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adamsmowing88
03-03-2010, 06:45 PM
So, I have been reading alot of lawn care business books and entrepreneur books lately, and I want to know your thoughts on having a business plan. Do you need one, do you not need one?

You need one
When you have to go to the bank and get financing

You Don't need one
When you are not taking out a loan in a bank rather you are building your self up slowly, and you know in your mind, what you want out of the business and how much.

ritchiem
03-03-2010, 07:04 PM
This is one of the most important steps for any business.

A business plan outlines;

- Your goals and milestones
- Budgets and estimated costs / profits
- Mission statements
- Services and products you offer

And so much more. A well written business plan can help you get loans / financing. And even if you don't require startup or loans it can help you point your business in the right direction.

I update my business plan every year with my actuals and see if I am on track.

jasonw
03-03-2010, 07:45 PM
I agree. You need one no matter what. Failing to properly set up you business plan will prove to be a sure failure at one point or another for you. I set mine up using business plan pro. Fairly decent program.

picframer
03-03-2010, 07:52 PM
Being a former banker, if you do not have a business plan then you have no goals nor do you have a road map of how to get there. Business plans are critical IMHO.

Steve
03-04-2010, 01:05 PM
Adam,

What's your view on why you would like to make one or why you wouldn't want to make one?

jasonw
03-04-2010, 02:51 PM
Adam,

What's your view on why you would like to make one or why you wouldn't want to make one?

Steve I think I can answer this one for him. Its very simple.

There is no GOOD reason at all not to make one. Its a little time consuming and takes an understanding of an industry which can be hard but there is no GOOD reason not to do it.

As far as why you would want to make one there is EVERY reason you would want to.

ProCut TM
03-04-2010, 03:18 PM
I think you can get by without one, but only for so long. You need one to get to the next level for sure. It is smart practice to have one in place so you can set and reach goals for yourself/company. Here is a good link (http://www.myownbusiness.org/s2/) to get you started.

adamsmowing88
03-04-2010, 03:53 PM
Well Steve,
I have felt like right now, just starting out, I am just getting my feet wet, I haven't even moved yet, so until I know the true economics of the area, and where it is a good place to advertise, I don't see the point in making one....after this first year, I will probably sit down and write one. But until then, I know what I want out of this business, I want to make a better life for my family. and a piece of paper is not going to tell me that. Neither is anyone else. So for now, I will read on it.

Steve
03-05-2010, 12:46 PM
I can understand that. Quite often there is a time early on when you get a business started when you are trying to figure out, will this actually work? Nothing else seems to matter at that time other than seeing signs that the business will work and things will pickup.

So possibly after your first year of experimenting then you will do it?

Is that kinda how you feel about it?

The other thing I was wondering. Do you have some goals set up for yourself this year like for instance you want to obtain X amount of customers or is it all let's just see how this goes the first year?

jasonw
03-05-2010, 07:45 PM
Well Steve,
I have felt like right now, just starting out, I am just getting my feet wet, I haven't even moved yet, so until I know the true economics of the area, and where it is a good place to advertise, I don't see the point in making one....after this first year, I will probably sit down and write one. But until then, I know what I want out of this business, I want to make a better life for my family. and a piece of paper is not going to tell me that. Neither is anyone else. So for now, I will read on it.

If you go into it with that attitude I can guarantee you will be wasting a year, that is if you are able to even stay in business. You will start at square 1 and end on square -7. Never underestimate the value of a solid plan. No matter what business you are in and idea comes first then you test that idea with a PLAN then you at on that plan assuming it adds up to the idea. For example, Let say you want to run a lawn care business but not actually mow lawns, you want other people to do it for you. Your business plan will tell you if this is a realistic idea in your area. If it is not you will wast a year of your life and leave the business when you find out its not what you thought. If you draw up your plan you can see whats whats right now with out wasting any money, you can walk away now no worse for wear or dig in and get er done if it will work out how you want. By choosing to go into business without a plan you just made a very bad first business decision, I would seriously reconsider your stance on it.

jasonw
03-05-2010, 07:49 PM
I can understand that. Quite often there is a time early on when you get a business started when you are trying to figure out, will this actually work? Nothing else seems to matter at that time other than seeing signs that the business will work and things will pickup.

So possibly after your first year of experimenting then you will do it?

Is that kinda how you feel about it?

The other thing I was wondering. Do you have some goals set up for yourself this year like for instance you want to obtain X amount of customers or is it all let's just see how this goes the first year?

Steve. A well written plan will tell you if this will actually work. Below I copied and pasted a good article



If you have decided to start your own business, one of the first things that you need to do is to work on a business plan. A business plan is so important because it actually serves as a compass for the direction your business will take in the future. Having a plan will also help you achieve the things you want to achieve and will help your business to find success as well.

Consider the Details

One of the reasons that having a business plan is essential is that it will help you to consider the details of your business and its' future. As you are working on your plan, you will probably find that there are many aspects of your new business that you have not considered. Getting started with a business plan will help you to save money and time since you will be able to deal with issues before they become a problem.

Helps You Get Funding

Another great reason for having a business plan is that it can help you if you are trying to get outside funds for your business. Most lenders and investors want to see that you have a clear business plan before they take a risk on your business. Having a plan already drawn up shows them that you are serious about being successful at your business. If you are going to show your business plan to potential lenders and investors, make sure that the figures you use are accurate so your plan is credible.

Management Tool

Starting a business is a huge job and it is helpful if you have something that can help you manage the business. A business plan can act as a management tool that can help you focus on where you are and where you want to be in the future. This will help you to keep your daily tasks well managed and will also help you to accomplish long term goals as well.

If you decide to go without a business plan, chances are that your business is going to end in disaster. You can use a business plan throughout all stages of your business to guide your business towards success. While it may take some time and energy to get a business plan together, in the end it will be well worth taking the time to get it done right.

Steve
03-06-2010, 12:15 PM
Those are all very good points! I think what is tough at times for the new business owner is to understand what is ahead of them, what they will need or what they can expect. Because it is all so new they really have nothing to work with but hope and taking it one day at a time.

I do wonder what % of new business owners actually get to making a business plan first off or do they wait a while to as was said before 'get their feet wet.'

lklandscaping
03-07-2010, 08:31 AM
Those are all very good points! I think what is tough at times for the new business owner is to understand what is ahead of them, what they will need or what they can expect. Because it is all so new they really have nothing to work with but hope and taking it one day at a time.

I do wonder what % of new business owners actually get to making a business plan first off or do they wait a while to as was said before 'get their feet wet.'

Not just for new business owners. Espically these times, it is hard as hell to determine what is going to occur "down the road."