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Business Plan


SHEN
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Shen

Here is an excerpt from one of the eBooks we have in our vending library. It explains a little about business plans and purpose. Once you get 20+ posts, you'll have access to our member PLUS section.

Steve

You may be asking yourself, is a business plan for my

proposed vending business really necessary? Well, as hard

as it may seem at first, the answer to this question is a

resounding yes! If you don't feel that you want to do a

business plan, at least in rudimentary form, then don't

plan on going into the vending business.

A business plan is a method of precisely defining your

business goals and sets out where you want to go with the

business. The basic components include a balance sheet, an

income statement and a cash flow analysis. This helps you

allocate resources and develop a financial plan to run a

successful business.

It is also necessary if you need to borrow money to get

started. Financial institutions require a business plan in

order to determine if you qualify for a loan. A

comprehensive business plan is necessary to acquire funding

and credit from suppliers. It is also necessary to help you

manage your business successfully and achieve your goals.

Even if you are not applying for a loan or other types of

funding, it is important to have a written plan. Reviewing

the plan can help you decide if you need to expand, change

machines, change products or even to get out of the

business if necessary.

Objectives of Your Business Plan

A business plan lays out the future of your business. It is

a written document, which tells what you do and how you

plan to do it. While your plan is a unique document

designed for your type of business, there are certain

objectives contained within any good business plan:

1. Sets forth goals and how they will be achieved.

2. Defines obstacles and outlines strategies to overcome them.

3. States the legal and organizational structure of the business.

4. Quantifies financial needs and makes financial projections.

Length of your business plan

The length of your plan depends on the purpose you will use

it for. If you need to acquire venture capital for your

business, you may need to provide extensive detail for

prospective investors. If your plan is simply a roadmap for

you to follow, it can be quite short. Whether it is one

paragraph or 100 pages depends entirely on your objectives.

Your Business Plan is Unique

Business plans vary from industry to industry and from

business to business. No two plans are alike. Your emphasis

should be on providing an accurate and realistic

presentation of your business. Your plan is about you and

your business - this makes it a unique creation.

That said, you can still benefit by studying sample

business plans - like those at Bplans.com. Notice the

various formats and styles used by the authors. Do you see

categories you should include in your plan? How did the

author structure their writing to conclude a point? Take

the lead from sample plans to capture the tone and refine

your own plan.

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  • 1 year later...

Great advice!  Any business requires forethought and an actionable plan.  I highly recommend a business plan for any endeavor.  Microsoft word online offers business plan templates that can be a good place to start.  Good luck!

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Shen,

Start simple with it and chip away at it daily if you have to in order to get it done, but get it done!  You can keep it in Word and Excel for financial scenarios and go back and measure up your progress and modify as needed.

Start with the name of your business on top of Page 1.  Ask yourself:

What kind of vending I want to be in?

What products?

Which markets will I locate?

What kind of money do I want to make?

After you fill these in, your plan will start to take shape.

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Don't you just love it when these new "members" come on here and are soooo friendly and soooo helpful??!!  While a few may be genuine, most have a hidden agenda - like maybe to sell us something!

If is sniffs like a sales dog, barks like a sales dog and posts like a sales dog, well then it probably is a sales dog! 

Jax

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come on Jax that is not entirely true.  I am new and have absolutely nothing to sell (well probably nothing anyone would want).  I have found these forums to be extremely helpful in feeling out the vending business and whether it is something I want to get into.

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All, to be perfectly honest, unless you are going for a bank loan, a BP is pretty useless. What is far more important is a budget. Identifying all of your costs and expected income will tell you right away if it makes sense to do the business (i.e., will you make enough $ for your time).

BPs are usually filled with fluff anyway and have very unrealistic expectations in them. They contain more of what you *want* to do rather than what you *can* do.

Lastly, for something like vending, it is too easy. There is zero need for a BP unless you want to get a loan to buy a lot of Vendstars from the BizOp :)

Kevin

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My BP is not for me, its in case a location asks to see it.  No idea why they would, but I want to look professional and prepared in the rare case it comes up.  Anyway, its really easy and doesn't take much time or space.

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Alyssamma,

I disagree with your assessment on BPs.  Those who make BPs with unrealistic expectations and "fluff" did not do sufficient research when preparing their plans.  I have done meticulous calculations and put a lot of effort into my plan to ensure that it is realistic and goals can be reached, and the income/expenses that could happen based on real data generated over the past 3 years.  I also review it once or twice a year and adjust as needed to keep within reason. I have read many times and have been told "Plan your work, and work your plan," and that is what I try to do.

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Joe, if it works for you then that is great. However, I don't want a newbie with 10 machines to think they need a business plan to make things work.

In fact, I bet most people on here don't have BPs.

Understand that I'm not knocking you for having one. If it works for you then that is great. And it may work for others. But I still say that unless you are trying to get a loan - and then only special loans like SBAs - a BP won't do much for you.

In fact, based on your post, I would say that you would have had the same success whether or not you made the BP. Why? Because you seem like an organized person who knows what they are doing.

Still, if the BP helped that organization for you, great :)

Kevin

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  • 2 weeks later...

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