Business plans are, without a doubt, daunting. They want plans, goals, and numbers. They want math and figures, people! They want projections and cash values. Basically, they want things most small business owners or start-ups find challenging, don’t have, or just plan don’t wanna have. But the great thing about business plans? They force you to take your creative ideas, put them on paper, and associate real-life goals with your world-changing ideas. I have been working on my own business plan off and on for the past 5 months, and a reader requested that I share that process. So here’s what it looked/looks like for me and how you can start your own business plan.
Step 1. Decide you want a business and how you want that business structured. I’ve been watching a lot of Shark Tank recently and one of their more oft repeated comments is telling people their businesses are really hobbies. I enjoy my day job and I enjoy working with individual style clients, so I am creating a hybrid business plan where I can freelance in both worlds (and I don’t view either as a hobby!).
Step 2. Google. Lots and lots of googling. There are a bazillion ways to write a business plan, but really no wrong way. I googled “business plans for fashion” and found one that has a rough outline that works for me.
Step 3. Sit, think, coffee, write. I tend to write best in the mornings or early afternoon fueled by coffee. I also sit down, bang out a bunch of ideas, and then go back later and edit them down. The hardest part of writing a business plan is actually getting the ideas out. Editing them from there is so much easier.
Step 4. Step back. I inadvertently took a step back from writing my business plan because I was slammed in my day job and had some life things I needed to take care of. This turned out to be a great thing for me because I was able to truly reevaluate all of the things I was doing to fuel this fashion career (eBay, shop girl, editorial styling) and realized I wasn’t focused on what I really loved: working with individual styling clients.
Step 5. Back at it. Now I am in a great place where I am working with more individual clients and really honing that aspect of what I want to do, I find it easier to jump back into my business plan and edit it further to this new focus. My goal is to have my business plan completed by the end of June which will coincide with my next School of Style classes. My website should be up by then and I’ll be ready to rock and roll.