Small Business, Small Steps: Growing Up

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I've officially been back in Toronto for 1 week. I've had time to get over my jet lag, time to visit with my family and friends, time to tackle pressing banking matters and time to get myself as settled as I am going to be. What now? Cue paralysis due to impending huge risk. That's a new syndrome I just came up with, feel free to diagnose yourself with it too – if it applies.

I have been the queen of procrastination lately, possibly helped along by my recent iPhone purchase, but more likely due to not knowing where to begin. I've been to the bank to ask about opening a small business account. I've been to the post office to inquire about the best shipping methods for my products. I have been visiting the "how to register a business in Ontario" website over and over again. I have been doing all of these things and more without being able to commit to any of them. I feel like I'm running around in circles and unable to actually take a step forward. I need a plan. I need a business plan.

A couple weeks ago, Megan from Craft MBA had a great series on her blog about growing your small business. As you know, Craft MBA is one of my favourite small business blogs and I often go there for advice and a good kick in the pants. I bookmarked one of her posts from growth week on creating a plan for growth (a.k.a. a business plan). Here are the main points she believes your business plan should include:

Your vision and mission statement - done and done! If you've been following my Small Business, Small Steps series we covered this a few weeks back.

Your goals - Megan says this step is not typically included in standard business plans, but for me it's a crucial one! In order to plan the future of English Muffin I need to visualize where I want to go and what I want to achieve, by writing those goals down it helps to define them and make them real.

Your market strategy - This step involves getting all your ducks in a row. Deciding how and where you are going to spend your money, produce your product, which venues to sell in, etc...

Your business strategy - Megan asks, "How will your business actually make money?". Hmmm, good question! Your business strategy is where you'll explore what kind of business structure / model you want to have.

Your financials - And last but not least, the cash. How much are you going to charge for your product in order to make a reasonable profit. How many will you have to sell a day/month/year in order to reach your target income?

So, my homework for myself this week is to complete steps 2 and 3. How about you? Any small business news you'd like to share? How is your business plan coming along? As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts.



  1. This is a great post. I have yet to write a business plan myself! I often feel like I'm doing things backwards.

    Welcome back to this side of the pond. :)

  2. I a huge procrastinator too . . . right now I feel like I'm stuck as I try to decide which direction to take my business in. Think I have a bit more navel gazing to do before I come out the other side.

  3. great post... I have been working on my 2nd business plan for a few months now.... Kinda stuck at the end part (financials)

  4. A teacher of mine once called this being "frozen with indecision" and me and a friend of mine refer to it all the time. As a pretty indecisive person, this state happens alot. I find it helps to write out a list of goals and then prioritize from there. So starting with step 2 might get your motor running. Good luck!

    Oh... and welcome back to the great north!

  5. I'm just in the thinking stages of small business plannig. not sure yet if/when i should make the leap. I know what I want to do, but how to I go about it, how will i know when i'm ready and How do I succeed?!

    Small business, small steps is going to be a great source of information for me.

    you are the best!

  6. I'm currently stuck on a little of all of the above, but especially the "how will your business make money" part. I'm also trying to figure out the balance between doing it because I love it and worrying about being able to make any kind of profit. Megan at Craft MBA has an interesting book club book this month on a similar topic. Might have to join in.

    Thanks, Bess, for your great blog. I always look forward to reading your new posts.


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