B.C. Beer Blog

The who, what, where, when, why, and how of B.C. craft beer

Posts Tagged ‘spreadsheet

SYWTOABP: Writing a Business Plan

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This may not be the final post in the series, but writing a business plan is one of the key steps necessary to opening a brew pub or starting most any business.  You need the business plan to apply for financing or perhaps to secure a lease or even a key permit or license.  Writing a business plan is work.  A great amount of time can be spent refining a business plan and more business plans get written than get financed.

Writing an entire business plan was never a goal of this blog series, but providing some of the numbers, resources, and information that goes into a business plan was among the goals.  I found a pub business plan posted online that was made available for free, specifically to help others open a bar.  Brewing beer was not part of this business plan.  It is dated but with the exception of including brewing as part of the operations and brewmaster among the key staff it has all the major sections you can expect to see in the average business plan.

It is still available on the forum I found it, but I also put a copy on WordPress.com to ensure that it remains available as long as this blog is online. The numbers are mostly all there, but need to be revised and adapted for the new decade and British Columbia.  Part of that work was done by me in my big spreadsheet post.  I thought we should look at the major sections of an actual business plan and the information they should contain. Potential investors and funders will want answers and if you don’t even know the questions, you will look foolish in a key meeting that may determine the future of your dream.

You can’t anticipate every question, but the most important questions such as the experience of the team, the depth of the market and industry research, the veracity of the sales forecasts, the details of the startup costs, these can be researched and written up prior to any important meetings.
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SYWTOABP: Spreadsheets

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Pro Forma Cash Flow ExampleThis is, perhaps, the least sexy topic of a decidedly unsexy series of blog postings about opening a brew pub in BC. However, if there is one thing that becomes readily apparent as time passes by, is what a disadvantage people are at in the business world if they can’t use Microsoft Office, particularly Excel. Relying exclusively on consultants, accountants, bookkeepers and bloggers to tell you which numbers are the most important to your business, is not a recipe for long-term success and will cost you money.  This isn’t just some blogger talking. This is advice that the authors of “The Knack” also try to hammer home.

Accounting isn’t rocket science.  It relies, for the most part, on simple addition and subtraction.  Time Value of Money calculations are a bit more work, but Excel has ‘wizards’ that probably can walk you through it by now.  This post isn’t about accounting. It isn’t even about the time value of money. It’s about taking the numbers you have and finding out the numbers you need to know.

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SYWTOABP 4: How much does it cost to open a brew pub?

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A lot. More than you think. Six figures, seven figures, big bucks.  This is not a ma and pa or hobby business, at least not anymore. Opening a brew pub is a major investment of time and money. Competition is significant, profit margins vary, startup expenses are considerable and ongoing operating costs can also be steep, especially in some locations.  Estimating all these costs and expenses is a complicated and time consuming process. No book or blog posting will detail everything you need to purchase or rent, nor estimate perfectly your startup and ongoing costs.

Despite that I’m going to try to do some of the work. I’ve written several business plans, including a number of restaurant business plans. Some restaurants are run more like bars, but I’ve never installed or ran a commercial brewing system. I’m relying heavily on folks who do have first hand experience in this crucial aspect of getting a brew pub open.

I always intended to contact vendors to get a relatively good estimate of the many costs that go into opening a brew pub. They can be broken into several broad categories:

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Written by Muskie

July 3, 2011 at 3:27 pm

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