|Steve Maltzman |
The present status section is a key element of a builder's business plan. This section identifies who you are as a company, where the company has been and where it is today. It should include these components:
A good business plan begins with a good, hard look at where you are, asking -- and answering -- a wide variety of questions concerning your business. It forces you to take an objective, critical look at what you want to achieve and the results you expect.
But before beginning the actual planning process, it is important to identify your company's vision and express it as a mission statement. This is the first -- and usually the hardest -- part of your business plan to write. Mission statements generally state what the company does, whom it serves and what makes it special. They typically address some or all of these questions:
The best way to build a company mission statement is to gather all of your team members and have them identify words that answer those questions. The group then can turn the words into sentences that will lead to a company mission statement.
Here are sample mission statements:
ABC Builders creates handcrafted homes for the discerning buyer. We achieve this through the hard work of the most experienced employees in the industry. ABC Builders has been building these homes since 1980 and will maintain this formula for success to ensure that our customers have someone to rely on when they are ready for their next home.
XYZ Homes encourages dreams, relationships and opportunities. Our extraordinary team members are passionate about exceeding expectations in design, style, value and satisfaction.
SMA Consulting (SMA) is a full-service business management-consulting firm serving the home building and home remodeling industries. SMA is committed to assisting our clients to improve their business operations and achieve their personal and professional short- and long-term goals.
Once you have written your mission statement, expand on the mission and identify your company's overall philosophy and core values. The purposes or objectives of the company are not the goals themselves but define the parameters of which goals may be set.
A sample overall philosophy and core values for ABC Builders might be:
Below are the core values we established at SMA Consulting:
At SMA, we:
In this section, discuss where your company has been. Talk about how the company started and how it got to where it is today. Discuss the highs and lows, the accomplishments and the roadblocks encountered.
Start this section with an organizational chart. Identify the positions and reporting structure within your organization. Assign names to each box within the chart and develop job descriptions for each function.
After identifying the positions within your organization, talk about the players on your team. Develop a brief résumé for each team member and list each employee's strengths and weaknesses.
Help your employees set personal goals related to your company. The goals should not be job-specific (setting a salesperson's quota, for example) but should address how each individual will be able to grow. An example of a personal goal would be to become more computer-literate.
Once the goals are developed, the next step is to develop strategies for accomplishing the goals. Which tasks will each individual and the company undertake in order for the individuals to accomplish their goals? It is also important to develop time frames for these tasks to be accomplished.
Next installment: The Sales and Marketing Plan
Steve Maltzman is president of SMA Consulting, one of the leading providers of financial and business management services for builders and remodelers. He is a CPA with more than 17 years of experience working within the construction industry as both a controller and chief financial officer for various building and remodeling firms.