Watch the video below or scroll down to read the recap
This class taught by Harold Patterson, a WV Small Business Development Center Certified Business Coach, dives even deeper into the basics of creating your own business plan and the key components of what makes a great business plan. We continue the conversation on some of our MyBluefield Entrepreneur's Bootcamp material to help you better understand business plans.
*This training is geared toward our Food Truck Incubator Program participants, but the information is valuable to anyone seeking knowledge on how to create a business plan for a business.
A little on BEDA's MyBluefield Entrepreneur's Bootcamp
BEDA has partnered with My Own Business Institute (MOBI) of Santa Clara University to offer local and regional aspiring and current business owners 100% free online business training. The Bootcamp is self-paced and has two tracks: Starting a Business and Business Expansion. Enrollees can choose one, or both tracks. Some modules include The Business Plan, Financing the Business, Accounting and Cash Flow, Communication Tools, Marketing, Getting your Team in Place, Achieving Lowest Expenses, Vertical Integration, Franchising your Business, Selling your Business, and much more. Upon completion, graduates earn a certificate from Santa Clara University. Since June 5, 2020, BEDA has had over 200 enrollees and 18 graduates.
Anyone interested in learning more or signing up for BEDA's MyBluefield Entrepreneur's Bootcamp courses, click here.
Key Notes from Harold's Presentation:
The following information covers the remaining sections of a Business Plan that Harold covered in the class that he did not get to cover in the 101 workshop. To rewatch the 101 session, click here.
Financing and Financial Projections
Note: Many business owners require the assistance of a bookkeeper, an accountant, or an SBDC Business Coach (like Harold) when completing this section.
→ Start-Up Checklist – Capital and Expenses
→ Accounting Statements – Cash Flows, Profits/Loss Statements, Balance Sheets
→ Analysis of Costs - List and explain the key costs and profit margins
→ Break-Even Analysis – How much do you need to pay the bills and yourself?
→ Internal Controls - check signing policy, strategy for controlling shrinkage, and control of incoming merchandise or supplies.
Harold showed the below sample Start Up Worksheet during the workshop. This worksheet serves as a document to keep track of all your start-up expenses. You can view and download the sheet by clicking on it.
Harold also showed the below sample Profit and Loss Projection and Cash Flow Projection. You can use these as a base to create your own. You can click on the images to take a closer look.
Explain the form of business organization you intend to use and why it is best for your business in this section.
Limited Liability Company
To learn more about Business Organization types, check out our workshop "Going into Business First Steps".
Key Factors Affecting Choice of Legal Entity
Protection of Personal Assets - Do you have any? What are they?
Bookkeeping, Record Keeping
Number of Owners, Percentage of Ownership? Duties?
Liability of Owners
Taxation of Entity Profits
Compensation of Owners
Transferability of Ownership Interest
Talk about other members of the team. Make a List of the following:
SBDC Business Coach
Marketing and Sales
Start on your Marketing Plan:
Identify Your Target Market
Sex, Age, Income, Parents-Grandparents, Location
What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition)
the one thing that makes your business better than the competition.
Advertising Your Business
Traditional Media versus Social Media
Traditional Marketing Tools – Must Tell a Consistent Story through all outlets
Collateral - any digital or printed material used to communicate or promote a company's brand message, products, or services.
*BEDA staff Faith Blackwell made a comment during the workshop that as a Food Truck Owner, you don't have a storefront, but it's important that the signage on your truck has the same design and branding as what you put on social media, flyers, advertising, etc. Your branding must be the same through all marketing outlets in order for customers to easily recognize you (and it makes your business look overall more professional).
Marketing and Sales
Online Marketing - Must Tell a Consistent Story through all outlets
Text Marketing (if you so choose)
If you plan to integrate E-commerce (selling online on a website) into your business you need to include the following in your Business Plan...
Describe in detail how you plan to sell your products or services online.
Describe how your best competitors utilize e-commerce and your strategy to improve on their practices.
Research and identify the different channels where you will sell your product or services. What is your expectation of sales?
Detail how will you take orders, process payments, and fulfill requests.
Provide a detailed breakdown of the costs involved in creating, operating, and maintaining your e-commerce activities.
Also include information on your sales strategy...
Describe your sales process, activities you will conduct, obstacles you expect, how you will overcome them, and any customer service strategies to retain and expand your customer base.
An operations plan is extremely detailed, describing the who, what, where, and when involved in managing the day-to-day tasks and low-level activities of the business. This type of plan supports the tactical plan, which is more of a mid-level plan. In most cases, operational plan goals are short-term and can be achieved during the next year. Think Job Descriptions.
Addendum: Licenses and Permits
*Addendums can include but are not limited to License and Permits*
City Business License
Business and Occupation Taxes
User Fee (not in all cities in WV)
Zoning - You must know where you can set up your food truck at, certain places have restrictions, you cannot go wherever you want. Contact your City Hall to find out zoning information.
City Sales Tax – Check with the city where you are doing business
Industry licenses needed for your particular area of business (contractor, electrician, daycare, beauty, food handlers, etc.)
Let's Get in Touch!
Harold Patterson, Certified Business Coach WV Small Business Development Center | email@example.com | (304) 767-0532
Jim Spencer, Executive Director Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority | firstname.lastname@example.org | (304) 902-2332 x 2405
Faith Blackwell, Administrative + Marketing Assistant
Bluefield WV Economic Development Authority | email@example.com | (304) 902-2332 x 2408