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    3 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2011 4:33 PM by Dylan_M

    Where to go to find an outline to draw up a solid business plan

    Spunkybear Adventurer

      I plan after the first of the year to start a business (out of my home to start) doing hand-made blankets out of fleece. I have been doing this for awhile and have had some success. Now I want to take it to another level. I need to do a solid business plan to organize my ideas and move forward. I have not done one since college many years ago. I am familiar with the purpose of them but no longer have access to the outline/format that I used when I took the class.


      So far I have:


      1. Located wholesale sources for the material that I use and have been given a list of companies that could produce the items I make on a larger scale than I can handle myself so as I work towards larger accounts, I can still produce a quality product in a timely and professional manor.


      2. I also am getting my own embroidery machine so I can do the custom/original design work.


      3. I have a name that I am considering, I am lining up web site options, and have talked to a professional photographer to do photographs of my work to display on a web site and or other marketing material. While there is truth in "You Get What You Pay For, " I don''t want to overpay


      I need:


      1. Business Plan (as metioned above)


      2. Learn about Trademarking my name and or logo that I choose, and trademarking or copyrighting my designs to protect my work.


      3. A legtimate copy of software that I can use to layout my designs and make some of the pieces I need, preferably to scale.


      4. Sources for quality and affordable liability insurance should I need to obtain it to do business with larger companies that may require it.


      Budget is "shoestring"  to start. I would gladly welcome any constructive suggestions anyone may have. Thanks for your time!

        • Re: Where to go to find an outline to draw up a solid business plan
          ArcSine Scout

          For the do-it-yourself approach to a biz plan, you might start with a simple Google for "business plan". You'll come up with a number of hits, many of which will lead you to various examples, outlines, and templates you might be able to adapt to suit your situation. Although most all business plans share certain key fundamentals in common, their "cosmetics" (layout, topical ordering, graphics, etc.) can vary substantially. So be sure to peruse several to get a feel for how you want yours to play out.


          The next level involves only a very modest outlay. Put yourself into the "entrepreneurial / small business" aisle of a Barnes & Noble or similar large bookstore. You will see a number of business plan "self help" books for the small biz owner. Grab a cup of coffee and spend 20 minutes or so flipping through a few of 'em, then maybe take home the one or two which look especially good. They're cheap, and the cost ought to be deductible.


          The advantage to this second approach is that you'll be exposed to a far greater number and variety of plan layouts and suggestions. As a bonus, these books tend to have a lot of supplemental advice for the new entrepreneur. On both counts (quantity of plan examples, supplemental tips) you'll simply get a much greater amount than you'll dig up from the web freebies.


          You didn't mention the particular purpose(s) for your biz plan. Usually, it's either to (a) raise capital; and / or (b) help the entrepreneur sharpen his thinking on constructing his plan of attack. Just note that the construction of the plan will be somewhat conditional on the purpose and the intended audience, as to content, presentation, emphasis of certain issues, and so on. A good biz plan book will have advice on that as well.


          Best of luck with the new venture!

          • Re: Where to go to find an outline to draw up a solid business plan
            Armin Laidre Adventurer

            You may want to make use of a business plan template that has made available on-line.

            Pick the template that fits and start grafting your plan. It's easy to modify it in the course of work. Also, don't forget to invite your team members to contribute. Being alone with your plan is not a good idea.

            Here's the porfolio of templates

            • Re: Where to go to find an outline to draw up a solid business plan
              Dylan_M Wayfarer

     Has an outline for what goes into a business plan. However I would be sure to take advantage of the many other resources available for small businesses at