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 summer camp you are running and what the status is. For instance, are you a new business, do you run a summer camp that you want to grow, or do you run a chain of summer camps? Next, give an overview of each part of your plan that follows. For example, you could give a short summary of the summer camp business. Talk about what kind of summer camp you’re running. Detail your direct competitors. Describe the people you want to reach. 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 will talk about what kind of summer camp you run.
For example, you might run one of the following types of summer camps:
- Sports summer camps focus on helping campers practice and train for a certain sport.
- Religious summer camps are like regular summer camps, but they add religious activities like prayers, discussions, and devotional readings.
- Day camp is a type of summer camp where activities only happen during the day and campers are picked up every night to go home.
In the Company Analysis section of your business plan, you need to explain what kind of summer camp 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 camp reservations, the number of good reviews, the total number of campers who have finished the program, 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 summer camp industry.
Even though this may seem pointless, it has more than one use.
First, learning about the summer camp 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 summer camp business plan, you should answer the following questions:
- How much money does the business make?
- 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 summer camp’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 part of your summer camp business plan, you should explain who you serve and/or who you hope to serve.
Parents of young athletes, parents who go to church, and parents of kids with special needs are all examples of customer segments.
As you might guess, the type of summer camp you run will depend a lot on the customer segment(s) you choose. Parents of kids with disabilities would respond to marketing campaigns in a different way than, say, parents of young athletes.
Try to figure out who your target market is by looking at their demographics and how they think and feel. In terms of demographics, talk about the ages, genders, locations, and income levels of the people you want to serve. Because most summer camps mostly serve people from the same city, region, or state, it is 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.
In your competitive analysis, you should list your business’s direct and indirect competitors and then focus on the direct ones.
Other summer camps are their main rivals.
Indirect competitors are other places where customers can buy things that aren’t direct competitors. This includes sports leagues and summer academies. You should also talk about this competition.
In terms of direct competition, you should talk about the other summer camps that you are up against. Most likely, the summer camps in your city or region will be your main rivals.
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 kinds of activities do they offer at the camp?
- 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 offer better things to do and experiences at camp?
- 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.
Usually, a marketing plan has four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. Your marketing plan for a summer camp business plan should include the following:
Product: In the product section, you should repeat the type of summer camp company you wrote about in your Company Analysis. Then, give specifics about the products you’ll be selling. For example, besides running a summer camp, will you also offer transportation to and from the camp, or any other programs during the off-season?
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 is where your summer camp business is located. Write down where you are and how that will affect your success. For instance, does your summer camp take place in a remote area, a school, a sports complex, etc.? Talk about why your location could be the best for your customers.
Promotions: The last part of your marketing plan for your summer camp 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
- 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 everything you need to do to run your summer camp, such as advertising the camp, talking to families who are interested, taking reservations, planning camp activities, and running the camp.
Long-term goals are the goals you want to reach in the future. These could be the dates when you think you’ll book your 100th camper or when you hope to make $X. It could also be when you want to expand your summer camp to a new city or location.
For your summer camp to show that it can be successful, you need a strong camp director and 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 summer camps 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, look for advisory board members who have run successful summer camps or small businesses.
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 book 20 new campers every month or every three months? 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 a summer camp, 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 a summer camp:
- Location build-out, which includes construction, design fees, etc.
- Cost of supplies and equipment
- Payroll or wages given to employees Business insurance
- Taxes and licenses:
- Legal expenses