Whether or not your chosen bank finances your franchise may rest on your business plan’s quality.

Here are the basics of how to write a business plan for cleaning services, gardening, and other kinds of home services.

These industries have proven to be a solid choice for buying a franchise during recessions and the COVID-19 crisis.

Table of Content
Table of Contents:
  1. What is a business plan?
  2. What does a business plan do?
  3. How to write a business plan – tips
  4. Your business plan – structure

What Is a Business Plan?

Your business plan is a document which lays out how your business will work, your goals, and how you will reach them.

Many people only bother to write a start-up business plan for a bank loan.

But a good business plan can actually help you make sure you are getting the best out of what you put into your business.

What Does a Business Plan Do?

Your main aim might be to secure a loan. But if you write a business plan properly, it will:

  • Provide a step-by-step map of how you will grow your business
  • Locate potential issues before they damage your business
  • Spot gaps in the market and other opportunities you can exploit
  • Warn you of money problems in advance
  • Be a good way to structure your ideas and plans

How to Write a Business Plan – Tips

Before we get down to the specifics of how to write a franchise business plan, here are some general tips to bear in mind:

  1. Be concise – this is not literature. Consider using bullet points, charts, graphs and tables. Keep your paragraphs short and tight under smaller headings.
  2. Be coherent – your plan should explain what your goals are and how you will achieve them.
  3. Be insightful – your plan needs to show that there are customers out there waiting for your business. It should illustrate why these customers will choose you. Being part of a well-known franchise is a clear argument in your favour here.
  4. Be honest – show where there are weaknesses in your plan and how you will address them if you want to be convincing.
  5. Be professional – make sure that you have grammar-checked and proofread your business plan before you present it. If English is not your first language, always have it checked by a native speaker.

Your Business Plan – Structure

1) Executive Summary

The summary appears first in your business plan, but you should write it last. It should summarise the rest of your plan, including:

  • Your business type and goals
  • Why customers need your business – and how you know the customers are there
  • How your business will stand out from the competition

Explaining about the franchise you will buy is an easy way to do this. For example, buying a Fantastic Services franchise means you are joining a company that has proven itself to be successful through several recessions and other changes in the market.

2) Business Objectives

This section explains what and why your business does what it does. Write in plain language and be specific.

A couple of words is not enough. For example, if you were writing a gardening business plan, do not simply say that you offer “gardening services”.

Instead, try something like “a mobile gardening business, providing a range of lawn care, garden maintenance, garden clearance and tree care services to domestic garden owners”.

You should list your business’s first and second years goals but make sure they can be measured with numbers.

3) Skills and Experience

Lay out your own skills and experience which are relevant to your new business. If you are writing a window cleaning business plan, an obvious example of this would be previous experience as a window cleaner in the industry.

Other relevant skills might include your previous experience running a business in a completely different field. Or simply relevant skills you have from previous jobs.

If you lack specific skills, you can again rely on the fact that you are buying a franchise to provide a reason why your lender should still give you a loan. For instance, a Fantastic Services franchise comes with initial and ongoing training, so you have the skills you need to run your business.

4) Your Target Market

This is where you demonstrate that you understand your market and know there are customers waiting for you. You might consider surveys, focus groups, and online research as reliable evidence to provide.

Creating “ideal customers” – a detailed description of the sort of person who might buy your services – is a good idea too.

For example, as part of an oven cleaning business plan, you might list several “ideal customers”. These might include tenants leaving rented properties, landlords, homeowners, and owners of commercial kitchens.

5) Competitors

Provide an overview of the local market in your chosen industry. Show that you know who your competitors are and why your service will be different from theirs.

SWOT analysis – which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – is a classic tool to use for each competitor.

6) Operations

How will your business work on a day-to-day level? Describe:

  • Staffing and job roles
  • Your supply chains
  • Premises (if any)
  • IT systems and technology
  • Insurance
  • Legal compliance
  • Any risks with any of the above

7) Finances

Here, you need to include facts and figures which show:

  • Start-up costs of setting up your business
  • The types of funding you require and what you will use it for
  • A minimum one-year forecast of your expected cash flow
  • Any guesses you have made to arrive at the numbers above

8) Marketing

Describing the sales and marketing strategies you will use is an important part of any business plan.

Again, you have an advantage because you are buying a franchise business. You will be able to point out that the major national brand you will be operating under is a household name.

You may also be able to state that – if your franchisor is like Fantastic Services – you will have all of the necessary advertising done on your behalf by a team of highly experienced professionals.

Need to write a franchise business plan to get a loan successfully?

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Fantastic Services helps many of its franchisees set up their finances in the way which makes sense for them.

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  • Last update: April 9, 2021

Posted in Advice Hub