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Topic: Did anyone write up a business proposal before starting up?  (Read 1003 times)
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« on: October 01, 2007 04:05:23 AM »

I've heard it helps alot, but I don't even know where to start.
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007 10:50:31 AM »

Do you mean a business plan?  This would basically be writing down your goals and making a plan for how much you will invest in your company (i.e. for supplies and equipment).  If you are starting out small you probably don't need a business plan.  I would recommend though that you do consider why you want to get into the crafts business - for fun, for profit?  Also, consider what your costs will be not just for what you'll have to spend but also your time.  Once you decide that it makes sense to start a crafts business then write down what your goals are.  For example, how many items do you want to make a week?  How much do you want to make?  What types of items do you want to make?  Who is your target market (who will buy your stuff)?  Also, don't forget to consider that if your business makes money then you may have to pay income taxes on your profits.

Crafting business questions?  Free tax and accounting tips for crafters.

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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2007 02:37:12 PM »

Not only should you budget for supplies etc., but also for marketing and advertising expenses, including a website, brochures or postcards or whatnot, networking groups you might join. A marketing plan helps also. Do your research. If you had to advertise locally or online, how would you do it? These kinds of things can easily add up without a budget to stick to.

« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007 04:55:43 PM »

A business plan & marketing plan is a good idea. People often don't do it and it's usually the reason why their business kinds of stay at a standstill and doesn't grow more successful. The plans gives you an idea of where you want the business to be, when, and how.

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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2007 09:48:36 AM »

Mine is a year overdue. Embarrassed

There are books at your local library on writing business plans, also check out score.org and the small business counselor at your local college.
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2007 04:19:32 PM »

i keep a really informal business plan-- it's basically an ongoing journal that gets updated often with my latest schemes and research and ideas. it's supposed to be a document to help YOU, so make whatever you need to get your head around your business idea. if you need to format it for a bank loan or something, you can check into formal or corporate styles.

two great sections to put in a business plan:

1. advisory board. even if it is informal, who can you ask for business advice? who will kick your ass a bit if you need it? who will give you hugs when you need those? (my business plan specifically mentions hugs.)

2. market research. don't skimp on this. survey people to see whether they would buy your products and how much they would pay. find out what other stuff they buy. find out what else they want you to sell. find out who your competitors and potential allies are. you surely already know some of this but measure it and make sure! market research is often the main difference between hobbies and successful businesses!

and yeah, all the things people usually mention-- how you plan to make money, what your expenses will look like...

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