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Business Plan: Day 3,385

Can these be recycled?

Here you can see some of my early drafts of the business plan. Perhaps an eraser would speed this process along.

Sorry for the very sporadic posts of late. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my postings will be few and far between until I get the business plan monkey off my back. I finished up the start up cost/funding request section. This will most likely be the first page a lender will turn to when they open the business plan which is why it will contain porn. That should get their attention. I managed to line up two people whom I have great respect for to be both business plan reviewers and advisors. Their names are now officially in the business plan along with their backgrounds. Both gentlemen will be of huge help and they will be Panic Alarmist VIP’s for life.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of looking at the business plan. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process of researching, analyzing, writing, and tweaking, but at this point, the fun is over and I want it out the door. However, having a full time job (which has been quite busy of late), wife, two children and all the things that go with family, there’s only so much time I can devote to it. For awhile I was getting stressed and beating myself up over it, but I’m learning to relax a bit knowing that it’ll be done when it’s done and I just need to maintain as much focus as I can. It’s REALLY close to completion. No really. And I’m very proud of it. I’ve seen other business plans for other types of businesses and was amazed at the lack of detail and care taken.  I saw one non-brewery business plan with an actual typo in the funding request. They had inadvertently omitted a zero from the end. I shit you not.

The Panic Alarmist plan is extremely thorough and nicely presented. At least I think it is. ;-)

So hang tight everyone. Once this thing is done there’s going to be a ton of activity on this blog. I have loads of material to write including equipment, ingredients, financing (that’ll be the big one), and eventually real estate leasing, licensing, construction, you name it. 



3 comments… add one

  • Mark February 14, 2013, 11:36 am


    I’ve read your blog from the beginning over the past few days and can’t thank you enough for all of this information. I’ve been kicking the tires of doing this myself in Maine, but the entire process is so daunting when you don’t have the experience of reading/writing business plans. Your blog as at least given me some focus on how to get that started.

    I was wondering though, any chance you could share your spreadsheets? I don’t want your numbers, just the guts of the spreadsheets you’ve been using. If not, I understand.

    Thanks agian, and good luck with the rest of the way, although, I am more than 6 months behind the ball. :)



    • Gary Gulley February 14, 2013, 11:55 am

      Hi Mark,

      I’m glad to share all this info. To be honest, it’s much easier to create your own spreadsheets than to use someone else’s. I had a couple of spreadsheets I could’ve used, but I quickly realized that a) by the time I figured out all their formulas, I could just do it myself and b) their formulas might not be correct or not correct for my particular situation.

      I remember wondering how the hell to get started with the spreadsheets and yes, it was daunting. So here’s what I did. I started with something very, very simple and slowly built it up to the complex monstrosity that it now is. What I started with was the fun stuff: recipe costs. I got all the costs for malt (plus shipping, don’t forget!), hops, figured out water costs, then created a spreadsheet to calculate the raw ingredients cost. Made it much less daunting and, well, kinda fun.

      One thing I will recommend, extract out common constants into their own cells and refer to them in your formulas. For instance, don’t enter your brew kettle size in each cell formula where you need it, put it on a systems constant table and refer to that cell whenever you need your brewhouse capacity. Then if you decide to change the capacity, update the cell with the new capacity. Then all your calcs will be updated automagically.

      Good luck. Don’t think about all the tasks you have to do. Focus on the first steps with an eye on the big picture.


  • Mark Baker February 15, 2013, 7:45 pm

    Thanks Gary,

    I understand what you are saying. I am a tech guy myself, so I am pretty good with Excel, but sometimes have a hard time with visualizing things. I would like to create my own using yours as kind of a guideline. If you could email them to me, that would be great.

    My business partner and I have had a few conversations about some business ideas. We are starting WAY smaller than you are, but hoping to have WAY less risk right out of the gate. Once the brand takes off, we’ll then try to get some funding. People I have talked to have told me that lenders are much more willing to give money to a company that’s had at least some track record of success (even if it’s only 6 months) than drop a bunch of cash to open the doors. Which, in my mind makes sense.

    Anyway, Thanks again for the blog. I’m all caught up now, and can’t wait to continue to read about the progress. When I get a blog up about mine, I’ll be sure to share in the event you might be interested.



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