Entrepreneurship 101: The Main Reasons You Need a Business Plan

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Entrepreneurship 101: The Main Reasons You Need a Business Plan

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JasonAnderson.jpgYou have captured your small business idea, now what do you do? If you are like me, once the idea is seeded in your mind, you begin to brainstorm the best way forward. But what is the best way forward. Depending on your own personal experiences, getting your mind caged to help your idea might be one of the most challenging things you do.

I think one of most amazing aspects of starting a business is the pure creation of the endeavor. I think the concept of turning your thought, a series of synapses that fired in your brain, into an existing and tactile entity is one of the best attributes to being human. I personally think this pure creation provides is what provides deep satisfaction and feeds the soul of man and woman. Despite the feelings that great ideas provoke, it is still hard to see the path forward if you don't know how to proceed. This is where the business plan fits in nicely.


Organize Your Idea More Efficiently

Once you have captured your idea, entranced with its wonder, you may have the compulsion to dive into your new idea by searching high and low for information relating to the subject. I know that is what I did! While I certainly can't fault this type of action, there may be a better way to utilize your time, effort, and money.

If you are not familiar with a business plan or what it does, let me give a brief explanation. In the simplest of terms, a business plan is a written description of your business and is typically divided into the following categories:


Executive Summary
Company Description
Market Analysis
Organization & Management
Service or Product Line
Marketing & Sales
Funding Request
Financial Projections
Appendix

The business plan is also a living document, which means it should be updated frequently to account for any changes that affect your business. As you can see, it is thorough but very effective at breaking down your very new idea into smaller, more manageable bites.

One more thought. It is a big list; don't worry if you are not immediately able to fill in all parts of the document. Remember, entrepreneurship and small business creation take time. Be passionate and attack each section independently. Add new information and ideas as you go along and before you know it your idea, and your business plan will be more robust.
No Business Plan, No Bank Money. Period.

If you are unable to self-fund your small business, you must have a rock-solid business plan to get external funding. Banks are in the businesses of making money. As such, they are not going to lend money to you just because you are a nice guy. Remember, you are a new business with no track record and no brand that proves to the bank you are a good funding proposition. They need to see your business is going to work, and more importantly, you need to “sell” it to them to get your loan money. This is especially true since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Lending is exceptionally tight now which makes having a rock-solid business plan a main priority.

About the Author:  Jason Anderson is a 19 year USAF Lietenant Colonel who is also a small business owner and author of the book, "Active Duty Entrepreneur."  You can follow Jason on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/activedutyentrepreneur) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ADEntrepreneur1).  To read more from Jason and to order his book, follow this link:  http://activedutyentrepreneur.com/ 

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Rune of the Apprentice - A Novel Written by a Male Military Spouse

Jamison Stone and wife 2.pngHello male military spouse community! 

My name is Jamison Stone and I am the spouse of Staff Sergeant Rebecca Bainbridge of the United States Army Field Band at Fort Meade, Maryland. Because of her assignment, my wife, and the rest of her company, are on tour and away from their families for over 100 days out of the year.



As you very well know, Military service is hard on families. While I speak more about this topic on my blog, the ongoing struggle is very taxing to both the heart and the mind. Most difficult for me is the sadness and depression of separation during my partner's deployment and training.



Sadly, many Military Families have it far worse off than we do, particularly those with service members actually in harm's way, and especially of course those who make the ultimate sacrifice defending our country. All these women and men who proudly wear the cloth of our nation, and their families, are true heroes.



Female Mil Spouses are very lucky to have a wide network of other military wives to lean on during these difficult times. Sadly, we men, are not as fortunate. Personally, I find it extremely challenging as an Army husband to find a real sense of community. This is particularly emphasized when my wife is away on training or tour.

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30 Ways of Thanks Day #15

30Still.jpgHave you ever considered volunteering for an Honor Flight welcome?  It's a great way to say "thanks" and show your support!

 

November is Military Families Appreciation Month, and the 2014 Armed Forces Insurance Branch Spouses of the Year (Branch SOYs) want to help everyone, everywhere participate in thanking and honoring military families.

Americans love our military, but many people don't quite know how best to express their gratitude. As National Guard Spouse of the Year Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee notes, “saying "thanks" to our military families is something that many want to do, but are at a loss as to how to do it –or in the case of Guard and Reserve, how to find us!”

So the Branch SOYs created #30Ways of Thanks to help. Each day in November, the Branch SOYs will release a video with an action item that people around the country can participate in virtually or locally, individually or in groups. Participants can hash tag #30Ways so that their messages, photos, or videos are spread far and wide. Hash tags #GratefulNation and #MilFamsRock can also be added as a short-hand way to say “You are amazing, military families!” Best of all, the entire #30Ways video collection will be stored on the Branch SOYs' YouTube channel so that it can be repeated in Novembers to come, or whenever someone is looking for a way to say “thank you” to military families.



 

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