"A Business Plan is Not the Great American Novel," Says Howard Cannon, CEO Restaurant Consultants of America

Birmingham, AL, March 21, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Building the restaurant of one's dreams requires a sound plan, but creating a business plan is not an easy task. The best way to approach it is to write down everything one may desire to accomplish with the restaurant, then proceed from there. Treat the business plan as a road map to the business. Restaurant Consultant, Restaurant Expert Witness, and CEO, Howard Cannon advises the would-be restaurant owner to write a detailed business plan; stating, "A business plan is not the great American novel. You're writing a plan to run your business, so the audience is small and specific."

There are a lot of different ways to write a business plan, but most business plans have similar components. Cannon recommends specific sections for a restaurant business plan, saying, "If you look at a business plan for a fast-food hamburger chain throughout the South and the business plan for a fine-dining establishment in Montreal, you'll see significantly different-looking business plans. Upon closer inspection though, you'll realize that the basic elements have stayed pretty much the same."

Standard components include a cover page and table of contents, executive summary, business concept, management team information, market analysis, process analysis, organizational plan, marketing plan, financial plan, start-up cost projections, pro forma or income statement, restaurant timeline and growth plan, contingency plan, and supporting documents. Mr. Cannon says, "The financial plan is traditionally the most highly -scrutinized section of your business plan. The length of the financial plan doesn't matter, but it must be full of pertinent data; and, it will be dissected whether it takes 3 pages or 20. I advise you to be overly conservative and lean toward underestimating revenues and overestimating expenses. This gives you wiggle room -- just in case things don’t go as planned."

Howard Cannon is a highly-recognized restaurant consultant, expert witness, analyst, and speaker. He is the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Restaurant© - found in 76 countries around the globe. Mr. Cannon is the CEO of Restaurant Consultants of America and Restaurant Expert Witness, and can be reached at 800-300-5764 or via the web at RestaurantConsultantsOfAmerica.com or RestaurantExpertWitness.com.
Restaurant Consultants of America
Susan Wood