Rapid business planning workshop
Doors open @5:30 PM
Milwaukee Asian market phongsavan
6300 N 76th St, Milwaukee, WI 53218
A business plan is a comprehensive written document outlining the operational and financial steps critical to every start-up or established small business. Like a road-map, a well-written business plan helps you determine where you are, where you want to go and how you are going to get there. This 4-week workshop series will provide you with the tools, techniques and expert guidance you need to write your own plan, access capital and dramatically increase your odds of business success.
Overview of 4 week session
10:00 AM -12:30 PM
Lunch will be provided
Saturday March 11: Week One-Getting Started
Saturday March 18: Week Two-Financial Modeling
Saturday March 25: Week Three-Marketing and Operations
Saturday April 1: Week- Funding and Wrap-Up
This workshop has a fee of $45 for HWCC Members
and $60 for Non-Members
*If you unsure about your HWCC Member status, please contact us at (414) 645-8828.
Week One - Getting Started
Completing a realistic and easy to understand business plan is an interactive process. Instead of becoming bogged down in detail right away, start by taking a quick first pass to identify what you know already, what you are assuming and from here identify what you need to research and find out.
Your plan is a tool to communicate in as few words as possible the information people need from you when you ask for loans, rental space, insurance, a company website design and other business related items. The clearer your plan is up front, the less time you'll have to waste explaining your business over and over again to different people.
The Rapid Business Planning approach was developed to help busy entrepreneurs and small business owners get plans compiled in as little time as possible.
It is still a major bill of work, but when in doubt on what to include or not include, keep asking yourself:
"What does the reader of my plan want and need to know?"
Of course, the first reader to consider is YOU! If you only value your time at $10/hr, every year you work on a poorly planned and unprofitable business is at least 2,000 work hours wasted annually. That adds up to $20,000 dollars in lost wages plus the business debt accumulated!
So a good test of a business plan is that YOU understand what is in it.
That is why drafting a plan yourself instead of hiring it out to someone else is highly recommended.
The Rapid Business Planning method breaks the process into four repetitive steps for each planning section:
1. Understand and decide what readers of your plan want to know
2. Quickly add the information you already know with your best-guess assumptions
3. Adjust other plan sections impacted by added information
4. Do research to confirm your assumptions and find information
Keep repeating until a finished and polished plan emerges that you and a reader can understand.
Week Two - Financial Modeling
Your financial projections help you and potential lenders understand how much money you need to borrow to start and operate your business.
The Rapid Business Plan Financial Template is an Excel Spreadsheet tool developed specifically to help small businesses 'model' their sales, expenses, cash flow, start-up costs and borrowing costs. We will go over the key elements of this tool on the next few pages.
But before beginning, a word for larger or businesses with complex sales cycles.
This template is probably too basic for larger businesses or ones with complex sales cycles, but even then it is still an excellent tool to start with to get an idea of how the business financials will look.
Week Three - Marketing and Operations
In some business plan outlines, two sections are used to describe your marketing and sales approach. One section is dedicated to researching and analyzing the overall marketing, while the other section provides more details on your customers and your strategies to market and sell to them.
The Rapid Business Plan template combines these into one section. This helps you apply what you learn while researching your industry and market into specific action items to attract, serve and retain customers.
With the advent of the computer and Internet, options to research your market and customer base is almost endless. The key to avoiding falling into an endless process of collecting information is to start with a research plan that lays out exactly what your are trying to find out.
Week Four - Funding and Wrap-Up
It is rare that a new business venture does not require some amount of funding to startup.
At this stage it is important to go back and review the financial worksheet tabs for startup costs, equipment & vehicles and facilities.
Some overlooked costs include:
Travel expenses incurred during sales efforts including gas for your car. Driving just 100 miles per week getting 25 miles to a gallon burns through 16 gallons a month. If gas is $3.50 a gallon, that is $56 per month. For a micro-business that can add up. 200 miles per week is over $100 a month in gas expense.
Business liability insurance may only cost $350 to $500 for a micro-business, but often must be paid upfront in full the first year.
Free samples or introductory discounts still cost money to produce and deliver.
Grand opening celebrations can require food catering, beverages, promotion and other expenses that add up quickly.
Many businesses fail to recognize the additional cash required to cover expenses during the startup period. In the model, you can enter the number of months you think it will ask before sales increase to the point of supporting the business.
For more information visit: www.RapidBplans.com