A consulting engineer’s Business Plan is the “structure” of your engineering practice, which precisely defines your company and identifies your goals.
It will organize your thoughts and will give you a “game plan”.
It will help you make a “go”/”no go”/ or “wait” decision.
It will help you in forecasting funding needs and securing “financing”.
WHAT DOES A BUSINESS PLAN INCLUDE?
Basically, this should include your proposed firm name, the words BUSINESS PLAN in bold letters and the date.
It is important to be sure that your proposed company name is unique, at least in the areas that you plan to practice, now and in the future. You or your attorney should check and avoid pitfalls such as: another business already having claimed your name; trademark already used; and website address/URL unavailable.
Table of Contents
Do this last. Use the above list starting with Executive Summary and including page numbers. Provide a sub-list of the Supplemental Material. Add appropriate sections, if fitting for your firm.
Do this after the other sections are complete. It is the most important section and the only one that many people may read. But, if you do a good job on the other sections, this one will write itself.
Describe what services that your firm will provide and the kinds of projects and types of clients. Expand upon “why” these services are needed during each of the “phases” of a project. Assume that the reader knows little or nothing about consulting engineering.
My Qualifications (or “The Management Team”)
List your name, title and proposed Job description (brief), here. Also, include the same for your partners and any significant employees. At the end of each, state “See attached Resume” and enclose them as the following pages in this section or in Supplemental Materials.
If you will have partners, include this section. Describe your planned legal structure (Partnership, S Corporation, etc.).
Describe your proposed operation in paragraph form. Include hours of operation; who will receive guests; how phones will be answered; detailed job description of you and your partners and staff.
Cover how projects will be handled: meetings with clients, production of the drawings, technical specifications, bidding requirements, addenda, award of contract, shop drawing review, clarifications, job site meetings, progress reviews, approval of requisitions, punch lists, and project close out.
Legal, Records/Taxes & Insurance – Include the names of the professionals that you have contacted and plan to use.
Marketing Plans: Summarize your marketing strategy and analyze your competition.
Describe how you arrived at your “Start-Up Cost Estimate” and include your completed Figure 4-1 here or in Supplemental Materials. (Note: All spreadsheets are available to download free from my website <ProfessionalValueBooks.com>.)
Describe how you arrived at your “First Year Cash Outflow” estimate and include your completed Figure 4-3 here or in Supplemental Materials.
Describe how you arrived at your “First Year Cash Inflow” projection and include your completed Figure 4-5 here or in Supplemental Materials.
Cash Flow Analysis
Describe how you arrived at your “Cash Flow Analysis” and include your completed Figure 5-1 here or in Supplemental Materials.
Describe how you prepared your “Balance Sheets” and include your completed Figure 5-3 here or in Supplemental Materials.
Financing Overview & Funding Needs
List your “start-up-funding” here, including the source of each contribution. Include savings being invested; gifts promised, if any; and loans promised (or anticipated). Reconcile this with your “First Year Cash Flow Analysis” – Figure 5-1. Explain discrepancies, if any.
Include the attachments to which you have referred, at the end of this “Business Plan”. Also consider including other supporting information such as Letters of Reference; Letters of Commitment from financing sources; copies of bank statements; etc.
Excerpted from The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING © 2015 John D. Gaskell. Used with permission of Professional Value Books, Inc. All rights reserved. Order from http://www.The EngineersResource.com Use discount code “paperback” and save.