What: Gale Business Plans Handbooks provide actual business plans developed by small businesses throughout North America. New plans are published every year and the cost of production is updated. If you find an older plan, then you can add inflation to the cost figures.
How to use: Connect to Gale Business Plans Handbooks and search using keywords that broadly describe your business (e.g., restaurant, cafe, car wash, gallery, music, movies, etc). You cannot be too specific because if your idea is truly original, you are not going to find an exact business plan for your idea; if you do find an exact match, then your idea is not original.
Read a business plan to identify the information needed for the price point and revenue model. Due to copyright restrictions, the plan cannot be publicly posted here. Discussion of the plan will take place in class. Electronic copies of the plan will not be disseminated. If you miss the class, you can either consult with a classmate.
If you have a plan that combines two businesses, like an organic coffee shop with a car wash),then actively seek competitor pricing for both industries.
Sources for identifying competitors
7a. Estimate the number of units sold
Use an existing business plan. You will need to adjust the potential sales volume based on income, population and the consumer expenditure on eating out. Use SimplyMap to locate consumer expenditure information
7b. Estimate the selling price
You will need to estimate the selling price per unit adjusting the estimates given in your example business plan for income, population and consumer expenditure
7c. Adjust operating expenses for the cost of living roughly
Use a free cost of living converter such as CNN Money and you will roughly know that the comparable salary in Ithaca is $2,632 - it costs 31% more to live in Ithaca!
For many other operating expenses, the web is quite useful. For instance, phone, utilities and rent expenses can be estimated using freely available information on business websites. But many times, the costs are fairly comparable across the nation. For instance, $720/yr for phone service in Springfield, Missouri may be on the higher side, but it is always a good idea to overestimate the cost and underestimate the revenue.
7d. Total Revenue - Cost of Sales = Gross Profit Margin