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Don't write it

mucho fun to read...

So

easy... great gift idea ! Not just for chicks!

a 5th

grader

LIKE A BRA . . . it supports your every move

‌it supports your every move

Step-by-step instructions on starting your Do IT! business

LIKE A BRA

Capture your ideas using everyday tools to write a business plan later

Your Business Plan Is

If writing a business plan makes you want to shoot yourself THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!!!

Your Business Plan Is

can do ti !

Pink Purse publishing

ROSE

Camille Rose is a: *Serial entrepreneur *Business geek *Techie *Mommy

Camille Rose


Contents

Basic Concepts Chapter 1 Un-Boring the Boring Business Plan Your business plan is a scrapbook you keep, rather than a boring document you write. Chapter 2

How Successful Plans Aren’t Created I recommend DOING over THEORIZING.

Steps to Starting Your Business Chapter 3 Don’t Be So Measuremental Step 1: Find + study the competition Chapter 4

Will it make money… eventually? Step 2: Analyze preliminary numbers

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2

14

20

26


Contents

Chapter 5

Brand-Aid: The Breakfast of Jedi Step 3: Create your concept

34

Chapter 6

Squatters â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;R Us Step 4: Name your business + get a website address

40

Chapter 7

On a Road to Nowhere Step 5: Create a meaningful mission statement

48

Chapter 8

Logo Notion Step 6: Design a logo

56

Chapter 9

Going it Alone is Better Than in Bad Company Step 7: Decide on your business structure

64

Chapter 10

Indiscriminate Bankingâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Bad for Business Step 8: Choose a bank (it pays to be picky)

76

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Contents

Chapter 11

The Single Life is Good Step 9: Lease space (if applicable)

90

Chapter 12

Is this you? Step 10: Get kick-ass business cards

100

Chapter 13

Does this make me look fat? Step 11: Decide how to dress

106

Chapter 14

You’re So 2000 and Late Step 12: Plan + build a website (that isn’t lame)

110

Chapter 15

Love is in the Air Step 13: Choose software services

138

Chapter 16

Friend a Rich Person Step 14: Find funding + create a formal business plan

146

Conclusion I said, “Uncle!” Understand the resources available to you and seek them out BEFORE you need them

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172


1

CHAPTER

Un-Boring the Boring Business Plan


I think my eyes are getting better. Instead of a big dark blur, I see a big bright blur. - HAN SOLO

W

hy is it so hard to write a business plan? Why does the thought of creating one from scratch make you want to roll your eyes in the back of your head and go stiff? Unfortunately, we have the wrong impression about business plans. We believe that business plans are: ›› Arduous ›› Uncreative ›› Downright boring ›› Long…super long ›› Never read ›› Filed away and never updated Tsk. Tsk. No wonder we would rather stub our toe than write a business plan. At least with a stubbed toe the pain is brief, right? With a business plan, all of your senses dwell on the pain of writing endless pages of boring text that no one in their right mind would actually read. The reality is, unless you’re going to apply for an SBA loan or get outside investors, the exercise of creating a twenty-page business plan is nonsense. Heck, even creating a formal business plan is nonsense—until you need to ask for some moolah.

YEAH, BABY! <3>


CHAPTER 1

This book aims to redefine the business planning process. This book isn’t even really about how to write a business plan, but more about things you actually DO to start a business. The planning part takes place while you are DOING. Your primary objective while doing is to quickly and efficiently capture information (ideas, links to websites, images, etc), then find a good home for it all to live. If you create a good system, you will have all the information you need to make informed decisions about your business in the startup phase as well as write a formal business plan down the road­—if you need one. Forget about sitting in front of a computer for endless hours. Forget grammar, forget spelling…who cares! Texting lingo, micro-blogging, copying, pasting and run-on sentences are your new best friends. If you’re technical, start your business plan as an unpublished blog. If you’re not technical, carry notecards around with you. I’ll give you more ideas throughout the book. The key point here is that your business plan doesn’t have to be some polished, formal document that looks like it was written by a Harvard MBA. Get away from that thinking. Start to think about your business plan as an online journal, a diary and even a scrapbook. As you capture your ideas over a span of days, weeks or months, you will step back one day and marvel at the creative planning process you took to build your venture. This book will teach you all the important aspects of starting a business. As you read, I strongly encourage you take notes in whatever form is most natural for you. Now is a great time to figure out where you want to store all your data. Something you read here may spark an idea. Capture it! Don’t rely on remembering it. Text it to a new Twitter account dedicated to <4>


UN-BORING THE BORING BUSINESS PLAN

your business, write it on this page, or on a sticky note. Your notes from this book are the first seeds of your business. Yes, it is that easy.

Why bother? If you care anything about your success, then you gotta get clear about what you’re doing. Why do you think people who write their goals down tend to be so successful? The mere act of capturing your ideas will help you crystallize what you’re aiming at, so you can shoot straight. Don’t let this book gather dust. Read each chapter. This will force you to think through all the details of your business. And I can’t say it enough: capture your thoughts as you go. Capture websites you come across. Capture blurbs from blogs. When you’re out with friends, capture pictures of products, storefronts, space layouts. Capture mini-films of yourself narrating present thoughts. Just capture it. The word “capture” is used 10 times on this one page. Make that 11. Get the idea?

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CHAPTER 1

You must come up with a system of capturing information that works for you. I can’t do this for you. The ideal system is: ›› Effortless ›› Creative In other words...Mucho Easy This is the first thing I think about when I want to capture ideas for a new project. It’s gotta be easy. It’s gotta live somewhere, in a format that’s comfortable for me to access at anytime so that I can quickly jot a thought, copy and paste some text, or save a URL for future reference. This is how I plan my businesses—on the fly. Ironically, this sometimes turns into periods of time where I’ll sit down to do intense planning and writing. I feel very inspired to do this as my ideas take shape. It doesn’t feel like a root canal. I enjoy the process of creation, and you will too! So, to make creating your business as easy as possible for you, figure out what tool works best for you to capture your ideas. You can use a pad and paper, a Word doc, Google Apps, a wiki…it doesn’t matter what you use, as long as it facilitates you getting your thoughts down.

<6>


UN-BORING THE BORING BUSINESS PLAN

I personally use three tools. A spiral notebook, Google Apps, and Business Plan Pro by Palo Alto Software. I use a notebook for: ›› Those times when I’m not in front of my computer. ›› Storing product packaging, business cards or other tangible items I really like. Can you say, “Scotch tape?” ›› Doodling (sometimes it just feels good to get back to a pen and paper). I use Google Apps for: ›› Ease of mobility. It’s easy to pull it up and capture all sorts of information, no matter what funky thing I’m doing at the moment. :-) ›› Spreadsheets. Check out “Spreadsheets Gadgets” to go beyond charting information (when you get to the point of needing a chart.) ›› Capturing various bits of information I come across while surfing.

*Blocks of text from blogs *URLs with additional notes *Presentations that wow me *Images

<7>


CHAPTER 1

As I’m in constant need of money, I almost always need a formal business plan. I use Business Plan Pro for: ›› Starting a rough draft of my business plan

*Copying and pasting important facts and statistics

*Ideas around who my customers will be *Prices of products or services similar to mine *Background information on companies already

about my industry

doing what I want to do

›› Financials

*Figuring out if I can make money

I have to say I really like this software. (I promise I’m not getting paid to plug them). I like it because all the sections of a formal business plan are already created. So when I come across information on how to sell to my market, for example, I can copy and paste it into the marketing strategy section of the plan. At a later date, when I’m ready to formalize things, the text and ideas are there for me to customize and morph into my own. Also, the software does a great job in setting up the financials for my business. If you’re new to financial statements, then this software definitely helps you figure them out. Ahhh, so nice.

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UN-BORING THE BORING BUSINESS PLAN

Censoring Creativity Is a Sin

This isn’t a traditional, boring business book. I’m sure you’ve already figured that out. In fact, the “untraditional-ness” of this book may be the main reason you bought it. There are a lot of boring business planning books out there. I know! I didn’t want to bring another boring book into the world. And if it turns out you need a formal business plan, you shouldn’t bring another boring business plan into the world. For all the boring business books, there must be hundreds of thousands of boring business plans. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to produce a formal business plan, don’t bore yourself or your audience to death with a drab document. Your final business plan can and should be a creative endeavor. Use icons, photos and other media to articulate your ideas. Capture ideas in bullet points. Break up pages using headers. Use an artistic template with a clean design and appealing colors. Use graphs to depict what your financials are trying to say. Google Docs and Microsoft have a number of templates you can build on. Make the front and back cover of your plan a collage of product packaging, business cards, images and articles torn out of magazines, and other items that inspire you while starting your business. Scrapbook a few sections of the plan instead of typing them. Done tastefully, and not overdone, this type of business plan will win you fans and funding. You’ll also find that you’re actually having fun writing your business plan. Imagine that!

<9>


CHAPTER 1

CAUTION: Moose on Highway

The road to your success is going to have some really random obstacles. Until you launch your business, you’ll never know what they are. I hope you use this book as a deep source of inspiration for you to take action, and not fear the unknown. You have a dream and it is within your power to make it come true. You don’t know what you’re going to come across until you are TAKING ACTION. And you don’t know what you’re capable of overcoming until you put yourself on that path. You’re a hell of a lot stronger than you think you are. This is your ultimate chance to prove it. This book is a starting point to launching your business. It supports your ACTIONS, just like your bra supports your MOVES. If you’re just sitting around all day, you don’t really need a bra, do you? You jiggle a lot less!

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UN-BORING THE BORING BUSINESS PLAN

I’m a proponent of figuring things out as you go. An inch of doing is worth more than a hundred miles of theorizing. Doing means registering your domain name, getting a logo, and writing copy for your website. Here is where the rubber meets the road and you see what you’re really made of, because it is here where you’ll start seeing moose on the highway. The domain name you want won’t be available. The logo your friend designed really sucks, and you can’t write copy for your great product because some other company has already invented it and holds twenty-eight patents. This is just a little bit of a reality check for you: No business idea survives first contact with the real world. Your ideas about your business can and should change as you explore new territory. Knowing this upfront should keep your spirits up. It’s one thing to capture an idea, and completely another to take action to get your idea off the ground. Almost immediately you’ll meet a moose. Here’s a word of advice when you do:

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CHAPTER 1

Don’t stop. There is always a way around a moose. Persist until you find it. Even if it means modifying your business. Being in the planning/doing mode allows you the flexibility to change your model quickly. Yes, it’s okay to change your model. If it gets you over, around, under, or through the moose, by all means change! As my favorite author Jim Collins puts it, “If you equate the success of your company with the success of one specific idea—as many entrepreneurs do—then you’re more likely to give up if that idea fails. Be prepared to kill an idea, but never give up on your company.” If one idea fails, try another, and then another. Success favors the entrepreneur who never gives in, so don’t let some silly moose stop you.

You Hate Waking Up to Go Pee, but You Do It Anyway

If you’re taking steps to actually document your ideas while getting your business off the ground, you’ll stay pretty motivated throughout the process. Inevitably, however, you’ll reach a stage where you’ll start procrastinating, or make yourself believe that you’ve done enough capturing and documenting of ideas. You’ll want to keep moving forward without capturing anything else. Hopefully you’ll catch yourself doing this. It will be an internal conversation that sounds something like this: “I’ve already got a lot of stuff strewn in different places, I’m good. I’ll just focus on getting the business going now.” When this happens here’s some advice for you. < 12 >


UN-BORING THE BORING BUSINESS PLAN

Go pee. And think about this…as a child, peeing in your bed was uncontrollable. But as you got older, you learned to get up to go. No one likes to wake up in a wet bed. It’s smelly and uncomfortable. So you had a fair degree of motivation to learn NOT to wet your bed. You disciplined yourself to wake up and drag yourself to the toilet (even though it really sucks to wake up to go pee). You know you have the capacity to discipline yourself, especially when your surroundings get too uncomfortable. Put your self-discipline to work when you feel unmotivated. Make yourself do the work. You’ll sleep a whole lot better, not only because you accomplished good work but because you’re laying a solid foundation to your future success.

< 13 >


Don't write it

mucho fun to read...

So

easy... great gift idea ! Not just for chicks!

a 5th

grader

LIKE A BRA . . . it supports your every move

â&#x20AC;Śit supports your every move

Step-by-step instructions on starting your Do IT! business

LIKE A BRA

Capture your ideas using everyday tools to write a business plan later

Your Business Plan Is

If writing a business plan makes you want to shoot yourself THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!!!

Your Business Plan Is

can do ti !

Pink Purse publishing

ROSE

Camille Rose is a: *Serial entrepreneur *Business geek *Techie *Mommy

Camille Rose


Your Business Plan is Like a Bra-It Supports Your Every Move