post helpful ideas, or suggestions here PM me or look me up on google wave.
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  #2  
Unread 04-18-2010, 08:34 AM
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I've found most of the "formulas" available really should be used only as a guide providing the elements which need addressing. Business plans do require a LOT of HARD thinking about the five "W's" - what, where, when, who, why. Everyone I've written has been like a letter to either myself or a banker that's as brief as I can make it, but packs in as much information as possible. I think it was Oliver Wendell Holmes who stated to a friend "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter". Definitely use that approach. Read the plan over and over and over and over to see if you can say it better with fewer words. For the financial stuff, utilize a CPA who can help you develop what will be needed.
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  #3  
Unread 04-18-2010, 09:43 AM
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Business plan? We're suppose to have a business plan?
When we went into business our plan was to make mega bucks, have less stress, not take any crap from higher ups and have more time for fun! As you know, that's not the way it worked out!
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Unread 04-18-2010, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MowerGIRL View Post
Business plan? We're suppose to have a business plan?
When we went into business our plan was to make mega bucks, have less stress, not take any crap from higher ups and have more time for fun! As you know, that's not the way it worked out!
So, I gotta ask. How did your plan work out?!?!


Well, that has kind of been my approach too. I kinda just do what needs to be done. Try to buy the best parts I can and do the best job I can.
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  #5  
Unread 04-19-2010, 02:12 AM
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Probably about as well as mine did, since I had much the same plan.
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  #6  
Unread 04-19-2010, 04:18 AM
jschroeder jschroeder is offline
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Default plan

We make a plan every January. Mostly based on a history of our past 4 years broken down by month, sales by each supplier,parts sale by each supplier, and all expenses. This way I can tell how far off or on we are at the end of each month. We use xcel files and just have to plug in the last years numbers to get a projection by percent by month by account. Then we plug in our projected guess for sales in each account and any extra expenses we expect for upgrades, new trucks, etc. So far has worked pretty well.
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  #7  
Unread 04-19-2010, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschroeder View Post
We make a plan every January. Mostly based on a history of our past 4 years broken down by month, sales by each supplier,parts sale by each supplier, and all expenses. This way I can tell how far off or on we are at the end of each month. We use xcel files and just have to plug in the last years numbers to get a projection by percent by month by account. Then we plug in our projected guess for sales in each account and any extra expenses we expect for upgrades, new trucks, etc. So far has worked pretty well.
Sounds like you have it nailed down pretty good. The thing with me is I've only been in business a little over a year, and this would be my first plan. Thats where I have the most problem. I am not able to see what trends have been in the past, and as a new owner I have no idea what to expect my future to look like. With basically nothing to go on I feel stuck.
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  #8  
Unread 04-19-2010, 10:20 AM
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http://www.mainesbdc.org/

Wrench, this is where you need to go. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

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  #9  
Unread 04-19-2010, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschroeder View Post
We make a plan every January. Mostly based on a history of our past 4 years broken down by month, sales by each supplier,parts sale by each supplier, and all expenses. This way I can tell how far off or on we are at the end of each month. We use xcel files and just have to plug in the last years numbers to get a projection by percent by month by account. Then we plug in our projected guess for sales in each account and any extra expenses we expect for upgrades, new trucks, etc. So far has worked pretty well.
IIRC, the breakdown of numbers between two years is referred to as a "horizontal analysis", and the percentage breakdown of sales and costs by department and category within a given year or period is referred to as "vertical analysis".
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