Business plan is a written document that defines the business objectives, sales, strategies, financial and marketing forecasts. Analysis of business plan involves the evaluation of a business plan so that the entrepreneur or investor can provide a logical breakdown. The three main functions of a business plan are to communicate the future of business, to act as an organizing tool, and to convey the credibility of business. Business planning is important as it provides a clear statement of direction, provides a holistic perspective on the firm, encourages goal setting and encourages entrepreneurs to research their business idea. Further, a business plan can help raise finance and provide a suitable yardstick to evaluate the organizational performance. However, a business plan does not guarantee success. It may have biased or outdated information. Also, it cannot eliminate uncertainty. The three main elements of a business plan are operations, finance and marketing. The business plan integrates operations, marketing and financial aspects of the business. This report involves the evaluation of The Pasta Tree, the only fresh pasta retail producer in Springfield. The main components of a business plan are executive summary, company background, marketing, production and operations, financial projections, implementation timetable and appendices.
The executive summary is the introductory segment that briefly summarises key features such as business objectives and goals, marketing, operations and financial segments. In the business plan of The Pasta Tree, a brief description of the company is provided. It is stated that the company has built a loyal customer base while increasing sales 15% every year in the past three years (Bplans.com 2017). The figures for initial investment are stated as $80,000 (Bplans.com 2017). The executive summary also states the plan of expanding operations within the city to meet the increased demand. It is evaluated that the business plan seems practical as it has a clear direction and target.
The business plan states the objectives of expanding production facilities, establishing strong sales and maintaining tight control of cost during expansion. Further, the organizational mission is making high quality products, offering greater value to the consumers and having commitment to the highest standard (Bplans.com 2017). It helps in getting a brief idea about the basic attributes or key value of the company. The brief statements of the marketing program, operations planning and financial charts give a clear picture of how the objectives and goals shall be attained. The financial highlights are represented in the form of chart that makes the understanding stronger. Therefore, the executive summary covers all the important aspects and components giving it a clear direction (Watson, McGowan and Smith 2015).
Company background describes the background, history, types of products and services, number of employees, business goals, mission statement and other relevant details about the company. This gives the readers an understanding of the issues that supports the organization to grow. The business plan states about the ownership of The Pasta Tree by Jill Forman and John Wingate. However, no details are stated about the two owners regarding their background or education. The company history is stated how the fresh pasta was first created (Bplans.com 2017). The details are mentioned about how the two owners have come a long way to bring the product and sell to the public. The graphical representation of the past performance regarding the sales, net profit and gross profit helps in easy understanding of the plan. Further, the business plan states the analysis of previous years balance sheet to analyse the sales, gross profit, and net profit (Bplans.com 2017). These statements could only be stated in the appendices and a detailed account of the previous years could be avoided. The business plan states the location and facilities. The greatest strength is that is mentions about the convenience offered by the location. This gives an idea about the strategy for new location (Bplans.com 2017). Further, the list of products is stated that are offered by the company such as linguini, tricolour fusilli, fettuccine and various others (Bplans.com 2017). However, the services offered by the brand are not stated such as fulfilment of customers’ needs, customer care service or home delivery options (Brinckmann and Kim 2015).
For determining the marketing strategies, the company needs to undertake market research. The market needs to be assessed using frameworks and strategies to analyse the market environment. The business plan uses the segmentation strategy to target a group of customers. According to Neill, Metcalf and York (2015), the market segment can be divided demographically, geographically, behaviourally and psychograph. It is analysed that the market is segmented only based on the purchasing pattern of the consumers. The market segmentation could be wider so that a group of customers could be targeted. Based on demographic segmentation, the market could be divided for men and women of all ages. The geographic segmentation is identified as sale in supermarkets and small grocery stores where the product shall reach the customers (Bplans.com 2017). Based on psychograph, the market can be segmented as the people who have a moderate lifestyle but wish to consume freshly made products. According to behaviour, the market can be segmented as the consumers who have frequent usage of pasta. The consumers who make pasta at home so that they can consume it fresh can be chosen as a prime market segment. The target market is selected as the urban professional segment that would be attracted to the freshness and quality of The Pasta Tree (Ghandour 2014).
It is argued that no external environment analysis is made that would affect the operations in Sydney. The market trends and demand of the consumers for pasta needs to be analysed. The plan does not identify a few competitors in the same industry and their distinctive advantage over The Pasta Tree. However, the plan identifies the packaging strategy used by The Pasta Tree to make the product competitive (Bplans.com 2017). It is further argued that the marketing mix strategy is not defined that would help products reach the consumers. The extended marketing mix could be framed so that the products reach the consumers in a proper way (Martin, McNally and Kay 2013).
The business plan mentions about the management co-owners Jill Forman and John Wingate who conduct and manage the daily operations at The Pasta Tree. No details are stated about the legal and licensing requirements to operate business in Sydney. The business needs to have a license and must undergo the administrative and security check processes to ensure safe food. No details are mentioned about the approval required in Sydney. The business plan mentions about the personnel required for the business such as production manager, store staff, sales manager, delivery staff and others (Bplans.com 2017). The details lack organizational structure and responsibilities to be undertaken by the staffs. No details are mentioned about the professional advisers who would help in making the business plan successful. The insurance and risk factors that could arrive in the business are not mentioned. The business plan needs to take into account the organizational risk factors in operations, staff or others so that mitigation techniques can be formulated and uncertainties can be managed. The plant and equipments required to set up the pasta business in Sydney is not mentioned. The production processes and the manpower to be used are determined (Bplans.com 2017).
The financial projections are the considerations and information about the financial data. The three areas must be considered to prepare this segment- basic assumptions and information, financial forecasts and analysis of financial forecast (Bplans.com 2017). The business plan only presents the numeric data for financial forecast. No explanation is given about the assumptions made or about the forecasts is prepared. No details of the bank accounts are provided of the management. The details about loans and overdrafts are not mentioned that support the investment of the firm (Bplans.com 2017).
It is analysed that the financial forecasts such as projected profit and loss statement, pro forma cash flow, break even analysis and a few business ratios are stated. The greatest strength about the financial projections are that three years are analysed that provides an idea about the financial condition of the company. However, no analysis or explanations are given that would be supporting reasons for the data. The data interpretation or the scope of growth is not stated in the business plan for The Pasta Tree. The milestones set by the firm for sales and revenue is represented graphically that adds to visual attractiveness and understanding (Bplans.com 2017).
The implementation table provides the owner/manager with a schedule of the activities needed to be carried out to set up and run the business. Also, it is organised on a monthly basis, so it provides a set of milestone schedules for the owner/manager to work by. The Pasta Tree can push its three most popular products- spaghettini, linguini and fettuccine (Bplans.com 2017). The marketing strategy is determined to advertise the products with discounting feature to introduce it in the supermarkets. It is recommended that the marketing mix could be designed for details about the specific elements. The sales strategy is also forecasted that presents the products better than the competition. The milestones are graphically represented regarding assigned dates, responsibilities and budgets (Falik, Lahti and Keinonen 2016). The visual representation of the data is for better understanding and the targets to be achieved in every quarter. It is assessed that the canal run must be conducted in all the four quarters, whereas the in-store displays, product facility expansion and production equipment are to be run in certain parts of quarters only (Bplans.com 2017). The marketing strategies and pricing strategies are not determined using which the business shall be conducted in Sydney. All the financial statements and forecast figures are well represented in the appendices (Demil et al. 2015).
Overall, it is assessed that the business is suitable to conduct in Sydney. The business plan is practical, but there is a need to identify several sections such as pricing strategies, promotional strategies and others. There is no biased information presented in the business plan. The political conditions of the business are favourable to conduct business in Sydney. It is evaluated that the business plan seems practical as it has a clear direction and target. Further, the organizational mission is making high quality products, offering greater value to the consumers and having commitment to the highest standard. The business plan states about the ownership of The Pasta Tree by Jill Forman and John Wingate. The graphical representation of the past performance regarding the sales, net profit and gross profit helps in easy understanding of the plan. There is a need to state the services offered by the brand such as fulfilment of customers’ needs, customer care service or home delivery options. The market segment can be divided demographically, geographically, behaviourally and psychograph. The plan does not identify a few competitors in the same industry and their distinctive advantage over The Pasta Tree. Therefore, a few competitors and their core advantages need to be identified.
The business needs to have a license and must undergo the administrative and security check processes to ensure safe food. The business plan needs to take into account the organizational risk factors in operations, staff or others so that mitigation techniques can be formulated and uncertainties can be managed. The greatest strength about the financial projections are that three years are analysed that provides an idea about the financial condition of the company. The marketing strategies and pricing strategies are not determined using which the business shall be conducted in Sydney.
Bplans.com (2017). Pasta Manufacturer Business Plan Sample - Appendix | Bplans. [online] Bplans.com. Available at: https://www.bplans.com/pasta_manufacturer_business_plan/appendix_fc.php [Accessed 21 Apr. 2017].
Brinckmann, J. and Kim, S. (2015). Why We Plan: The Impact of Nascent Entrepreneurs' Cognitive Characteristics and Human Capital on Business Planning. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 9(2), pp.153-166.
Demil, B., Lecocq, X., Ricart, J. and Zott, C. (2015). Introduction to theSEJSpecial Issue on Business Models: Business Models within the Domain of Strategic Entrepreneurship. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 9(1), pp.1-11.
Falik, Y., Lahti, T. and Keinonen, H. (2016). Does startup experience matter? Venture capital selection criteria among Israeli entrepreneurs. Venture Capital, 18(2), pp.149-174.
Ghandour, A. (2014). Identifying Dimensions of Business Continuity Plan from Common Expressions among Business Continuity Professionals. International Journal of Business Administration, 5(3).
Martin, B., McNally, J. and Kay, M. (2013). Examining the formation of human capital in entrepreneurship: A meta-analysis of entrepreneurship education outcomes. Journal of Business Venturing, 28(2), pp.211-224.
Neill, S., Metcalf, L. and York, J. (2015). Seeing What Others Miss: A Study of Women Entrepreneurs in High-Growth Startups. Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 5(4).
Watson, K., McGowan, P. and Smith, P. (2015). Leveraging effectual means through business plan competition participation. Industry and Higher Education, 29(6), pp.481-492.
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