Are you thinking about starting a business? Writing a simple business plan is the first step in launching a successful venture. This plan will help you understand your overall ideas, if they are feasible, and how to proceed with implementation. In general, a business plan will help you to ask and answer basic, important questions such as:
Why should customers buy from you instead of the competition?
Writing a plan will help you figure out what to sell, who to sell it to, and the importance of product pricing. A finished plan will help you reach your customers. It will identify your target market and your competitive advantages (what you offer over competing businesses serving that same market), and what advertising strategy you need to reach them.
If you are new to business and new to food-related production, I don’t expect you to know all the answers. But most important, you will begin understanding the process. Unfortunately, many folks jump in without considering the reality of basic business issues. Small business failure can often be averted by starting at the beginning with a detailed business plan.
One day I was having lunch with a group of office workers (who had no knowledge of my business background). From The (Faux) Pastry Chef: How I Found My Baking Fix, page 247.
… I made a Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Torte and during lunch as we cut into the cake, Louise said that the bakery on Ray Way Drive was out of business and the River Baking Company (which I thought was not that good) had moved in.
“You should open a bakery!” exclaimed Louise, putting down her fork.
“Been there done that,” I replied.
“You should open one in Mayville,” she continued. Mayville was a nearby, economically depressed little town. Louise began yakking about an empty storefront that had several different businesses in succession and was currently empty. Most recently it had been a deli owned by a woman with a catering business. The owner didn’t have regular store hours because of her catering. I guess she figured people wouldn’t mind showing up for coffee and donuts and finding a locked door.
I responded that the location was not great, but Louise insisted it was the best place ever to put a bakery. Their lunchroom conversation turned to the idea of how a gluten-free café or a cupcake shop would be packed with customers. Others chimed in, sure that the location was a winner. Were they thinking about opening a bakery?
This is a good example of why small businesses open and close so quickly, I thought. People with no business experience listen to people who also have no business experience.
“Don’t forget to write your business plan,” I said, heading home.
The above conversation happens far too often. If you do not want to be another statistic in the failure column, please take the time to write a business plan.
The (Faux) Pastry Chef: How I Found My Baking Fix
Visit Us on Facebook
RETURN TO THE FIX