To really learn how a business works and what I would need to go through, should I decide to set up my own business later on after this course, or even later on in life, I would need a business plan. There are many different business plan templates out on the internet, but the one I chose to follow was the Prince’s Trust Business Plan Pack. I was to decide on a business that I would like to run, it could be anything imaginary, and build up a business plan for that business. I chose to work around a business that sells cards, such as birthday and other occasions.
The Prince’s Trust Plan Pack says that the best business plans are not long or complex, they only explain the most important aspects of starting this business, these are what you want to achieve, how you will get there and what you need to do along the way. This business plan helps one plan out a business in chunks, giving different sections that all need to be filled out to have a complete business plan, to develop your business plan, there is also a guide go the pack that is accessible online.
Upon deciding that I wanted to have a card company, I had to do the research into how much everything will cost, such as advertising – printing out flyers and posters etc. The first page is a ‘Getting Started’ page, on this you would write all your details such as company name, your name, address, number and email and that for the business if it is different to your own. After filling that out, the next page calls for an executive summary, this is the business summary and aims and a financial summary, for this I put that my business summary is to sell handmade occasion cards online. The aims of the business are to create designs that are completely different to those on the market at the moment. Financially I would be aiming to gain a small profit in the first year and hopefully increase as the months go on. The next page is all about the quick selling of the business, so the name, strapline of the business and my elevator pitch. This is the end of the first section.
The second section is generally about the owner’s background, asking for information such as why I want to start my own business, previous experience, education and qualifications, training, hobbies and interest. Section three asks about your products and services. Four about the market, such as who you are selling your product/service to. Section Five about market research, desk research and field research and your key findings from doing so. Six goes on to marketing strategy, how you are going to advertise your business. Seven is competitor analysis. Eight asks about operations and logistics. Nine and onwards goes on to pricing and costs of everything – the financial side to starting your own business. All in all there are Eleven sections all that help start your business from the bottom. Once put together you have the necessary information gathered to begin starting your own business.
One important thing to remember when creating a business plan is not to just throw in lots of unnecessary information but to keep it concise and relevant. A business plan does not need to be full of pages and pages of fine details that are completely irrelevant instead, the important details that will help you the different areas of your business are the details are what’s necessary.
Another major part of having a business, is protecting yourself legally. Contracts need to be drawn up for every job you do, so that you and the client understand each other properly. Whether this be in person on paper, or online through having to accept the terms and conditions of a website, the contract needs to protect your work, not allowing the client to sell your service on unless those terms were agreed against. A contract, like a business plan, does not need to be extremely long, but just needs the necessary details to stop you from having issues with clients afterwards. Upon doing research into important topics to cover in the contracts, I found that these include; having the client information, project information and the project price and payment terms, at the very top, the first part of the contract. Ownership of the artwork is another topic, this keeps your work, yours. Also how the artwork will be given to the client, will it be a digital or physical copy? Amongst other important topics, cancellation needs to have its own section in the contract, should be client back out, it needs to specify whether or not they can keep artwork that has been sent to discuss changes, and that you should get a fee for having completed the work that was already done.