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The Importance of a Business Plan in Starting a Restaurant

The first key to getting a restaurant up and running when you are starting with just a dream is to put together a solid plan. There are certainly some businesses where you can simply “wing it” when you launch the business but a restaurant is definitely not one of them!
There are several reasons you need to put together a written plan along with financial projections in order to get your restaurant funded and started. The first is that you will need to show a lot of people a written plan before you can move forward.
Not only will you need to show it to the bank (particularly an SBA lender) but many times a landlord will also request to see your business plan. You will also definitely need a written plan if you intend to raise money from an investor or if you are going to bring a partner who will contribute cash to the business. In short, your written plan will be requested a dozen or more times at the minimum between when you start and when you launch so having the best plan possible is critically important.
A plan is important to have beyond just the money raising aspect however. Your plan should be able to demonstrate that opening the business is going to make financial sense- that it will produce enough in profit to warrant the investment of time and money you will put into the venture.
A plan is also important for planning purposes, as it turns out. Your plan will tell you how much you can afford to spend on decorations, furniture fixtures, etc. and also how much to set aside to buy inventory, hire workers and cover deposits on leases, utilities and so on. Without a plan new business owners often end up coming up short and put the entire project in jeopardy.
The final consideration in putting a plan together is to make sure the concept and idea actually makes sense. You want to be sure there are enough people in the area who will be interested in the business and able and willing to come in and pay what you are going to ask for the types of things you are going to offer. Make sure the area can support what you want to do and having a well researched plan is your proof to yourself and your financial backers that the business can actually work.
It is much easier to get someone to invest in cold hard data that it is in wishy-washy ideas and vague statements about what “might” work.
While it is true that some businesses will fail even if they have a plan it is also true and much more likely that a business will never even get started if it has no plan at all. Therefore, if you are serious about starting your business the first step is to build a plan that will allow that dream to come true.…