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Executive Summary

Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it is a summary of all the important parts.

The point of your Executive Summary is to get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of errand service you are running and what the status is. For example, are you a new business, do you want to grow your errand service business, or do you run errand services in more than one place or market?

Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that follows. For example, give a brief summary of the industry of errand and courier services. Talk about what kind of errand-running business you are running. Detail your direct competitors. Tell us about your ideal customers. Give a brief overview of your marketing plan. Find the important people on your team. And explain what your financial plan is.

Company Analysis

In your business analysis, you will explain what kind of errand business you have.

For example, you might run one of the following types of errand service businesses:

  1. Pick-up and Drop-off Service: This kind of errand service business will pick up items, pets, or people that need to be moved and drop them off somewhere, so things like dry cleaning, vet appointments, and making sure kids get to and from school safely and on time can be done.
  1. Shopping Service: This type of business offers shopping services, like buying groceries or clothes for an individual.
  1. Food Delivery Service: This type of errand service picks up catering or takeout orders and delivers the food to businesses or people’s homes.

In the section of your business plan called “Company Analysis,” you need to explain what kind of errand service business you will run and give some background on the business.

Answers should be given to questions like:

  • When did you start your business, and why?
  • What important steps have you taken so far? Milestones could include the number of customers served, the number of good reviews, the total number of errands done, and so on.
  • Your legal structure. Are you set up as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A single-person business? Tell us about your legal structure.

Industry Analysis

First, learning about the industry of errand and courier services educates you. It gives you a better idea of the market you are in.

Second, market research can help you make your strategy better, especially if it shows you market trends.

The third reason to do market research is to show your readers that you know a lot about your field. You do just that by doing the research and putting it in your plan.

In the industry analysis section of your errand service business plan, you should answer the following questions:

  • How big is the business of running errands and delivering packages (in dollars)?
  • Is the market going down or up?
  • Who are your main rivals in the market?
  • Who are the main market suppliers?
  • What changes are happening in the field?
  • How fast is the industry expected to grow in the next 5–10 years?
  • How big is the market that matters? That is, how big is the market for your business that runs errands? You can figure out such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the population in your area.

Customer Analysis

In the section of your errand service business plan called “Customer Analysis,” you should describe the customers you serve or plan to serve.

Work-related customers, families, seniors, students, and small businesses are all examples of customer segments.

As you might guess, the type of errand service business you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. Obviously, students would react differently to marketing campaigns than, say, older people.

Try to figure out who your ideal customers are based on how they look and how they think. In terms of demographics, talk about the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the people you want to serve. Because most errand service businesses mostly work with people in the same city or town, it’s easy to find this kind of demographic information on government websites.

Psychographic profiles explain what your target customers want and need. The better you can understand and define these needs, the easier it will be to get customers and keep them coming back.

Competitive Analysis

In your competitive analysis, you should list your business’s direct and indirect competitors and then focus on the direct ones.

Other businesses that run errands for people are direct competitors.

Indirect competitors are other places where customers can buy things that aren’t direct competitors. This includes services like ridesharing and delivery. You should also talk about this competition.

In terms of direct competition, you should talk about the other errand-running businesses that you compete with. Most likely, the closest competitors to you will be errand services that are close to where you are.

Give an overview of each of these competitors’ businesses and list their strengths and weaknesses. Unless you’ve worked at one of your competitors’ companies, you won’t know everything about them. But you should be able to find out key facts about them, such as:

  • What kind of clients do they work with?
  • What kind of tasks do they run?
  • How much do they charge (high, low, etc.)?
  • What can they do well?
  • What do they do wrong?

For the last two questions, try to answer them from the customers’ point of view. And don’t be afraid to ask the customers of your competitors what they like and dislike about them.

The last part of your competitive analysis section is to list the ways you are better than your competitors. As an example:

  • Will you run errands faster or with better quality?
  • Will you offer things that your competitors don’t?
  • Will you treat your customers better?
  • Will you price things better?

Think about how you will do better than your competitors and write them down in this part of your plan.

Marketing Plan

Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. Your marketing plan for an errand service business plan should include the following:

Product: In the product section, you should repeat the type of errand service company that you wrote about in your Company Analysis. Then, explain in detail what services you will be providing. For example, do you offer courier services, travel booking services, or handyman services in addition to running errands?

Price: Write down the prices you’ll be charging and how they compare to those of your competitors. In your marketing plan, the product and price sections are basically where you list the services you offer and how much they cost.

Place: This is where your errand service company is located. Write down where you are and how that will affect your success. For example, where is your errand service business located? Is it in your home, in a busy shopping or business area, near a university, etc.? Talk about why your location could be the best for your customers.

Promotions: The last part of your marketing plan for your errand service is the section on promotions. Here, you’ll write down how you’ll get people to your location (s). Here are some ways you could promote your business:

  • Putting ads in newspapers and magazines in your area
  • Contacting local websites
  • Flyers
  • Marketing with social media
  • Local radio advertising

Operations Plan

In the other parts of your business plan, you talked about your goals. In your operations plan, you talk about how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should have two separate parts.

Everyday short-term processes include everything you need to do to run your errand service business, such as taking service orders, planning service logistics, performing services, talking to potential customers, and billing customers.

Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. Some of these dates could be when you expect to do your 1,000th service or when you hope to make $X. It could also be when you want to expand your errand service business into a new market or city.

Management Team

To show that your errand service business can be successful, you need a strong management team. Showcase the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.

You and/or the other people on your team should have direct experience running errand service businesses. If so, talk about your experience and skills. But also highlight any experience you think will help your business succeed.

If your team is missing something, you might want to put together an advisory board. A two-to-eight-person advisory board would help your business in the same way that a mentor would. They would help answer questions and give advice on how to plan. If you need to, look for advisory board members who have run errand-running businesses or small businesses successfully.

Financial Plan

Your 5-year financial plan should include a monthly or quarterly breakdown for the first year, then an annual breakdown after that. Your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement are all part of your financial statements.

Income Statement

A more common name for an income statement is a Profit and Loss statement, or P&L. It shows your income and then takes away your expenses to show if you made a profit.

You need to make assumptions in order to make your income statement. For example, how often will you get 20 new customers? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% every year? As you might expect, the financial forecasts for your business will be greatly affected by the assumptions you choose. Do as much research as you can to try to make sure your assumptions are true.

The Balance Sheets

Balance sheets list what you own and what you owe. Balance sheets can have a lot of information, but try to boil them down to the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 building up your errand service, you won’t make money right away. Instead, it is an asset that you can use to make money for years to come. Likewise, if a bank gives you a check for $50,000, you don’t have to pay it back right away. Instead, you will have to pay that back over time.

Statement of Cash Flow

Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you never run out of cash. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t realize that you can make money but still go bankrupt if you run out of money.

When making your Income Statement and Balance Sheet, make sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing an errand service business:

  • Cost of supplies and equipment
  • Payroll or salaries given to employees
  • Insurance for businesses
  • Taxes and licenses:
  • Legal expenses