Entrepreneurs Startups

Creating a Kick Ass Business Plan

Here is why we create business plans

To start any business, you will need a Business plan that acts as a map leading you to your GOAL.Close your eyes and imagine the entire business idea, step by step starting with the initial process and then slowly create a flow chart of all its possible alternative results. Each possibility should have a set of positive and negative results. Then for each result, try to map out how you are going to fix it, and what is the next step forward. Remember that once you have prepared it, it isn’t cast in stone. Make sure you have the map printed out on a big sheet of paper and stick it next to your life GOALS. Some motivational gurus, will tell you to read it out loud in the morning to achieve a mental winning setting. Positive Mental Setting. Always keep the plan fluid, so that you can rapidly react and adapt, should something go wrong.
One of the steps to creating a business plan is to conduct a SWOT analysis. To give you a better example, lets look at this case study. SWOT CASE STUDY

get-standard-business-plan

Your business plan is essentially your road map of possibilities to a comprehensive list of questions. The first and most important question is this: where do you want your business to go? and what should you do when things go wrong?

You should be asking yourself questions like

  1. The problem that your business will be solving
  2. Is it a NEED or a WANT
  3. What type of business are you planning to run?
  4. How do you imagine/want your business to look like in 2,5,10 years or more?
  5. The expected costs and revenues of the business. Make sure the numbers are supported by realistic and detailed assumptions and projections.
  6. Exit strategy for investors, partners and yourself.
  7. Are you going to expand within the same business or branch out to other supporting businesses? 

Try to set achievable goals to give you a gauge on how you are progressing. Not only does it alert you if you are deviating from the master plan, but by celebrating these short term achievements,  it provides you with the positive motivation to strive on.

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This living document generally projects 2-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.

Executive Summary
Your executive summary is usually a 1 page summary  of your business plan as a whole and touches on your company profile and goals. You have 30 seconds to attract the interest of the reader/ investor. The first 30 seconds will usually determine how impressive your plan is. Whether the investor will continue listening or set up a mental block.   

Below are the main criteria’s  you need to include

Company/Business Description
Provide concise information on what your company does.
Is your business unique in its services and offerings?
If yes, then how so?
How big should your hostel be?

Market Analysis
Before launching your business, it is essential for you to research your business industry, market and competitors. What are the travelers needs?
If this is a new hostel concept or category

  • Find out how many customers will be interested in this concept
  • Potential of this number growing over time
  • What is the Potential pricing for the rooms/dorm. This will help you work out your costings later on. 

Identify all your competition within the area. This covers all hostels, AirBnb lodgings, budget hotels, and hotels. It is better to identify all the competitors than have the investors discover them afterwards. 
Find out what they are offering, and how can you use this to your advantage?
How to make a Concise Search

Organization & Management

This depends on the size of your hostel. Basically the more rooms you have, the more staff you will need. You might be able to survive with a skeleton crew and maintain a minimal front staff, but you will need to increase your housekeeping team.

  • Would you be managing the place or will you be hiring a manager to do the work?
  • Would you setup different departments to run the hostel?
  • A bigger hostel, also means, more space to cover.Additional security cameras for security?
  • Additional inventory, i.e bedsheet, breakfast items, toiletries?
    SOPs and monitoring sheets you need

Service or Product Line
The thing that most people over look is, Ancillary Income. How does it benefit your customers? What is the product lifecycle? Get tips on how to tell the story about your product or service.Ancillary Income Earns 30% of Revenue

Marketing & Sales
How do you plan to market your business? What is your sales strategy? Read more about how to include this information in your plan.How will your reach your target customers? What promotional tactics and marketing channels will you use? How will you price your products and/or services? What brand positioning do you desire for each?
Is Guerilla Marketing for you?

Funding the project
Are you self funded, or do you need external funding? If you are seeking funding for your business, find out about the necessary information you should include in your plan. If you plan to raise money, you need to interest VCs (Venture Capital) or angel investors with the elevator speech ( capture attention within 30 seconds) and PowerPoint presentation, but you only close on the money after the investor reviews, questions, and buys in to your entire business plan. So you must spend a significant amount of time drafting a coherent and persuasive executive summary or business plan that sets forth, among other things.

Financial Projections
Preparing your financials and making sure they are in order, is essential to track your company’s

  1. Profit and Loss
  2. Cash flow
  3. Encourage transparency which is important for declaring tax and when you sell the business. 

Why you should forget Profit and focus on Cash Flow?
Quick guide to know if it is a profitable business

You want others to read and/or fund your business, your plan has to read well and be formatted properly. But it’s the content in the business plan, your strategy and reasons why you’ll succeed, that will prompt others to invest or otherwise join you in your conquest to build a thriving business!

Appendix

An appendix is optional, but a useful place to include information such as resumes, permits and leases. Find additional information you should include in your appendix.

Good luck and All the Best in Captivating your readers.

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