Without a goal and clear strategic idea of where your business is going, you may never get there
Congratulations, you’ve decided you want to run your own business and no doubt your research and knowledge will have told you that one of the first vital steps along your journey as an entrepreneur is a business plan.
At this stage, it is about putting all your ideas in one place, making every step towards realising your dream, more achievable. We have heard the adage ‘fail to plan: plan to fail’; this could not be more true as without a goal and clear strategic idea of where your business is going, you may never get there. So, you’ve established that you need a business plan, but who is the best person to write it?
Who is the best person for the job?
You can of course opt to write your own business plan – no one knows your business better than you, but be mindful about the industry, how far does your knowledge stretch? The market, the trends – do you know these inside and out? Consider similar franchise models, would you know what has worked and what hasn’t both currently and over the years, and would you have the experience to know a red flag when it arises or the foresight to avoid potential pitfalls? You’re not alone if the answer is no and it’s not a failing on your part. This is not something you learn overnight.
What’s more, do you know what the banks are looking for? To give yourself the best chance of securing the funding needed to make your franchise dream a reality, our advice is to talk to someone who knows business plans like the back of their hand. For example, d&t’s Professional Business Plans come fully bank-ready from an independent and regulated chartered accountancy practice.
To convince banks and asset finance companies that you are worthy of their money, these lenders will use your business plan as a guide to assess whether you’re on the path to success and profitability and ultimately as a guide to your ability to repay the funds within the scope of your proposed plan.
Working with all the major banks and your franchise accountant, we will know exactly what it is that the banks are looking for and, what they’re not, as they know where your business is going.
With all those years of sector knowledge and expertise; it makes sense to trust them with your professional business plan. There aren’t many franchise accountants that can offer you an end-to-end solution but d&t do.
More than just business experts
Various non-specialist franchise accountants and finance brokers will entrust a third party to write the plan for them because they are lacking in expertise and experience so we strongly advise you to do your research. Are you sure you know who you are actually trusting?
There is a distinct advantage to having your business plan written in-house by a franchise accountant who is planning a long and successful relationship with you. This has the added advantage of keeping everything “under one roof”. For example, they will have higher quality control over the contents and the overall product, plus, better control over the handling of your intellectual property, which also assists when accessing details and makes communication much more consistent and effective.
In-house also means that we’re not passing on any additional costs and profit margins created by the involvement of a third-party service, saving everyone time and your money.
A winning plan
Managing a successful franchise usually requires a different skill set than the day-to-day work and it comes down to an understanding of figures, forecasts and careful business planning. d&t has been working within franchise businesses for more than 25 years and knows exactly what it is that the banks are looking for and how to write a winning business plan. Being adept at identifying a business’ objectives and being an integral part of preparing for the future, allows leaders the freedom to consider the impact they would like the company to have and to determine a way to get there. d&t support you all the way, from conception to launch and on to eventual exit when the time is right and at every stage in between.
The business plan should explain your aims from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. Planning is basically a roadmap or SatNav that guides us on how to complete a task before attempting to begin it. All franchise businesses should have a professional business plan for comparing forecast numbers to actual result yields as it holds important information about the overall financial health and efficiency of the business.
Are you serious?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are an essential part of business planning. KPIs are the elements of your plan that express what you want to achieve by when. They are quantifiable, outcome-based statements used to measure your progress; an effective way of driving success through a business and when examined and addressed correctly they can even turn a failing business into a thriving one so you need someone you can trust.
To a potential franchisee, a professional business plan can show franchisors and funders that you are serious about your new venture.
Whether you’re a new start-up or looking at diversifying or expanding, to secure any business borrowing it will be necessary to provide the banks with a detailed business plan. It will need to include information on cash flow, budgets and projections, but also an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis).
A professional business plan written in-house by your franchise accountant will give you confidence as it’s the most effective way to crystallise your business objectives and take you every step of the way along your road to success. A well-thought-out and comprehensive professional plan helps avert risk for the business owner and is also essential for the lender to evaluate projections for steady, achievable growth.
So, whether you’re starting out or looking to grow, you will benefit from a plan especially designed for your organisation.
Head of commercial, Phillip Archer, at award-winning accountancy firm d&t, has a wealth of expertise within the franchise and finance industries. Accredited QFP with the British Franchise Association, Phillip is a voice of authority within this sector.
d&t offers help with business planning with a focus on adding value not just numbers. If you are keen to help you to reach your goals this year, consider keeping everything under one roof with d&t. For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, look out for an exclusive What Franchise reader offer with bank-recommended professional business plans, created in-house, from £595-plus VAT. Conditions apply. Follow the link for more details: https://www.team-dt.com/what-franchisereaderoffer