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Developing a business plan

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Incrtalent

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Hands out again. I've searched the net looking for sample business plans on soap companies so that I can at least BEGIN to put together one for my company in the event that I need to pursue financing. (Okay, that event has already happened). But I can't find anything specific to US.

For those of you who have read my posts in the past, I think we can all be crystal clear on two things: first, I'm NOT a technical person, and second, I have way more questions than answers. I can usually muddle my way through on creativity and determination alone if I'm pointed in the right direction. Everything I've read so far just serves to confuse me all the more. Demographics, psychographics, etc. Yeah. I understand the terms. I just don't know where to get the info!

In short, I have a fairly decent idea of what I need; I just don't know how to ask for it in a format that a bank will understand and make my case. Does anyone either 1) have a sample plan that worked for them in the past, or 2) or know where I might find some sort of sample plan that would be specific to our industry? Yes. I know it's a tall order.

It's a gift I have. :)
 

moonbeam

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I don't have a quick answer for you other than what I did, but that's prolly a longer time than you want to wait! I went through the New Venture Training which is a class offered through the SBCD. We did our business plans and lots more, but it's like a 12 week class. I encourage anyone to go, and I hope YOU get a faster answer than that!
 
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Actually I am starting this now. Its one of my classes final. A Business Plan. Would you all like to work on one together..step by step? And I do my best to explain each part..what each section means...
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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i did a google search for business plans and came up with a ton of websites. www.bplans.com has free sample plans. they may not be of a soap biz, but i know there is one for a similar type of retail biz. basically, you pick one that mirrors the way you'll sell (as internet based, wholesaler, etc.). it doesn't have to be a carbon copy of someone else's.

a business plan can be helpful for you to figure out the direction and the timeline for your business and to monitor your progress and set goals but its not required that you have a formal business plan, unless you want to secure financing. And if you do want to secure financing, the bank is more concerned that you have concrete ideas goals and timelines rather than you have your title page formatted correctly.
 

IanT

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I agree as well!! lets have a business planning paaaaaaaaarty :lol:


no seroiusly though, I think if alot of people work together to form their own business plans there are more ideas available to the collective!


I have a business plan writing packet , its huge and i could possibly upload it but it is not specific to the soap biz, just a business plan in general...
 

Chay

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Start with an outline:

Executive Summary
-Highlights
-Objectives
-Mission
-Keys to Success
Company Summary
Products & Services
Market Analysis Summary
Strategy & Implementation Summary
Management Summary
Financial Plan

Do your research! Know your numbers and your facts.
 

Incrtalent

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This sounds like a great outline. Problems? Market analysis. Where does one get this type of data, exactly? I'd love to know my numbers and facts. I just have to know where to find them first so I can shake hands and get aquainted! :)
 

Incrtalent

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As a matter of fact, you start to lose me on Keys to Success; I bounce back up again on products and services, etc., and then right down the drain again pretty much through the end. Ugh. That horse looks too big to ride.
 

Chay

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Keys to success would be things like:
Your marketing strategy
The attention and detail you give to each product
Repeat business
Your expertise
Why your product is unique

Market Analysis:
How big is the industry? How many soap crafters are there in the US and Canada?
Industry revenue
At what rate is the industry growing? What prompted its growth? Will we continue to see this trend?
How many soapers are there in your area
What is the median price for a bar of soap in your area

Hope this helps.
 

IanT

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where would we find that type of info???? Im so bad on the research end of that type of stuff!
 

Incrtalent

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Keys to success would be things like:
Your marketing strategy
The attention and detail you give to each product
Repeat business
Your expertise
Why your product is unique

Market Analysis:
How big is the industry? How many soap crafters are there in the US and Canada?
Industry revenue
At what rate is the industry growing? What prompted its growth? Will we continue to see this trend?
How many soapers are there in your area
What is the median price for a bar of soap in your area

Some of this is doable for me; some, I don't know where to begin. I really HAVE no marketing budget, so my "strategy" has been pretty straightforward. I call area merchants that might be interested, make appointments, and take brochures and full-sized samples of my products to them. I place follow up calls. That's about it. I do sell to friends and neighbors, and I am going to get an interview from the local newspaper this Thursday. I dropped an interesting email to the business editor, and she was interested. I hope to have a website soon. But on a scale of 1-10 on impressive marketing strategies, I'd say mine is about a 1. I can handle attention to detail. Repeat business is a problem, because I'm extremely new (only six months), and while I do have some, I really only started doing the wholesalet thing in December. I've had some retail repeat business, (again so small its not very impressive), and some of my wholesale customers have reordered; but most have just recently ordered and haven't had a chance to reorder yet! The rest, I am assuming I can find answers for online. But how to fluff up something that is thin at best? And make it appeal to a potential lender? I know what I'd LIKE to do; which is quite different than what I CAN currently do or AM doing! Although, I do think a "marketing" professional would have a great many more ideas than I do. Suggestions?
 

Zenobiah

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How about the recession and the lessened buying power of the consumers, especially for items like soap/cosmetics? I would think a bank would ask about that, wouldn't they?
 
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