Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Overcome your fear of starting a business- Creating a 'practical' Business Plan


Asalaam aleikum babes! I hope you are all doing well and feeling great. About a week ago,I did a business related Q&A session on instagram, which was so amazing and insightful for me when it comes to the concerns people have about business in general. The one question that I got a few times was "I want to start a business but I don't know where to start or how"
so I figured why not do a blog post on how to overcome that fear/doubt. Let me start by saying that a lot of us are scared of doing the things we want to do because of the fear of failure, thinking we're not good enough but that's just your ego telling you that you need to 'prepare' some more because you can't deal with the failure. That's not true and honestly there's nothing wrong with failing. How do you learn and grow without failing first? Your mindset is very important when it comes to living the best/truest version of your life. If you think that you can do a business and succeed,you will! You have to manifest everything you want to achieve, then make a plan and then act on that plan.

Now that our mindset is good,let's get to planning. Approach business like you would approach anything else in your life. Let's say you're in school and you want to get a better grade. The obvious thing would be to study more and better, so you make a plan to study 2 hours a day, revising past exam papers,joining a discussion group etc. Starting a business is exactly the same. You have to be very intentional with it and the best way to do this is to make a business plan.
When I started my business, I had just graduated Uni, didn't have a job but I really wanted to have a source of income because that's what we do right? Finish school,get money lol. So I started making a few clothes,no plan whatsoever. The only thing I knew was that I had a goal to make money. I didn't have a business plan at the beginning which is ironical because I am telling you to make one but it's because if I had one at the very beginning, I wouldn't have made as many mistakes as I have.
I decided to research on business plans and how to create one and while I was googling the topic, you get very rigid answers that are perfect if you're a bigger organisation but is it practical if you are only one person with no team and not a lot of resources?, not so much. Even though I learnt a lot, I didn't relate to their guides on how to create a business plan so I came up with a guide that I think is more practical for someone who hasn't started or is just starting a business. Below are the different parts that I think you should focus on when you are thinking of starting a business.

Business description
Who are you? This is your mission statement. What do you hope to achieve with your business?
What problem is your product solving? What gap is your product closing? Why do customers need your product/service?

Product description/Operations - How will you do it all?
Physical details- Physical characteristics of your product. Mine would be Long,free-size dresses and skirts.
Sourcing Identification of suppliers. If you're in my line of business this would be fabric sourcing, tailoring accessories. Comparing suppliers in terms of quality and affordability.
Supply chain These are the steps involved in getting your product from the supplier to the customers. e.g. If you're selling bags from China, what are the processes involved for you to get the product from the supplier to your customer.
Manufacturing This is the production of the goods you intend to sell. In my case, Fabric is cut,tailored,finished and in order for us to do this we need tools, sewing machines,over lock machine, human resource i.e. the tailors
Packaging How are you going to package your goods? Where will you buy packaging? Will you have them made and branded? Where and by who?
Shipping How will you ship the product to your customer? Which delivery service, cost of delivery. Consider nationwide,worldwide delivery and differences in that.

Customer description
Who is your target customer?
Demographics Where do they live, what age are they, what jobs do they do, how much do they earn.
Market trends What are they buying? What trends are they into?

Marketing Plan Once you know who you are targeting, you need to know how to reach your customers. How you talk to your customers and how they'll buy in.
Social media Instagram ads,YouTube ads, google ads, working with influencers etc
Pr strategy How would you like your brand to be seen by the public? Curating a brand image.
Traditional advertising Newspapers,TV, magazines.

Financial Planning
Financial projections- How much do you want to make and in what time frame? Here are the 3 things you need to know of and keep up with in your business. This way you can measure your results and see how you can step-up to do better.
Revenue This is the income a business makes from sales. What are your main sources of revenue?
Expenses This is the cost incurred in your business. e.g. Rent, Salaries What are your monthly costs?
Net Profit This is the actual profit made after expenses. All Revenues- All Expenses

Now that you have your plan, all you need to do is execute it. Which sounds easier said than done but nothing worth having comes easy. I tried my best to make everything very simple. Once you breakdown your processes, they seem more achievable. It's like having a to-do-list that you can slowly get into and start working on. Let me know if this made the idea of starting a business more achievable.  Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment if you found this helpful or have something to add.

15 comments :

  1. Replies
    1. Kindly let me know which topics you would like for me to cover.Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Mashallah proud of u siz jazakallah for knowledge shared Allah ibarik ao kind of u..

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    1. JazakaAllah kheir for your comment. Inspires me to keep doing more.

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  3. Oh my God!my motto in life is everything happens for a reason, and coming across your page today was a prayer answer from God.Am justing up my business and coming up with a plan has been a struggle. Thankyou so much for this girl God bless you!kindly keep helping people like me this has been insightful. I have a couple of question is it okay if I asked ?

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    1. Hey girl!, I am so happy that you found this insightful and for your comment,motivates me to do more. May God bless the work of your hands too. Kindly ask the questions that you have :-)

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  4. Heeeyy...Thanks so much for responding...sooo...how did you find the tailors...what method /agreement did you use? Monthly payment? Commission..what? I would really like to know.thanks

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    1. Before I had my own workshop, I worked with tailors in Eastleigh so I asked one of the tailors there to get me tailors and she did. Tailors know each other, ask one you know to connect you with another. They work on commission, per piece made. I have a lady that does overlock and she is paid a salary.

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  5. I enjoyed reading your article. Please make more interesting topics like this on.
    I'll come back for more :)

    From Japs a researcher from Always Open Commerce

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  6. hey Amina glad i came across your page today ive been planning to start my own business but i just dont know where to start.

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