How's Your Business Plan Looking?

Before you start any new business, you will need a solid plan for success. Not only will a lender want to see your plan for your new Canadian franchise before approving financing, but this plan will also outline your business expectations and the challenges you could face. While business plans vary by industry and type of business, there are some critical sections that should be a part of every plan.

The executive summary

In this part of your plan, you will describe the goals and purpose of your business. Start with a brief description of the franchise's services or products and list all of your objectives. How are you going to meet an open demand in the marketplace? What is your growth potential? Outline just how your business will be a success and reach its goals given your market and the competition.

A business description

The next section of your plan is a more thorough description of your franchise business. The franchise disclosure document (FDD) should have some of the information that you will need, such as an overview and the history of the franchise. Other things to include are a full list of what the franchise offers, a market and competition overview, a concise explanation of how goods are delivered to customers on an operational level, and a summary of the challenges and risks involved in the franchise.

The management summary

All the key members of your management day who will play an important role in day-to-day operations should be in your management summary. Include details about the management team member's background and previous experience, focusing on what is the most relevant for your franchise.

Marketing and sales

The marketing and sales tactics you will use are mostly set by your franchisor, so you will need to look into the franchisor's process for reaching new customers and include that in this section. Include how the franchisor will help spread the word about your new store and what types of ongoing ad campaigns they provide. In addition, find out how much leeway you will have in local advertising and marketing so you can include a plan for your specific location.

The financial projections

Your FDD will outline the financial performances of franchisee-owned and franchisor-owned locations, but naturally, probability can vary by location. There are a lot of variables that go into predicting profits for a specific location, including management, local market and sales volume. Ask your franchisor for guidance in this area and speak to other franchisees. You always want to go on the conservative side of things when you are making financing projections.

There's no one magic formula for a franchise business plan, but these elements are fundamental. Remember that your business plan will serve as a type of sales document and should show how and why your franchise will be a success.