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Kerry McCoy, Owner and President of FlagandBanner.comHow to Write a Business Plan
Publisher's Blog

Volume 1 Issue 1 Fall-Winter 2014
By Kerry McCoy, Publisher and FlagandBanner.com President

There are so many advantages to owning your own business: stretching yourself mentally and physically because it takes time and courage, controlling your destiny by being in charge of the decision-making process, the self-worth that comes from building something, and, of course, the tax incentives and potential monetary gain.

Statistically, most entrepreneurs come from a family of entrepreneurs. In other words, you are more likely to be a business owner if your mother or father owned their own business. If not, that does not mean the opportunity is lost to you. I am uncertain why the statistics are slanted that way, but I suspect it is because children of entrepreneurs have an easily accessible mentor. People come to me all the time with a new product to launch onto the market. That is only the first step. There is no shortage of good ideas but it takes courage, planning, ingenuity and patience to initiate a successful endeavor.

This article is meant to help walk you through the business process of your own good idea and set realistic expectations for your possible new success. Start by asking yourself these questions:

1) What am I selling?

2) How will it get placed in the market?

3) Will I have the time to execute this idea?

4) What price point is profitable?

5) What are the startup costs?

6) Where will I get the startup funds?

Each of these topics is an in-depth conversation in and of itself and is too much for one article. So for now, let’s start by making an income statement. You will touch on each area and quickly find out if it is profitable and worth doing.

For instance, I made a business plan for Dreamland Ballroom and found that the business model that income generates from booking weekend events does not generate enough income to pay back the renovation debt and meet monthly operating expenses. My heart said, “Yes, this is a great idea!” but numbers don’t lie. Be cognizant of not believing your own BS.

You can find an annual income statement worksheet by clicking here.

Think about your monthly sales and expenses, and then multiply by 12 months and fill in the blanks. I have added an expense line of 10% for miscellaneous. You always need a little cushion.
As I said earlier, people are always bouncing ideas off of me. I am pretty good at dissecting those ideas or questions and helping set it in a business context. If you are motivated enough to start a new business, then you are most likely pretty passionate about the idea. That is great and exactly what you need to get the job done. However, sometimes emotions can get in the way of seeing things objectively and you could miss something that, with a little front end projection, you might have avoided. I am all about being proactive and not reactive.

Want my advice? Post a question on my blog, www.bannerisims.com.

Forty years ago I started my business with $400. I have navigated Arkansas Flag and Banner through many different business models: door-to-door sales in the 70’s, telemarketing in the 80’s, catalog sales in the 90’s in 1995, I embraced the Internet with both arms. In 2001, I opened a retail storefront. If you are reading this magazine, then you know I am now dabbling in publication. So check out my blog bannerisms.com … I am a wealth of information. If nothing else, I am opinionated! (LOL)

As Gloria Steinem said, “Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” The future belongs to those that believe in the Beauty of their Dreams. brave flag

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