Writing a Business Plan? Here Are 5 Things to Consider

During the spring quarter at Globe University-Sioux Falls, I have been co-teaching the Business of Massage course with Tina Simunek, massage therapy program chair. We’ve covered how to write a business plan for a massage therapy business. It has been a pleasure to translate basic business practices into terms that our massage students could relate to. They have really tackled my weekly content with enthusiasm, and I am excited to see what they develop for their final projects.

business program, business planPeople create business plans for many different reasons. There are all different kinds of business plans, from massage therapy to a social media empire. The primary reason for writing one is to get funding from a bank. Here are five important factors to consider when writing a business plan:

Financials. You need to do research to determine what your costs will be for the items you will need to operate. You need to think of everything that will be needed in your business such as remodeling costs, furnishings, linens, software, etc.  Everything must be realistic and believable; otherwise, it will be hard to convince a banker to loan you money.

Competition. You should know who your primary competitors are and why they are your competition. You will want to know when they are the busiest because this information can help you with your staffing needs.  Don’t forget about the little guy—size of a business doesn’t always matter because it is all about what the customers want.

Knowledge. You need to know everything about your business. All of the in’s and out’s and you need to be able to convey this through words. When someone asks you a question about your business, you should know everything off the top of your head, even your financials.

Audience. You need to understand who will be reading your business plan. When writing your business plan, write in third person and make sure you explain everything thoroughly. The person who is reading your business plan will most likely not know very much about the type of business you are opening, which means you need to go into detail about every little concept/idea.

Format. Make sure you use a format that is easy to read and understand. A banker will not take the time out of their busy schedule to try and figure out what you are trying talk about. Make sure you use all the same font style and size throughout. Make sure it looks visually pleasing and use color.

Business plans are an important facet for starting a new business or revamping a current business.  Creating a business plan can help save you money in the long run because it could stop you from opening a business that wouldn’t be profitable, or it could give you the inspiration to open the business that will make you a millionaire.

By Angela Livingston, Business Program Chair, Globe University-Sioux Falls