Your financial plan should include your 5-year financial statement broken out both monthly or quarterly for the first year and then annually. Your financial statements include your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statements.
Income Statement: an income statement is more commonly called a Profit and Loss statement or P&L. It shows your revenues and then subtracts your costs to show whether you turned a profit or not.
In developing your income statement, you need to devise assumptions. For example, will you serve 20 customers per day or 50? Will your average price point be $50 or $100? And will sales grow by 2% or 10% per year? As you can imagine, your choice of assumptions will greatly impact the financial forecasts for your business. As much as possible, conduct research to try to root your assumptions in reality.
Balance Sheets: While balance sheets include much information, to simplify them to the key items you need to know about, balance sheets show your assets and liabilities. For instance, if you spend $100,000 on building out your hair salon, that will not give you immediate profits. Rather it is an asset that will hopefully help you generate profits for years to come. Likewise, if a bank writes you a check for $100.000, you don’t need to pay it back immediately. Rather, that is a liability you will pay back over time.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help determine how much money you need to start or grow your business, and make sure you never run out of money. What most entrepreneurs and business owners don’t realize is that you can turn a profit but run out of money and go bankrupt. For example, let’s say a company approached you with a massive $100,000 hair salon contract to provide hair salon services to their employees. Let’s assume the contract would cost you $50,000 to fulfill. Well, in most cases, you would have to pay that $50,000 now for supplies, employee salaries, etc. But let’s say the company didn’t pay you for 180 days. During that 180 day period, you could run out of money.
In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a hair salon:
- Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc.
- Cost of equipment like chairs, washing equipment, etc.
- Payroll or salaries paid to staff
- Business insurance
- Licenses and permits
- Legal expenses
Getting the numbers right for your hair salon business plan’s financials is the key to creating a compelling and valuable plan and, therefore, to the successful launch of your salon. The “right” type of numbers depends on who you are targeting the plan at. Consider the different needs of investors and lenders and what they want out of the financial section of your business plan.
Right for Investors
The numbers that investors want to see are realistic, but conservative, projections that still show a return that they feel is required by the level of risk they will take on by investing and by the opportunities to use their money elsewhere that they will give up (their opportunity risk). You lower the risk that investors feel they are taking on by showing proof of the management team’s experience, well-thought out marketing and operations plans, a quantifiable customer target market with demonstrated needs that the services of your salon will fulfill, and a competitive landscape which presents an opportunity for your business to steal some market share from the current players. Within the financial section, you support this lower risk by explaining your revenue assumptions in a way that shows a gradual build up to profitability and a rationale for how the number of customers you expect is reasonable.
For some businesses, the return required by investors is only fully realized in the event of the sale of the business. However, an investor in a salon with modest dreams of being a local leader and an ongoing concern may show significant investor return through dividends paid out as the cash becomes available. For most investors, the return must be significantly greater than that of a safe investment like certificates of deposit or treasury bonds or mutual funds. Investors personally interested in your success (like family or friends) may not require as high of a annual return, while professional investors will be serious about a high return.
Right for Lenders
Lenders are most interested in the safe return of their principal with interest over time, and will not care so much about the absolute value of the company, beyond the value of its assets which can be seized and liquidated in the case of a loan default. To show lenders the numbers they want to see, the financial plan shows the business becoming cash flow positive relatively quickly to allow for these payments to begin, and for this situation to continue throughout the years after that point. Lenders will be interested in the value of assets that are being purchased (such as equipment, inventory, and real estate) and cautious lenders will want these assets to act as collateral and to limit their loan to this amount, unless personal assets are also offered as collateral. Lenders will share many of the same concerns as investors – that the rest of the plan is well-thought out, that financial assumptions are reasonable and conservative, and that the management team has the experience to lead.