They sat perched on the kitchen stools like two vultures waiting for the next customer. The problem? The pickings were slim.
My stepfather and his friend, Dan, decided to open their own plumbing business, but they only had one client, a Beverly Hills house designer, who didn’t need them that day, or the next. So, they sat by the phone talking about the employer they just quit. Dan, a Texas plumber, who took one bath a week whether he needed it or not, puffed on his cheap cigar.
That was the last straw for my mother. Out they went. Their business model needed some work, but it wasn’t going to be done in her kitchen.
Mike Periu talks about flawed business plans in his article, 3 Signs That Your Business Model is Flawed. Here is what he has to say:
- Accounts Receivables and Accounts Payables are ignored: Mike is correct, but not in every situation. I prepared two recent business plans and ignored the accrual basis because one was a market, and the other a movie studio. Both require payment for goods and services at the time of the sale, or at least every week. To create AR and AP just for the sake of creating it would not add to the business plan value. But with that said, if you are a manufacturer or service company that does not collect cash immediately, then you must stagger your income based on some reasonable collection scheme.
- Your income taxes aren’t calculated correctly:This is elementary to most accountants. However, recent business plans we have prepared are for flow-through entities where taxes are paid at the shareholder level. It is very hard to project taxes for the shareholders since each of their tax situations will differ. However, in the case of deferred distributions, we did make an assumption to distribute tax monies for profits recognized.
- Sales forecasts are calculated using the top-down approach: This is probably good advice, that we have practiced, but with a different perspective. We don’t look at market share, but compare similar companies in the business plan we created. Then for the first two years, we have discounted the revenue and built it up slowly until the company was earning what a similar company in size would.
Business plans, strategic planning, business models, business proposals, what every you call it, take an objective eye. It is nice to dream, but dreams don’t pay the rent. Usually, clients that come to us require 2-3 times the investment than they projected just to stay afloat before the business becomes sustainable.
Business proposals need a disinterested financial person that can give a candid assessments about your assumptions. Prepare for a worse case scenario is better for the solicitors, and the investors. If your investors object to this assessment, you are working in the wrong kitchen, and have to find another to cook up a business proposal.