We are trying to a solve a problem for a number of our clients (mainly PT & Martial Arts Studios). The problem is this.. how can we create a simple, living breathing plan for their business. Something too large and it does not get updated, something too light-weight and it does not really help them.
This is where we have landed so far – https://club-plan.herokuapp.com/ It is a little free tool that lets them see where they are now and where they want to be in the future (through some basic graphs). It then asks them to document how they think they will get there.
What tools do you use? Is there something out there already that provides a nice tradeoff between time investment and an actionable plan?
I think you want to stratify your tool to include a basic level for people to use when first conceiving of opening a business. That is the best time to get in the habit of thinking forward. Then a second level would be for an existing business to grow wisely. I think before going forward with this you want to expand it a great deal. A tool will be most helpful when it covers aspects of competition, population density, transportation issues, local prices, as well as all aspects of overhead and start up costs.
They need to know what clients they want to target and the type of training they would like to offer. Once they have figure out these 2 factors, coming with a plan is not hard. Most people just don’t know what they want and go with the flow. Or they just trying to keep up with what is popular now and once the trend has passed, they have no idea how to evolve from there. Trying to make business plan that goes 5-10 years into the future can sometime prove to be a death trap if you don’t know who you are and/or what you want. In other words your clients should know exactly what they want and not going with the current trend or flow.
Beverly’s last thought was my first thought – what experience do they have in business and do they really know what it takes to start up and run a business?
I’m a former accountant, so when I think business plan, I think of running the numbers for short and long term break-even and growth. You might want to ask some simple questions about that, because financial projections and how they intend to meet them are key.
You might look at the SBA and other small business sites to see their business plan suggestions and customize for your clientele