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How to Write a Business Plan

Business plan

Some of you might be old hands at writing a business plan. But to those of you who aren’t, this post is for you!

There are a lot of resources available to help you in this process. Remember the goal of a business plan is to be a roadmap for where you want to go. A great business plan can help you increase capital, hire top talent, and guide your next decision.

Writing your business plan

Your business plan should be a projection of the next 3-5 years, and should be the roadmap to how you plan on growing revenues. Check out the pieces your business plan should contain below.

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Organization & Management
  • Service or Product Line
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Funding Request
  • Financial Projections
  • Appendix

For a description on these and what they include, check out this guide from the Small Business Administration.


Still hesitant to get started? According to Quickbooks, businesses with a plan grow 30 percent faster than those without, and owners with plans are twice as likely to grow and get investments and loans.

And before you even begin, be sure you know who your target audience is. That way, you know who you’re speaking to the whole time you’re writing.

Of course, writing a plan is work, and to make your plan stand out, consider ideas for partnerships as you begin your research. Your business plan can be short and to the point, but should show why you care. Be objective, avoid jargon, and don’t be afraid to make changes to your original plan.

Finally, don’t forget to USE IT! Put all that hard work to good use.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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Steps to find investors

Asking for money isn’t easy, but neither is your next big project. Check out the list below for ideas on where to begin and how to maximize your chances.

  • Business schools. Not only do they have scholarships for students, but they have scholarships for businesses too. Check out your alma mater, or a school near by with an accredited program. If administration isn’t much help, try calling professors and guest speakers to see if they can point you in the right direction.
  • Friends and family. Starting a business means asking for favors from the closest people to you. Of course you don’t have to ask them for money, but you can ask them for recommendations or ideas. Don’t forget to utilize them to critique your pitch, too—the better the pitch the easier it is to get money.
  • Online. LinkedIn is a great place to start; if we’re going to promote our business on that platform why wouldn’t we promote what our business is trying to do and ask for help getting there? Websites like GoFundMe make this process especially easy and legitimate.
  • Local entrepreneurs. Local businesses are always trying to support and build up other local businesses. Ask for the community to return the favor so that you can give more to the community.

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Remember that less is more, so keep your pitch simple and relatable, while still selling yourself. Practice your pitch, record it, then ask if you would donate to yourself. Back your pitch up with a model that has worked, and get your business plan as thorough as possible so you’re ready for any questions you may receive.

At the end of the process, you’ll be happy with the work you put in. After all, if you can’t get something if you don’t ask for it.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Editing your business plan

There are many tasks none of us want to return to since our businesses have been up and running.

Often times this never-return list includes looking for the perfect space, starting from scratch, and (you guessed it) writing a business plan.

Well I’m here to tell you that—like most things in this world—you’re going to have to go back to the drawing board!

bus plan 2.png

And that’s okay, the preconceived notion that a business plan is a firm document is simply wrong, business plans should be flexible and should change with the company.

So, how should you go about editing your business plan? Thankfully you don’t have to start from nothing. Unless you’re making major changes, choose one section of your plan and make gradual changes. Remember that each change should meet your new goals.

Further, it can really help if you have a supporting document to keep track of all the numbers. That means with any new purchase you make, you can update the number spreadsheet to make editing your business plan easier when that time comes around. Keeping a number spreadsheet helps keep things accurate and factual. (Pro tip: insert another column titled something along the line of “updates” so you know what you changed and when).

When figuring out what changes to make, it sometimes helps to look at other businesses outside the industry. Think about other local businesses; what do they do well and what could they do better? Think about changing technologies and how you can get them in your door, too.

Editing your business plan doesn’t need to be done more than once a year, unless you’re a new business or have encountered some major change in operation. Don’t forget to add changing your business plan to your list of annual tasks to keep your business moving forward.

If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.