Meal Prep Business Plan Outline – Starting A Meal Delivery Business



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Team Making A Food Prep Business Plan

We started our Meal Prep Business in 2005 and when the started that business, we followed a business plan very similar to the free one I’ve outlined below.

Now to be clear, there is no one right way to start a Meal Prep Business, which also means there is no one right way to write a business plan for such a business.

“There is no one right way, but there are certainly some wrong ways.”

Stacey Davis of FoodBusinessPros.com

This article is written for someone who is brand new to a business startup.

The information here is not meant to be professional advice, but simply me sharing my own real-life experience as I would with any friend who wanted to start a meal prep delivery business like mine.

Below you’ll find the business plan outline that I’ve used many times, both with my own businesses and with startups of friends and clients.

Included with that outline are specific notes about a Prepared Meal Delivery Business Plan.

However, before we dig into the outline, let’s make sure that you and I basically agree on why you need a business plan before you start a new small business.

What Is The Purpose of A Business Plan?

A business plan for a startup business has two main purposes.

  1. To Help You Run Your Business
  2. To Help You Get Business Loans

Using A Business Plan To Run Your Prepared Meal Business

A solid business plan gets you from where you are today to where you want to be five years from now.

As you make the journey of growing your own business, your business plan is your foundation…or perhaps a better analogy, it’s your anchor.

Foundations can’t be moved but anchors can, but they can’t be without some careful consideration and effort.

Your business plan is your business vision, or put another way, it’s your business’ road map. It tells you where you are going and identifies the landmarks that will tell you where you are on your business’ journey.

I have an entrepreneur’s soul, and with that, I’m always tempted to chase the next shiny thing that catches my attention. If you’re considering starting your own business, you likely share this characteristic with me.

By having a business plan that I revisit regularly, I have that foundational anchor that keeps me from running off after the next shiny thing I’ve found.

Each time I hear a new idea that applies to my meal prep business, I go back to my business plan and really ask myself if this new shiny thing actually fits within the plan.

Now sometimes the idea is just too good to leave untried, but if it’s that good then it needs to find a place on my business plan.

Business plans are living documents, and they can, will, and should change over time.

But they shouldn’t be changed lightly.

Using Your Business Plan To Get A Business Loan

While it’s true that I don’t like taking out loans, it’s also true that sometimes we all have to take out loans.

If you are going to go to a bank or an investor asking for a business loan for a startup meal prep business, you must have a business plan.

And that business plan must have the following characteristics:

  • It must be very professional in appearance.
  • It must have the correct key sections.
  • It must have data.
  • It must have projected timelines.
  • It must have financial projections.

The meal plan business plan outline I’m going to share with you will include a basic version of each of these essentials in the correct order.

It will also have other sections that business loan officers expect to see in every business plan that gets real consideration.


Customizing The Meal Prep Business Plan Outline

I decided to offer just an outline of my business plan, instead of offering you my full business plan. Why?

My business isn’t exactly like your business, so my business plan isn’t your business plan.

While we both are running prepared meal delivery businesses, we’re not running the exact same business with the exact same journey ahead.

Each new business has a unique starting point, similar but different paths to success, and probably even different visions of ultimate success.

In addition, there are endless types of meal prep businesses, and your business plan should reflect your type as well as your dreams and personality.

Here are just some of the types of meal prep businesses that people have asked me to help them get off of the ground.

  • Healthy Prepared Meal Delivery
  • Game-Day Prepared Meal Delivery Business
  • Vegan Meal Prep Delivery Business
  • BBQ Meal Prep Delivery Business
  • Tailgating Meal Prep Delivery Business
  • Gluten-Free Prepared Meal Delivery Business
  • Keto Diet Prepared Meal Delivery Business
  • Fitness Prepared Meal Delivery Business

That’s quite a variety, right?

And each of these businesses is going to have a different marketing plan. Each with its own branding, marketing, competitors, and more.

Now let’s walk through the outline of everything that should be in your business plan.

Man Working On Business Plan

The Free Meal Prep Business Plan Outline

  1. Executive Summary
    • This section will have two or three paragraphs outlining the business in a manner that leaves the reader curious and asking more questions.
    • Some items that you should consider touching upon in your Executive Summary include:
      • Problem Your Business Will Solve
      • Products or Services Offered By Your Company
      • Service Area
      • General Growth Projections
  2. Company Description
    • Two or three paragraphs that briefly explains the structure of your company. Once again, your goal here is to leave the reader even more curious and wanting more.
    • Some items that probably belong here include:
      • Business Structure (e.g. Sole Proprietor, Partnership, LLC, or C Corporation)
      • Owners
      • Investors – Including Owners
      • Physical Location
      • Major Assets
  3. Market & Competition Analysis
    • Identify your new business’ competition. Don’t get trapped into only considering the direct competition. Look for parallel competition.
    • For example, your market competition for a prepared meal business might include the following kinds of businesses:
      • Restaurants
      • Grocery Stores
      • Single Meal Delivery like UberEats
      • Food Courts
      • Mail Order Meal Kits
      • Mail Order Prepared Meals
      • Other Local Prepared Meal Businesses
  4. Key Employees & Organization
    • Who are the key people and what are their responsibilities?
    • Give a brief synopsis of their qualifications, but don’t include a whole resume, we’ll put those resumes in the Supporting Documents at the end of the business plan.
    • Include an Organizational Chart that shows who reports to who.
  5. Key Products and Services
    • Identify exactly what you are going to be selling.
    • Make a short pitch here to actually sell your products/services.
    • Don’t focus just on the features, but include the benefits of your business to your customers.
  6. Marketing Plan
    • This builds on the product section, but with more details about how you are going to market your goods and services.
    • Be sure to demonstrate that you’ve done your research here and are ready to hit the ground running. You might include:
      • A table of projected ad costs on various platforms.
      • A list of locations where you’ll post fliers.
      • A list of organizations that will offer your brochures.
      • A timeline that shows what kinds of marketing happen at what time during your launch.
  7. Funding Request
    • If you are going to be asking someone for a loan, here is where you are going to make that ask. Be clear, concise, and most importantly be specific.
      • How much money do you need?
      • What are you going to spend that money on?
      • When are you going to spend that money?
    • Don’t forget to include operation money for at least some period after your ‘open your doors’. Loan officers know you aren’t going to be profitable from day one, and they need to know that you understand that too.
      • Three months of operation experience is pretty standard for a new small business.
  8. Projected Financials
    • This needs to be a nice spreadsheet that shows projected expenses and revenue by month for at least one year out. Preferably, you’ll project out three years.
    • If you asking for a loan, the person who controls the fate of that loan will really scrutinize this section; be prepared for their questions:
      • What are your projections based upon?
      • How did you come up with this number?
      • How confident are you in your expense numbers?
      • Do you have quotes for ____________? Can I see those quotes?
  9. Project Timeline
    • This section proves to anyone reading this business plan that you have a plan for starting up this prepared meal business. It’s your startup schedule.
    • This needs to be a spreadsheet that indicates when important things are going to happen during your startup.
    • It needs to be at least broken down by weeks, but I’d suggest you break it down by individual days.
    • Not only does this show a loan officer that you have a real plan, but perhaps more important, it gets you organized and holds you accountable to get this business up and running on schedule.
  10. Supporting Documents
    • This is where you put any specific documents requested by a potential lender, as well as any razzle-dazzle that doesn’t have an obvious home in the first nine sections. These can include:
      • Marketing mockups
      • Full resumes of key employees
      • Letters of recommendation and endorsements

If you follow this outline, you’ll be able to create your Prepared Meal Delivery Business Plan with confidense.

However, if you find yourself struggling, be sure to signup for my email list and I’ll see how I can help you.

Lady Struggling Making A New Meal Prep Business Plan

I’ve been considering offering my own original meal prep business plan as a template so newbies don’t need to start with a blank page. If you think that might be helpful, drop me an email.

As an alternative, I do occasionally offer one-on-one consulting as my schedule allows.

My consultation time is not inexpensive. Yet for a couple of hundred dollars, you could get my experienced feedback on your business plan instead of hearing it from a loan officer later.

If you want to check on my availability for consultation, drop me an email.

~Stacey of FoodBusinessPros.com

P.S. If you are a DIY kind of person, I’m including below some links to other resources that will help you get your business plan right.

Until the business plan is right, the business can’t be right.

More Meal Prep Business Plan Writing Resources

U.S. Small Business Administration – Writing Your Business PlanDiscussion & Sample Business Plans
U.S. Small Business Administration – Estimating FinancialsDiscussion of estimating startup costs and profits
U.S. SBA – How To Write A Business PlanStarting from step #1
List of U.S. SBA Business Plan Resources With Links

Stacey

With over 15 years of experience starting, running, and growing home-based food businesses, Stacey is the #1 home-based food business coach in America. Stacey is the author of the Advantage Meals: By The Numbers Book.

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