Finally

I have been working on the new website and getting things in place.

As you may know I have been working on a business plan and ideas for PianoSD.  Max Morgan of Max Morgan Design at http://maxmorgandesign.com and I have been collaborating on this new site now for some time.  Most of the emphasis is directed towards piano teachers.

In the middle of January we finally got it launched and moving.  Very exciting.  I have written my business plan and done my research and feel as if we have a pretty solid plan in place.  Lots of new programs are coming and lots of things happening.  I will do my very best to keep you informed and get the business ideas coming to you on a more consistent basis.

Visit the new site when you have a chance visit the new site and feel free to leave feedback. http://PianoSD.com

Ric Overton

 

Next step

Once you have composed your thoughts and gotten your ideas about your business on paper it’s time to organize those thoughts into a “readable” document.  It should be clear and concise.  Tell the reader how to unlock the door and turn on the lights to turning off the lights and locking the door behind them when you leave.

One of the most important steps here is to tell the reader simply how you are going to do business.  Don’t explain in great detail about how your order forms read or what color pen you are going to use but include as much as possible to let your reader be able to visualize the business and try to see it through their eyes.  Try to avoid vernacular that is specific to your industry, for example, we use the word “flooring” in the piano business to describe inventory financing to people inside our industry, and then try to help the reader understand what it is you are doing and how you plan to accomplish that.

Once you have that in understandable language and you feel your job is complete, turn to someone you KNOW you can trust that is outside of your industry to read it and give you constructive criticism of what they have read.  You know that if you do this and they understand it then you have a workable business plan.  If not, then you may have to change a few things.

Now that you have that in shape it will be time to move to step two which is understanding finances and how they are going to relate to your business plan and lastly we will look at goal setting.  What is your plan?  What is your exit strategy? Do you plan to retire with this business? etc.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing your comments.

One last thing.  I will be setting up an e-commerce site here to help you in your business.  We are planning a few products that will be helpful to you.  I am in contact with a few people who may have interesting ideas and valuable input.  I will let you know as it progresses.

Ric Overton

http://ricoverton.biz, http://ricoverton.me, http://ricoverton.com, http://pianosd.com

Next step

I have had several questions about the business plan article.  Where do I start, how do I do this, whats this for, etc.  So, lets start at the beginning.  This is not a difficult process.

You want to go in business or perhaps you already are in business and are not sure of where you are going or what you are doing.  So, now is the time to stop, take a look around, look inside your head at what you are thinking and try to get some direction.

You have to ask yourself very important questions.  Does your idea need a space to operate in?  If so, how much space do you need and how much will it cost.  How do you want your space decorated?  Remember first impressions are lasting impressions.  Do you want a luxurious look or perhaps a more down to earth look and how can you create that space?  If money is no object then perhaps you want to consult a RETAIL or OFFICE designer.  Not your best friend who is “really smart” but, hire a pro who has experience in creating what you are looking for.

The department stores and major companies with offices spend MILLIONS of dollars in research BEFORE they put their businesses up for the general public.  What colors, what schemes, what patterns, where to place things, etc.

With many years of experience in department store layout, I discovered that there is a reason that all the “yucky, boring” food is on the top shelf and the yummy stuff is further down.  Adults buy yucky food, kids want yummy food.  If you want yummy, you will find it.  If your kids want yummy food they can see it too and guess what? You buy it.  Ever notice the candy is at the check out where you can see it while you are standing in line and just how long do you have to stand there before temptation gives in, you turn around and grab that candy bar and off you go.

Ever notice that the cosmetic department is generally located at the center of the department store at the mall  entrance?  Ever notice that the letters on the back walls are all at the same heights?  Ever notice how the floors are designed and laid out in the stores?  All of this doesnt happen by chance, it is a well thought out plan down to the colors of logos and carpets and even the smell of the cleaner in the bathroom.  Ever stay in a Hilton Hotel, remember what the room smelled like?

Your business needs to be well thought out.  You are not marketing to the same group of people you were 5 or 10 years ago.  The new consumers are different.  If you dont see that you have REALLY big problems and its time to start taking notice of the new world.

Once you have answered all of these questions ON PAPER.  Then put them in a logical sequence of order HOW, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE AND WHY and you can begin the purpose of the business plan.

Next we are going to be talking about financial strategies.

I am working on starting a podcast shortly.  This is not a simple feat either.  It requires a little more thought than I originally planned but, I will get it done soon.

Until next time.

Ric Overton

http://PianoSD.com and http://RicOverton.com and http://RicOverton.me

Business Plans Continued

As I spent some time writing about business plans last week I felt as though there was more that I should say and some things that might help some of you understand.

Business plans should be a living document that you refer to often.  It should be a virtual road map of how you intend to do business.  Properly written it should describe whats going on in your mind and what your concept is.  They are not meant to be difficult or stressful to produce and generally speaking really don’t have to meet a specific guideline.

Starting a business without a business plan as a reference is like going to a remote town in a state that you know nothing about without a road map to get you there.  Chances are you will never make it but, if you do successfully it will take you longer to get there in most cases than if you had consulted a road map.

So, to reiterate, once you have the idea of what you are going to do or what your concept is, start to develop your ideas.  Think of yourself and your idea and then start to grow on those ideas.  You can consult your competition by visiting, look at their advertisements, pay attention to their customers, look at their store design (if its a retail store) or the office set up (if its an office) and generally consider exactly how you intend to begin.

Think of the things that “could” occur and how you will react to the things that “pop up”.  But, again, you are trying to decide how you intend to conduct your business.  Perhaps you intend to send thank you notes to your customers, you need to write into your business plan exactly what type of stationary you are going to use and what color you are going to write your note in.  Perhaps you want music in your area- what type of music is it going to be, etc.  I guess you get the point by now.

Most importantly – BEFORE YOU SIGN THE LEASE OR START YOUR BUSINESS YOU MUST WRITE DOWN EXACTLY WHATS IN YOUR MIND.  I sometimes jot  down business plans for fun.  Take a look at a business, visualize myself in the business and jot down ideas and thoughts about how to properly engage in this business.

Lastly, Google business plans or “How To” and you will find a treasure of business plans and ideas.

Let me know how it goes, I would be interested to hear.

Ric Overton of http://PianoSD.com

This is my first post in my new blog.

I am excited about the opportunity to bring you my new business blog.

This blog was created to be an aid or help to those people in the music business mostly, the piano business but may have some assistance to others.  I hope this blog will help you in some way.  Perhaps to show you something new or a different perspective.  It always helps me see through a different set of eyes from time to time.

Please feel free to send me comments or questions and I will be happy to assist you if possible. One of my greatest loves is PianoSD.com and you will see references often.

One other comment is that Max Morgan of http:maxmorgandesign.com has helped all of this come together and I am grateful for his help.

Thank you for visiting and hope to see you often

Ric Overton

Ric@PianoSD.com is my personal email address.

http://PianoSD.com