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A SAMPLE BUSINESS PLAN

 

A well-written business plan is a crucial ingredient in preparing for business success. Without a sound business plan, a firm merely drifts along without any real direction. Yet, entrepreneurs, who tend to be people of action, too often jump right into a business venture without taking time to prepare a written plan outlining the essence of the business.

You should begin by writing down the answer to the very basic question, "What business am I in?" This may sound elementary, but answering this question with thought and consideration will help you focus on the major purpose of the business, which leads to establishing goals and objectives. In turn, these serve as aids in creating strategies, policies, and procedures. Every small business should have policies concerning credit, customers, product lines, image, prices, advertising, and so on. It is important to plan in writing; otherwise, the planning function either is ignored altogether or is conducted too informally.

This sample has all of the ingredients to produce an excellent business plan.

To print this page, set your browser to "do not print background colors". It prints about 10 pages depending on your printer.

 

Executive Summary
Key executives: Mr. James K. Quadrant
978 Lakeside Drive
Hamilton, New York 13346
(515) 555-5431
Mr. Isiah M. Gradient
113 Broughton Road
Hamilton, New York 13346
(315) 555-6871
   
Business: Quadrant Surveying & Equipment Company
600 Madison Drive
Hamilton, New York 13346
(315) 555-4000
   
Business size: $378,000 in billings in latest fiscal year. Qualify under SBA definition of a "small business."
   
Form of ownership: S Corporation
   
Loan purpose: To purchase 1 Zeiss total stage with data storage and transfer capabilities to improve the quantity and the quality of the surveying jobs performed for clients.
   
Amount requested: $25,000
.
  Mr. James K. Quadrant
978 Lakeside Drive
Hamilton, New York 13346
(315) 555-5431
.  
Work experience:
1974-present Quadrant Surveying & Engineering Company, Hamilton, New York. Manager-Partner. Created business and continues to actively manage technical aspects of field operations. Supervised project managers of six field crews.
.  
1970-1974 Boise-Cascade Timber Co., Freeport, Maine. Survey project manager. Supervised field activities of a six-man survey crew. Planned weekly work schedules and monitored work quality.
.  
1965-1970 Hi-Tech Survey Co., Albany, New York Technician. Performed various surveying tasks as a part-time member of a field crew while attending college. Earned 80% of college expenses.
.  
Education:
1969-1970
Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute, Troy, New York Master of Science in Engineering Management. Grades in top 10% of class, GPR of 3.7/4.0.
.  
1965-1969 Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute, Troy, New York Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering Graduated with honors.
.  
References: Mr. Frank Boland
President, Hi-Tech Survey Co.
Troy, New York 12180
(315) 555-1890
Mr. Jeff Anderson
President, Sound Investment Co.
Hamilton, New York 13346
(315) 555-3671
.  
  Ms. Sally LeGrand
Account Executive
Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smith
Portland, Maine 04111
(207) 555-1218
   
.
 

Personal Financial Statement


  Assets Liabilities
  Cash-Savings account

$12,000

Notes payable $10,000
  Checking account

3,000

Mortgage 41,000
  Stocks

22,000

Miscellaneous 6,000
  Keogh contributions

31,000

Total liabilities $57,000
  Home 96,000 Net worth $135,000
  Autos 20,000

Total liabilities
& net worth

$192,000
  Miscellaneous assets 8,000    
 

Total assets

$l92,000    
.        
 
     
  Mr. lsiah M. Gradient
113 Broughton Road
Hamilton, New York 13346
(315) 555-6871
.  
Work experience:
1976-Present Quadrant Surveying & Engineering Co., Hamilton, New York. Managing partner. Supervises internal managerial operations, including financial, accounting, personnel, and planning duties.
   
1971-1975 New York Department of Health & Sanitation, Albany, New York. District Maintenance Engineer. Designed water and sewage projects for cities. Supervised staff of twelve.
   
1966-1970 Hi-tech Survey Co., Albany, New York Technician. Worked part-time as field crew member performed various surveying duties.
   
Education:
1975-1976
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Master of Business Administration. GPR of 40/4.0.
   
1966-1970 Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina. Bachelor of Science degree, in Civil Engineering.
   
References: Mr. John Molooney
Assistant Vice President
Con-Edison
New York, New York 10014
(212) 555-2268
Dr. Fred Target
Professor of Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute
Troy, New York 12181
(518) 555-3196
   
  Mr. Sam Hough
Certified Public Accountant
Charlottesville, Virginia 22201
(804) 555-3241
 
   
   
 

Personal Financial Statement


  Assets Liabilities
  Cash-Savings account

$6,000

Notes payable $14,000
 

Checking account

4,000

Mortgage 59,000
  Mutual funds

27,000

Miscellaneous 6,000
  Stocks 18,000    
  Keogh contributions

24,000

Total liabilities

$79,000
  Home 94,000 Net worth $138,000
  Real estate 17,000

Total liabilities
& net worth

$217,000
  Autos 19,000    
  Miscellaneous assets 8,000    
 

Total assets

$217,000    
         
  COMPANY HISTORY
  James K. Quadrant created Quadrant Surveying & Engineering Company in 1974 as a part-time business venture designed to serve the surveying needs of the local community. Mr. Quadrant began part-time operation of the business in 1975, and Mr. Gradient joined the firm in 1976 to manage the internal operations of the business, while Mr. Quadrant's major responsibilities remained in the area of surveying operations. The two principals' skills, abilities, and areas of concentration are complementary. Annual sales have increased steadily to a record high of $378,000 in the latest fiscal year, and profits peaked at $48,965.
   
  INDUSTRY TRENDS AND THE STATE OF THE ART
  Demand for surveying and engineering services should continue to climb during the next decade for three important reasons. First, the rapid escalation of property values during the 1980s has increased the need for these services by several customer groups. Second, greater mobility among the general public has increased the number of land transfers. Third, the trend of larger financial institutions to buy and sell residential and commercial mortgages translates into more work for surveyors, who must provide closing plats showing property boundaries, location of permanent fixtures, encroachments, and easements. There has been an extremely rapid growth in golf course communities in the last two years, with new development announced to begin in the next three years.

The development of "state of the art" equipment in the surveying industry has paralleled the expansion in the service's demand. The surveyor's tools have undergone a major transformation in the last ten years; they are more sophisticated, more accurate, and more refined than ever before. Technological advances have manifested themselves in two important forms: (1) the development of speedy, accurate computational equipment (e.g., microcomputers, programmable calculators, etc.) that allows the surveyor to perform complex calculations on field data, and (2) the introduction of electronic distance meters (EDMs), which yield more accurate survey measurements faster and facilitate data processing.

   
  KEY SUCCESS FACTORS
  The principals see the following factors playing a critical role in the success of the company:

dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Providing services in a timely fashion.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Accuracy of work.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)"Guaranteed satisfaction."
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Professional image.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Capable work force.

   
  MARKET ANALYSIS
  Quadrant has been extremely successful in carving out a specialty niche for itself as well as in meeting the surveying needs of the general public. The company has earned a reputation as the expert in surveying and planning golf courses. After completing work on two local courses, Quadrant obtained a contract on a large, "upscale" golf course 125 miles west of Hamilton. The work is progressing on schedule and will be finished on time and within budget.
   
  TARGET MARKET
  The principals of Quadrant have identified their primary target market (in descending order of importance) as: (1) golf courses; (2) realtors; (3) attorneys; (4) private landowners. The firm's marketing strategy is designed to attain the return customer by providing quality surveying and engineering service with prompt turnaround. The firm has built its reputation by focusing on quality, and its pricing policy reflects this professional image. General strategy is to tailor pricing to the "cream of the crop."
   
  COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
  Quadrant Surveying & Engineering Company faces no direct competition in its hometown, Hamilton, New York, but there are three primary competitors conducting similar operations in towns within a fifty-mile diameter of Hamilton.

Geodetic Survey, Inc. A small corporation (three principals) whose primary focus is surveying large land tracts for timber companies. Serves 28% of local markets.

Photogrammetry Engineers, Ltd. A small partnership that performs all types of surveying jobs and specializes in surveying by aerial photography. Controls 22% of local market.

Land Surveyors, Inc. A relatively new, aggressive company that also performs all types of surveying jobs and specializes in surveying for local architectural firms, Controls 18% of the local market.

   
  PLAN OF OPERATION
  Quadrant employs the S Corporation form of ownership primarily for tax reasons. The organizational chart is attached on a separate form.
   
  KEY PERSONNEL
  In addition to the principals, whose experience and network of contacts is crucial to the company's success, two long-term field managers play major roles in the firm. As Quadrant grows over the next year, another field manager will be hired.
   
  FINANCIAL DATA
  The following audited financial statements summarize Quadrant's latest operations:
   
 

Quadrant Surveying and Engineering Company

 

Balance Sheet


   
  Assets   Liabilities  
  Current assets:   Current liabilities:  
  Cash $ 5,000 Accounts payable $2,500
  Accounts receivable 4,700    
  Total current assets $ 9,700 Long term liabilities:  
  Fixed assets:   Notes payable 11,500
  20 vehicles 40,500 Mortgages On real  
  3 computers 30,000

property

43,000
  6 sets EDM equipment 48,000 Total L-T liabilities $54,500
  4 transits 6,000 Total liabilities 57,000
  4 levels 4,800 Owner’s equity 127,500
  Misc. field equipment 20,000 Total liabilities &  
  Office fixtures & equip. 18,000 Owners' equity $184,500
  leasehold improvements 7,500    
  Total fixed assets $174,800    
  Total assets $184,500    
         
 

Income Statement

 
  Net sales $378,000  
 

Operating expenses:

   
  Labor expense $219,800  
  Gas expense 29,993  
  Telephone expense 6,270  
  Equipment repair expense 5,600  
  Insurance' expense 9,025  
  Rent expense 5,400  
  Depreciation expense 9,200  
  license expense 1,500  
  Payroll taxes 11,050  
  Office supplies expense 7,200  
  Field supplies expense 10,900  
  Miscellaneous expenses 4,700  
  Total operating expenses   $320,638
  Net operating profit   57,362
  Income taxes   8,397
  Net profit   $ 48,965
       
 

Quadrant Surveying & Engineering Company

 

Break-Even Analysis

 
   

total fixed expenses

 

Break-even sales =


   

1.00 - variable expenses expressed as percentage of sales

     
 

Total expenses

$329,035  
  Fixed 88,122  
  Variable 240,913  
       
   

240,913

 

variable expenses as a % of sales =


   

378,000

       
 

=

0.6373

 
       
   

88,122

 

Break-even sales=


    1.00 - 0.06373
       
 

Break-even sales=

$242,961

 
       
       

       

Projected Cash Budget


 
Cash Receipts Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug

SALES COLLECTIONS:

20,000 25,000 28,000 33,000 47,000 54,000 58,000 55,000
20% same month 5,600 6,600 9,400 10,800 11,600 11,000
60% first month after sale 15,000 16,800 19,800 28,200 32,400 34,800
18% second month after sale Other cash receipts 3,600 4,500 5,040 5,940 8A60 9,720
TOTAL CASH RECEIPTS 250 50 380 160 400 100
CASH DISBURSEMENTS 24,450 27,950 34,620 45,100 52,860 55,620

Wages

    15,680 18,480 26,320 30,240 32,480 31,147

Taxes

               

Payroll

    532 628 987 1,011 1,375 1,163

Property

    0 0 400 0 0 0

Transportation

    790 840 1,380 1,525 1,780 1,645
Repairs & maintenance 375 450 575 625 700 675
Field supplies 650 800 1,050 1,240 1,500 1,375

Rent

    500 500 500 500 500 500

Utilities

    100 110 130 140 150 140
Telephone (including yellow 450 575 800 950 1,075 990
Entertainment 200 200 200 200 200 200
Insurance            
Malpractice 0 9,000 0 0 0 0
Tenant's     0   1,500 0 0  
Auto     0 0   500 0  
Licenses     0 0   1500 0  
Miscellaneous 210 340 425 490 510 500
TOTAL CASH DISBURSEMENTS 19,487 31,923 34,267 38,921 40,270 38,335
             
END OF MONTH BALANCE            

Beginning cash balance

5,000 9,963 5,990 6,343 12,522 25,112

+ cash receipts

24,450 27,950 34,620 45,100 52,860 55,620

- cash disbursements

19,487 31,923 34,267 38,921 40,270 38,335
             
CASH END OF THE MONTH 9,963 5,990 6,343 12,522 25,112 42,397
(REPAYMENT) 0 0 0 0 0 0
or            
(BORROWING) 0 0 0 0 0 0
             
CASH END OF THE MONTH $ 9,963 $ 5,990 $ 6,343 $12,522 $25,112 $42,397
Minimum Cash Balance = $5,000            

 

Pro Forma Income Statement

 
Net sales $480,000
Operating expenses:  
Labor expense $272,000
Gas expense 30,305
Telephone expense 10,650
Equipment repair expense 6,500
Insurance expense 11,000
Rent expense 6,000
Depreciation expense 10,000
License expense 1,500
Payroll expense 12,750
Office supplies expense 7,400
Field supplies expense 11,200
Miscellaneous expenses 5,100
Total operating expenses $384,405
Net operating profit 95,595
Income taxes 13,995
Net profit $81,600

 

   
 

STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN

 

Goals, Objectives, and Strategies

 

The principals of Quadrant recognize the importance of quality management in successfully meeting their competition. To focus the firm's activities, the principals define its mission: "To meet the spectrum of surveying and engineering needs of private landowners, large tract owners, financial institutions, attorneys, realtors, and timber companies with high-quality service, rapid turnaround, and unparalleled professionalism, at a profit."

The overall mission of Quadrant is more clearly defined by dissecting it into the following objectives:

dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To boost annual sales to $480,000.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To increase market share from 31 percent to 36 percent of the local market.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To obtain a contract for another golf course.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To increase by 10% the number of engineering jobs performed for local towns and districts (e.g., water and sewage systems design).
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To improve profit margin from 13 percent to 17 percent.

To obtain these objectives, Quadrant will employ a business strategy designed to exploit the four key factors for success in the surveying business-to maintain: (1) a prompt turnaround time on jobs; (2) a professional image with the clientele; (3) a continuous relationship with "return customers"; and (4) a healthy customer mix to ensure a steady flow of work. The following key points illustrate this strategy:

dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To utilize equipment offering the latest technological advances.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To train employees in implementing advanced survey techniques into their work.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To provide the opportunity for clients to consult with project managers (or principals, if desired) on all projects.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To keep the customer informed of the job's progress on a timely basis.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To "crack the engineering market" by obtaining small jobs with cities, districts, and subdivisions.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To increase the number of government contracts bid on.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)To acquire and to develop "regional accounts"-clients with large land holdings (e.g., large timber companies).

loan purpose: To purchase a Zeiss total station with data storage and transfer capabilities that will facilitate taking angular and distance measurements in the field and performing survey computations.

Amount requested: $25,000 (see attached vendor's estimate)

Terms: One year and no prepayment penalty.

Interest rate: Prime

Collateral: Personal guarantees of principals' title to Zeiss total station.

Repayment: Quadrant's ability to repay is illustrated on the accompanying proforma financial statements. The cash budget projected for the upcoming year shows the company will be able to repay the loan within one year. Benefits accruing from the purchase of this EDM equipment include the ability to:

dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Reduce the number of field personnel by one-third.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Reduce office personnel by the immediate transferring field data to the home office via telephone.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Minimize the number of return trips to the job site, a significant cost of doing business.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Improve productivity by performing more jobs in less time.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Improve the firm's professional image with its clientele by employing the latest, most advanced equipment.
dot_on.gif (60 bytes)Obtain golf course that requires a level accuracy attainable only with EDM devices.

 

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