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.
Your Executive Summary should get the reader’s attention quickly. Tell them what kind of plumbing business you own and how things are going. For example, is your business new? Do you want to grow it? Do you have plumbing businesses in more than one market?
Next, give an overview of every part of your plan that comes after this one. For example, you could give a brief summary of the plumbing business. Talk about your plumbing business. Detail your direct competitors. Give a summary of who you want to reach. Give a quick summary of your plan for marketing. Find out who on your team is the most important. And explain how you plan to deal with your money.
In your business analysis, you will talk about what kind of plumbing business you have.
For example, you could run one of these plumbing companies:
- Commercial plumbers focus on fixing plumbing in businesses, apartment buildings, and other commercial buildings.
- This kind of plumber works on plumbing in homes.
- Fixing and fixing up Plumbing: This type of plumber fixes plumbing problems and/or emergencies for both homes and businesses.
In the “Company Analysis” section of your business plan, you need to explain what kind of plumbing business you will run and give some background on the business.
Be sure to answer questions like:
- When and why did you start your business?
- What big steps have you taken so far? Milestones could be things like the number of customers served, the number of good reviews, earning $X in sales, and so on.
- Your legal structure. Do you have an S-Corp set up for your business? An LLC? A one-person company? Tell us about your justice system.
In your industry analysis, you need to describe the plumbing industry as a whole.
This might seem useless, but there are more than one way to use it.
First, learning about a business gives you knowledge. It helps you understand the market better.
Second, market research can help you come up with a better plan, especially if it shows you market trends.
Doing market research is also a good way to show your readers that you know what you are talking about. This is what you do by doing your research and putting it in your plan.
In the section on the analysis of the industry, you should answer the following questions:
- How much money does the business of plumbing bring in?
- Is the market getting smaller or bigger?
- Who are your biggest market competitors?
- Who are the most important suppliers in the market?
- What kinds of changes are happening in business?
- How do you think the business will grow over the next 5–10 years?
- How large should the market be? That is, how big do you think your plumbing business could get? You can get this number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the people in your area.
In the “Customer Analysis” section of your business plan, you need to explain who you serve or who you hope to serve.
Customer segments include business building owners and managers, apartment building owners and managers, homeowners, schools, contractors, and restaurant owners and managers.
As you might guess, the type of plumbing business you run will depend a lot on the type(s) of customers you choose. Obviously, marketing campaigns for, say, an apartment complex would be different from those for a homeowner.
Try to figure out who your ideal customers are by looking at their demographics and how they think and feel. In the demographics section, talk about the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the people you hope to help.
Psychographic profiles can tell you what your customers want and need. If you can understand and describe these needs well, it will be easier to find new customers and keep the ones you already have.
In your competitive analysis, you should find out who your direct competitors are and then focus on them.
There are other plumbing companies that compete directly with us.
Customers can also buy from indirect competitors instead of direct competitors. This includes local repair shops or handymen. You should also talk about competitions like this.
You should make a list of the other plumbing companies that you compete with directly. Most likely, the plumbing companies closest to you will be your biggest rivals.
Give an overview of each of their businesses and a list of their strengths and weaknesses. You won’t know everything about your competitors unless you have worked for one of them. But you should be able to learn important facts about them, like:
- What kind of clients do they work with?
- What kind of work do they do in plumbing?
- What is the price range (high, low, etc.)?
- What are their strengths?
- What do they not do well?
For the last two questions, try to answer from the point of view of your customers. Don’t be afraid to ask the customers of your competitors what they like and don’t like about them.
In the last part of your competitive analysis, you should list the ways in which you are better than your competitors. Here’s an example:
- Will you give lower rates of interest?
- Will you offer services that your rivals don’t?
- Will you offer better service to your customers?
- Will your prices get better?
In this part of your plan, you should think of ways you can do better than your competitors and write them down.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, its price, where it will be sold, and how it will be promoted. In your plumbing business marketing plan, you should do the following:
Product: In the product section, you should write about the type of plumbing company you wrote about in your Company Analysis. Then, explain in detail what you will be selling. For example, do you do more than just plumbing? Do you fix, replace, service, or help with plumbing emergencies around the clock?
Price: List your prices and how they compare to those of your competitors. In your marketing plan, the “product” and “price” sections are mostly about the services you offer and how much they cost.
Place: This word means where your plumber is located. Write down where you are and how your position will affect your success. For example, is your plumbing business near a lot of shops, in your home, in a separate office, etc.? Talk about why your place might be the best one for your customers.
Promotions: This is the last part of your marketing plan for your plumbing business. Here, you’ll list how you’ll bring customers to your business (s). Here are some ideas for how to promote your business:
- Putting ads in local newspapers and magazines
- How to get in touch with sites
- Social media marketing
- Local radio and TV commercials
In the other parts of your business plan, you talked about your plans. In the operations plan, you explain how you will reach those goals. Your plan for operations should include two different parts.
Everyday short-term processes include everything you need to do to run your plumbing business, such as advertising your services, finishing projects, getting ready for new ones, and keeping track of your products and materials.
Long-term goals are the steps you need to take to get there. These dates could be when you think you’ll get your Xth client or when you hope to make X dollars. It could also be if you want to start doing plumbing work in a new city.
A strong management team is what your plumbing business needs to show that it can be successful. Show the backgrounds of your key players, with a focus on the skills and experiences that prove they can help a company grow.
You or someone on your team should know how to run a plumbing business. If so, talk about what you’ve learned and what you’ve done. But you should also talk about any business experience you have that you think will help your business do well.
If you don’t have a strong enough team, you might want to put together an advisory board. A board of advisors could have anywhere from 2 to 8 members. These people would help you with your business as mentors. They would answer questions and give planning tips. If you have to, look for advisory board members who have managed a plumbing team or run their own plumbing business well.
Your 5-year financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement. For the first year, it should be broken down monthly or quarterlyly, and after that, it should be done annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, your balance sheet, and your cash flow statement.
Most people call an income statement a P&L, which stands for a profit and loss statement. It shows how much money you made and how much it cost you, so you can see if you made a profit.
When making your income statement, you have to make some assumptions. For instance, will you be the only plumber or will you have a group of plumbers? How much will sales increase each year? 2% or 10%? As you might expect, the assumptions you make will have a big impact on your business’s financial projections. Do as much research as you can to try to find facts that support what you think.
Balance sheets show you what you own and what you owe. Balance sheets may have a lot of information on them, but try to focus on the most important parts. For instance, you won’t start making money right away if you spend $50,000 building up your plumbing business. Instead, it’s an asset that you hope will bring in money for years to come. Also, a check from a bank for $50,000 doesn’t have to be paid back right away. You’ll have to pay that back over time instead.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure you don’t run out of money. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t know that you can make money and still go bankrupt if you run out of cash.
Don’t forget to include some of the most important costs of starting a plumbing business or growing an existing one when you make your Income Statement and Balance Sheet:
- Advertising and marketing
- The price of tools and materials
- Staff pay or salaries Insurance for businesses
- Fees and permits
- Legal expenses