Conducting business plans Templates


Conducting business plans

Conducting a thorough business plan is of paramount importance for the success of any business enterprise. Often, every business idea is always surrounded by a number of challenges and also strengths and upon the realization of these by the investor, the business stands a better chance for success. As such, screening is conducted to come up with a fine-tuned list of data to help the investor in strategically positioning his business. It is at this level of planning that the investor needs to carry some research on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the particular business idea.

This essay is concerned with gathering information for developing a plan pertaining to investment in the hospitality industry. Hospitality industry involves among other areas hotel business, transporting tourists, and all other business undertaking aimed at providing recreational services to clients.

In any business venture, marketing research is of paramount importance. Appropriate and relevant information regarding the target business idea can help the investor in coming up strategies that are of tremendous value to the success of the business. Research has to be conducted regarding the potential business idea, as to which location is most suitable? What are the various sources of capital available and which one is the most appropriate? What marketing strategies shall business employ? Etc. this essay will dwell on these elements and will borrow a lot from Michael Porter’s model of five forces of competitive positioning.



Source of capital

How and where you finance a business enterprise may be the difference between failure and dominance of that particular business. Of course, all money sounds like good money in this kind of scenario but it is not. There are various options available for an investor to finance their business in the hospitality industry. In fact, with technological innovations and the global revolution, credit facilities are widening up with opportunities to access starter and other forms of capital becoming more possible. With a global perspective, an entrepreneur can access credit from across the globe.

However, a number of factors determine the decision of where to get this financing and how to get it. Dileep Rao did similar research like this and came up with a list of 7 means or sources through which one can raise capital for their business. Rao explains that that was indeed a lot of hassle but does not regret at all since it reduced the cost of capital for the company alongside saving it from going bankrupt.

One form of funding available is venture capital. Of the close to twenty million small businesses in the United States, venture capitals only fund about 35000 of them. This number is so small and this should tell us that it is not a very reliable source for the hospitality business. Venture capital favours or is appropriate for small businesses that have positive indications of growth.

Another possible source of financing would be smart leasing. Fixed assets for the business venture could be leased as this conserves cash which is alternatively used for covering inventory in terms of working capital. It is generally harder to cover inventory especially for business that is unproven. The cost of leasing will obviously be slightly higher than that of financing via a bank. The entrepreneur could also opt for bank loans.

Banks are likened to supermarkets of financing debts in the sense that they offer a variety of financing options with loans being given for long term, midterm or short term financing and all asset needs are financed including real estate, equipment and working capital. The assumption made by the lender is that the hospitality facility will be able to generate enough cash flow to cover the return the principle and pay the interest cost. Banks require assurance that the loan will be repaid and thereby guarantors are necessary.

Other possible sources include saving. This means the entrepreneur saves until he has enough to start the business. This kind of business financing is disadvantageous in that, one often takes a longer time. If the hospitality business is indented to be considered large, then this option is not recommended. Other forms of financing for this opportunity are self- financing which involves the use of capital for the “Angel investors”. The challenge with this kind of financing is because it is your own money that you are investing and should anything happen it is the entrepreneur’s cash that gets lost.

Business location

Geographical location

One significant concept often taught in nearly every marketing program is “The 4 Ps” which stands for product, price, place and promotion. Place refers to distribution, that is, where do your customers evaluate and ultimately receive your services or products? This may not matter so much for some form of businesses but it is a key factor to consider in retailing business, restaurants and other hospitality businesses, as well as other service businesses.

Location goes beyond just choosing any place. For a business in the hospitality industry, a number of factors will have to be considered. These include factors like the state. Sales taxes and income taxes differ from one state to another. Is the state obtained friendly for hospitality business? Are there ta benefits offered by the government towards businesses in that industry in that particular place? The plan should give terms that are not favourable for this particular kind of business.

Another factor is the availability of other amenities within that same locality. Location relative to parking, streets, social amenities, financial institutions, security etc. it is all well understood that hospitality business like, for example,  a 5- star hotel would suit a classic place and preferably adjacent to other recreational centres like a game reserve, animal orphanage, or any other tourist attraction point. The culture and norms of the people in that surrounding also matter. Is that particular location consistent with your business image? How do residents of that area perceive that kind of business,  have they accepted it or they term it unethical? It is also necessary to ask ourselves whether the location offers an opportunity for a strategic partnership with other related businesses. The cost of doing business in a particular place should also be evaluated.

The investor should be in a position to afford to conduct business in the area. Other important aspects of location that can not be overlooked include convenience, availability of facilities and services and facilities like water, electricity power, sewerage, etc. investor should also factor in elements like the capacity to expand the business in future. Security cannot be ignored. A business will only thrive if conducted in a secure environment.

Public company versus private company

A public company refers to a legal entity whose ownership and control largely lies in the hands of the public, with its shares being floated to the public for trading in the stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange. In reality, a public company is larger in market size and operations compared to a private one.  A private company could be a limited liability company, a corporation, partnership or even a sole proprietorship as long as the stock is not publicly traded and are held privately may be by one individual investor or a small group like a family business. In most cases, private companies are established by people who are conservative and don’t want to share ownership. In deciding which option to take, an investor has to have in mind the various advantages and disadvantages that exist for the two.

Although there is a legal requirement by the government for the private companies to file some specific documents and adhere to some legal compliance for shareholders, strict government control and regulations are imposed by the government upon the public companies as a way of safeguarding the interest of the public. There is no requirement for the private companies to publicly publish their financial reports, whereas public companies are mandatorily required to file annual returns indicating their detailed financial performance. Since private companies are not required to disclose their financial information, the focus can be made towards long term growth by avoiding paying dividends to shareholders. Another feature that characterizes private companies is the fact that approval by shareholders is not required in matters like growth strategies and operations carried out by the management but it must be stipulated in the corporate documents of the company.

Capital for private companies is to some great extent limited since shareholding is only by a small number of people and considering that in most cases they are family businesses. As such, the investor in our case should think about this factor since his desire is to have the business grow and expand immensely.

A public company has various advantages over the private company, although it is strictly regulated by the law for the sake of safeguarding the interests of investors. One great advantage with the public companies is that there is an avenue for larger funds. Public companies generally raise their capital from the public. People throughout the country have the freedom to buy the stock which in most cases are lowly priced. The membership of public companies is not restricted and as such the credit standing is far much better than that of private companies. Large financial resources can be raised and therefore expansion chances are high. Another benefit enjoyed by public companies is that of limited liability.

Members carry a limited liability. Moreover, the transfer of shares of public companies is freely done. This renders share investment in the company liquid. A democratic form of management is exercised in public company and therefore operations and running of a company is not confined to some individuals. Minority shareholders obtain security way from the Companies Act and consequently cannot be oppressed.

A public company has unrestricted scope for growing and expanding of their business since additional capital can be raised through issuing new shares to the public. Financial capacity enables employment of experts to run the growing business activities and therefore gain from economies of scale.  Due to the requirement to publish financial statements to the public, this kind of company gains credibility and confidence from the public. The public operates under greater control by the state. Having seen all these benefits, it is prudent to recommend the investor to have a preference for a public company.

Marketing strategy

Michael Porter has provided Five Forces of Competitive Position model that are famous and provide a simple perspective that helps in assessing and evaluating the competitive strength and level of a business entity or organization. Porter listed out the following five forces model: Threat due to new market entrants, the existing competitive rivalry between suppliers, bargaining power of buyers, power of suppliers and threat of substitute products.

Going back to our research, the investor in the hospitality business will have to carry out thorough analysis by use of Porter’s model. First, he will have to ask himself, what is the level of competition in that particular industry as well as the location. Do we have other businesses operating in the same industry and are they likely to push us out of the market? The investor can succeed by coming up with strategies for barriers to entry by new market entrants who bring competition. These could be a lock-in cost, heavy capital outlay, new technology, sophisticated operation mechanisms etc. another aspect of marketing strategy is the availability and the level of the bargain by suppliers of inputs.

It is good to carry out analysis of the possibility of suppliers of inputs impacting the performance of the company through bargains. Unionized employees often have great power to lobby. This can adversely affect the company. When it comes to suppliers of raw materials, an investor should consider factors like whether there exist substitute raw materials and the availability and cost of it. All these have potential consequences to the profitability of the company and hence it’s survival.

Another marketing force raised by Porter was the bargaining power of consumers. Customers have at times great influence on the pricing of products and services by an organization. They can put pressure on a company to not to exceed a given level of pricing. The company should plan its operations in such a manner that switching costs by the buyer are extremely high so as to have consumer retention. It is also good to have an analysis of whether there exist substitute products and services to the ones the new business intends to offer and the possible effect on our profitability.


Planning is essential to ensure a business succeeds in its mission and vision. It is good to carry out a plan of where to get funding and how, where to be located, the marketing strategies to be employed etc. all these will impact the business.

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