A Big Cat Business Update #1

Sometimes you get an idea that you just can't resist. For me, this is one of those ideas. 

I've been working on my business plan for my new business idea for a week now and I am about 60% finished. (For now, I'll be referring to this new business venture as my "Big Cat Business", a nickname which will make sense later on. And no, I'm not selling big cats.) The goal is to get things ready to go so I can look into potentially pitching the idea to startup investors later this month. Since this is my biggest project yet, funding is key. As I write this, I am working on the Financial Plan portion of the Business Plan so I know how much capital I'll have to raise. I have been considering a trial run of the company on a local level, but due to the nature of the business, this could prove difficult on such a small budget. Once I finish the Financial Plan I'll work on what can and can't be done in a trial run and go from there. 

The Financial Plan of a business plan is essentially just future-accounting. Just imagine if you hired a fortune teller to be your bookkeeper. Those future statements are what come together to make the business financial plan. Unfortunately for most of us, we can't see into the future so all of our financial planning is just an educated guess. Things I need to include are:

• A sales forecast, i.e. an estimation of the company's future sales.
• An expense budget.
• A projected cash-flow statement.
• Income Projections, i.e. a "profit and loss statement" for the future.
• A Projected Balance Sheet. This has all the "company net worth" information, which includes assets, liability, and equity.
• And lastly, a breakeven analysis. This is one thing a lot of investors look at, since it will estimate when the revenue exceeds the expenses, and the company starts making a profit. This is the point of investments, to get to where an investment makes the investor money. 

All of these things feed off of one another and come together to form what a lot of people consider to be the most important part of a business plan.

A big part of the financial plan will be the expense of wages and salaries. The Big Cat Business is looking like it will be my first business to hire employees. If I play my cards right, I'll be able to continue managing my publishing company (my favorite business) while having a limited role in the new business to get some more reliable income on the side. It will all depend on my ability to hire the right people for the job and use the startup capital in the right way.  

The best part is this business has great potential for nation-wide growth and lots of job creation. When it comes to employee wages, I'm thinking I'd really like to offer a $15/hour starting wage for hourly employees. I want to make sure my employees are both well taken care of and satisfied with their job, one part of which consists of paying them a decent wage. In addition, in order to hire the best, how much companies pay employees is extremely important. 

Regarding the location, I have been looking at several places in my county and trying to determine exactly how much space I need and how much I'm willing to pay. As of now, I'm capping my monthly lease budget at no more than $10,000 a month. This amount will give the Big Cat Business a decent amount of space as well as allow for low overhead costs in comparison to projected sales over time. The lease budget, being one of the bigger expenses, will directly affect how much funding I have to raise to get the business off the ground. The lower the lease costs, the better, but $10,000 a month is the maximum I'd even consider. 

One place I was really hoping for is way over-budget, which wouldn't be bad if it also wasn't what's called a "Triple-Net Lease." For those who might not know, Triple Net leases, also called triple N or NNN, are in my opinion probably one of the least tenant-friendly agreements out there. With this kind of lease, the tenant essentially takes care of everything. Utilities, property tax, maintenance, insurance - everything comes from the tenant. So, considering the rent alone is over-budget, having to expect extra expenses on top of that is an unfortunate no-go for me. At least, for now. I am currently in talks with several other site managers as well, to discuss which locations are within budget for my startup.

The other big part of the budget will be the advertising and marketing budget. I plan on hiring a full marketing team, and I want to advertise on social media, television, and more. As I've said, this will be my biggest venture yet, so I need to be able to market to a large geographic area. I'm thinking it might be best to stick with the east coast for now, but I would like to expand marketing nationwide if and when we open additional locations.

Figuring out the marketing strategy is always my favorite part of the business plan writing process because it's the most creative aspect of the plan. I consider myself a very creative person, so marketing has always been my favorite business activity. This venture, which has so many marketing possibilities I am excited to explore, will be no exception to the rule. 

The business plan for the Big Cat Business is not the only document I need to prepare, though. When the business plan is complete, I will also need to put together what is called a "pitch deck" A pitch deck is simply a business presentation which compiles information from the business plan for potential investors. Once both business plan and pitch deck are ready, I will be better prepared to begin raising capital from investors.


I am very excited about this upcoming business venture and will continue to post updates on here under the tag "Big Cat Business Update." If you have any questions, or if you happen to know any investors you would like to put me in contact with, feel free to reach out to me via email at basil@basilebacorn.com

Want to know more about the Big Cat Business or have suggestions for what I should include in the next update? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you for reading! :) 

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