Wed, September 26, 2018

Business Plans

Uh, oh, we are getting serious now. . if you read this far in this series, you are definitely serious about business and I am sure you will be successful. If there were more teens like you, we would live in a better world!

Basically, a business plan is a document that covers all the aspect of how’s and why’s of start a business. There are a lot of pages online that show you how business plans are, but we want to break it down and keep it simple.

A business plan is what you would hand to someone who was interested in investing in your company. You would also use it for leases and any dealings you may have with larger companies. It makes your business ‘seem real’ when all of the business has been thought out and is laid out on paper.

Here are the basic sections:

– Product/Service – What do you want to do and how to do you want to do it? (Remember, ‘products’ are physical things: touch, taste, smell. ‘Services’ are things you do for others.) Make sure to include why you want to do it. Give a short sentence or two (remember the elevator pitch) then broaden that out to a paragraph or two.

– Team (Qualification/Experience) – Who is on your team? If it is just you, that is fine. What is it that they can do that will make this business a success. Some people will actually put their resume attached to this document. You may think teens don’t have resumes, but they do. List activities you are involved in and any experience (even volunteer) that you have that will show that you can make this business work.

– Funding – How will you get money? Are you looking for investors, do you have a big piggy bank, is the bank of ‘mom’ lending you the money? How much will it cost? How much do you need to make to make this business a success? Do you need to buy equipment? This section takes a lot of numbers. You may want to get help from an adult about this page. Use online searches to find out how much things are costing.

– Marketing/Advertising – How will you let people know about your product or service. How will you develop your customers? What is your target market (who do you think would benefit from your product or service) Others want to know what you are doing to make sure others know that you have a business. Do you have business cards, coupons, Facebook, web page, a store location, flyers, . . . ?

– Advisors – Is there any other people that will be helping you make this a success? Do you have a business mentor (Bonus! You already have one, right?!) Are you working with an accountant or a lawyer? (you can talk to these people and ask if they would be willing to advise you in the future after you share with them your idea. Sometimes, they will meet with you for free the first time and you can work out arrangements with them later when you have money coming in.)

TAKE ACTION: Write out a business plan! Take your time and make sure you cover everything listed above. If you want to get funding from an investor (outside of family) you will want to get a more detailed outline online by searching the words “business plan outline.”

A Business plan can easily get very big. The larger your company is, the larger you plan needs to be. I suggest going to sba.gov if you want more info on business plans. They are a great resource to have handy. I do not suggest buying software to write it up for you, because it is easy for you to do yourself using a template online like this one from business-plan.com.

I know you will be successful if you take this session seriously.

Here are some other helpful articles:
A sample teen business plan.
Types of business structures you may want to consider.
Tips for success.
Tips to beat discouragement and keep fresh.

I am so proud you made it this far. Now that you have started planning, are you ready to start putting some action in your planning?

Share your business plan in our comments if you want or just tell us how business plans have helped you.

——- Read the “Getting Started On The Right Track” series ——-
1. Getting Started
2. Learn to dream
3. Find a mentor
4. SWOTS?
5. Develop a business Plan
6. SIP: Systems in PLace
7. Getting your marketing started
———————————————————————————-

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  1. Teen Business Central » Blog Archive » Resumes: why do you need them?
  2. Teen Business Central » Blog Archive » Make A Difference
  3. Teen Business Central » Blog Archive » Basic Marketing
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