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A comprehensive business plan is crucial to franchise success

A comprehensive business plan is crucial to franchise success

Compiling a comprehensive business plan is crucial to franchise success

Once you’ve decided on the right franchise, it isn’t just a case of paying your money and getting started. You may need to borrow money to get your franchise up and running. But even if you have the funds required already, preparing a business plan will be an important step to help you get off to a strong start and keep the momentum going as you build your business.

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Your franchisor may offer some help in preparing the plan and should be able to provide information about typical costs and income potential, but you will need to understand and ‘own’ it.

At Revive!, we ask prospective franchisees to present their business plan to one of our directors and a member of the senior support team as the final step before they are accepted as a franchisee, as we see it as a vital part of starting their franchise journey.

Essential information

A business plan isn’t just about the figures - although they are very important, of course. It should include information about you, your background and experience and where your stake in the business is coming from (you will need to put in 30-50 per cent of the total start-up costs, depending on the franchise).

Think about your area/territory. Will you be based at home or premises? How much competition is there? What do you know about them and how will you stand out in a crowded market?

You will need to focus on the figures and make sure you understand what they mean. If you’re projecting turnover of, say, £100,000 in the first year, where will that business come from? Will there be a few months of little or no sales/income as you build the business? How will you pay for your personal expenses until the business is making enough to let you pay yourself a wage?

Prepare a full list of your personal expenditure, including mortgage, household bills, loans, commitments and so on. This will show how much money you will need to take out of the business in order to live.

Cash flow

What will happen if the business is slow to build? Is there anything you can do to help? What if sales come in much faster than planned? This is a great problem to have but can affect cash flow and put a strain on the business. A good franchisor will help you through many of these issues, but as a franchisee and business owner, you need to fully understand how the cash flow of the business will work.

Your bank manager shouldn’t be as scary as the Dragons’ Den crowd, but they will want to have confidence in you as a business owner, so you might want to practice your pitch. If you don’t understand the figures or have no answer for possible questions that could arise, the bank won’t be as confident in lending to you. Think about the questions you could be asked, learn the key metrics of your business and come up with some contingency plans.

The author

Cathryn Hayes is franchise director at Revive! Auto Innovations

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