Are you the undisputed master of pancake flipping and coming up with creative dessert recipes? If you have a passion for pancakes and a head for business, you may have decided to open your own creperie.
Before preparing your own special batter and hiring a few friendly faces to serve it up, however, it's important to think carefully about your business plan - because the success of your venture depends on it.
If you're not sure how to go about drafting up a business plan, then you've come to the right place. Simply read our guide below to make your creperie business plan come to life.
Why a creperie business plan is vital
The number one objective of any business plan is to check the financial viability of your venture. It's firstly a question of ensuring that your creperie, according to its specific characteristics, will be profitable.
A creperie business plan also enables you to examine your business in detail, evaluate the amount of funding needed to get it up and running, and assess its expected profitability.
A creperie business plan will also be specifically requested by any bank or investor you decide to approach, so drafting one up is a mandatory step when it comes to securing financing.
Finally, a creperie business plan serves as a roadmap for your creperie's first three years of operation. As it moves through its first stages of operation, you can use the business plan to track whether it's flourishing as it should, by comparing the figures estimated in your initial forecasts.
What data is needed to create a business plan for a creperie?
Market research is an essential prerequisite for the creation of any business plan.
It will not only enable you to understand the dynamics of the market you've chosen to enter (whether you're opening an independent creperie or joining an already established chain like Crepeaffaire) but also help you understand the expectations of your customers to ensure your offering the type of food and coffee they're looking for.
Writing a creperie business plan also enables you to keep track of the staff and equipment requirements of launching and operating a creperie, as well as how much each investment will cost.
It's also within your creperie business plan that you'll add up the costs associated with the stock, insurance, legal and accountancy fees, as well as your utility bills and rent.
To obtain the best rates and ensure you estimate these expenses as accurately as possible, get in touch with several professionals and ask them for quotes.
The financial forecast of a creperie business plan
Let's now look at the financial part of your creperie business plan. The financial forecast is composed of four tables, all of which have a specific function that we delve into below.
The projected profit and loss account
With this table, you'll have an overview of the expected turnover, growth, and profitability for your creperie over the first 3 to 5 years of activity. This essential chart helps you identify potential opportunities to reduce costs and enables you to ensure the profitability of your creperie.
The projected balance sheet
The projected balance sheet shows the value of the company's assets at a given time, and, in particular, the value of the assets (what the company owns) and liabilities (what the company owes to suppliers, lenders, etc)
The projected cash flow statement
With the help of a projected cash flow statement, you will see how much cash is generated in your creperie business plan, where it comes from, and how it is used, whether it's to repay its loans or purchase more expensive ingredients.
You'll also be able to see if you have enough cash to fulfil these obligations, or even if you might soon have enough cash to expand your business by opening more creperies.
The start-up capital
This section of your creperie's financial forecast gives your bank or investor a quick overview of the resources needed to launch your business and their costs - as well as ways in which they'll be financed, including via equity contribution, shareholder loans, and bank loans.
Break-even calculation table
The break-even (or break-even point) calculation table indicates the turnover required to achieve financial equilibrium.
The editorial section of a creperie business plan
Whilst some believe that numbers speak louder than words, the written part of your creperie business plan should not be neglected.
Considering the fact that it puts the figures and estimations set out in the financial forecast into context, it's arguably just as (if not, more) important as the financial part.
Presenting each aspect of the business in detail, as well as the specific risks associated with it (and how you plan to combat them), the editorial section demonstrates to investors that you've thought long and hard about how you can create a strong and adaptable business model.
Break-down of a creperie business plan
A creperie business plan is usually made up of the parts we present below.
The executive summary
Think of this section as the equivalent of a cover letter for your creperie business plan. The aim here is to introduce your project to investors in as engaging and concise a manner as possible, encouraging them to read on and learn more about your exciting venture.
In this part, you place a spotlight on the business's partners and their roles, as well as the distribution of the company's capital and the location of your creperie.
Products and services offered by your creperie
This section explains the products being sold by your creperie, as well as the prices you've set for each.
It's within this section of the creperie business plan that you'll present the results of the market research we mentioned at the beginning of this article. The objective here is to demonstrate that there is indeed a viable business opportunity for your creperie to flourish.
Your business strategy
In this part, you'll reveal three key plans for your creperie business plan:
- Your sales strategy - the prices you'll set
- Your marketing strategy - the actions you'll take to attract customers and build customer loyalty
- Your risk management strategy - how you'll minimise the risks related to your business
From your employees to your relationship with suppliers, you'll detail the operational organisation of your business.
The financial plan of your creperie
The financial forecast of your creperie, referred to earlier in this article, is accompanied by commentary that explains the assumptions used and the main results expected.
3 tips for writing the business plan for a creperie
As with every other business, running a creperie comes with its own unique challenges. The aim is to be prepared for any question an investor might throw at you during your meeting and prevent yourself from being confronted with financial difficulties in the early stages of your business.
Prepare for seasonality
Don't forget to take the seasonality of crepes into account when developing your financial forecast. Depending on your location and the type of creperie you want to open (whether it's a restaurant, market stall or creperie truck), the success of your business will depend on the time of year.
Between developing your menu and building up your customer base, the first few months of business will probably bring little profit - so make sure you factor this initial slow period into your financial forecast, too.
Account for price fluctuation
When deciding your menu prices in your creperie business, it's essential to take the changing costs of ingredients into account. For a creperie specifically, it's important you consider how interchangeable dairy prices will impact your milk and butter supply, with the same going for cocoa.
You should also account for any losses (such as spilled flour and expired ingredients) when calculating the price of stock. This will enable you tailor your prices so you're left with a sufficient enough profit margin to cover your rent, insurance and staff salaries.
Know your industry
When conducting research on the crepe market, don't just rely on customer surveys and statistics found online - make sure you know your industry (and location) inside out.
This means getting out there and investigating the area in which you'd like to set up your business. Start by calculating its population and the amount of people who visit nearby creperies or cafes looking for sweet treats, before moving on to rival creperies and cafes in the area - assessing their prices and business strategy. This will enable you to identify what measures have been successful and (just as importantly) ineffective in attracting customers.
As far as your figures are concerned, try to cross-check your information, taking changing prices and the purchasing power of your potential customers into account.
What tool should I use to write my creperie business plan?
There are several tools available to help you write your creperie business plan. To ensure you pick the solution that best suits you, we've reviewed the pros and cons for each below.
Write your business plan using Excel and Word
This solution has one major advantage: it's cheap.
Be wary, however, that you'll need to have an accounting background (or at least be very good with numbers) to write your plan in this way without making mistakes in the calculations.
Hire a consultant to develop your business plan
Hiring a chartered accountant or consultant to take care of the financial part of your creperie business plan is a good way to avoid errors.
However, the fees are generally quite expensive: budget around £1.5k ($2.0k) for a complete business plan, plus more if you need to make changes after the initial version (which happens frequently after the initial meetings with lenders).
If you decide to hire a consultant or accountant, remember to check what's included in the service - are they developing a complete business plan or just doing the financial forecast? And are you willing to pay extra for them to make changes, if necessary?
Use online business plan software
The last option is a tempting one: create a business plan for your creperie using online business plan software.
There are several advantages to using specialised software:
- You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan.
- You can be inspired by already written business plan templates
- You can easily make your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you.
- You get a professional document, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank.
This third option offers an interesting compromise as using software is not only quicker and less technical than drafting your business plan alone, but it's also way less expensive than using a consultant.
If you are interested in this type of solution, you can try our software for free by signing up here.
That's it for now, we hope this article has helped you better understand how to write a creperie business plan. If you have any questions related to setting up your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Also on The Business Plan Shop:
- How to carry out market research for a creperie
- How to create the financial forecast for a creperie
- How to open a creperie
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