Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best of the ABS - Create a Business Plan



Jennifer shared this post with us last January.  'Tis the season for planning, refocusing and setting goals, so I thought it would be a good one to share again today!

This is the time of year I start thinking about my goal and aspirations for the year. Personally, I am a big list maker and goal follower. I believe you have to know where you're going to get there. If you don't have a business plan, now is the time to make one. If you're thinking, how do I get started, what do I need to know, oh my gosh I just make jewelry to sell every now and then, do I need one of these? Yes you need one and the good news is they are not hard to write.

The best part is, it's your business, so you can make your business plan as complicated or as uncomplicated as you want. So what do you need in this plan? Here we go….

Define what you make and sell. Describe in depth what you make. Maybe you make custom jewelry, or just earrings, maybe children’s jewelry. If you know what you make, then you can stay focused on those products and keep you business heading in a consistent direction. Also make sure you think about your competition. Make sure you are making something different than everyone else.

Marketing: Marketing is how you will sell your work. Will you travel to shows, will you have home parties, will you advertise in magazines? These are all things to think about. Maybe you want to expand where you sell your work or add a few more shows this year. Here’s where you
would want to brainstorm and then refine your plan.

Operations: This is how you work. Is this a part time job where you will devoted ten hours a week or is this a full time job? Based on your hours, you will then need to create goals like three necklaces a day. This way you can work out your production schedule. You'll need to know you have enough time to make everything you will need to sell.

Finances: You will need to make financial goals. Even if this jewelry business is just for fun. You obviously want to succeed so you have to create sales goals and keep track of if you are achieving them. It really is the only way to know if you are charging enough and if you are on
track to meet your goals.

Once you have brainstormed about these categories, you can write a paragraph about each section. At this point you might just have enough to be done. However, it might not hurt to make it official. If down the road you ever want to borrow money to expand your business, your banker will want to see a plan. Another reason to have a written plan, when you're feeling unmotivated or lost you can pull it out and read it. It will immediately remind you what you want to achieve.

For more information, about writing a business plan, you can visit:
http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/writeabusinessplan/SERV_ESSENTIAL.html

Good luck following your goals in 2010!

Written by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles.

8 comments:

Raicreations Designs said...

This is a good Idea to have a plan, I think I need to do all this. Wishing you a happy new year.

Myra

Barbara Lewis said...

Thank you. This is just what I needed. I used to work as an executive secretary, so I can't explain why I'm so disorganized with my business. But my daughter, the organized one who's working on a degree in economics, is helping me, too!

TesoriTrovati said...

Thanks! That is just what I needed to hear today!
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Kathie @ Two Doxies Jewelry said...

Wow, there are some really great tips in this post! Thank you for sharing. I am always looking for great ideas on how to grow my business and this post made me really think!

Happy New Year!
Kathie Nightingale
Two Doxies Jewelry
http;//twodoxiesjewelry.blogspot.com

supersweetsilver said...

This is a great post. I am a hobbyist running a shop on the side right now. Just basically taking what profits I have and putting it back into the shop. But I am thinking maybe its time I start to take control of things. Thanks!

Raquel

Pretty Things said...

Excellent post. I sit down every year and look back and figure out what went right and what went wrong -- it's not enough for me to just do it once at business start-up.

rosebud101 said...

This is a good idea! Thanks for the post.

marion said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

Lucy

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