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,,,

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 and and