ADVCOMHBS13 Health Business SkillsDelivery Mode
Flexible Online Face to FaceUnit(s) of Competency
HLTCOM503C Manage a PracticeTitle of Assessment Task
Business Plan Template
Business Plan Assessment Instructions:
The business plan consists of a narrative and several financial spreadsheets. The narrative template is the body of the business plan. It contains over 150 questions divided into several sections. Work through the numbered sections in any order you like except for the Executive Summary which should be done last. Skip any questions that do not apply to your type of business.
When you are through writing your first draft you will have a collection of small essays on the various topics of the business plan. Then you will want to edit them into a smooth flowing narrative.
You are required to submit the completed templates that are issued with this assessment and answer any other sections of the plan in a separate document. This will be your completed business plan.
The real value of doing a business plan is not having the finished product in hand; rather the value lies in the process of research and thinking about your business in a systematic way. The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly study and research when you are not sure of the facts and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now but avoids costly perhaps disastrous mistakes later.
This business plan is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances. Your business plan can be used to make an effective presentation to investors or bankers. If this is why you are writing your plan then pay particular attention to your writing style. You will be judged by the quality and appearance of your work as well as your ideas.
It typically takes several weeks to complete a good plan. Most of that time is spent in research and re-thinking your ideas and assumptions. But then that is the value of the process. So make time to do the job properly. Those who do never regret the effort. And finally be sure to keep detailed notes on your sources of information and the assumptions underlying your financial data.
Business name: Your Business Name
Address: Address Line 1
Address Line 2
Town County Postal Code
Telephone: 01234 567890
Fax: 01234 567890
Table of contents
Executive summary 6
General Business Description 7
Products and services 8
Marketing plan 9
Operational Plan 15
Financial plan 19
Appendices 20 Executive summary
Write this section last!
We suggest you make it 1 page.
Include everything that you would cover in a 5-minute interview.
Explain the fundamentals of the proposed business: what your services are who will be your customers be who are the owners what do you think the future holds for your business and your industry?
Make it enthusiastic professional complete and concise.
If applying for a loan state clearly how much you want precisely how you are going to use it and how the money will make your business more profitable thereby ensuring repayment.
General Business Description
Business description: What business will you be in? What will you do?
Legal form of ownership: Sole Proprietor Partnership Company or Trust? Why have you selected this form?
Mission Statement: Many companies have a brief mission statement usually in thirty words or less explaining their reason for being and their guiding principles.
Company goals and objectives: Goals are destinations where you want your business to be. Objectives are progress markers along the way to goal achievement. For example a goal might be to have a healthy successful company that is a leader in customer service and has a loyal customer following. Objectives might be annual sales targets and some specific measures of customer satisfaction.
Business philosophy: What is important to you in business?
Target Market: To whom will you market your products? Who is your target market? (State it briefly here you will do a more thorough explanation in the Marketing section).
Describe your industry: Is it a growth industry? What changes do you foresee in your industry short term and long term? How will your company be poised to take advantage of them?
Your most important company strengths and core competencies: What factors will make the company succeed? What do you think your major competitive strengths will be? What background experience skills and strengths do you personally bring to this new venture?
Products and services
Describe in depth your services and/or products (technical specifications drawings photos sales brochures and other bulky items can be attached in the Appendix).
Describe your unique selling proposition: What factors will give you competitive advantages or disadvantages? For example level of quality or unique or proprietary features.
Pricing: What is the pricing for your services and/or products?
Marketing planMarket research Why?
No matter how good your service and your product the business cannot succeed without effective marketing. And this begins with careful systematic research. It is very dangerous to simply assume that you already know about your intended market. You need to do market research to make sure they are on track. Use the business planning process as your opportunity to uncover data and question your marketing efforts. Your time will be well spent.
Market research How?
There are 2 kinds of market research: primary and secondary.
Secondary research means using published information such as industry profiles trade journals newspapers magazines census data and demographic profiles. This type of information is available online in public libraries industry associations chambers of commerce vendors who sell to your industry and government agencies.
There are more online sources than you could possibly use. Most librarians are pleased to guide you through their business data collection. You will be amazed at what is there. Your Chamber of Commerce has good information on the local area. Trade associations and trade publications often have excellent industry specific data.
Primary market research means gathering your own data. For example you could do your own traffic count at a proposed location use the yellow pages to identify competitors and do surveys or focus group interviews to learn about consumer preferences. Professional market research can be very costly but there are many books out that show small business owners how to do effective research by themselves.
In your marketing plan be as specific as possible; give statistics & numbers and sources. The marketing plan will be the basis later on of the all-important sales projection. Use the information gathered in your research to guide you in your planning.
Facts about your industry:
What is the total size of your market?
Current demand in target market
Trends in target market growth trends trends in consumer preferences and trends in product development.
Growth potential and opportunity for a business of your size
What barriers to starting your business do you face? Some typical ones are:High capital costs
High production costs
High marketing costs
Consumer acceptance/brand recognition
Change in technology
Change in your industryProduct
In the Products/Services section you described your products and services as YOU see them. Now describe them from your CUSTOMERS point of view.
Features and Benefits
List all your major services and/or products.
For each product/service:Describe the most important features. That is what will the product do for the customer? What is special about it?
Now for each produce/service describe its benefits. That is what will the product do for the customer?Note the difference between features and benefits and think about them. For example a house that gives shelter and lasts a long time is made with certain materials and to a certain design; those are its features. Its benefits include pride of ownership financial security providing for the family inclusion in a neighbourhood. You build features into your product so you can sell the benefits.
What after-sale services will be given? Some examples are delivery warranty service contracts support follow up or refund policy.
Identify your targeted customers their characteristics and their locations; ie. demographics.
The description will be completely different depending on whether you plan to sell to other businesses or directly to consumers. If you sell a consumer product but sell it through a channel of distributors wholesalers and retailers then you must carefully analyse both the end consumer and the middlemen businesses to which you sell.
You may well have more than one customer group. Identify the most important groups. Then for each consumer group construct what is called a demographic profile:Age
Other (specific to your industry)For business customers the demographic factors might be:Industry (or portion of an industry)
Size of firm
Other (specific to your industry)Competition
What products and companies will compete with you?
List your major competitors include their names & addresses.
Will they compete with you in across the board or just for certain services/products certain customers or in certain locations?
Will you have important indirect competitors? (For example video rental stores compete with theatres though they are different types of business.)
How will your products/services compare with the competition?
Use the table called Competitive Analysis below to compare your company with your three most important competitors. In the first column are key competitive factors. Since these vary from one industry to another you may want to customise the list of factors.
In the cell labelled Me state how you honestly think you will likely stack up in customers minds. Then check whether you think this factor will be a strength or a weakness for you. Sometimes it is hard to analyse our own weaknesses. Try to be very honest here. Better yet get some disinterested strangers to assess you. This can be a real eye-opener. And remember that you cannot be all things to all people. In fact trying to causes more businesses to failure because your efforts become scattered and diluted. You want an honest assessment of your firms strong and weak points.
Now analyse each major competitor. In a few words state how you think they compare.
In the final column estimate the importance of each competitive factor to the customer. 1 = critical; 5 = not very important.
Table 1: Competitive AnalysisFactor
Importance to CustomerProducts
Having done the competitive matrix write a short paragraph stating your competitive advantages and disadvantages.
Now that you have systematically analysed your industry your product your customers and the competition you should have a clear picture or where your company fits into the world.
In one short paragraph define your niche your unique corner of the market. What is your unique selling proposition?
Now outline a marketing strategy that is consistent with your niche. For example if you intend to specialise with pregnant women then marketing to hospitals or prenatal yoga schools would be aligned to your niche.
How will you get the word out to customers?
Advertising: what media will you use why and how often? Why this mix and not some other? Is advertising right for your business?
Have you identified low cost methods to get the most out of your promotional budget?
Will you use methods other than paid advertising such as trade shows social media catalogues dealer incentives cross promotions word of mouth (how will you stimulate it?) network of friends or professionals?
What image do you want to project? How do you want customers to see you?
In addition to advertising what plans do you have for graphic image support? This includes things like logo design cards and letterhead brochures signage and interior design (if customers come to your place of business).
How will you maintain contact with your existing clientele to gain repeat business?
How much will you spend on the items listed above?
Before startup? (These numbers will go into your Startup budget.)
Ongoing? (These numbers will go into your Operating Plan budget.)
Explain your method of setting your prices process. For most small businesses having the lowest price is not a good policy. It robs you of needed profit margin; customers may not care as much about price as you think; and large competitors can under-price you anyway. Usually you will do better to have average prices and compete on quality and service.
Does your pricing strategy fit with what was revealed in your competitive analysis?
Compare your prices with those of the competition. Are they higher lower the same? Why?
How important is price as a competitive factor? Do your intended customers really make their purchase decisions mostly on price?
Will you have a credit policy? If so what is it?
What is your customer service policy?
Creating your Marketing Plan
Using the Marketing Plan template create a marketing plan for the first 12 months. Its important to track your marketing results to help with future planning. What worked what didnt?
Probably you do not have a precise location picked out yet. This is the time to think about what you want and need in a location. Many startups run successfully from home for a while.
You will describe your physical needs later in the Operational section of your business plan. Here in the marketing section analyse your location criteria as they will affect your customers.
Is your location important to your customers? If yes how?
If customers come to your place of business:
Is it convenient? Parking? Interior spaces? Not out of the way?
Is it consistent with your image?
Is it what customers want and expect?
Where is the competition located? Is it better for you to be near them (like car dealers or fast food restaurants) or distant (like convenience food stores)?
Now that you have described your products services customers markets and marketing plans in detail it is time to attach some numbers to your plan. Use the sales forecast spreadsheet to prepare a month-by-month projection. The forecast should be based upon your historical sales the marketing strategies that you have just described upon your market research and industry data if available.
You may wish to do two forecasts: 1) a best guess which is what you really expect and 2) a worst case low estimate that you are confident you can reach no matter what happens.
Remember to keep notes on your research and your assumptions as you build this sales forecast and all subsequent spreadsheets in the plan. This is critical if you are going to present it to funding sources.
It is also essential to record your actual sales and expenses to help with future planning. Good financial records are essential to any small business success.
Operational PlanExplain the daily operation of the business its location equipment people processes and surrounding environment.
How and where are your products/services produced? Explain your methods of:Production techniques & costs
What qualities do you need in a location? Describe the type of location you will have.
Physical requirements:Space; how much?
Type of building
Power and other utilitiesAccess: Is it important that your location be convenient to transportation or to suppliers?
Do you need easy walk-in access?
What are your requirements for parking and proximity to motorways airports rail shipping centres?
Include a drawing or layout of your proposed facility if it is important as it might be for a manufacturer.
Construction? Most new companies should not sink capital into construction but if you are planning to build then costs and specifications will be a big part of your plan.
Cost: Estimate your occupation expenses including rent but also including: maintenance utilities insurance and initial remodelling costs to make it suit your needs. These numbers will become part of your financial plan.
What will be your business hours?
Describe the following relevant to your business:Licensing and bonding requirements
Health workplace or environmental regulations
Special regulations covering your industry or profession
Zoning or building code requirements
Trademarks copyrights or patents (pending existing or purchased)Personnel
How many employees will work in your clinic?
How will your business be structured? (the receptionist reports to office manager who reports to business owner)
What are the job roles within the business? Write up job descriptions for each job role to make it clear to your staff what is required of them.
How much will you pay your staff? Ensure the pay structure meets the award rates as a minimum.
Prepare a payroll system that allows you to record and manage all employee payment details.
How will you assess the ongoing competency and training required by your staff?
Will training be delivered internally or externally?
Include your clinics guidelines policy and procedure for dealing with customer complaints (not that youll have any).
Professional and Advisory Support
List your Professional advisors details below:Attorney
Mentors and key advisors in addition to the aboveManaging Meetings
Develop a meeting agenda to focus on support strategies for staff members briefly describe how the support strategies that would be discussed can be implemented to improve the wellbeing of staff
Managing your Stock
What kind of products will be kept in your clinic: raw materials supplies finished goods?
Average value in stock (i.e. what is your stock investment)?
Record the sales of your stock to establish the rate of turnover and how this compares to industry averages?
What products will be affected by different seasons throughout the year? Its important to take this into account when ordering your stock.
How long will it take for your stock order to be delivered by your supplier?
Identify your key suppliers.Names & addresses
Type of products
Credit & delivery policies
History & reliabilityIs it important to have more than one supplier for critical items (as a backup)?
Do you expect shortages or short term delivery problems?
Are supply costs steady or fluctuating? If fluctuating how would you deal with changing costs?
For most of your services and products sales your clientele will pay at the time of consultation. If not you will need to have a credit policy in place. The questions below will help you.
Do you really need to sell on credit? Is it customary in your industry and expected by your clientele?
If yes what policies will you have about who gets credit and how much?
How will you check the creditworthiness of new applicants?
What terms will you offer your customers; i.e. how much credit and when is payment due?
Managing your Accounts Receivable
If you do extend credit you should do an ageing report at least monthly to track how much of your money is tied up in credit given to customers and to alert you to slow payment problems. A receivables ageing report looks like this:
Over 90 DaysAccounts Receivable Ageing
You will need a policy for dealing with slow paying customers.
When do you make a phone call?
When to send a letter?
When to get your attorney to threaten?
Managing your Accounts Payable
You should also age your Accounts Payable what you owe to your suppliers. This helps you plan who to pay and when. Paying too early depletes your cash but paying late can cost you valuable discounts and damage your credit. (Hint: if you know you will be late making a payment call the creditor before the due date. It tends to relax them.)
Are prompt payment discounts offered by your proposed vendors?
A payables ageing looks like this:
Over 90 DaysAccounts Payable Ageing
Financial planThe financial plan consists of a 12-month profit and loss projection a cash flow projection a projected balance sheet and a breakeven calculation. Together they constitute a reasonable estimate of your businesss financial future. More importantly however the process of thinking through the financial plan will improve your insight into the inner financial workings of your business.
Twelve Month Profit and Loss Projection
Many business owners think of this as the centrepiece of their plan. This is where you put it all together in numbers and get an idea of what it will take to make a profit and be successful.
Your sales projections will come from a twelve-month sales forecast in which you forecast sales cost of goods sold expenses and profit month by month for one year.
Profit projections should be accompanied by a narrative explaining the major assumptions used to estimate company income & expenses.
Research Notes: Keep careful notes on your research and assumptions so you can explain them later if necessary and also so you can go back to your sources when it is time to revise your plan later on.
Complete the Yearly Profit and Loss Projection Spreadsheet.
AppendicesInclude details & studies used in your Business Plan; for example:Brochures & advertising materials
Blueprints & plans
Maps & photos of location
Magazine or other articles
Detailed lists of equipment owned or to be purchased
Copies of leases & contracts
Letters of support from future customers
Any other materials needed to support the assumptions in this plan
Market research studies
List of assets available as collateral for a loan
Financial documents to include:
Personal Financial statement
Start-up Expense statement
Cash flow projection
Profit and Loss Forecast