Ahh...The struggle is real.
Last week we talked about finding your greatest strength as an entrepreneur–your hedgehog. This week I would like to walk you through the practical implementation of all your soul searching. Enter your Business Plan.
As a creative you are likely very "right brained" in your thought processing patterns. Imagination, artistic sensibility and the ability to visualize your plans are a few of your greatest strengths. It can often be a bit of a battle, however, to hone your creative energy focus into practical acts such as fact gathering, crunching numbers or simply writing out a linear timeline! No matter how great to left brain struggle can get, your counter hemisphere is there for a reason! There is no better way to pursue the business of your dreams other than to utilize the entirety of your design. The rubber meets the road when your right-brained creativity works in tandem with your left-brained business sensibilities.
What else sets you apart?
The average small business owner has never taken the time to discover his or her hedgehog let alone lay out a business plan around such. Your business plan isn't just for the special occasion of applying for a loan. Your business will almost instantaneously need fool-proof organization plans. Financial accounts, target audience, future plans, financial projections, and a business overview are just a few of the beginning questions you will need answers to. When you have your business plan in hand, that imperative information is already laid out.
"The practicality of your passion can be found in your willingness to account for every detail."
- A maker's Guide
A healthy business plan should be based on your hedgehog. The chaos associated with new businesses who lack the vital details that support why they are doing what they are doing is immediately bypassed. In other words, this initial act of detailed planning sets you way ahead of the game even before you open up shop.
The day I set out to write my business plan, I went into lockdown for the entire day. I was determined to hand myself over to whatever it took to flesh out every detail of my dream. I consider that long research filled day to be the pinnacle of Amy Howard at Home's transition from big idea to legitimate business. Knowing what I know now, I couldn't ever imagine living without it!
And so we begin.
I'm no going to overload you with an entire business plan outline just yet dear maker. That beautiful information and more can be found in A Maker's Guide–when you are ready. I do, however, want to brush up on the first few elements that kickoff a concise business plan. There is no need to leave feeling intimidated. Every question you answer is founded in practical necessity. You might have just never thought to lay them all out until now.
Describe what your business does:
a)What need does the market have that your business will be fulfilling?
b) Name 7 reasons why you are are going to be successful within your market.
I always aim for my answers to be fact-based and arguable.
Example answers would be:
a) There is a $718.5 billion DIY industry. Within our upcycling market, 60% of all rescued furniture is used in children's rooms. Our paint line is the only methanol free, made in the USA product in the market today. What's more, it doesn't have to be sealed.
b) Our line is a lifestyle brand, not just a singular product. We are showing our customers how to upstyle, not just upcycle.
End well to open ahead
Once completed, you will find all of your left-brained focus and hard work brings an additional source of confidence as well as peace of mind. The best way to extract value from your business plan is to use it as an ongoing management tool. Revisit and revise your business plan data on a regular basis. As your business grows, your business plan should grow with it. Remember dear maker, believe in yourself and they will believe in you! Find an outline of a proper business plan and of course countless other valuable tools in your copy of A Maker's Guide!
Until next time.
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