Essentially, the latter must combine components of both the franchisee and the franchisor. A franchise business plan, in effect, merges elements of both companies. If you're crafting such a plan, be sure to cover the following eight basic sections, or chapters. Read carefully, as some are slightly different from those found in traditional plans.

  • Abstract. The abstract in your franchise business plan is briefer than an executive summary. It serves as a prologue.
  • Business summary. This summary retrieves the omitted subjects of a conventional executive summary and combines them with elements of the traditional company description. Nothing is left out, just rearranged.
  • Franchise overview. The overview replaces the usual industry analysis.
  • The market. Treatments of the market and the competition combine to form the market section.
  • Marketing plan. Marketing and sales strategies are conventionally included together in the marketing plan.
  • Management qualifications. Essentially the same as in traditional business plans, this section describes your management staff and your operational framework.
  • Financial pro formas. Also a traditional section, it groups together your financial projections for the first year and for a longer range of three or five years.
  • Exhibits. This final section is where you put supporting documents needed to evaluate your business plan - either to support information in other sections or to provide auxiliary information not covered. If you have lots of exhibits, consider inserting some in the sections where they apply.

A final thought: If the goal of your franchise business plan is to secure financing, include a specific chapter that doubles as a loan request or as an investment offering proposal.

Copyright © 1998 Roger C. Rule. Adapted from the author's book No Money Down Financing for Franchising (Central Point, Ore.: The Oasis Press/PSI-Research)