entrepreneuship

Creating a Business Plan for Your Fashion Business

So you want to start a jewelry line, design handbags or dresses?  Cool, I can’t wait to buy them from you!  But before you run out and order business cards, purchase fabric and hire a publicist, you need to have a plan of action.  I wanted to touch base on a business plan before discussing product and market analysis.

A business plan is a written document that describes how you will run your business.  It covers the seven basic areas of business:

Product Development - continually refining what you’re offering for sales to meet the ever-changing needs of your potential customers.  This is why fashion businesses produce new lines each season.  You need to consistently offer new products to generate repeat customers otherwise you don’t have a business.

Marketing - continually taking action to become even more aware of your customer’s needs and informing your potential customers that your product (or service) is meant for them and why.

Sales - talking face-to-face with your potential customers and getting them to say, “Yes, I’ll buy from you.”

Operations - doing the work of the business.  For example, if you’re in the business of designing handbags, operations would require meeting with a manufacturer to create samples, sourcing materials, exhibiting at trade shows, etc.

Personnel - managing the people who work for you. This is probably the hardest part of owning a business.

Finance - measure the financial results of your business and comparing them with your desired results, using this comparison to identify critical business issues.

Management - making sure the above six areas are working in concert to meet your goals for the business.

In each of the seven basic business areas, your business plan describes:

  • The results that you want to achieve
  • The activities that you need to be done to achieve them
  • The resources (money, people, time, equipment, etc.) required to perform these activities
  • The criteria you will use to evaluate the results
  • The reasons you believe the plan will succeed

Your business plan will also help you determine how much money you really need for your business.  The only way to know how much money you really need is to decide what you’re going to do in each of the areas and figure out how much money it will take to do it.  

You may find that no amount of money will help you have a profitable business.  Perhaps you design on the side of a full-time career as a hobby. It is far cheaper to not to begin an ill-fated business than to learn by experience what a business plan would have taught you at the cost of several days of concentrated work.

'10000 hour' Rule

Studies of people with extraordinary abilities, like Ted Williams, have given rise to what Swedish psychologist Dr.K Anders Ericsson called the “10.000 hour” rule.

• | •

Kita cenderung melihat hasil dan melupakan proses. Ketika melihat kesuksesan, kita terlalu fokus pada “bagaimana caranya sukses”, dan melupakan sebuah pertanyaan penting : “seperti apa proses menuju kesuksesan”. Hasil tak lebih penting dr proses. Hasil hanyalah ‘upah’ dari kumpulan proses yang saling berbenturan menempa seseorang dari mentah ke matang.

“Bagaimana caranya mencapai puncak gunung” dengan “apa saja yang perlu disiapkan untuk mendaki gunung?” Adalah dua pertanyaan berbeda. Pertanyaan awal fokus pada hasil, pertanyaan kedua fokus pada proses. Dan semestinya, kita harus lebih mengeksplorasi proses daripada hasil.

• | •

Sukses identik dengan skill yang dimiliki seseorang. Semakin banyak skill yang dimiliki, jalan menuju kesuksesan semakin luas. Tentunya ditambah keseriusan dan banyaknya jam terbang. Tapi lucunya masyarakat kita mengatakan bahwa yang namanya skill itu adalah sebuah ‘gift’ untuk orang-orang tertentu saja. Seolah-olah bakat atau skill itu datang tiba-tiba.

Tak ada yang namanya bakat. Semua faktor habits. Semua yg expert di bidangnya diawali dengan : practice + repetition = habits. Bisa karena biasa. Studi mengatakan untuk menjadi seorang ahli di sebuah bidang, diperlukan 10.000 jam pelatihan dan pembiasaan yang diulang-ulang. Dengan kata lain butuh melewati pelatihan krg lbh 7-10 tahun baru kita bisa expert dlm sbuah bidang.

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Seseorang mampu menulis lagu dlm waktu 5 menit lengkap dgn lirik dan partitur nadanya bukan hal mustahil. Krn org tsb telah melewati 10 tahun dlm menulis lagu. Seseorang mampu mendesign rumit lengkap dgn tokoh dan cerita di dalamnya juga bukan hal luar biasa, krn org tersebut tlh melewati bertahun-tahun dlm mendesign dan menulis. Ya, bisa karena biasa.

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Tidak ada yg istimewa, semua manusia diberikan waktu yg sama : 24 jam. Perbedaannya hanyalah, ada beberapa dr kita yg memakai waktunya habis untuk bermain, ada yg dipakai untuk bekerja, membaca, belajar, ada juga yg fokus mendalami minatnya, dan ada yg waktunya dipakai terbuang percuma.

• | •

Diri kita hari ini adalah kumpulan dari pilihan-pilihan kita di masa lalu. Jangan heran jika teman kita berpenghasilan puluhan juta/lebih perbulannya. Sementara kita masih segini-gini aja, krn mungkin itulah akumulasi dr pilihan-pilihan dia di masa lalu dlm menggunakan waktunya. Jgn salahkan teman kita yg punya skill banyak lalu kita berkomentar “dia sih berbakat”, pdhal kata2 itu tak lebih dr justifikasi utk menutupi skill kita yg masih ini-ini aja krn mungkin masa lalu kita dihabiskan sia-sia.

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@rukkirackat

7

My entrepreneurial ambitions started at an early age - I launched my very first company, Rent-A-Kid, at the age of 12. And the addiction to startup ventures and being referred to as an entrepreneur (how sophisticated and…well, French it sounded! It made the afternoons pulling weeds in 118 degree weather sound so much more exciting and stimulating!) began…

forbes.com
5 Simple Steps to Improve Your Decision Making

Entrepreneurs are natural born problem solvers. To solve difficult problems, you need to make difficult decisions. In this post, I will unpack five tips to help you improve your decision making process. 1. Don’t delay Simple decisions are fun. You can tick them off your to do list and feel like you’ve accomplished something along the way. When the stakes […]

Tip #5 – Know what kind of Entrepreneur you are

I learned this lesson through slow and painful experience, but the term ‘entrepreneur’ is a very broad term that people misuse sometimes. Actually, not just sometimes. It’s all the fucking time. I can’t tell you how many times I run into these God damn mother fucking shit headed people who…

Let me take another sip of coffee and compose myself before I get into this.

There’s a spectrum to entrepreneurship

Everyone has a different definition of what an entrepreneur is. Some will tell you it means starting your own business with a unique product. Others would say you’re one if you work for yourself. But there are different classifications. I have painstakingly logged them all for your own benefit. We will start with the very top end of the spectrum and work our way down to the bottom feeding scumbags.

The True

These are the kind of people who have a unique product or idea. They see a simple way to change the world and really have a passion, almost obsession, for it. They write a business plan, devote the little money they have to creating their business and they are willing to bring themselves close to homelessness to make it happen.  When you ask them about their idea, their eyes light up when they start describing it. You can tell right away that they have a sincere desire to help others with their new business venture.

This is the kind of person who doesn’t just want to be local. They want to change the world and be a large company someday. But most likely they will move slow and take a really…. Really long time to get there. You might see this person living out of their car at one point, but then you’ll read about them in Time magazine years later.

In essence, this is the kind you want to be. It’s not sexy, but these kinds of people are the ones who have the highest success rate.

The Mom and Pop

This is probably the most common type you will run into when you start running around in entrepreneur circles. This person just wants to open up that corner coffee shop or a car repair store in their town. They enjoy what they do and are passionate about it, but their goals do not reach beyond their own city limits. They want to live simply, do what they love, and not make things complicated.

Believe it or not, the majority of the United States economy is built on the shoulders of these people. They employ the most Americans. Yes, even more than some of the big name companies you know.

The Safe and Experienced

These people are ones that have been in their industry for an extended period of time who finally decide to set off on their own. They have technical expertise, like doctors or lawyers, and get enough gall to finally decide to take that leap after thinking about it for years.

These are the people who play it safe, who saved up, learned, and bought into the idea that you need tons of experience and money in order to start a business. What they commonly forget is that it takes more than just technical expertise and money to run a business. They need business skills.

 And this type has a higher failure rate than even the get rich quick guy.

The Unorganized Hobbyist

This type has the true entrepreneur in combination with the get rich type. The only difference is that they are completely disorganized and don’t really make steps forward to accomplishing it. In ways, it’s more of a side project for them, almost like a hobby. They probably have a regular job and do their passion when it’s convenient. They still try and do it, but they are plagued by doubt.

These people do have the potential to be launched into the true, but they’ll have to lose their job first.

The Get Rich Quick

Now we get to the middle to bottom end of the spectrum, and right on the cusp is these guys.

These people are similar to the ‘true’, however the difference is that they came up with a product or process - most likely something simple like an app or something surrounding the sex industry - which they intend to peddle just to make some money. Most likely their product or service is automated so that can fulfill their dream of just sitting on the beach collection cash with no effort.

Money is their main objective, and everything focuses around it. They are most likely to join business plan competitions, try and find investors, and do nothing but talk about money instead of the product they have. They’re most likely competing in a ‘hot’ market, or markets that bloom fast and die faster. They want to ride the wave as quick and as soon as possible before it crashes on the shore.

Some of these people make it, but most of the time they don’t.

The Independent Contractor

These people will say they are ‘entrepreneurs’, but really they are independent contractors who work for a larger firm. They get paid off of commission of each sale. Although they set their own hours and set their own direction, very much like the true and mom and pop entrepreneurs, they are still representing another name or company.

These people are more likely salesmen of some type. And really this is no different from having a regular job. Just the added pressure of making a commission sale.

Chances are this person will want to talk to you just to try and make a sale. You’ll know it when they ask to ‘meet for coffee’.

The Hunter

This camouflaged bastard poses as an entrepreneur, but really is just an independent contractor in disguise who specifically targets people with startup businesses.

They’ll tell you that they are ‘just like you’ in that they have a startup business. But really, they are looking to rope you in, charge the shit out of you for services you don’t need as an early start up, then pat themselves on the back for ‘helping’ you.

These people are commonly in marketing, perhaps website design or videography, or the most bullshit of them all, Search Engine Optimization.

The Multi-Level Marketer

These people need to be beat with tire iron and pushed out into the freeway.

Multilevel marketing is basically a pyramid scheme. These are the kind of people who are desperate to make money but don’t want to work too hard for it. It’s focused around a ‘product’, but their main way to make money is to rope more people below them so they can make ‘residual income’. They have no business plan, no original idea, and are basically the get rich type but lazier.

Avoid these mother fuckers at all costs. You can tell if you meet one when they invite you to an ‘event’, have to be in business attire, and only talk about how much money they could make. They never, say exactly what it is they do and are always vague as possible. Also, they will ask for you to pay into it.

Make sure you have your tire iron with you when these guys approach.

The Talker

This is the most useless type, even more so than the MLM guys. This is the kind of person who has an idea and says they want to do it… but doesn’t. They basically talk about how they ‘wish’ they could change the world but ‘can’t’ because of (pick any fucking reason out of a hat).

These people have no spine, no drive, and are just oxygen thieves sucking the air away around you and wasting your time. I’d rather give myself a public enema than have to listen to this person wine about how they can’t accomplish their goal.

Half the time I feel like taking their idea and actually doing it just to piss them off and show them how much of a looser they really are.  

What you need to know

Know what type of entrepreneur you are from the start. Not all entrepreneurs are the same, and some you need to look out for when they start bumping elbows with you.

And I’ll say it again; you MLM people can go fuck yourselves.

forbes.com
Four Words That Every Entrepreneur Succeeds Or Fails By

Minding your own business can be compared to driving a state-of-the-art sports car. Why own a Lamborghini if you can’t open the doors and shift it out of first gear? Operating a successful business is no different. One of the most important paradigm shifts that every entrepreneur can make to improve their game of work is to focus 1% on weaknesses and 99% on our strengths and on appreciating other people’s strengths and, most importantly, remembering that everyone has weaknesses.

WIN:

What’s

Important

Now

?

I take my inspiration from the books Essentialism, by Greg McKeown, and The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, by Darren Hardy.

How often are you doing the unimportant thing? How often are you hiding from the really important thing? And can you tell the difference?

Do you make a list of daily priorities? Go ahead and do that now; my team calls it the Rockstar Tracker: priorities of the day. A checklist, if you will. And those items are essential to today’s activities. Things like exercise, eating right, connecting with others are all on that list.

Why?

Those things are essential to the WHY that defines us, and without the essential elements taken care of, we are really not accomplishing much.

As you are going through your priority list, can you see what is most important to accomplish NOW, in this time frame? Why or why not? It may not be that the first item on your list is taken care of now, because that might not be your circumstance in this moment, but something on that list is supposed to be your RIGHT NOW activity.

Say, for example, that this is your list today:

  • eat 3 servings of vegetables
  • drink 64 ounces of water
  • exercise 30 minutes
  • complete the laundry cycle
  • scrub the kitchen
  • contact 4 clients at work
  • finish my writing project
  • take the kids to basketball
  • call mom

That’s a great list, but can you take care of the vegetables if it’s not time to eat? Where are you? At work? OK, what is the most important thing to do while you’re there? Contact 4 clients? OK, do that NOW.

Here’s the real issue: we hide behind the “other stuff,” or the busy-work, really, that we think we gotta do. 

In the book Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, Darren Hardy tells the story of losing himself in the beauty of Nordstrom every day, instead of contacting his clients at that given time. He discovers, after being ushered out of the store one day by a security guard, that he is hiding from his priorities with fluffy, busy-work.

Here’s mine: I work from home. All you workers from home, listen up, because I bet you can relate. On my list of priorities every day is to reach out to 5 people who may need my help (I’m in fitness). My prime time to reach those people is while my kids are at school and I can focus on people that need me.

For months, the people who need me got shoved below “make sure the house is tidy” as a priority.

Is house tidiness a work day priority? NO! I was hiding behind my housework, afraid to make personal connections.

Now, my house may be dirty, but my people are loved and taken care of.

Where are you in your day?

Are you making lunch? Great, make it delicious and nutritious, right now. Are you working out? Great, make it the best workout in the most efficient time span humanly possible. Are you cleaning? Great, choose the chore that needs to be done RIGHT NOW, and just do it. Are you at work? Great, find the top priority of your work day and do it RIGHT NOW. Are you with your kids? Great, make them the most important thing in your scope RIGHT NOW. Are you with your spouse? Great, engage with him or her and make that your focus RIGHT NOW.

Get it? The person who wins is the person that sees the WIN throughout the day, constantly asking “What’s Important Now?” “What’s Important Now?”

The tape can continuously play, until you see a world of difference in your productivity.

What’s Important NOW?

13 pasos para realizar un plan de negocio

De acuerdo con datos de Nafin, 86% de los nuevos negocios desaparecen en dos años. Trabajar con más orden que con entusiasmo puede ser clave.

Tener dinero y ‘echarle ganas’ jamás será suficiente para iniciar un negocio exitoso. Si eres emprendedor o acabas de iniciar una empresa debes enfrentarte con este dato: 86% de los nuevos negocios desaparecen en los primeros dos años en México.

Existen tres formas por las cuáles quieres volverte empresario: porque tienes una idea de negocio, porque te heredaron la empresa o porque estas desesperado por obtener dinero. Y la combinación de desesperación, dinero y desconocimiento es muy peligrosa, por lo que te sugerimos trabajar más con orden que con entusiasmo. Para ello existen los planes de negocio.

“Hacer una plan de negocio es como un noviazgo. Un plan de negocio debe ser capaz de decirme si el negocio es viable o no, y no jugarme en un volado empresarial mi patrimonio y el de mis socios”, afirma Horacio Mendoza, director de la Consultora de Marketing y Desarrollo Humano Mendoza, Córdova y Asociados.

Pero, ¿cómo organizar tu plan de negocios de una manera clara y concisa? Como representante de la banca de crédito Nacional Financiera durante la Semana Nacional de Educación Financiera, Mendoza explicó los 13 puntos que todo emprendedor debe considerar para iniciar un negocio o salvar una empresa en crisis.

1.- Descripción del negocio

Deja en claro si vas a vender productos tangibles, intangibles, o si vas a vender servicios. Recuerda que el gran promedio de ciudadanos no tenemos un excelente servicio y una buena forma para diferenciarse es la forma en que venderás tu producto.

En este aspecto también incluye cómo te constituirás: empresa, por honorarios, persona moral, con fines de lucro o sin fines de lucro. Y no olvides la selección del personal. En este punto busca que cumplan con siete características básicas: Aptitud, actitud, habilidades, experiencia, disponibilidad, honestidad y lealtad. Define al perfil que necesitas para cada puesto.

En su página de Internet, Nafin ofrece herramientas para orientarte en tu proceso

2.- Nichos de mercado deseados

Define claramente el perfil del cliente al que quieres venderle. Si es persona moral, Nacional Financiera te recuerda tres criterios básicos: plaza, giro y número de empleados. Si es persona física piensa en su edad, sexo, estado civil, actividad, nivel socioeconómico, pasatiempos y en algunos casos la religión.

“El cliente ideal es el que necesita o desea tu producto o servicio, y puede pagarlo”.

¿Cómo definir a tu mercado potencial? Con Investigación de Mercados ¿Por qué?

1. Para identificar las necesidades del producto o servicio en mercados nuevos o existentes.

2. Para desarrollar una estrategia de venta.

3. Para pronosticar su tendencia de ventas.

4. Para estudiar las adquisiciones de materias primas y materiales

5. Para programar producción, ventas y distribución.

6. Para analizar las actitudes del consumidor.

7. Para conducir campañas promociónales.

8. Para establecer el monto del capital requerido.

9. Para planear utilidades.

3.- Selección de la cobertura territorial del negocio

Encuentra el equilibrio financiero. Suma tus costos mensuales, más tus gastos mensuales y esto tiene que ser igual a tus ventas mensuales. Teniendo el equilibrio agrega la utilidad. Calcula cuántos productos tienes que vender para llegar a la meta, posteriormente el número de clientes conviértelo en cuadras, colonias, delegaciones y en algunos casos estados.

Llevar una contabilidad te dará certeza en tus números y en tu administración. ¿Cuáles son los principales renglones del balance general y el manejo de tu flujo de efectivo?4.- Definición del posicionamiento del negocio deseado

Este punto refiere al lugar que ocupa tu marca en la mente de los posibles clientes. Puedes posicionar tu marca por juventud, innovación en el mercado, antigüedad, experiencia en el mercado, precio bajo, exclusividad, o referencia al líder.

5.- Propuesta única de negocio

La promesa que realices a tus clientes debe tener un resultado medible, tangible y verificable (“En seis meses hablas o hablas”, de Quick Learning; “En 30 minutos llega tu pizza o es gratis”, de Domino’s). Aquello que puedas medir, sea rentable y lo puedas cumplir hazlo. Si no puedes, mejor no te metas.

La promesa que realices a tus clientes debe tener un resultado medible, tangible y verificable

6.- Inversión básica para iniciar el negocio

Este punto es de sumas y restas y para ello hazte esta serie de preguntas: ¿Cuánto dinero necesito para poner mi negocio o para hacer crecer mi negocio? ¿Cuánto tengo? ¿Cuánto me falta? ¿A quién se lo voy a pedir? y ¿Cuánto me va a costar?

Te sugerimos utilizar la calculadora del rendimiento de tu inversión para tener más claridad sobre tu inversión. Ahora, ¿quieres un crédito? ¿Eres sujeto de crédito?

7.- Metas financieras

Tienen que cumplir con cuatro condiciones: Específicas, medibles, alcanzables y compatibles. Al decir compatible debes responder ¿el mercado necesita mi producto? ¿Puedo fabricarlo? y ¿Puedo entregarlo?

8.- Qué vender para alcanzar las metas financieras

Horacio Mendoza señala que en este punto es donde entra el papel de un empresario que es experto en lo que hace. No se trata de empujar productos o servicios, sino adecuarte a lo que requiere el cliente, porque como empresario dependes de que te compren, que te vuelvan a comprar y te recomienden.

Ahora, no te olvides que también existe el método Lean Startup, cuya metodología recomienda no invertir en una estructura muy pesada y focalizarse mucho en el cliente, en determinar si existen clientes o usuarios para nuestro producto, si es sustentable, si es factible.

9.- Definición inicial de precios

Para definir bien tus precios debes tomar en cuenta tres letras “c”:

Costos: Costos unitarios + gastos unitario + utilidad esperada.

Competencia: Investigar cuál es el precio más bajo, cuál es el más alto y el promedio de mercado. Una buena estrategia, según Nacional Financiera, es entrar ligeramente por debajo del precio promedio.

Capacidad de pago de mi cliente potencial: Realízate la pregunta ¿Mi consumidor lo puede comprar?

10.- Medios de marketing para el negocio

El medio que vas a utilizar lo define tu nicho de mercado. Para Nacional Financiera existen dos grandes grupos de clientes: el tradicional y el digital. Al tradicional se le vende a través de medios como radio, prensa, televisión, en los que no hay una interacción con el cliente. Pero el digital es generalmente un cliente más informado y la estrategia debe procurar la interacción.

11.- Metas de marketing

Destina el 3% de tus ventas para invertir en publicidad y promoción. La publicidad da razones y la promoción incentivos. Horacio Mendoza te sugiere hacer campañas de promoción tanto cuando tengas ventas bajas como ventas altas, en este último caso con el fin de incrementar tu cartera de clientes.

12.- Metas para el desarrollo de nuevos productos

Nacional Financiera sugiere basarte en tres fuentes para este punto:

Pregunta a tus clientes. Generalmente el 20% de los clientes te dan el 80% de tus ingresos. Cuestiona a este 20% sobre qué tipo de productos y servicios les gustaría ver.

Identifica al mejor. Sigue la llamada ‘Tecnología de lo obvio del milagro japonés’: Identifica al mejor, imita al mejor y supera al mejor.

Creatividad. El genio de Apple Steve Jobs decía: “El mercado no sabe lo que necesitas hasta que tú se lo muestras”. En este punto tienes que ser comercialmente irreverente.

13.- Materiales de promoción

Lo primero que debe aparecer en la publicidad no es qué vendes, qué haces, qué ofreces, quién eres o tus precios, sino responderle a tus clientes qué hace tu producto por ellos. “La gente no compra taladros de 16 mm, sino agujeros de 16 mm. No vendas el proceso, no vendas el camino, sino vende el destino”, afirma Horacio Mendoza.

“La gente no compra taladros de 16 mm, sino agujeros de 16 mm. No vendas el proceso, no vendas el camino, sino vende el destino”

Nacional Financiera te sugiere actualizar tu plan de negocios cada año. “Lo que hiciste el año pasado para tener éxito, este año ya no es suficiente”.

“Este plan ayuda a afinar la idea, identifica variables críticas de éxito, facilita el desarrollo del proyecto, da enfoque y dirección, es una herramienta para dirigir el negocio”, asegura Mendoza, quien lleva nueve años representando a Nacional Financiera y además trabaja para la Escuela Bancaria y Comercial, gobiernos de distintos estados y otras empresas.

POR: JAVIER RODRÍGUEZ LABASTIDA

Six years ago, Angela Adeke couldn’t afford the uniforms needed to send her children to school. But with a $150 grant from Village Enterprise, Angela was able to sew her own uniforms – 4,000 of them, in fact. Her tailoring business now supplies the uniforms for four schools in her Uganda region, and with the business skills she learned from Village Enterprise, Angela has opened her own tailoring school, where she has trained 40 other women to sew.

In an area where many people live on under $2 a day, Angela has been able to send her children to boarding school, move into a bigger home, and build a house for her parents. “It gives me great joy to stand as a woman, not begging, but helping others and playing a role in changing the world in which I live,” she says. “Helping make that happen is my greatest pleasure.”

Village Enterprise, based in San Carlos, CA, offers business and financial training, small monetary grants and a savings program to people in Kenya and Uganda.

Read more about Angela’s story at the www.apathappears.org blog.