Just like any business plan, Limousine Company Business plans vary depending on their intended use, the type of business model and product or service, its complexity, etc. I have seen great plans we invested in at 60 pages, and others that took 90 or more to explain what they do. Business plans, even for smaller investments including start up limousine companies, are no longer the best way to get funding in most cases, but the details of the financials of the business and pro forma (forecasts) are critical. Also, if you are seeking an investment partner, you will want to speak to the actual investment itself. Make sure that you address this from the investor’s standpoint, not your own. How many shares at what price and why? What type of return on investment is expected and in what time frame? How will you achieve a liquidity event? As an investor I want to understand how I get paid back under what terms and when… and where, when and how I make my profit. Are you planning to build to sell? To earn shareholder income? Go public (unlikely within this industry right now).
The business plan programs I mentioned in earlier articles [Business Plan Pro, Marketing Plan Pro] have an OK outline of the topics needed and some software enhancements that can help you forecast personnel requirements, costs and the like. You may still need some accounting counsel in this regard to double check your numbers. One key is to look for specific ratios that you can use to forecast larger operations. If your labor to sale ratio (how much you are paying direct labor based on a dollar of revenue for your car) is 63%, you then have a basis to forecast from as revenues from your marketing and sales plan increase. Add on expenses such as fixed percentages for workers comp insurance, unemployment, payroll tax contributions (fed and state) will remain fixed to your increasing payroll, while some economies of scale will occur with hiring, training and supervising once you achieve critical mass.
Some Key Elements of a business plan that you absolutely must have include (in no particular order):
- Executive Summary
- Company and Business Model
- How will you make money? How much money will you make and when?
- What is your Unique Selling Proposition and Competitive Advantage? Why will you be successful when others are not or in a crowded market, etc.
- What are the barriers to entry in your service and markets?
- WHAT ARE YOUR KEY DIFFERENTIATORS? What makes you unique in the market? How is your business model different from others? Why is it more in demand? More profitable?
- What is the barrier to entry for others to duplicate exactly what you are doing if you are successful… in other words, how will you protect the investor investment from competition?
- What is your product / service offering?
- Marketing Plan (how will people find out about your service? Who will tell them and how? Advertising? PR? Social Media? Costs for labor and media?)
- Sales Plan (how will actual sales be made, by whom, at what cost, etc.)
- Operational Plan (how will you be structured and how will the business be managed? What will your personnel requirements be and when? What are the costs and time frames?
- Key time line objectives and benchmarks (points where you hit a key size, or profitability, achieve certain economies of scale, etc.).
- Financial Statements (current operations).
- Financial Forecasts.
- Your management team and why they are uniquely well qualified to make this plan work?
- Use of funds report (How will you use any investment capital to achieve your goals). Reserves? Operating capital? marketing? Sales? Fleet? Personnel?
- Investor Summary. What is being offered? At what price and terms? Stock? Debt? Convertable preferred stock? Warrants? What is the forecast you are providing for the growth of the investment into a return?
Again, keep in mind the difference between appealing to an investor or bank, vs. an internal plan that you are going to try to accomplish and work. I have basically combined both sets of info above. An investor is a non-skilled party and must understand most of what you are proposing without having an intimate knowledge of your business first. An internal plan assumes that management is using it, so less explaining of basic operations is required.
If you don’t have the money for the software or you are great with your own financials, check with SCORE…
Here is their template gallery and it is all FREE: Click here
This is the Service Corps of Retires Executives and they usually have offices in every major metro area… they have online resources such as pre-made business plans that can at least get you moving in the right direction. If you have a local office, they are a great resource to use and offer seminars and one on one counseling for business owners. You are talking to educated, successful retired senior executives and they can often help entrepreneurs like you in all sorts of ways, looking at your problems from a different perspective and providing good counsel.
Best of luck with your business!