Have your kids been asking you to buy stuff? Maybe they’ve wanted a treehouse or a sock monkey or hair-doozies? When I was young, one of my mom’s favorite lines was “We could make one of those.” Little did I know that it would become one of my favorite lines as a parent. Knowing your skill set and being able sustain an income from it can stay a theoretical concept or you can make it a reality. Create a business plan to help you get started. This should be a “living” document, which means it is fluid and adaptable.

One of the biggest questions I get is, "will you write my business plan for me?"  My answer is always, "No"!  Only you should write your business plan.  Ask others to help you or review it for their input but it is important that you write your own business plan as it is good discipline and you will quickly find out if you are going to make money or not.  Be sure to complete a 4-year forecast and sales projections to really see what is going to happen on your Profit and Loss.

This mission, should you choose to accept it, should include the following…

- A Mission Statement

- Your Objectives

- An Executive Summary - Tell about the officers of the company and their unique experiences or skills that will set you apart.

- An Outline of the Company’s Structure – What type of legal entity you operate under, who fills which roles such as president, CEO, Sales, customer service or other critical areas.

- A Description of Your Company – What you do, why you’re unique, who your target market is…

- Your marketing plan – Which media formats you’re using and their range of audience such as broadest to most specific (ex. From radio/t.v. to ideal client profile). How will you use Social Media to your advantage?

- A Strategy- What steps do you need to get from where you are today to where you want to be in 4 years?

- SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, obstacles, threats)

- Sales Projections- This is critical - What percentage of the market do you think your new company can syphon off from your competitors?  What is realistic for the current demographics?

- Any Financial Planning required for achieving your goals - Will you need a loan? Will you be looking for an investor?

-4 year forecast for Profit and Loss - It's easy to set this up in any accounting software. 

- Exit strategy - Do you want to sell the business? Give it to your kids? This is an important step in deciding how you run your business and how it will end up where you want it to. 

If you have additional questions, check out these sites for more specifics:

https://www.sba.gov/writing-business-plan

http://www.forbes.com/sites/davelavinsky/2013/12/03/business-plan-outline-23-point-checklist-for-success/

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247574

Turning a hobby into a business is doable – you just need to take the right steps to make it happen!  Plan, Plan, Plan and the redo the Plan again when it doesn't go as planned! 

We’ll be happy to discuss the financial/bookkeeping end with you and how to set up your bookkeeping the right way. We will walk alongside you when writing your business plan helping to fill in those hard-to-answer questions. 

Lynn Talbott, MBA, PHR, has over 20 years’ experience consulting with entrepreneurs of small to mid-sized businesses in the HR and office management capacity.  Her specialty is Office/Human Resource Manager coaching and training and finding practical solutions for bookkeeping errors and HR blunders.  Lynn has helped manage over 50 business start-ups and many of those companies continue to rely on her expertise today as they continue to grow.

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