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Forum topic by nate22 posted 07-02-2012 05:05 PM 1178 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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nate22

435 posts in 1630 days


07-02-2012 05:05 PM

As some of you probably know I have had my own business for awhile now. My wife and I are thinking of changing some of our business the way we do it and things we make. And I am coming up with a business plan so I know what I am going to do. My question is what should I consider when I am coming up with a business plan. Anyone of you that have done this what have you done with it.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.


13 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile

Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1823 days


#1 posted 07-02-2012 05:21 PM

Some basic steps are:

1. What do you want to sell?
2. What is the market for those items?
3. What drives that market – price, uniqueness, or something else? If the market is price driven, how long can you survive before you achieve enough market penetration to break even? Make a profit?
4. How much of that market can you reasonably expect to get?
5. What tools, facilities and staffing will it take to get started?
6. How will you finance your business?
7. What metrics will you use to monitor the business so you know what works and what doesn’t.
8. For things that work, how will you expand, and at what rate?
9. For things that don’t work, when will you get away from them?

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View Dusty2004's profile

Dusty2004

22 posts in 930 days


#2 posted 07-02-2012 05:39 PM

Sawkerf:

Questions for you #2 – How do you know what the market is? #3 – How do you determine what drives that market?

Thanks,

Dusty

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Richforever

739 posts in 2475 days


#3 posted 07-02-2012 08:20 PM

If you have a nearby Small Business Administration office, most of them offer business plan workshops with templates and questions to be answered. Also there are free business counselors there.

-- Rich, Seattle, WA

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2169 posts in 1605 days


#4 posted 07-02-2012 08:33 PM

SCORE is a free service as well, and available online.

Community Colleges are interested in small businesses and often have free counseling services.

If you just want to get started, get a business plan template off the web and start answering the questions. It’s a little less daunting way to get your feet wet in the process of projecting outcomes.

Don’t be buffaloed by it. You are capable of doing this step, and it is a very important one though it does not allow you to smell fresh sawdust or make the cash register ring.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

541 posts in 1342 days


#5 posted 07-02-2012 10:35 PM

There use to be free business help in ft. Wayne that would help you set things up. I hope you can compete with other woodworkers in your area. There are several craftsman in that area.

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spidee

3 posts in 909 days


#6 posted 07-03-2012 01:19 AM

Everyone I know dreads doing business plans, but you’re smart for knowing that you need one. They are super important. I’ve done a bunch of them the hard way (spreadsheets and templates galore) in the past, but there is a better solution that you might want to take a look at. Here’s the website:
http://www.start-upengine.com/

It’s worth a look anyway. Even if you don’t go this route, you do need to do one. Just don’t let anyone do it for you! That’s the biggest mistake anyone can make. It’s actually the process of creating it that is important and you won’t learn anything if someone else does it.

Best of luck to you!

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1823 days


#7 posted 07-03-2012 03:24 AM

Dusty -
One way is to find out how many businesses you would be competing with. If nobody is making and selling a left handed framus, you’ll have the market to yourself – if enough people want a left handed framus. Convincing them that they want one is a marketing function.

Generally speaking, the more businesses there are selling whatever you want to sell means that they’re probably price driven. If you can’t compete on price, you better find a way to convince customers that your more expensive product provides better value than the other guys.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

View tncraftsman's profile

tncraftsman

65 posts in 1894 days


#8 posted 07-05-2012 04:14 AM

I’ve never found the multi – page business plan formats effective for a one person business.

The “One Page” business plan and it’s variations seems to work well for some.

The SBA and SCORE usually has lots of free workshops on business start and planning. I would attend as many as you can.

At a minimum you need to know how to price your overhead and material costs. Then you need to get the message out the masses (marketing). You need to close some sales (selling) put the profit back in the bank and repeat for several cycles.

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1716 days


#9 posted 07-05-2012 05:09 PM

When my father and I started a sales rep business, we were told to do a busines plan. We modeled ours after Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie.
You might have to submit one to get a loan for a business.

View chrisstef's profile (online now)

chrisstef

11490 posts in 1761 days


#10 posted 07-05-2012 05:23 PM

One thing i learned in business school (and stuck with me) is doing a SWOT analysis. “Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats”. This is typically done in the beginning stages of the business plan. When we were doing case studies and group work involving business plans this was usually the driver to most everything else.

The strengths are the strengths of your company. What you do well and usually better than the most. Weakness is obviously the opposite; what does your competition do better than you?

Opportunities are opps. in the market you are in. Is there a small niche that you havent cashed in on yet? Could you switch suppliers? Upcycling? Trends?

Threats are identified in basically the opposite way. What could damage your business? Law changes?

Youve got to look at your business open and honestly, if you dont yoire only hurting yourself.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Mainiac Matt

4497 posts in 1083 days


#11 posted 07-05-2012 07:31 PM

IMHO, the one thing you need to manage most closely of all is CASHFLOW!!!

How much do you have? At what rate will you burn through it? How much do you need to float the boat? How long do you have until it’s all gone? What are the numeric milestones you will pass along the way? What’s your contingency plan if those milestones don’t happen when you need them to?

Postpone taking on employees as long as you can…. Rather, develop a network and sub jobs out if you can’t keep up.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View tncraftsman's profile

tncraftsman

65 posts in 1894 days


#12 posted 07-06-2012 02:55 AM

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Knothead62

2364 posts in 1716 days


#13 posted 07-06-2012 05:13 PM

How to make a living in the web industry?
I worked with a fellow who was asked to go in with a college classmate in a web business. It was a porn site! My friend passed it up. Later he found the guy was making over 200 grand A MONTH!

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