I am currently a licensed home baker & want to get a store front. Right now I am turning away a LOT of potential customers because I simply do not have the time or room to take on all these orders!
Anyway, I went online (I think sometime last summer) to start to look up how to write a business plan. I know I will need to go to a bank & ask for money.
Well writing a business plan is a LOT more than I thought! I started it last summer, but haven't really committed to finish working on it. I showed it to my mom (who did one herself a few years ago & has a different business out of her home) and she gave me some tips and pointers.
Dh keeps bugging me asking if I am working on it! Ok, well in between trying to keep my current business running, working as a cake decorating instructor at Michael's, bringing our two kids everywhere, keeping house, etc....um, NO I haven't worked on it! I actually kind of dread it! I need quiet time, and a lot of time, so I can think clearly and research things online!
So I know I need to commit myself to doing this (and now would be the perfect time because it's my "slow" time)...when I do commit to doing this, how long (about) do you think it should take me to finish?
I also have a question about rent...but I'm going to make another post about that...
It will finish when you decide to make time for it and work on it.
If you have to plan two hours three times a week to focus on it...then that's what you have to do. Break it down into tiny pieces.
If you're already in business....then you must have a marketing plan, the way you operate, current expenses, etc. So start with that (what you have) and get it done. Then go to another section. You will have to edit, and edit some more, crunch numbers it at the end anyway...so working out of order doesn't really matter at this point. You just need to get the first draft out of your head and written down.
I was in the same boat - cakes from home, 3 kiddos, teaching ad HL and Michaels - so I took 1/2 day each week to go to Panera (cafe w/ wifi) and worked on mine. I got a template from the SBA and just went to town writing all my ideas down. The spreadsheets are what took the most time, but it's all been submitted to the bank (and approved!) and I hope to sign a lease next week! All-in-all it took me about 4 months. Best of luck to you! If you really want to open a shop, make the time....it's so worth it when the bank says YES!
I am in the same boat. I just bought Business Plans Kit for Dummies. I hope that it will help me out. I have it all in my head, its just hard to get it out on paper the way THEY want it. I really want to get down to the nitty gritty so I can hopefully get my store front this year instead of renting a kitchen.
Mine took somewhere between 5 and 9 months, depending on how you count the time it was in the CPA's hands for the financial parts, and the time it was in the hands of the orgz that helps sm. biz's write a plan.
We had a friend who needed to get a loan for his existing business and the bank told him to "bring us yoru business plan." Friend said, "Business plan? What's a business plan?" Friend called us and invited us to dinner "......and you can help me write one up."
Uh....... sorry, darlin', but it takes MUCH more than scribbling some notes on a napkin during dessert. I sent my friend a copy of my 40 page biz plan with the suggestion that this might tell them what info needed to be gathered first, then I'd be more than happy to sit down and help format it with them.
So don't feel bad. Your hubby sounds like he also has no idea what's involved and may think you can scribble it out on a napkin during dessert or something. It DOES take time and it DOES take a lot of research. Sounds like you're right on schedule to me!
Thanks for your responses everyone!
CakeMom...thanks for the inspiration & congratulations to you!!
ThecookieLady...I know what you mean. We have our ideas in our heads & how it's going to all work out, but we need to put it down on paper for others to see! It can be hard & frustrating!
IndyDebi...I always appreciate your advice! That is too funny....oh yeah, come on over for dinner & help me write my business plan! More like, move in with me for the winter and help me write my business plan! LOL! Thanks for the encouragement!