When starting a business there are many factors that come into play that need to be analysed to ensure its success. Price, place, promotion and product are but some of the important aspects in the business mix that need to be planned and executed meticulously. In the flurry of dynamics to consider, many entrepreneurs tend to forget that having a business plan to drive the business processes is actually the most crucial, regardless of the sector type. This is especially true in franchising. Even though the franchising model affords owners the benefit of added support that is rooted in an established foundation, the business plan is just as important as in any other industry. Sally J’Arlette – Joy, the franchisor of Sandwich Baron, shares more on the importance of a business plan for the franchisee and the franchisor.
A business plan is basically a document that summarises the operational and financial objectives of a business. Additionally, this document also gives a detailed outline of the strategies and budgets needed to realise the objectives set forth. In essence it can be seen as the ‘plan of action’ of the company to ensure it progresses at a well calculated and anticipated pace.
Unfortunately, many franchisees underestimate the point of the business plan and how it can enhance their success. Yes, due to the nature of the franchise concept the foundations for the business are in place, people generally know the brand and a form of loyalty has been established. However, this does not automatically mean that the success of the brand will ensure the success of the franchisee’s business.
Fortunately all is not lost and it is never too late to start working more strategically.
A franchisee will find that preparing a business plan while part of a franchise group is more likely to succeed and is easier than if they were involved in an independent business. The franchisor typically has an arsenal of information and material available on the business, its competitors and the environment it operates in, which will be able to guide a franchisee in the process of compiling a document that is both relevant to the brand they represent as well as their own business unit.
When compiling a business plan, a franchisee can include the following general elements to formulate an effective plan of action:
- A company description sharing detailed background information on the business
- The short and long term objectives of the company and how these will be met
- A detailed description of the brand’s target audience – including their demo and psychographics
- The brand’s marketing plan
- The operational plan that is needed to run the business smoothly
- An in-depth financial plan that includes projections and budgets
The discipline of actually creating a business plan will force a franchisee to consider elements that could possibly impact on the business’ effectiveness and it will formalise the projected course of action to steer the business in the right direction.
It is, however, vital to remember that the business plan needs to be a ‘working document’ which must be updated and built on as the business progresses. It is a known fact that in life, the only constant is change and for a business to survive, it needs to keep up with the changes it is faced with. Franchising rules and regulations, agreements and processes will change, and it is vital that a franchisee implements these into the business plan to ensure it is kept relevant.
At Sandwich Baron, we encourage franchisees to be strategic and pro-active within their business as we care about their success – which inevitably affects the success of the brand as a whole. The franchisor is there to help a franchisee to the best of their ability and should be approached throughout the entire life cycle of the business to build on and maintain healthy progress.
Do you have a plan of action for your business?
Opinion piece shared by PR Worx.