Restaurant owners need business plans for the same reason other business owners need great plans. If business owners want to attract funding or keep themselves on a solid growth trajectory, they need a plan to guide the way. Putting together a plan can be hard, though. Most restaurant owners have neither the time nor the expertise to do it. Luckily for them, restaurant consulting services are around the lead the way. Here are four ways you might use restaurant consulting to craft that perfect business plan.
1. Determining your ideal funding sources
Some restaurants make it by financing with debt. Others sell a piece of their equity. Restaurant consulting services help owners figure out the right path forward. Not every restaurant owner should be getting a loan to start his or her business. For those who have a high growth trajectory, giving out equity can be dangerous. Making the right decision on this important point can go a long way to determining the level of success the restaurant attains.
2. Putting together a budget
Budgeting is hard for restaurants. You might not know how much inventory to buy each year. You may not know how much to spend on marketing and branding. These questions must be explored before you try to get to the business of making money. Good consultants help people understand the costs involved in running a restaurant. They can shine a light on any problems that may occur, giving restaurant owners a chance to prepare beforehand for difficulty down the road.
3. Developing a marketing strategy
Any good business plan includes a section on how the restaurant will market itself. If the restaurant is young and hip, its owners might focus more on social media and digital marketing. If the restaurant caters to an older crowd, it might seek a more traditional marketing path. This decision can play a critical role in the restaurant’s short-term entry into the market and its long-term market penetration. Good consultants have seen what works and what does not. They can help with the all-important marketing portion of the business plan.
4. Plotting a growth trajectory
There are important decisions to be made about your growth trajectory. Do you want to stick with one location or expand to multiple spots? Is there a franchise in your future? What can you do with to-go meals and the like? Not every business is poised for this kind of growth. Consultants help restaurant owners figure out just where they sit in this dynamic. Even if a restaurant isn’t poised for explosive growth, it can make good money by becoming extra efficient in its own setting. Consultants help to sort this out for the purposes of writing the business plan.