What Your Business Plan Should Look Like: Sample — Part 2Feb 11, 2016 by Lina Vashurina,
Congratulations on beginning what is generally a large undertaking for any new business venture: you’re going to create a business plan. This
Below is a sample business plan for a fictional
Importantly, all of the facts and figures it contains are invented, but its formatting and flow are valid. Use it as an example to inspire you as you create your own business plan!
Begin business plan:
Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Green Tree Coffee is an online retailer of
The business currently operates entirely online, making its products available everywhere at once. Business projections have Green Tree Coffee on track to generate $35,000 of revenue in its first year, and as the business grows, it will be doing $$350,000 of business annually within three years. Upon meeting these projections, there will be a physical Green Tree Coffee storefront open to residents and visitors to Asheville who want to experience the sights and smells of this coffee in person.
The business retains a focus on environmentalism and sustainability. Customers in Asheville are invited to bring their used coffee grounds to a designated
Research shows that coffee is more popular than it’s ever been. The average American drinks nine cups of coffee a week. The average European drinks 11. The average South American? 13 cups of coffee each week. This is why it remains important for Green Tree Coffee to focus on serving the world at large.
The business primarily competes with Red Fern Coffee, a small coffee distributor that works exclusively with American coffee farms. Green Tree’s value proposition and key differentiation comes from its worldwide focus and attention to sustainability in its operations.
At the outset, marketing will be done through social media. In the course of her travels, founder and CEO McBride has amassed a large following on Twitter and Instagram. She will direct attention to the Green Tree Coffee website, make regular suggestions on coffee to purchase, and share stylish photographs pertaining to the
Product will be sourced from the coffee farms that McBride has personal experience working with. She has access to a trust and understanding with these niche farms that larger businesses will simply never have; she is a former employee. Product will be shipped in bulk via conventional delivery means to a warehouse space, where it is then repackaged with Green Tree branding, including a short text on every bag of coffee beans about the farm and country from which the coffee comes.
Green Tree is not presently seeking funding, but this may change in the future. Right now the company is entirely bootstrapped off of McBride’s savings, and she is able to purchase product at a great discount due to her personal connections in the coffee industry around the world.
After several years of working as an investment banker on Wall Street, securities trader Lawson McBride was ready for drastic change in every way. She sold most of her possessions and lived out of a backpack for five years while traveling the world in pursuit of the best coffee she could find. After all, coffee was the only thing she consistently enjoyed in her daily life. She wanted to bring that same joy to others, but she knew that she had to learn everything about it before she could do so. After working a series of manual labor jobs on coffee farms around the world, she leveraged her industry connections to buy the first batch of Green Tree Coffee inventory, and is now set on glamorizing coffee like never before.
Green Tree Coffee’s vision is simple: the world’s coffee, brought to your doorstep. Just as Amazon can frictionlessly deliver daily household necessities like toilet paper and cat litter, Green Tree seeks to bring rare or
Current Company Status
Green Tree Coffee currently operates as an LLC, but will soon seek to incorporate as its business grows. The company is privately held entirely by McBride, though she makes no secret of the fact that the business depends on the hard work of coffee farmers around the world. As a reseller itself, the business sells directly to consumers through its online
Green Tree Coffee Objectives
Green Tree is intent on swaying the world away from the Starbucks lifestyle. Business is primarily domestic, within the United States. Right now, the focus is on growing business to be more international. Below is a listing of what is necessary over the time to come in order to meet such a goal.
Phase I (next six months)
- whether domestic or international, increase total sales by 15% through strong social media push
- grow social media following on Twitter and Instagram by 25%
- identify and work with three key brand ambassadors who can be
high-profilespokespersons for the Green Tree brand in the coffee world.
Phase II (next 12 months)
- communicate with and travel to five new coffee farms to investigate reselling their product to the Green Tree audience
coffee-tastingevents in these new locales with the interest of simultaneously drumming up new international interest in the Green Tree brand
- begin investigating spaces to rent or buy in the Asheville area for the purposes of putting together a physical storefront
- begin outlining an employee handbook for when the time is right to begin hiring more help.
Right now, Green Tree is a
As the company grows, McBride will begin hiring hardworking coffee enthusiasts to see Green Tree Coffee soar to new international heights.
Market Size and Development
Coffee is international, consumed in one form or another almost everywhere that humans live. With this fact
Developing the brand is not without its challenges. There are some de facto names in the coffee business that occupy more than their share of the spotlight, so the difficulty becomes one of raising Green Tree’s profile in such a way that the casual coffee drinker becomes aware of it. The company believes that the best way to do this is to begin leveraging attention in the coffee enthusiast world first, where attention will dribble downward and into the mainstream over time.
Rather than see people leave the house to go to a fancy coffee shop in order to enjoy an exquisite caffeine infusion, Green Tree Coffee knows that people would prefer to stay home and have the
Red Fern Coffee
Blue Bottle Coffee
Orange Lightning Coffee
Brand Differentiation and Value Proposition
As discussed above, coffee is a ubiquitous, worldwide phenomenon. None of the competition incorporates the entire world into their businesses, and as such, they limit themselves. Simultaneously, none of them are especially known for their fair trade business operations or commitment to sustainability. As Green Tree works with coffee growers on every continent where people live, making their
Our customers are generally social
Some interest in sustainability and the environment
As discussed, Green Tree Coffee operates entirely as an
Orders are packed into
Restock deliveries are inventoried at the end of each business day for the sake of selling them the very next day.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Direct Cost of Sales||$5070||$22857||$40000|
|Other Production Expenses||$7370||$33226||$50000|
|Total Cost of Sales||$12440||$56083||$90000|
|Gross Margin %||64.9%||64.9%||74%|
|Sales and Marketing and Other Expenses||$1000||$5000||$7500|
|Total Operating Expenses||$15500||$29500||$30500|
|Profit Before Interest and Taxes||$7579||$74416||$229500|
I hope, you’ll now have a thorough framework to create a business plan of your own. And remember: if the plan doesn’t work, change the plan — not your goal to start a business!
Stay up to date!
Get free e-commerce tips, news and inspiring ideas delivered directly to your inbox