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 skating rink you run and what its status is. For example, are you a new business, do you have a skating rink you want to grow, or do you run skating rinks in more than one market?
Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that follows. For example, you could give a short summary of the skating rink business. Talk about what kind of skating rink you run. 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.
In your business analysis, you’ll explain what kind of skating rink you run.
For example, you might run any of the following types of skating rinks:
- Indoor hard surface skating rink: This type of skating rink is an indoor rink that has a hard surface made of hardwood or concrete and is used for roller skating or inline skating.
- Outdoor skating rink: This kind of rink is usually in a park and has space for inline skating, roller skating, and skateboarding.
- Ice skating rink: This type of skating rink can be either indoors or outdoors, and the surface is made of ice. Ice skating rinks are used for ice skating, figure skating, and hockey.
In the section of your business plan called “Company Analysis,” you need to explain what kind of skating rink you will run and give background information about 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 positive reviews, reaching X number of customers served, etc.
- Your legal structure. Are you set up as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A single-person business? Tell us about your legal structure.
In your industry analysis, you need to give an overview of the skating rink industry.
Even though this may seem pointless, it has more than one use.
First, learning about the skating rink business makes you smarter. 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 business plan, you should answer the following questions:
- How much money does the skating rink business bring in?
- 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 your skating rink’s potential market? 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.
In the customer analysis section, you need to explain who you serve and/or who you hope to serve.
Individuals, families, and athletes are examples of customer segments.
As you might guess, the type of skating rink you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. Obviously, athletes or athletic groups would respond to different marketing campaigns than families.
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.
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.
In your competitive analysis, you should list your business’s direct and indirect competitors and then focus on the direct ones.
Skating rinks’ main rivals are other skating rinks.
Indirect competitors are other places where customers can buy things that aren’t direct competitors. This includes places like recreation centers, parks, recreation areas at schools, and so on.
In terms of direct competition, you should talk about the other skating rinks that you are in competition with. Most likely, the closest skating rinks to you will be your main competitors.
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 kinds of equipment do they have for the skating rink?
- In what places do they work?
- What kind of clients do they work with?
- 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 have features at your skating rink that your competitors don’t have?
- Will you give better tools or a better place to work?
- 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.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. In your marketing plan for a skating rink, you should do the following:
Product: In the product section, you should repeat the type of skating rink you wrote about in the Company Analysis. Then, explain in detail what services you will be providing. For example, do you offer skating lessons and training, a place to eat and drink, private parties, and any other services besides skating rinks?
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: Place means where your skating rink is. Write down where you are and how that will affect your success. For example, is your skating rink close to a school, a busy neighborhood, or a city? Talk about why your location could be the best for your customers.
Promotions: The last part of your plan for marketing your skating rink 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
- Flyers \Billboards \Commercials
- Social media marketing
- Local radio advertising
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 all of the tasks needed to run your skating rink, such as cleaning and maintaining the rink, keeping track of skates and other equipment, scheduling staff, selling tickets, marketing, etc.
Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. These could include the dates when you hope to get your XXth customer or make $X in sales. It could also be when you’re planning to move your skating rink to a new location.
To show that your skating rink can do well, 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 your team members should have managed skating rinks before. 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, try to find advisory board members who have run a skating rink or other successful recreation center before.
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.
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, will you only be open during the summer or winter, or will you be a skating rink that is open all year? 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.
Balance sheets show both your assets and your debts. 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 to build your skating rink, 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.
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 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 a skating rink:
- Cost of building a skating rink and building out the facility
- Cost of supplies and equipment for a skating rink
- The price of advertising the skating rink
- Payroll or salaries given to employees
- Insurance for businesses
- Taxes and licenses
- Legal expenses