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Writing a Business Plan to Start Your Own Business

Businesses are part of us -- our talents and connections with our community. Do you have a dream? Here are 5 steps to help you launch your personal business adventure.

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By Mia Moore, Moore Consulting and

Most people have great ideas swirling in their minds, just eager to get out. I often meet people who, when I tell them that I help with starting businesses, 9 out of 10 times, will tell me that they have a dream to have their own business. They often tell me that they've had an idea for something they've wanted to do for years.

I let them in on a secret -- the desire usually does not go away until the idea is satisfied!

When we are given talents, they are expressed in the form of desires and passions in areas we are extremely good at and like to do. Until we try it and fulfill our dream of providing the service that our talents are driven to share, the urge just does not go away.

Life however, gets in the way. Sometimes we are not able to fulfill our talents on a full time or even part time basis, because of the necessity of living and paying the bills, etc. In this recession/depression, the opportunity is showing itself to many of us – we are feeling the urge to return to our talents. So many people are being laid off or finding it necessary to take on a second and third job to make dollars stretch for ends to meet.

My question is why not use this time to express your talents? It's time to get started.

If you are employed, continue to work. But if you are laid off, looking for a job and finding more time on your hands than you would like -- get out there and see what you can achieve!!! Don't get depressed, get busy!

Your Who, What, When, Where, Why and How Plan

I suggest taking the following five steps in order to get through these tough times....more productively and more creatively:

Five Steps to Sprout Your Business Dream

  • Write down all of your talents. Do not be modest---brainstorm them all. Then pick the top five that you are best at and are self-motivated to do for long periods of time.

  • Do your research on how you can turn these top five talents into money making activities, or activities that will help others. You may check to see if there is anyone who is doing something similar to what you would like to do. Chances are there is.

  • Once you have gathered the necessary research; choose three project ideas that make the best sense to pursue. Start asking around to see who would be interested and able to use your product or service. Talk to potential buyers. Talk to potential suppliers. Talk to potential partnering cohorts.

  • Develop a plan of action. Start with a basic plan that helps you ask the necessary questions, such as what resources will you need? Who will you service? What will you do? What benefits will your customers reap from your service? Etc. I suggest developing a basic Who, What, When, Where, Why and How plan First.

    • Who will you serve?

    • What will you do for them? What do they want to buy? What results do they want?

    • When are you available to provide your services or sell your products? When will you be ready to do this? When would you like to get started?

    • Where will you serve or sell? Will you be online? Local? National? At home? In a store? In an office?

    • Why do people need (and desire) your services or products? Why would they buy from you?

    • How will you provide your services?

    Think through the resources needed to get started and to operate (time, money, contacts, inventory, supplies, other human resources, etc). How will you function day by day? How will your ideal and not so ideal day go?

  • Once you have developed your Who, What, When, Why and How plan, then use the How part your plan to figure out how to implement the process of making money from your talents. Make to-do lists that can be carried out on a quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily basis. Set the goal first. Then break it down into action steps and measurable milestones. Milestones like -- Tell 50 people your story. Produce 50 widgets. Send out 50 fliers.

If you need assistance with this exercise or would like to know more about the next steps involved in the process of putting your talents into money making activities, please call or email Mia Moore, who is an experienced business consultant for start-up and small businesses

Mia Moore, Small Business Consultant

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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