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  • Guh!

    Business plans are more difficult than you think!!
    Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

  • #2
    it's a bit like making your first million - after the first it just gets easier - so I am told

    Jane
    www.just-soaps.com
    Twitter JUSTSOAPS
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    Natural Handmade Olive Oil Soaps and Skincare free from SLS, Parabens, and other Nasties

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    • #3
      Lol, i think its just making me realise how much i dont know about my market. Alot of people (me included) do just wander into things blindly dont they!
      Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

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      • #4
        We didn't even do a business plan when we bought our salon, stupid or what!!! I put the money on my mortgage and my friend borrowed it off her dad, thankfully it all worked out for the best but I'm sure its much better to have a plan and some ideas not just wing it!! Good luck, Selina

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        • #5
          It's not an easy thing to do is it? Is this for the grant you are applying for?

          What the lenders will want to see is that you have carefully thought out who your target market is, that you are aware of who your competitors are, currecnt market conditions etc.

          They will also want to see that you have given some though to advertsing/marketing and how you plan to grow your business.

          I'm not saying that's all they want to see, but it's a good start, and if you work logically that should show through in your plan that you have thought things out.

          Try not to stress too much either, lenders realise that not everyone going for a grant will have years of formal business experience, they just want to see that you have your eyes open.

          HTH

          Claire
          Website; www.midshiresmakers.co.uk
          Facebook Pages: www.facebook.com/weedoncraftmarket
          www.facebook.com/craftshoppingexperience

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          • #6
            Originally posted by handcrafted View Post
            Lol, i think its just making me realise how much i dont know about my market. Alot of people (me included) do just wander into things blindly dont they!

            Oooh yes!!

            Actually, a business plan is not that hard at all - you are not planning something like ICI or Richard Branson's Virgin Group I presume??

            For a small business it only needs to be a simple document - in the way that the "plan" for a house is hugely more detailed than one for a garage for example. So don't stress out writing the business plan equivalent of War and Peace! - and remember that this document is not a one time only, you should think of it as a friend, and visit often, and never be afraid to review and rewrite and enlarge as you progress.

            Knowing your market is one thing, blind optimism is a killer, so make sure you are brutal when it comes to being realistic. I would rather sell out and have a marketing opportunity than overstock and be broke when most of it doesn't sell..

            Do your research too - find shops/companies selling comparable products or services, see what they charge, and if it is a real shop/stall, lurk about and see just how many visitors they get, and how many customers.. if it is quiet, get chatting and ask vague questions about how business is.. comment on stock you like, try "I bet this is popular" works well.. if the answer is Oh yes, we sold out at Christmas and only just got more in then well and good.. or be a"troubled" customer.. invent a person you need to buy for - someone you think is a "typical" customer for your products.. eg I wan't something for my daughter and let them tell you all the products they sell to that sort of clientele!

            One thing I can reccomend for anyone at the start up stage is doing a HOTS analysis - it's a fun way of looking at professional attributes (http://www.oneminutemillionaire.com/tools/hots.asp) .You are either a Hare Owl Turtle or Squirrel type (or more usually, a combination of two). A good business needs all 4, but the important one for a new business is to find (and not to BE) a Turtle..

            Turtles are the gainsayers of life.. the ones who can only see how something would never work.. Show your cashflow and sales figures as well as your target market info to a "turtle" and they will come back at you with reasons aplenty why they are wrong, or wont work.. then sit down, and go through point by point and overcome that objection.

            The end result is a set of figures that you feel 100% certain in, you have overcome every objection, whatever life throws at the business, you have a clear plan of action.. Think of your turtle person as a conscience the rationaliser of your ideas, not as a misery who never saw good in anything.. If you can convince the turtle, or more likely reassure yourself the turtle objection is unfounded, you will always be on the right track.

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            • #7
              Only ever done one business plan in 37 years of being business, it was a while ago when I wanted to borrow a lot of money fron Barclays. There was a question "max estimated profits for year" I put 20 million. The bank manager laughed (yes we had bank managers way back then) then he signed his approval and I got the dosh.

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              • #8
                Well i need to get most of it done by thursday, then im going back to Business Gateway where il get help with the finance side of it. Il admit that i havnt been putting my all into this. I am filling out loads of application forms for jobs and getting ready for this craft fair!

                But il work on it more tonight and tomorrow, so i may have more questions for you helpful people!
                Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

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