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    December is National Write a Business Plan Month

    Posted by Brian Wilkins

    Posted on 11th Dec 2019 in Cubicles, Open Office Furniture


    One of the most rewarding parts of working at Eco Office is setting up cubicles or open office workstations for Bay Area startups. We've seen new business owners break down in tears after our approved design comes to life in their new office digs. Their dreams are finally realized - working for themselves, their employees and clients.

    It takes hard work, dedication and courage to start a business. There's plenty of opportunity in the Golden State for you to start your own business. The State of California as a sovereign country would be the fifth largest economy in the world by GDP, ahead of the U.K. and France, and just slightly behind Germany.

    There are approximately 30.2 million small businesses in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy. A small business is defined as one with fewer than 500 employees. That means 99.9% of all businesses in the U.S. are considered small businesses. Further, 70% of small businesses are sole proprietorships.

    Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Small businesses employ 59 million people, or about 48% of the U.S. workforce. The Bay Area is particularly accommodating to entrepreneurs. The "SF-Oakland-Fremont" area ranked fourth in the 2016 Kaufmann Index of Main Street Entrepreneurship for metropolitan areas where the most small businesses were started.

    Anybody with ambition can start their own business. Granted a healthy majority of business owners (65%) have a college degree or some college education. But that means the rest have only a high school diploma, equivalency or none of the above. The most common deterrent for starting small businesses is fear, particularly the fear of failure. We've all heard the axiom: "half of companies fail in the first year." Even if that were true, that means you have a coin-flip chance at success. The reality is that 80% of small businesses sutvive the first year, according to the SBA.

    Why write a business plan?

    The origins of National Write A Business Plan Month are unclear. The oldest mention of it readily searchable in the top three search engines is from 2012. There also doesn't seem to be any official website or entity claiming to have started it. But the concept is great for aspiring entrepreneurs.

    You probably have your own business ideas. The problem is that a lot of folks don't know where to begin. "I don't have any money to start a business" and "I don't know what I'm doing" are common excuses that halt potential business ideas before they start. That's why business plans are so important.

    You don't need to be an economics guru to write a rough business plan. The goal is getting your ideas on paper to determine feasibility.

    Business plan basics

    There are six essential elements of a business plan. The executive summary tells readers what your company is and what it aims to accomplish. Maybe you have discovered a market need that is not being met. Perhaps you wish to take an existing product or service and improve upon it. Regardless, the executive summary should include general information on company leadership, location and potential employees. If it's a sole proprietorship, talk up your own qualifications.

    The company description should get into more detail about your product/services, and the market need you are addressing. This section should also answer why your business will be successful. The market analysis section is your research about similar companies. Don't just say your company is a one-of-a-kind enterprise. Provide substance. Next is the organizational section. This tells readers your business structure (LLC, sole proprietorship, etc.) and information about leadership.

    Marketing strategy is a crucial section. It tells potential investors how you will get customers, retain customers and scale your business. Next is the financial projections section. It answers how your business will make money and addresses its sustainability. Typically the projections sections provides a five-year plan. The funding request is the final section. You are asking venture capitalists, angel investors and sometimes friends and family for money to start your business. The other sections will convince people to invest for you to obtain equipment, inventory or whatever else is needed to get started.

    Eco Office can design and build your office whether your company is located in a home office, warehouse or high-rise in downtown San Francisco. Give us a call at 408-437-1700 to discuss options.

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