Post a new topic
    9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 29, 2007 7:03 PM by Profit.Puzzle

    Startup

    dorkmcki Newbie
      Hi! I am an avid reader and writer of fiction. I am interested in starting my own publishing house. I want to start out of my home. However, I am having difficulty in putting together a business plan. I will do give birth to the company by becoming an LLC, acquiring an EFIN, bank account.

      I have read so much about starting a company, but I seem to be nervous about making the leap and getting the funding that I need. I know that it is essential that all companies have a business plan. Any suggestions?
        • Re: Startup
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Hi back. it is great that you are interested in starting your own publishing house.
          What is the time frame?? How soon I am a SCORE Counselor and we at SCORE help people (FREE)
          develop Business and Marketing Plans. I would be happy to help you.
          You can also get additional info online by going to " www.score.org ". There are 26 FREE Online Courses
          that you can take including Developing a Business Plan.
          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: Startup
            CorpCons08 Ranger
            dork,

            I commend you. Follow your dream!
            I would recommend SCORE if you are looking for a free resource for business plans.
            There are also Business Consultants, including myself who do paid business plans.
            LUCKIEST will be able to help you with the SCORE avenue.

            CC08
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Startup
              LUCKIEST Guide
              This is a follow up to my last post, LUCKIEST

              h3. 6 Steps to Small Business Success

              1. Start Smart
              2. Plan Ahead
              3. Set up Systems
              4. Seek out Sales
              5. Aim for Growth
              6. Leverage Opportunities

               

               


              1. Start Smart.
              Identify a niche. Don't compete to be the lowest cost provider. Look
              for what makes your product or service unique and adds a special value
              for the client and charge for that value. Every business has many
              facets. Start with what you know and like; start a business that has
              meaning to you. Keep in mind that we don't know what the future holds,
              many of the jobs and businesses of tomorrow don't exist today. You can
              create your own success.

               


              Now is the time to dream. To start smart, you should like the idea of
              the business. The way to earn a good income and build wealth is by
              serving clients well, making their life better in some way-it's more
              than filling a need in the marketplace. To succeed you want to test the
              idea to make sure your potential clients like the idea too. Test your
              ideas.

              2. Plan Ahead.
              People often ask me why bother with a business plan? Look at the
              lottery as an example. You may get lucky and get the winning ticket,
              but the odds are against you when you rely on random chance. I'm a risk
              taker...but not that much, minimize the risk of going into business and
              maximize your potential for success. Take the time to write a plan of
              how you get from point A to point B. A plan gives you a clear future
              focus and increases your chances of success.

               


              The first rule of a start-up is put some of your own money in the
              business. As the owner you must be willing to capitalize the business.
              The second rule is put as little of your own money as possible in the
              business. Prepare your plan and look for funding for your business from
              multiple sources, which can include a business loan or business line of
              credit.

               


              Don't go it alone. Plan ahead now to build your team. Your team may
              include a CPA and an attorney that you work with as needed. Add a
              mentor from your industry and get a SCORE mentor to help you plan for
              success. No one has all the answers. You get more ideas and information
              by building a success, support team that can help you plan ahead.

              3. Set up Systems.
              The most basic system every business should have is a good financial
              system. Ask yourself how am I going to generate enough income to
              support myself and my family. Begin here. Put together a personal
              budget, so you know what it costs you to live. Now, you can move on to
              the business budget and sales planning, so you can see how many sales
              you need to break even and make a profit. The start-up expense plan,
              operating budget and your accounting software are vital to your
              success.

               

               

              4. Seek out Sales.
              The daunting question is how do you go about seeking out your first
              sale. Recognize that since you don't have a big ad budget to be seen by
              everyone, you need to target a niche and get connected in your market
              community, be it local, regional or national. You need other people
              selling for you-not employees-goodwill referrals. Get out and talk to
              as many people as you can. Join organizations that would have clients
              for your product or service. Become a visible part of your market, and
              then ask for the sale. You begin the sales process with people that you
              know. Yes, it's okay to start with friends and family as your first
              customers, and then broaden from there.

               

               

              5. Aim for Growth.
              The basic tenant of creating a company is that you own the company. You
              are not just creating a job for yourself. It's less risk and less
              investment to get a job. Building a business is creating a company that
              is more than the job itself. Think about the future. How large do you
              want the company to be in terms of sales, net profit and employees?
              Your answer to each of these questions will influence how you grow.
              There are varying costs and profits associated with growth. It's
              important to make a deliberate choice early about how you want to grow
              your company.

               


              6. Leverage Opportunities.
              Good luck. Good fortune. Good timing. All play a part in business. As a
              business owner, be very clear about your core focus for the business
              and how it serves clients. Your core business is what pays the bills.
              Then, as an entrepreneur you are about opportunity. When you see a
              potential opportunity or stroke of luck measure it against your core
              business focus. Good fortune is great, when it matches your vision for
              the business. Always consider if a good opportunity is the right fit
              for your business. If something looks great, but it's not in sync with
              your long-term plan and budget, think carefully before committing your
              company's resources.
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Startup
                DomainDiva Ranger
                There are business plan outlines on the web. Download the outline and then make a three ring binder that corresponds to the outline and start writing. Then go back and refine. THEN write your Executive Summary. Go to Garage.com for tips on an Exec Summary and write according to that.

                However..with all of the self-publishing available these days how will you make yourself different than the big guys? What will you be able to offer in the way of representation to an author that would make them want to sign with you instead of Random House? Answer that question and you will be on your way.
                • Re: Startup
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger

                  One of my companies is a publisher of textbooks and training materials. It has grown through acquisitions and partnerships -- but it started very small, just as you describe, so I have a little experience with this.

                  As far as your initial business plan, I would actually depart from the "typical" business planning outline and utilize a project planning model (the first project being the first book you plan to release). Ideally, before you write the book, edit it, market it, or even think about submitting it to a POD outfit or traditional printer, you want to determine precisely who would buy and read that book, and in what numbers.

                  Almost all self-publishing ventures fail to profit, and the reason is usually either 1) the publisher overestimates sales and spends too much money getting the book to market (so it can't possibly sell enough copies to break even), or 2) the publisher doesn't spend enough money creating a quality product in the first place (so no one wants it). The profit lies somewhere in between, so it's best to begin with a detailed project plan and cost/pricing matrix that allows you to "play" with all the variables and combinations to see where and how to maximize your profits.

                  Each time you do this for a project/release, you get better at it. When you can show that you've had several profitable releases (and that your profit margin has increased with each release), you'll have a track record that gives you credibility as a publisher and makes every other aspect of growing the business easier. Be sure your banker is in the loop from day one so he/she sees that track record being established (even if you're funding the first few projects yourself) -- and yes, that was a subtle "plug" for my Get to Know Your Banker article in the STORIES section of this site).

                  Publishing is a highly competitive business with what seems like a million things to learn that are unique to that industry alone -- but I'm very excited for you! Best wishes.
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Startup
                    Profit.Puzzle Newbie

                    You've had some very helpful replies with good suggestions and resources to follow up on. Two questions for you to answer to ensure your ultimate success;

                    1. What is it about business ownership that is important enough to go through the steps of starting a business - what's your "Why"/

                    2. What do you think is making you "nervous about making the leap"?

                    Your success will depend on a strong "Why" and identifying your skills sets and interests so you can develop a company around whatever business planning technique you use. The business planning part is more about research and development. Success is more about the importance of the project and the drive to see it through.

                     


                    Don Osborne

                     

                    The Profit Puzzle

                     

                    http://www.profitpuzzle.com