The Thousand Rand Challenge Business Plan Template
This document provides a template of headings for presenting any business idea. The objective is to produce a step-by-step tool that illustrates every step of the business creation process. It should be possible, by following the information, to produce a viable business.
All text in italics should be deleted (including these introductory paragraphs) for use as a template on newly created business idea pages. Please ensure that the new page you're creating really is a new idea. Check the front page for a current list of businesses, or perform a search.
This heading area should contain a brief outline of the nature of the business - change the heading at the top to list the type of business - e.g. Fish and Chips Frying
- 1 Description of the business
- 2 Upstream Businesses
- 3 Downstream Businesses
- 4 Competitors
- 5 Marketing the business to clients
- 6 The business inputs and outputs
- 7 Setting up the business
- 8 The manufacturing or production process
- 9 Costing and bookkeeping
- 10 Running the business
- 11 Before beginning
- 12 Related articles
- 13 External links
- 14 Business Trials
Description of the business
Within each sub-heading are a series of questions that require detailed answers. Simply fill in your commentary beneath the headings. Note that these headings and the methodology are here, partly to be pedantic, but mostly to ensure a consistent approach across a number of unrelated businesses. It makes searching for information far easier if you know where to start.
What exactly is it that is going to be sold or done?
Place your research into the business under each of the bold headings and delete the text in italics.
What skills are needed to do this? Where is this taught and how much will it cost?
What tools or equipment are needed? Where can they be bought, and how much will they cost?
How much space is needed to work from?
Where will the space be found, and how much will it cost to rent?
What sort of people will buy the product? Who are they and where do they live?
How much and how often will they buy? Will they come to the shop or will it be necessary to deliver?
A list of businesses and ideas that provide the services and products that this business needs.
A list of businesses and ideas that this business could provide products for.
What major competitors will attract clients' spending away from the business' products?
What prices and products do these companies have?
What makes them popular / unpopular?
What do they do to attract customers? Specials? Interesting marketing / advertising?
Which of the competitors stand out as being particularly good at what they do?
What can be done to stand out against them? What can be done that is more exciting / more interesting?
Marketing the business to clients
What sort of people will buy the products and how important is product consistency to them (e.g. must every loaf of bread be identical)?
How seasonal or fashion-dependent are their buying habits (do they buy only in summer, only over Christmas, etc.)?
Do the clients want the products to be the cheapest or the best (low price / low quality or high price / high quality)?
How do the clients decide where to buy the products? What sorts of advertising / promotions attract their interest?
Do the clients want the same things sold in the same way, or do they want things to change all the time?
What can be done to attract the first clients (the most important and most difficult to get)? How much will it cost?
The business inputs and outputs
List all of the inputs (products that are required to produce the products):
List all the suppliers for the inputs and their addresses, telephone numbers, and sales terms (cash, 30 days, etc.):
List all of your outputs (products created by your business):
What sort of prices can be charged and how much profit will can be made on each item (a rough estimate)?
Do the outputs have a shelf-life? Must they be sold within a specified time limit before they go off / can't be sold? Which ones?
Setting up the business
List everything that needs to be done to prepare the business to be ready (list everything needed to have as well, both equipment and stock):
How long will it take to get all of these things and how much will they cost to get?
List all the fixed costs to be paid every month even if nothing is sold (things like rent, electricity, telephone, staff wages):
Total amount for fixed costs: R_______________
How many staff will be needed and how much will each of them be paid (wages must be included in the fixed costs above)?
What training will they need, how long will it take and how much will it cost?
The manufacturing or production process
List every step, from start to finish, to produce the product
Allocate each of the manufacturing steps to a process and a process to a staff member (e.g. all manufacturing steps A to process 1):
What possible problems may happen during each step of the manufacturing process?
What solutions can be identified for these problems? How much will they cost and how long will they take to fix?
What is the maintenance program for all the equipment?
What safety requirements are important for production?
How will quality control and client feedback be handled?
Costing and bookkeeping
How many of each of the stock items can reasonably be sold each day (and month)?
Will sales volumes be a similar number of each item each month, or is there seasonal variation (cold months, hot, or festivals)?
What sort of pricing strategy will be chosen (cheapest or best)?
What profit margin will be chosen for the products
Write down the cost prices plus the margin for each stock item you will sell, and the selling price
Is this competitive? Will customers pay this much? Do the margins need to be adjusted? By how much?
Now, set a target. How many items for each product need to be sold on a daily (and monthly) basis to be profitable?
Set out the products, costs, margins and selling prices:
Total per Month
X x number of working days in a month
R y.yy + R z.zz
= monthly target x selling price
What trends are included in the projections?
Running the business
What is the process for running the business on a typical day? Who will be responsible for each step? Link this back to the production process.
Who will act as backup should the person responsible not be there? What do they need to act as backup?
What weekly processes need to be performed? Who is responsible, who is backup and what tools are required?
What monthly processes need to be performed? Who is responsible, who is backup and what tools are required?
What is the schedule for training and motivating staff?
What processes are required for maintenance and new product creation? Who is responsible and what tools do they need?
List some of the support services available (legal, business and other) that might be needed
What major laws concern the business, and which government departments should be called to keep up to date (list phone numbers)?
Insert links to articles on Wikipedia or other Wikis that may be useful (such as recipes, legal discussions, accounting articles, and so on)
List links to outside websites that may be useful for anyone starting this business
List your name if you started a business based on this plan, where you started the business, and how you did Links to case histories - you are welcome to develop these and insert them in your personal page (create