When businesses need assistance
…Asset Space helps you plan
Managing a business can be difficult even at the best of times so in this section we will provide you with information and links that will help you to plan and develop your business in order to set up or extend into shopping centre or retail park environments. Here we will provide useful information and advice on topics that include:
- Developing a business plan
- Effective budgeting
- Writing a proposal
Developing a Business Plan
For longer-term activity (usually more than one-year in duration) it may be a landlord requirement that you provide a business plan or a summary of your plan. In any case, Asset Space will ask you to provide this information so that we can help you to ensure that you have covered all the main costs and risks and that your income estimates are realistic. We want your business to have every chance to succeed.
It is always sensible to write a plan for any business but you will definitely need one if you want to secure investment or a loan from a bank.
Your plan or summary of your plan should cover the following:
Here you need to give an outline summary of your business, what you do and how, what experience you have, where you operate now and any plans for expansion in the future, with timescales.
Think about the following points and include a more detailed view, based on sound research and knowledge.
How has your business performed to date and why you think it is likely to do well in future?
Why you want to work with the particular venue that you are discussing with Asset Space. We can often provide detailed information on a venue, its catchment and demographic, please ask for this. You should also look at the existing retailers in a venue, as they will have conducted their own research, and other factors that will influence your sales. For example, if your product or service is likely to appeal to a younger demographic, is there a university in the town?
How will you attract customers? (your marketing plan). You shouldn’t rely on a centre’s footfall alone to deliver customers to your kiosk. Although a strong and relevant footfall will help, you also need to attract those people and others by raising awareness of what you do. If you are able to offer something of interest to customers of a venue, then the venue’s marketing team might help you to promote your business. For example, offering involvement in a centre event or providing some sort of giveaway or introductory offer for customes. However, you will also need to reach a wider audience by doing external marketing too.
Your business plan should contain a detailed forecast of income and costs to show that you understand your business finances and have a realistic view of the market you are operating in. If you already operate a similar business elsewhere, it would be useful to demonstrate past performance too.
Your budget should include the following:
You should have a detailed forecast of the income you believe you can achieve in the first year or longer, broken down by month. For your own budgeting or to attract investment or bank support you should look at daily or at least weekly sales over a three to five year period, but summarise these within business plan.
Bear in mind that even if the venue offers a high level of customer footfall, you are unlikely to start generating lots of business from day one and you need to allow time for your marketing plan to be effective and for customers to find you and feel confident to start to buy.
There will be peak and low sales periods depending on your product and on the environment (ie internal/external) and you will need to consider these in your budgeting and have enough capital to cover the less busy times. You will also need to consider peak trading times and ensure that you have adequate stock and staff cover to maximise the potential.
You should analyse all of your costs and allow extra contingency for anything unexpected. Costs should include the following at least:
• Staff costs including salary, commission, benefits, employer’s contributions, uniforms, expenses and training
• The cost of designing and building your stand/kiosk or other operating fixtures and ongoing maintenance
• Rent and other charges made by the landlord. These can vary so make sure you ask what is and isn’t included and understand all the costs associated with renting space
• Rent deposit. Most landlords require an advance payment which is held until the end of your term Deposits will typically be the equivalent of between one and three months’ rent. Provided you keep up payments and don’t damage the premises the deposit will be refunded or used to offset the last months’ rents
• Business rates. These are imposed by the local authority. If the space you are occupying doesn’t carry a rates liability, it may do in future and rates could be back-dated. Asset Space will help you to understand an existing rates liability, or you could seek the advice of a rates specialist if there is no current assessment
• Your product, raw materials or other costs to you for your product or service
• The cost of any licenses or permits associated with your business
• Insurance and legal costs
• Transport, storage, parking etc.
• Membership of trade bodies or associations
• Marketing costs
• Tax – your accountant can advise you on the best way to estimate government taxes
The government services website has useful advice on writing a plan:
This site also provides templates for creating business plans for different types of business:
It would be sensible to employ a good accountant and involve them in your business plan, as some of the costs referenced above can be spread over a period of time from an accounting perspective.
Writing a Proposal
When you are writing a proposal to Asset Space (and ultimately the landlord), you are selling your product or service to them. Most landlords will receive a number of enquiries for mall space and to achieve standout, you need to create a document that gives them all the information they need, but in a punchy and interesting way. You should include the following:
• A short introduction to your product or service and your company’s trading history. If you already have a presence in other venues, include this in your proposal even if the delivery is different (ie inline) it will give the landlord confidence in your offer
• Good photography. Visuals are a powerful way of attracting attention. These should feature your branding/logo, your product and what you will actually be delivering to site, even if this is just a concept design at this stage
• Market research. What is special about your product or brand, why is it likely to interest the customers of the venue, how it will complement the mall environment, what is your competition and how do you intend to provide a better service
• Marketing. How will actively work to attract customers rather than relying on passing trade
• Operational. What are your minimum requirements in terms of space and services (ie power, water, drainage)
• You may include your rent offer at this stage if you know what the landlord expectations are likely to be
Most of this information can be taken from your business plan and summarised for the proposal. It should definitely be consistent with the plan in any case.