Business

How to write a Business Plan continued... Business Plan Sections

Below is a handy dandy business plan template that should help you get started. Be aware that your specific industry may have additional needs that go above and beyond this template, or there may be sections that you don't need. For example, if you are launching a new product or developing a new technology, you'll have an added section about patents, product drawings, and other intellectual property concerns. Or, if you're a solopreneur (in business by yourself) you won't have to spend too much time on your Organization and Management section, cause it's just you.

Don't let this process overwhelm you! Just remember, you know more than you think you know. If it's still a little too much, I'm here to help. Contact me here.

Business Plan Sections

Executive Summary:
Your executive summary is a snapshot of your business plan as a whole and touches on your company profile and goals. Make it sexy, and less than two pages. Sum up your goals, financial needs, and overall plan to kick ass and take names.

Company Description:
Your company description provides information on what you do, how you do it, why you do it, what differentiates your business from others, and the markets your business serves. Put it all out there in this section so the reader will get a truly complete vision of your business.

Market Analysis:
Before launching your business, it is essential for you to research your business industry, market, and competitors. Make your readers understand why you want to start this business and why this industry makes you super excited. Make sure to include why your business is a welcome addition to the industry and why your business will fill a need that’s present.

Organization & Management:
Every business is structured differently. Highlight your management team and their strengths. Write job descriptions for your managers and narrate how a “typical day” will progress. Banks love to see a strong, well-prepared team at the helm.

Service or Product Line:
What do you sell? What do you really sell? Is it one thing? A bunch of things? Do they work in tandem or are they independent? How does your product or service benefit your customers? What is the product life cycle? How much does your product or service cost to produce?

Marketing & Sales:
How do you plan to market your business? Be creative. What is your sales strategy? To whom are you marketing? Why do they care about your business and your product?

Funding Request:|
If you are seeking funding for your business, find out about the necessary information you should include in your plan. Be transparent. If you need $75,000, say that you need $75,000.

Financial Projections:
If you need funding, providing financial projections to back up your request is critical. Research the crap out of this section and know where all of the numbers came from. Get help if you need it.

Appendix:
An appendix is optional, but a useful place to include information such as resumes, permits and leases. Also, include a works cited page if you have any industry information that you cite.

And there you have it! Business Plan: Dunzo. It's obviously not that easy, but hopefully this template makes it less scary. Go get your write-on and get ready to rule the world.

Need some more motivation? Go tell Deborah to shut the f*ck up. 

Me vs. Deborah

Deborah

My floating thoughts on a daily basis: 

I can't wait to start this business! 
I know I can do it. I know I can be successful.
I've wanted this for so long...
Think about this cool thing we can do! And that cool thing! 
If (fill-in-the-blank competition) did it, so can I.
You realize how much work it will be... right?
What if you fail... 

:: Record scratch:: As confident as I am about my ability to build a business, it's really easy for negative thoughts to enter my brain to discourage me from doing what I want to do. It's getting especially hard as I research more and more and learn about the roadblocks that I'll likely experience.  I believe that getting over the mental blocks of starting a business is the first step to getting started. Once you feel like you can do it, all of the reasons to procrastinate dissolve and you become laser focused on getting shit done. So how the heck do you actually do that? Take some great advice from one of the best Drag Queens in the business: Name your negative voice... then verbally abuse it. 

The Drag Queen I'm taking about is Katya. This RuPaul's Drag Race All-Star contestant and all around amazing Queen said that when she hears the negative voice in her head (whom she's affectionately named Brenda), she simply tells it to shut the f*ck up. Check it out- it's pretty perfect. 

The little voice in my head is named Deborah

Deborah is that middle-aged woman in mom-jeans with chunky highlights wearing too much Sibika jewelry. She's the one that orders at restaurants for her 17-year-old son and is OBSESSED with the drama surrounding her kid's extracurricular activities. She always wants to speak to your manager and gets personally offended when you tell her that happy hour ended 20 minutes ago and she can not, in fact, get her chardonnay half priced just because she wanted to get here for happy hour but couldn't make it in time. Deborah tells me that my business idea is dumb, she tells me that it's risky and not a good industry for a woman. She tells I'm not smart enough to navigate building inspections, lease agreements, and occupancy permits. She tells me that my idea is too big, too expensive, and too stressful. 

And when she starts getting too loud, I tell Deborah to shut the f*ck up. 

I'm sure Deborah will crop back up throughout this process to tell me that I can't do this or that. She may even win some days, which is fine. What she won't do is deter me from creating something beautiful and living my dream. 

Now that she's out of the way... let's write a business plan.