Friday, February 22, 2013

Congratulations to Our Winners!

Congratulations to our winners from the various contests throughout Entrepreneurship Week 2013!  Thank you to everyone who participated, it was an exciting week!  Here are the awards:

 "I Have An Idea" Contest winner: Chad Canupp

Entrepreneur Showcase (Professional Crafts Division)
  • 1st Place: Linda Azar of "Linda Azar Metalsmith"
  • 2nd Place: Helen Geltman of "Helen Geltman Pottery"
  • 3rd Place: Cathy Babula of "Babula Pottery"
Entrepreneur Showcase (Products and Services Division)

  • 1st Place: Vicki Passmore of "The Memory Archive"
  • 2nd Place: Scott Burns of "One Stop Coffee"
  • 3rd Place: David Elliott of "CAN I Help You?"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Details, Details, Details

Most of us are comfortable recognizing the importance of "location, location, location", but the concept students seem to struggle with the most is "details, details, details".  How does one move from the hypothetical into planning for reality?  Better yet, how do you plan for success?

Here are some tips for embracing the need for details in your business plan:

1) Remove expectations - Most students want to know "how long" a business plan should be.  It needs to be as long as it needs to be.  However, a solid finished business plan should be somewhere between 20-30 pages.  This is not something to worry about when you are doing your initial research and "connecting the dots".

2) Work in increments - Do not concern yourself with the entire picture at first.  Break it down into the major sections and work on each section at a time.  These are traditionally Products and Services, Marketing, Operations, and Financials.

3) Research - Solid research from reputable sources is essential to obtaining the details necessary to write your business plan in-depth.  This cannot simply be done surfing the web.  Refer to our Helpful Links page to access databases and various agencies who collect data.  If you need research instruction, make an appointment with one of the HCC Librarians for a Research Consultation.

4) Expect more from yourself - Force yourself to write the document as if it is a presentation of facts, not a paper that explains your business concept.  This means speaking firmly about existing conditions and future expectations.  Avoid phrases like "will be".  Make a decision and defend it.

5) Walk away - There is a point at which an author is not contributing value to their work.  Put it down and walk away for a few days.  Then start again with fresh ideas and perspective.

If you find yourself struggling to truly write a business plan, it is probably because you are being overly simplistic.  Get specific!  Then you will encounter the problem of editing and condensing the document down to a reasonable amount of reading!