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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.

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Old 09-11-2009, 07:41 PM   #1
big range bbq
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Default 5 year plan

I am by no means savvy when it comes to business stuff, we started doing small catering jobs then vending and larger catering jobs now I'm doing it full time. I don't plan on taking out a loan or applying for anything like a loan. I am getting a lot of heat from people to do a 5 year plan. How will this help me.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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It would be a plan to stay profitable, grow your business without taking out any loans.

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Old 09-11-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
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What are you doing full time?
Who's asking for a 5 year plan?
I have a 5 day plan and i've been running almost 4 months now.
If it's working for you, go with it.

Who knows what anything will be like in 5 years?
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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I am doing catering/vending full time, and not going to bad i guess. People we know who have taken some business classes and now they know everything there is to know about business. And It got me thinking crap do I need one.
Right now we are on your 5 day plan and been going about 6 months + now. With the way things are these days i think the 5 day plan is thinking pretty far ahead lol. Just want to make sure I'm progressing out of the backyard and into as much business as i can you know.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:55 PM   #5
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If somebody is putting the "heat" to you about a 5 year plan, and they have nothing to do with the business?

Everyone's plan is different - 5 day, 5 week, hell 5 minutes. If you are successful and building on it, keep doing what you're doing and learn from your mistakes. I know for a fact you guys are doing well - Don't sweat it!
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:23 AM   #6
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For a small business, I would say a two year plan is sufficient. According to the Mayan's, the world is ending in 2012 anyway.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:58 AM   #7
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Typically a business plan is only necessary when you are looking for investment, either equity or debt. Personally, however, a five year plan can help you focus your direction and vision for how you would like your business to grow. If your business currently has a lot of positive momentum and is growing a plan can help you to determine the best way to grow to maximize potential gains from the growth. You can also easily share a plan with other people to get them on board helping you with your plan.

Financially speaking there is nothing wrong with a loan if you can use it to make more money--it's called leverage. You can read about it here:

Of course you take on greater risk to the firm by taking on debt, but the risk is mitigated by having a clear plan to return the debt invested in to greater profits to the firm. This is why banks require plans during the loan application process.

Hope this helps! It sounds like you have something good going.
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Old 09-18-2009, 05:35 PM   #8
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If you're doing it full time and making money, here's something to consider putting in your 5 whatever plan....

An accountant.

A good one can save you more than you pay them, and make tax time a lot easier.

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Old 09-21-2009, 07:57 AM   #9
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Another important task is to have a cash flow plan. You can be profitable but lack of cash can kill your business. With a high inventory turnover business like a restaurant, it is not as big of a concern, but you should take a look at it.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:42 AM   #10
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As Musicmanryann pointed out a 5 year plan (also known as a long range plan) keeps you focused on your long range goals. A good business has a Short range and Long Range plan (Short = 2-3 years Long=5 years). The plan is more of an excercsie to let you plan out your business and allows you to focus on growth. If you have no loans to worry about then a 5 day plan may work for you as you do not have any long term financial commitment, however if you ever do need to make a big ticket purchase and are looking for a loan, every bank will ask for a Business Plan and part of that plan is a 5 year plan.
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:20 AM   #11
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If you are maxed out now and can't grow any bigger without capital or increasing the workforce and thats how you like it then don't worry about a 5 year plan. If you have expectations that go far beyond where you are and expect to increase your workforce to meet that then a five year plan to give yourself a schedule to follow would be helpful. It will also help if you find yourself needing quick capital. A working five year plan shows creditors/investors that you are dedicated and have a clear plan. Bonus if they find the goals attainable in the plan.
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Old 09-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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A five year plan imo opinion is as good as the paper it is written on. If I want to know where I'll be in five years, I'll know in 1825 days!!!
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