Don’t be afraid to “Create a Business Plan”. By following the sample outline that provides added explanation, we offer you a simplified way in which to write a logical, compelling plan that you will need if applying for funds to help with a start-up or existing business. Whether asking for financial support from family or friends; completing a grant or loan application, you will need a focused, clear business document to portray your well-thought out plan of action and repayment for Year 1 of your venture through Year 5 (potentially).
Here is the link to a the Small Business Administration, business plan template that, from a former Business Plan writers opinion, is a an outline worth using. Other resources include a whole host of books on the subject that often include a sample plan on disc. or those on-line that are uploadable.
BUSINESS PLAN SAMPLE
The Executive Summary is the beginning two pages (or less) of your Plan document even though it is actually written after the entire Plan is completed. It is the all-out final, enthusiastic descriptive summary of who you are, what you want to do, why you can accomplish this great business venture; goals/objectives. Write it as if the Shark Tank entrepreneurial crew of the world will be your audience (watch it ABC and you’ll understand). Along with the written plan, Robert Herjavec, a Shark Tank member, recommends finding time to talk to people who will actually buy your product. Designate abundant time to his suggestion that will only make your Plan more powerful.
Business Description and Vision: short/concise business purpose, a vision statement (that is your perception based on research/talking to people of the company’s growth potential in 1, 3 5 years); goals and objectives; brief history for existing or start-up business – discuss how/why/goals met/will be met to date; name of company officers or board members.
Definition of the Market: Use trade publications and stats to describe screen printing industry/outlook; define the critical needs of your perceived or existing market or why you believe (facts/#’s) your business will fulfill a niche in the industry; your target market and how you found them along with their general profile (non-profit agencies, senior clientele etc); your current and potential market share and how you figured that out (interviewed 100 people, etc).
Description of Products and Services (why they’re so great/how they fulfill a need): description of your products/services (how much they sell for) and why they are/will be competitive. In this segment, reference images of your work, brochures, a website; physical location of business (walk-in traffic, web site potential) that will be in plan appendix.
Organization and Management: Include an Organization Chart and description of how company is organized. Keep it short/concise so the general flow of operations is understood; convey whether it’s a proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.; identify necessary or special licenses and/or permits you have acquired or will need; list of key managers/staff w/brief bio (education, experience, financial background etc.).
Marketing and Sales Strategy: identify/describe who your customers are/will be; what/how you will fulfill their needs; what the demand is for your products & services (and how you figured that out; how you will distribute and promote products/services (social media, web store, outside/inside sales etc.); identify the 4 Ps of your SALES STRATEGY that are pricing, promotion, products and place.
AND THIS IS THE BIGGIE because the individuals and/or institutions who you are requesting a loan from need to know that you have a REALISTIC knowledge of the financial projection/commitment it’s going to take to build and sustain the business.
Financial Management for a New Business: estimate of start-up costs and how you figured them (CAPS International will provide you with a free estimate of screen printing equipment and supplies); a projected balance sheet (1, 3, 5 years forward); a projected income statement (1, 3, 5 years forward); a projected cash flow statement (12 months forward).
For an Existing Business (this is standard): balance sheets (last 3 years); income statements (last 3 years); cash flow statement (12 months).
If Applying for a Loan (in addition to the above): current personal financial statement on each principal/partner/investor; federal tax return for prior year. These are standard.
Been working so hard … Been punching my card… Eight hours, for what… Oh, tell me what I got… I’ve done this feeling… That times just holding me down…I’ll hit the ceiling… Or else I’ll tear up this town… Now I gotta cut loose…..
When I saw the flyer stuck in my car door that screamed “Work Less, Make More Money” all I could think of was – SERIOUSLY?
I often wish it were true. But…I know that’s not the case and besides, I like my job, I like the screen and graphics printing industry, I like going to trade shows, especially when I get to talk to the “artists” in attendance. A standout was the tall, extremely tattooed guy from Hawaii who had the most strikingly beautiful, vibrant peony tattooed on his hand and a tribal tattoo on his throat (he said that those two hurt the most, but were worth it). I get such a kick out of talking to the youngest, just- starting- out- printers and students who are unable to hide their enthusiasm and are adorned with their creations that sometimes just stop me in my tracks due to the language or graphic nature of the t-shirt design. And I love the 60’s husband/wife teams (with the really long gray braids down their backs) who have been printing for all these years and remain interested and excited by industry advancements.
But work less and make more money? Seriously? Too much juggling of marketing, social marketing, sales calls, designing equipment, developing new products, keeping employees happy, traveling to trade shows, creating ads, taking orders, building equipment, orchestrating partnerships, AR/AP, answering customer questions juxtaposed with meeting production schedules and keeping customers happy. The youngest printers are entering an incredibly changing industry and will have to work long hours, do all of the aforementioned in combination with upping their business-savvy to have an enduring platform for their creations. As a result, they will have possible opportunities for fame, an appearance on Shark Tank and prosperity while fulfilling the needs of businesses who will always need screen and graphics printing projects.
As it has been through the ages, it will be through sheer determination, ingenuity and working long hours that will enable printers to “make more money” and, hello retirement, to eventually work less. And those enticing flyers? There is a prominent place in reserve for them. It’s called the round file. Have a great week!