The pursuit of perfection is admirable but must be tempered by reality. Ideally, you should seek guidance from experts if your intention is to own a business that will take off and grow.
If you want to write a business plan, of course you want it to be perfect. Entrepreneurs are like expectant parents during this stage. You’ve bought all the right books, you’re watching your financial diet, marking your calendar with key dates towards a potential grand opening, believing that your business venture will be a source of joy, freedom from the professional imprisonment of spirit that even a highly paid-white collar job can be and that it can be perfect, even if been-there-done-that entrepreneurs tell you scary personal tales.
Not to burst your business bubble, but just as parents of newborns learn very quickly that “perfect” can be a messy pursuit, you best anticipate now that writing the perfect business plan and further, building a business held to such a standard needs to be tempered with the reality of cutthroat competition, marketing an unknown concept (perhaps), plus balancing staff and cash flow; just a few elements of your business plan in action that will redefine the perfection you hope to write into your plan.
Sitting in front of a blinking cursor, your essential task when writing a business plan is to have a sort of Q and A session with yourself with the objective of identifying exactly where you wish your business to go and where you hope it will be in one, five or ten years. Consider your profit goals for each of those points on your entrepreneurial timeline, if you will. From there, the nitty-gritty can commence which is to determine exactly how you are going to accomplish those objectives and figure out if you need some help rather than doing all of this on your own.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Alan Lakein, author
Bob Heimbuch, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for the Washington DC/Virginia/Maryland and Pittsburgh Regions, is perfectly happy to be a source of credible expert advice even if the choice a person makes leads them to a path other than franchise ownership. He recognizes that Minuteman Press franchise ripoffs in the form of trendy or fad franchise opportunities are out there and he cares to guide people objectively, so they can make wise decisions for themselves.
Bob says, “The perfect business plan is the one that has two objectives, the first is a realistic road map that you can use as a benchmark as you build your business and the second objective is the business plan that convinces a financial institution to loan you the funds that you need to start your business. Many financial institutions will provide you with a business plan template that all you need to do is fill in the blanks, it’s the information that you put in these blanks that the bank will use to make their decision.”
Bob advises further, citing the need to keep things as simple as possible, “Starting a new business is a big endeavor for most people and the process should be taken very seriously, but it’s also important to not overcomplicate the process including the assembly of your business plan. Your business plan will have two parts, a section for factual information and a section for forecasts. When completing the factual information keep it simple and stick to only the facts, a good business plan is not dictated by the volume of information you put in it, it’s based on the validity of the information you put in it. When completing your forecasts use numbers that are realistic and obtainable, this will not only give you a clearer picture of the financial aspect of your endeavor but it will also give your financial institution comfort in knowing that you are not going into this entrepreneurial endeavor with your eyes closed.”
Writing the perfect business plan is often made easier through taking inspiration from a tried and true model
Mike Berg, Minuteman Press franchise business owner in Ashland, Virginia, like most of his fellow owners serves as a stress-relieving source of wisdom for current and would-be business owners. As such, Mike is happy to offer the following advice about drawing up just the right business plan for you. He says, “There are numerous books and online articles that will provide the necessary step-by-step ‘how to write a great business plan’. The difficulty is to make it specific to your business, area, competition and aspirations. Taking the time to refine your plan will make it an effective tool, not just a task to check off and put into a drawer. The business plan requires periodic updates to reflect your progress or lack of and changes to your industry and competition. A yearly review with appropriate adjustments will keep your goals on track and help define priorities to concentrate on.”
As he entertains questions and visits from potential franchise owners with generosity, Mike advises those who are considering the path he has chosen and brought to great success, that of a B2B services franchise owner. For folks interested, Mike says, “A great resource to draw on for the initial or modified business plan is your corporate personnel and well defined programs available on our company web site. You paid for your franchise so use all the assistance that is available. We find our regional vice president and field representative are very knowledgeable, extremely helpful and always available to help.”
For those who go further into the process of investigating franchise options and discover that not only do they not have Minuteman Press complaints, but that Minuteman Press International is the number one rated digital print, design and marketing franchise, buying a printing franchise is just the right move. To his peers, Mike says, “Remember, your business is unique from other Minuteman Press locations by virtue of your time in operation, experience level and competition. Make sure your business plan reflects those differences and incorporates strategies to build on your specific situation and strengths.”
- According to a study by Babson College, owners who did not write a sound business plan did not achieve any greater success than those who did…except when it came to money. The results indicated that business plans were very important tools when it comes to securing investment capital
Bob Ylinen, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President in Northern California, has helped many people rebuild their professional lives through playing the role of expert advisor. While writing a business plan for a new concept can sometimes work, he has seen thousands of entrepreneurs forgo the riskier independent business model once they discover the edge that franchise ownership gives to them. Minuteman Press is the modern version of the printing industry and in a day when many lesser franchisors can claim success that is unproven with the ease of an online ad, you must be wary to avoid those. Minuteman Press franchise complaints are not to be found when people discover their royalty cap and award-winning training, for instance.
Bob Ylinen says, “A business grows many ways and for many reasons but mostly directly related to what the owner does or does not do to promote the products and or services their establishment offers. From my experience, coming from a business to business services industry franchise, I really feel that we have a very distinct advantage over a retail type of operation since we do not have to wait for something to happen, in other words we don’t have to rely on the customers coming to us we can go to them and make things happen.”
Bob Heimbuch is pleased to help eager entrepreneurs discover the greatest path to their own professional success, whether that means writing a business plan from scratch or electing to take advantage of one of the greatest gifts to our economy, franchise ownership. Bob tells us more about how a business plan moves closer to “perfect” through the franchise model, adding, “Writing a business plan for a franchise investment is always easier than writing one for an independent business venture. This is because most of the information that makes up the nuts and bolts of the business plan has been identified with the franchise model and any good franchise company will walk their future franchise owners through the process of putting together a perfect business plan. You will also find that financial institutions are more apt to approve a business plan for a franchise investment because of
the franchises successful business model and its proven success.”
We all want to write the perfect business plan and see that it plays out just as we prepared, just as expectant parents anticipate being perfectly prepared for their new arrival, hopes and dreams fulfilled. Wisdom insists that we redefine perfection to include flexibility, humility and guidance from people who have walked our intended path and found both joy and prosperity from the challenges that will inevitably come along the way. Just as it takes a village to raise a child into adulthood, it is reasonable to consider that it takes an equivalent village to raise a business from a plan into reality.
About Minuteman Press International
Minuteman Press International is a number one rated business marketing and printing franchise that offers world class training and unparalleled ongoing local support. Started in 1973 by Roy Titus and his son Bob, Minuteman Press began franchising in 1975 and has grown to over 950 business service franchise locations worldwide including the U.S., Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Minuteman Press is ranked #1 in category by Entrepreneur for 14 years in a row and 25 times overall, including 2017. We are the modern version of the printing industry, providing high quality products and services for businesses that go way beyond just ink on paper. Today our stores produce promotional products, custom apparel, direct mail advertising, large format printing (banners and posters), signs, and much more. Prior experience is not necessary to own and operate a successful Minuteman Press franchise.
Learn more about Minuteman Press design, printing, and marketing franchise opportunities by calling 1-800-645-3006 and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at www.minutemanpressfranchise.com