While December means planning for the holidays — which can be quite the effort — it’s also time for planning of a different sort. That’s because December is “National Write a Business Plan Month.”
MEDA helps small businesses start or grow
MEDA’s free Business Development program has helped 40+ clients start or grow ventures this year alone. All clients start by participating in a comprehensive business-training workshop, which is held for seven consecutive Thursdays. Each session focuses on a different topic and section of the business plan, such as business finances and marketing strategies. While clients are learning, they are simultaneously writing a section of their business plan. They review the draft at the final session of the training.
All graduates of the business-planning training are then eligible for free one-on-one coaching.
For those needing access to capital, MEDA’s own community loan fund, Adelante Fund, is available. Started in the fall of 2015, Adelante Fund has already helped 30 businesses start or grow, with loans of $5,000 to $100,000 disbursed at low-interest rates of just 7 to 9 percent. The borrower has usually been unable to access capital at traditional banks. Adelante Fund has lent over $800,000 to date, helping businesses start or grow and creating over 50 new, local jobs.
Writing a business plan
A business plan should project three to five years ahead and outline the route to meeting projected revenue goals. The process starts with having clients evaluate their idea, think through all aspects involved in starting a business, and determine necessary resources budding entrepreneurs can access to be more prepared and mitigate any risks of failure.
MEDA’s curriculum ensures that clients are financially prepared to start a business: a detailed budget of the business and financial projections allow clients to make sure they are raising enough funds to cover such costs.
Small-business clients learn how to write a business plan by the Business Development team emphasizing the following points:
- The Why: Making an assessment of why this business is important to the client and outlining how a unique brand will be created.
- The 4 P’s of Marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion): Identifying a target market, setting prices, picking the right location and, most importantly, determining different channels for getting the word out to attract customers.
- Regulations: Understanding what licenses a business needs to operate legally, different types of insurance, possible legal structures for a business, workers compensation rules and business taxes.
- Operations: Getting organized so clients can operate a business smoothly and learn how to manage employees.
- Finances: Learning how to manage the daily finances of a business or how to prepare paperwork to request a loan from MEDA’s Adelante Fund (or any other loan provider).
A concrete business plan translates to the budding entrepreneur moving forward with a clear path to success.
Explains Business Development Program Manager Edwin Rodriguez, “My team’s goal is to ensure that our clients have the tools they need to start their business. Most of our clients are immigrants looking to build an asset and provide for their families. MEDA is investing in people’s lives so that can happen.”
If you are interested in free Business Development workshops, please contact us: (415) 282-3334 ext. 101; firstname.lastname@example.org.