We’ll follow Antoinette throughout her journey later in the book and see what combination of figures she settles on. For now, let’s review what you’ve learned so far. You’ve decided whether to write a complete plan for your business by completing these steps:
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- choosing a business you know well
- identifying a need you can fill (the customer’s problem) • describing your business and how it will fill that need
- deciding that your business is the right idea at the right time • deciding that you like your business, and
- forecasting enough profits to make writing a complete business plan worthwhile.
In this chapter, you’ve been answering questions for yourself. Now that you’ve answered the questions positively, you can proceed to sell your idea and your answers to potential financial partners. The next few chapters show you how to write a document that sells your idea.
It seems that Antoinette needs to find some combination of higher sales estimates, lower fixed costs, and higher gross profit margin that will improve profits so that she can make a living wage. But the really critical part is this:
She must be absolutely sure that she can meet all the forecast changes she makes. Antoinette was sure of her first forecasts; unfortunately, those forecasts produced a loss for the first year of business. Now, while she can manipulate the numbers to show a profit, the danger is that the numbers may not be achievable.
She may be able to create a good-looking business plan but may be unable to meet those revised projections. Or, just as dangerous, she may become uneasy about the project’s success. A lack of confidence may just be enough to take the edge off her drive and dedication and enough to make the project fail.
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