What is a Business Plan and Why Do You Need One?
Writing a business plan is one of the most productive ways to start a business. This written guide could serve as the backbone of your business and pave the road to success, whether you are opening a brand new start-up, opening a franchise, or expanding an existing business. Everyone that is involved in your business, whether as owners, executives, employees or investors, has a vested interest in the business plan as it is the guide to how business should start, grow, and proceed. Without a guide, any business can fall short on numerous fronts simply by getting off course. The guide serves as a roadmap that holds you accountable to your original plans in order to achieve your business goals.
What is a Business Plan?
Generally, a business plan is a list of facts, goals, and challenges that you need to keep in mind as you move forward. The most commonly touched upon topics include:
- Mission or purpose of the business
- Detailed description of the services provided
- Specific responsibilities
- Intended market
- Forecasts for potential cash flow
- Desired milestones
Every business’ plan will differ, but these topics should be touched upon in one form or another. Keep in mind, the plans you make only capture a snap shot of what business is like today. It is not set in stone, which means that it can be adapted as your business grows or changes in any way.
The Types of Business Plans
In most scenarios, there are only two types of business plans: formal and informal. Typically, an informal plan is solely for the owners’ purposes, while a formal plan might be printed out and shared with many others, including investors. In the case of a formal business plan, the following topics should be included:
Executive Summary – A summary of the business plan that will give the reader an idea of what is inside the plan without reading the entire document
- Company Overview – The general purpose of the company, what it plans to provide for its customers and how you plan on achieving the goals
- Description of Services – An in depth description of the services provided and what problem they will solve in the intended market.
- Market Analysis – An analysis of the market, the current competition, how your company will stand apart and face the competition
- Team Information – A description of each team member, what role they plan in the company, including board members and founders
- Financial Plan – This should include all financial details of the business, including the profit and loss, balance sheet, historical financial information, and forecasted financial information
- Review Schedule – This holds the company accountable for regular review of the initial plan as business plans are meant to change with the times
Why a Home Care Business Needs a Business Plan
Just like any other business, a home care business needs a business plan. The written guide that you create gives your business a path to follow, goals to achieve, and guidelines to adhere to. The right plan also helps you to determine what type of help you will need, including:
Financial assistance from investors
- Skilled employees in the healthcare industry
- Marketing assistance
The business plan will also lay out all of the important details that you need to figure out, including any licensing rules that are particular to your state, how you plan to obtain needed financing, where you will find your staff, how you will train them, and what your competitors in the area do to succeed.
A business plan is crucial for businesses in any phase, but it is essential for the start-up home healthcare business. As you get things going, numerous questions are going to come up and need answers. When you have those answers all in one place, well thought out, researched, and ready to implement, the entire process will go smoother. A few of the topics that need to be addressed when first starting a senior care business include:
- Licensing fees
- Insurance Needs
- Employee Needs
- Workmen’s Comp Issues
- Office space/rental needs
- Office equipment needs
- Office supply needs
- Cash required for startup
- Total existing capital
- Initial liabilities
- Potential investors
The business plan for a home care business can be formal or informal, as long as all of the details are covered and the document is kept safe and reviewed on a consistent basis. Any business that wants to succeed, whether as a franchise or brand new start-up, needs a place to start, and a business plan is meant to serve as a guide. It keeps you connected to the ideas that you had when you first decided to start your own business.
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