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SME Guide

The simple business plan format for your start up

Anything you failed to plan for has already been planned to fail. Starting up a business is not an exception. Many people have succeeded in business without a plan on paper. The fact is that those that actually succeeded in various businesses without written plans had those plans on their mind. And they would have been more successful if they had put those plans down.

I have come to know that most entrepreneurs do not have business plans because they do not know how to go about drafting business plans that will be acceptable to lenders or most investors because of the business plan formats available are complex and someone that is not highly educated may not be able to produce a good business plan using any of those format. And, those that require business plans may not be able to pay Consultants to produce for them.

Whether you are planning to get a loan for your business or not, you require a business plan for you to make more progress in your business venture. The plan can be fine-tuned as you progress. Below is a simple business plan format to get you started:

  1. Paint the picture of your business. Here, you describe everything about the business you are about to start up. The name, the products and services, your vision and mission, your goals, location, how well you understand the business and the industry as well as any other relevant information that will make your business look great.
    For example
    Introducing ABC Laundry and Leather Services
    ABC Laundry and Leather Services is a firm that professionally care for your fabrics and leather materials…
    Our services include:
    Laundry and Dry cleaning
    Clothe Repairs
    Shoe Repairs and Polishing
    Our vision is to be the best in what we do. Our mission is to ensure that all our customers’ needs are met on time.
    We are located in XYZ Street.
    We go the extra mile in our service delivery to ensure that we retain all our customers as well as attract new ones.
    Just think, look through your industry so as to discover what you will do better and add to your description. Ensure the content is well arranged.
  2. Your target market and how you will get your market share. Here you state those that will be your prospects/customers and how you will ensure they patronize you.
    For Example,
    Our Target Market
    We are targeting people on our street and the whole neighbourhood. We have discovered that there is no laundry and dry cleaning service being rendered in XYZ Street where we are located and those rendering such services in the neighbourhood do not offer leather services.
  3. State your growth strategy. Here you put down on paper how you are going to sustain your business as well all the strategies that you will put in place to ensure your business continue to thrive.
    For Example,
    Our Growth Strategy
    We started with one office, one washing machine, one electric iron, one sewing machine and a table with four employees. We plan to add at least one collection centre in a good location every six months and employee additional two staff to support the expansion.
    We also plan to get a generator and other assets that will assist in our growth strategy as the case maybe within the first six months.
  4. State your marketing plan. It is a known fact that without sales one will be out of business sooner or later. Here you have to detail how you will be getting people to continuously be patronizing your products or services.
    For Example,
    Our Marketing Plan
    Based on our analysis, we identified that over one 500 household that are busy business  owners and civil servants resides in the neighbourhood. We are targeting two hundred of them. We will be posting posters and banners in strategic places within the neighbourhood to be able to realize of target. We will be employing two Marketing Officers to drive this as well execute other functions that will positively impact the organization.
  5. Operations and Management Plan. Here you, you state your operations’ guidelines and Management goals that will be strictly followed by all. In some organizations the operations guideline is called SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).
    For Example,
    Our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
    Once any client brings clothes for dry-cleaning, the Receiving Officer receives them and records them for the clients to sign.
    ii. The clothes will then be tagged against the client.
    iii. The Dry-Cleaners dry-clean the clothes without mixing them with other clients’ clothes.
    iv. Once the clothes are ready, the tags will be removed and the clients name and balance if any paste on the nylon used to pack the clothes.
    v. The nylon packs used in packing the client’ clothes are arranged accordingly on the shelf.
    vi. When the client comes for the clothes, the Delivery Officer confirms if he or she has a balance to pay, and hands over the nylon pack containing the clothes to the client once confirms the client is good to go.
    vii. The customer signs of that he or she has collected the clothes. If we a delivering to them they will sign the Dispatch Book.
    viii. The Supervisor goes through the records every close of business to ensure compliance of the SOP.

    Our Goals
    To become so relevant to our clients so that they will always need our services.

  6. The Financials. This is where you forecast monetary value of the assets you will need to start up, your income and expenditure. You can make it simple by taken into accounts what you will need to start and preparing simple profit and loss account for one year. Some people will want all financial statements to be included here as well as up to five years comparative financial statements. I believe that if you can get it right in the first year of your operations, you will be able to navigate through the years once you acting on your plans and making necessary changes.

For Example,
Cost Estimate to Start up ABC Laundry and Leather Services

  1. Office Space                                                        –  N400,000.00
  2. Furniture and Fittings                                         – N300,000.00
  3. Washing Machines and other equipment        – N800,000.00
  4. Generator Set                                                         –  N250,000.00
  5. Website Development & Hosting                      –  N150,000.00
  6. Printing & stationery                                            –  N150,000.00
  7. Marketing expenses                                               – N200,000.00
  8. Salaries for three months (N200,000.00 X 3) – N600,000.00
  9. Internet, office lines/calls, miscellaneous        – N150,000.00
  10. Detergents and others – N50,000.00
    Total                                                                         = N3,050,000.00

Financial Projections
A. We are targeting 200 households from the neighbourhood. We are expecting on the average for 20 of the households to be patronizing the business daily for the first three months and for the patronage to be increasing by 25 per cent after every three month.     

  • We expect for each of the household to bring a minimum of 5 clothes on each transaction and our average fee for each of the clothes will be N250.00
  • We expect the cost of detergent and starch for washing each clothe to be N20.00
  • Fueling each day to be 10 litres at N145.00 per litre
  • Other expenses should be N10, 000.00 every week on the average
  • Servicing of the Generator should be N4, 000.00 monthly
  • 6 working days apply

1st three months – 20 households X 5 clothes X N250.00 per clothe X 6 working days X 4 weeks X 3 months = N1,800,000.00

2nd Quarter – 25 households X 5 clothes X N250.00 per clothe X 6 working days X 4 weeks X 3 months = N2, 250,000.00

3rd Quarter – 31 households X 5 clothes X N250.00 per clothe X 6 working days X 4 weeks X 3 months = N2, 790,000.00

4th Quarter – 39 households X 5 clothes X N250.00 per clothe X 6 working days X 4 weeks X 3 months = N3, 510,000.00

Total Revenue = N10, 350,000.00

i. Cost of detergent and starch for the year – 41,400 clothes X N20.00 = N828, 000.00
ii. Fueling for the year – 288 days X 10 litres X N145.00 per litre = N417, 600.00
iii. Servicing of Generator for the year – N4, 000.00 X 12 months = N48, 000.00
iv. Other Expenses for the year – N10, 000.00 X 4 weeks X 12 months = N480, 000.00
v. Salary for the year – 1st Q (N600, 000.00) + (1st, 2nd & 3rd at N900, 000.00 per Q) = N3, 300,000.00
vii. Annual rent – N400, 000.00
viii. 25 per cent depreciation of assets of N1, 350,000.00 = N337, 500.00

Total Expenditures = N, 811,100.00

Profit for the year = N4, 538,900.00

Kindly note that this is a simple way to prepare your business plan even if you are not educated and this will give you direction on how to ensure you succeed.

There is no specific format to adopt. All you have to do is to ensure you researched well on any business you want to start up and be as detailed as you can to ensure your plan is workable and a sure guide.

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