Entrepreneurs: How should I draw up a solid business plan?

By Drum Digital
18 November 2016

My friend and I would like to open a catering business, but we don’t know how to write a professional business plan and we don’t have funds to start the business. What can we do?

Question:

Joshua Maluleke answers:

As Benjamin Franklin put it: “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” There are many formats you can use when writing a business plan, but there are five main areas that the plan should cover:

*Your core business

*The marketing plan

*The operations plan

* The staffing plan

*The financial plan

There are many institutions in the country that assist aspirant entrepreneurs with writing business plans. Because they provide free, good-quality advice, I recommend the Small Enterprise Development Agency (www.seda.org.za) and the SME Toolkit South Africa (www.southafrica.smetoolkit.org/sa/en).

If done properly, financial planning will enable you to identify ways of raising start-up funds for your business. There is no rule of thumb for raising funds, but the most logical way to do it is to search your own pockets first. This will help you avoid any interest that you’re likely pay should you get loans or funding from external parties. If the combined contributions of your money and that of your friend are not sufficient to cover your start-up financial requirements, then I’d advise you to approach family members and friends, as they will likely charge you minimal or no interest on loaning you start-up capital. If it’s still inadequate, then you may approach financial institutions – armed with the business plan that you would have already prepared.

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