Day 144: Business Planning Baby Steps

by Sarah Devika Sumnauth

Today is a day to settle down and send out some roots.  I want to think strategically therefore on this day and really think about what my business plan should look like, how it should feel and what it should entail.  At this point I need to think of the point where I am right now, with my current assets and experience, and how I want different aspects of Urban Minerals to look over the course of the next 3 to 5 years (all at once it seems like a long and a short period of time.)

I will be mapping out my core value propositions, meaning what value I will be offering to my customers; my marketing assumptions, how I view my target markets and audience, who I want to buy my product and how I believe they will act; my operations plan, ie how I am going to manufacture and distribute my product and through what channels; my financial plan meaning my forecasting for when the business launches and how it will grow past launch and over the next 1825 days, as well as my cash flow, and month to month statements of intent; and finally staffing plan.  These are the basics and yet even writing them out here gives me a ton of insight and ideas for each aspect.

I want to write a coherent plan and one that I can feel proud to show others.  My grander intent is to be able to take this document and apply to grant funding programs which I’m concurrently researching on the side.  Being that this is my first business plan, and I want it to be the best one that I can produce, I will most likely be sitting down with a few of my girlfriends who graduated from various business schools throughout Ontario.  I want their advice because I know that they have current knowledge that I don’t necessarily have yet.  It’s just a matter of using that knowledge as best as possible and maximising for the purpose of real world success. 

I’m so thankful that early on I got introduced to, an awesome resource for current, up to date business analytics and support for entrepreneurs of all kinds.  It has so far not lead me astray and so as always I endeavour to work it out and use this free knowledge to my benefit.  And then when everything has distilled in my mind, I also intend to write my environmental politic and love of sustainability into this rhetoric.  It can be done and it should be done that way.  That’s why through this all, I don’t feel afraid to take new steps, to falter, to feel afraid.  I know that I am truly working towards something I can be proud of.  As Les Brown says, “life has no limitations, except the ones you make."And I don’t intend to limit myself in any way.

So the final words for today?  Business planning - so much to do.  Thinking, dreaming, dancing, all to the beat of my own drum.  You can’t see it yet, but soon come!