Even if your crafty business has been around for a long time without one, you really should think about writing a business plan. Not only is a good business plan necessary if you ever plan on applying for a business loan, it is extremely helpful in helping you decide how best your company can prosper and grow, what direction your business should take, and the best way to get there. A business plan does not need to be very long, it can be simple and as long as you, the author, would like!
The simple process of thinking and writing your plan may bring up questions you may have never contemplated before, and is a great thing! Many business owners get caught up in day to day operations so much that they never stop to think about the future, which can ultimately cause a lot of missed opportunities. Break the writing up into chunks and set some time aside to write a good business plan over as many days as you need. The reward will be great!
There are no specific rules as to how to write a business plan, but it should at least cover the following basic info:
Business Summary and Mission Statement
What are the core beliefs and goals of your business? What is your business’s identity?
Where is your business located? How is your business legally set up? Do you have any employees? How do you sell your product to your customer (through home shows, Etsy, craft fairs, your own website)?
What are your products, and what drives your sales? What makes your products stand out, and appealing to your customers? What makes your products stand out among your competitors? What are your core products now, and what are some product lines you’d like to introduce in the future?
Marketing Analysis and Plan
Who is your target market? Provide the demographics of your customers, and the customers you want to appeal to. Research how you can attract them, and be specific. If you want to begin advertising, what are your best avenues? Would you like to be featured in the press? Write the publications you will be sending press packs and releases to, and how often. There are many ways to get your names and products out there…how will you do it? If you’d like to see your crafts in stores, what stores, and how do those stores fit with your target market?
Financial Information and Goals
How much money does your business have (in a separate business account!). Is your business being supplemented by you, or anyone else? What are your projected costs and sales? What is your profit margin right now, and what is your goal profit margin? How will you attain those goals?
Now that you have set some goals, it’s time to set goal dates for those goals! Where do you see your business in a month, 6 months, a year, 5 years? This can be a great motivational tool to reflect back on regularly to see how you are meeting those goals. This portion of your business plan (along with any other sections you like) can and should be updated regularly as time goes on.
This is especially important to write if you have partners in your business. If a partner leaves, or the partnership is dissolved, what is the plan? How will the assets and liabilities be bought, sold or divided? This may be a difficult discussion between the partners, but in the long run it is best to decide on a plan and put it in writing.
Any supporting documents that you may want to include.
Your business plan should be a living document. Read it often and update it regularly, and it will be a great investment for you!
If you would like more information on how to write a business plan, I recommend these websites:
If you live in Metro Detroit, there are many classes available for you to take about writing your business plan at minimal or no cost in Oakland County, and Macomb County. I couldn’t find any hosted by Wayne County. Also, check with your local college, they may also have resources and classes available to you!
Have a question about anything business-y you’d like me to answer? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best!
The information provided on is not intended to be legal advice, but merely conveys general information. Please consult a lawyer, advisor or conduct your own research before making your own decision for your business.