just an idea of what you want to do, how you plan your work schedule, and how to collect money if you are selling them. a business plan will fall into place as you answer a lot of these questions and put established way of doing the tasks that need to be done to run your business.
It depends on what outputs you want. If this is just hobby or either way to spend money, than no plan is needed. Moneymaking suppose some understanding how many you want to get in some period of time and what are key drivers to bring money in your pocket. It does not mean you need sophisticated financial calculations, but to start with simple idea is ok.
Short answer is yes they do. A business plan is not just an instrument which can be used to obtain funding but it is an important exercise to help unpack your business looking at various scenarios so that if the going gets tough you have a clear vision and reference point to bring you back into focus. Having said this, having a business plan is NOT the start of your business. You must still go through a pre-business plan process of making sure that your picture of where you are and where you want to be, is crystal clear.
Yes they do need a business plan, however, who says this plan has to be the traditional words on paper? Why not a flowchart or mind map? You can make or take pictures of what you want your business to represent. I would use a business plan outline as a reference so you don't miss some of the details needed.
Do not skimp on the details, but don'the go overboard on them either. Putting together a business plan can be exciting, especially when you make one that appeals to your creative side. I would venture to guess that most of the business plans out there are written ones. Go ahead and have some fun with it, you will be amazed how creative you can become.
Kenneth Lash, MBA
Going with the majority here. Just a simple one page plan. Where you are,where you want to be in 12 months time and the stop off points along the way [ milestones you want to achieve ]. Best of luck on your venture.
There is a song out there I hear in my head when I do not want to write something out..the song says..."If you don't know where your going you might end up somewhere else."
If you do not know where you are going, then how do you get there??
I think everyone has a business plan even if it's only in our heads. Even though I help people prepare written business plans, I think it is not necessary for everyone. Just get your ecommerce site up and running, list your projects and advertise the site is enough to be getting on with
I don't think all businesses need a business plan, if you are looking for finance then its a must but otherwise not a definite. I often suggest business owners use the plan as a rudder or direction for their business and can be kept as a guide
Best of luck with the new venture Lynn,
Lots of great advice below while I agree with Dennis - start with the Business Model Canvas (http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/canvas/bmc). Getting this right will simplify the Business Planning process (which only needs to be a few pages to begin with).
The Business Plan is a living document too - update and change it as your business evolves...
In my experience, as a popular adage goes, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail...". A business plan necessarily would not be very sophisticated and detailed to start with if you are not planning to start out in a big way, but should be atleast your initial strategy plan set on a paper so that you can gauge your progress against some milestones.
As you make progress and need to evolve, so will your business plan. And with time it will start looking like a sophisticated business plan as you continue growing your business.
Hope this helps!!
Yes. To determine who your target audience is, how to reach them, what costs will be incurred, how to ship your product, do you have the capacity to manufacturer the amount of apparel you want to sell, what happens if you generate more sales than you can handle. These are just a number of questions a business plan answers.
Look at it this way. A business, whether self-funded or not, needs a plan to be successful.
If you are going to a bank or are looking for investors, you'll need a formal business plan. Otherwise, you only need a plan. It's good to think it through and write everything down, but not absolutely necessary.
Have you done any quick market test? For what you're doing, I suggest Etsy.com. Create a quick store, watch how fast your offerings sell before you invest in setting up a website/business as it provides you with a market of buyers and infrastructure. From there my next step would be my own online store. It's not as much about your business plan when the biz is simple, it's about implementing lean startup methodologies by testing it early and frequently. Before you invest your time and money, start with Etsy, I know so many sellers who are making a killing on that site with hand crafted products, great place to start as unfortunately you will be fully responsible for driving traffic to your own website, unless you have a buyers list already, keep in mind your site most likely won't be easily found without social media marketing.
Btw a business plan Lynn isn't just to plan out how your business will look like, function etc...it helps you formulate your strategy on how you will market, grow, what you're projecting in revenue so can you start without it? of course, if you little overhead and no employees...yes but creating a business plan enables you to create a plan of action going forward and allows you to think strategically how to monetize, don't fear writing down something simple. Let me know if you need one. I have a great business blueprint with all of the documentation and financial documents you will ever need in the future. Email me and I can share it with you. Good luck!
If this is a hobby/business and you don't need to earn an income from it, you can do whatever you want, and if you make a few bucks that's great.
But if you want this to be a money-making venture -- and if you're going to invest some amount of money in it -- then you need to get a bit more serious.
You don't need to call it a "business plan," but you definitely do need to cover the most basic bases: Do I have something people will actually pay money for? Who and where exactly are those people (relatives usually won't sustain a business long term) and how will I get my message to them -- on an ongoing basis? How much do I need to charge to recoup costs and make a worthwhile profit? Will enough people pay that to give me a reasonable income? You get the idea.
Al Shultz alshultz.com/
The successful ones do. It shows the thought process developed to for the company. It also allows others to point out the missing components that may exist. It is a complete outline of the what, who and how the business will work.
Yes. It helps you commit to paper various thoughts. The most important page is the cash flow by the month. A Cash Flow is a prediction of your future checkbook. It is not a perfect world, so actuals will vary from forecast. Writing your plan is like practicing your business in advance, finding out what you know and need to yet find out, increasing your chances for a better business.
Is this a hobby or a full time opportunity?
If you do not have a business plan, when will you need a business plan?
Did you go into business thinking that your business will not grow?
I think not, its your idea and it could go big.
So, I would say yes you do.
I am the last country heard from with the opposite view: No matter the size and scope of your business, a business plan helps you track and measure where you are in your business progression.
The world may disagree but I stand by this premise: if you are sailing a craft in uncharted waters, or driving a car across country, or flying an aircraft at night, it helps to have a sextant or a road map, or radar.
Your business plan need not be elaborate, but cash outflow and inflow, price points on products at the very least shows you where you are and where you are going.
You can use one page, two sides. Keep it simple. But try it both ways: without a plan, with a plan and evaluate which is most successful for your business.
Hope this helps.