Business owners who completed business plans were nearly twice as likely to successfully grow their businesses or obtain capital as those who didn’t write a plan, according to a recent survey.
Still, for new business owners, writing a business plan can be a formidable and overwhelming task – especially without proper guidance. That’s why Winmark offers franchisees comprehensive and best-in-class business plan guidance and support to help them get their businesses started off on the right foot.
Business Plans are the Foundation of a Solid Company
While many new entrepreneurs view business plans solely as an avenue to secure outside funding, the advantages of developing a detailed business plan extend far beyond measuring your business’ fiscal health. Creating a comprehensive business plan provides you with valuable insights to gain an understanding of your market, while also giving you the opportunity to better focus your growth strategies.
“Many new franchisees believe that a business plan is just about securing financing at the beginning of their business,” said Renae Gaudette, Winmark’s Vice President of Franchising. “It’s actually a financial and cash flow planning guide for the first two or three years of business. New business owners shouldn’t make the mistake of creating a business plan, securing financing and never looking at it again.”
Instead, Gaudette recommends business owners revisit their business plan every quarter. That way, they can adjust their plan to correspond with what’s actually happening in their business in real-time. It also helps franchisees re-forecast critical budgeting items and future cash flow and inventory needs.
Laying the Groundwork that Guides Future Growth
Business plans are a great tool to help franchise partners and new business owners establish baseline goals to meet their overall business objectives. By providing key expense budgets – from marketing to payroll and inventory – franchisees can see where they want to dedicate their resources to accomplish their individual goals while meeting revenue and profit targets.
But, within the Winmark system, franchise partners are far from being on their own when it comes to developing a business plan. With Winmark’s support, franchisees have access to a unique business plan template that helps them forecast and plan for all business assumptions – including payroll, marketing, inventory and cash flow needs.
“We provide franchisees with a vetted set of assumptions based on actual financial performance from current franchisees in the system, which they provide to us every year,” Gaudette said. “We use these benchmarks to provide a realistic set of assumptions to new franchise partners, who then create their business plan accordingly. We guide new franchisees in creating the plan during training not only to help them secure financing but also to give them a plan for the first few years of their business.”
Setting Realistic and Achievable Business Growth Goals
Each new franchise requires a unique business plan to create opportunities for strategic individualized growth. So, while we have a template for each of our five brands, the plans will vary based on each franchise partner’s specific goals and cash flow needs and availability.
“With business plans – as with anything – it’s important to have realistic expectations and set achievable goals,” Gaudette said. “That’s part of what makes Winmark’s business plan templates so effective. With our one-on-one guidance and support, combined with real data from actual franchisees in our system, we’re able to help new franchisees create realistic, achievable plans that will put them on the road to success.”
If you’re interested in opening a business backed by a franchisor with years of success and expertise, contact us to learn more about franchise opportunities with Winmark Brands.