Choosing to dive into the world of entreprenuership is a big decision. Like all decisions, you probably have a good idea of the type of business you want to start and how you would run your own business. But it is still a good practice to formulate a business plan to guide the execution of your idea. A well developed plan will assist you in obtaining a bank loan, or the interest of potential business partners and suppliers.
I want to become.
- "I'm good at plumbing and have worked with composite materials, but boating is my passion. Maybe I could start a boat repair shop!"
- "I've been a welder at a factory, but cars are my passion. Maybe I could start my own muffler shop!"
- There are resources available to help you convert your existing skills to a new entreprenership career.
Starting your own business doesn't always mean quitting your day-job. If you have a hobby that pays for itself, it could eventually grow into a career. Just make sure you first obtain an outside employment waiver from your current employer!
Accept that you need to put your idea down on paper, there's no getting around this step. It’s a must before seeking commercial or public financing! Your business plan should be clear and interesting. (Generally, the more detail you include, the clearer it should be. )
A business plan is 'your idea reduced to numbers'. Estimate your revenue, costs, and profit in a best-case, most-likely, and worst-case scenario!
There are sources that you can pay to write your plan but remember you're the one opening and running this business. You should commit to preparing the plan and it will help when you sit down with a banker to review your loan application.
Overall, your plan should answer these questions:
- what is the business idea? (in plain language, describe how you will make money)
- what product or service you will be selling? (be specific)
- how will you price your products? (15% more than purchase price? 10% less than your competitors?)
- who will be buying the product or service? (what does your market research show?)
While you are writing your plan, help is available
, as well as with general planning
and mentoring .
There are also printable guides
available for download.
In most cases, the only person reading your business plan is you, any business partners, and your banker! As long as its clean and professional, don't worry about appearance or marketing. Salesmanship and flowery language won't help you here, this is by you, for you.
I just wish I knew more about business.
You don't need a degree in business to start one, but the Commonwealth of Virginia has put together a beginner's course
in starting and running a business. The federal government has a similar resource .
You can learn the nuts and bolts of owning a business right at home in your spare time.
Or, you can attend one of many classes
scheduled all over the commonwealth .
Just because your skills come from one industry doesn't mean they don't transfer to other business ideas .
Always be thinking about how your knowledge can be applied elsewhere.
Innovation and change often come when a "regular Joe" gets frustrated with what they know could be done better. Is entrepreneurship for you ?
A printed guide is available to doing business in Virginia .
No company starts out big. All are grown from a vision someone had, and all were painstakingly managed from that humble beginning. There is a network of 30+ business incubators
in Virginia that can help with direct operating costs. Even if you have only a few minutes, you can learn a lot from people who have been there .
Category: Personal Finance