Aspire, entrepreneurship Initiative graduation with facilitators Franchot Cunningham (left) and Shawna collier (right). All participants begin by meeting with a financial coach to review their credit history and score and to identify proactive short-term steps they can take to build their credit. This dual focus on small- business development and the personal credit situation of the entrepreneur is designed to transform the business prospects of the participant, but it also strengthens their overall household situation by improving access to financial products and services, as well as the. Returning citizens need strong positive networks to support them as they re-enter society and stay out of prison. Jp knows that organizational networks are key to supporting these individuals. We work with partners in each location to build positive networks for the participants. Partner organizations help publicize and refer clients to the program and recommend business and re-entry resources for inclusion in the program.
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And for those like erby who have been incarcerated and struggle to access good jobs, small- business ownership can be even more important in stabilizing finances and providing opportunities that visit help keep formerly incarcerated individuals from returning to prison. Through the aei, jp has the opportunity to leverage our credit-building and entrepreneurship work with citizens returning from incarceration. Louis through a three-year pilot program resulting from a public-private partnership between the. Business, administration (SBA) and the. The program launched. Louis in the fall of 2016 and is rolling out in 2017 in Chicago, detroit (spring) and louisville (summer). Aei started from the simple autobiography premise that small businesses provide unique opportunities to help returning citizens stabilize their finances, improve their credit and reduce the risk of recidivism. Aei focuses on getting participants business -ready quickly so they can launch and innovate as they. Many entrepreneurship programs for returning citizens stop at entrepreneurship education or offer a business plan competition with an award for one or two participants. The aei program is built on the premise that financial access is crucial to all entrepreneurs success, especially returning citizens who often lack positive personal networks to draw from as they launch their business.
Aspire, entrepreneurship Initiative (aei she reviewed his credit report, discussed what contributed to his low credit score and strategized ways to raise that score to get him closer to his goal of opening a food truck business. Jp made a small consumer loan—a life loan—to Erby so he could pay off an old civil judgment and a predatory loan with an extremely high interest rate. JPs credit building counselor also helped Erby negotiate and settle all of his other diary debt and open a secured credit card. Not only did the life loan and secured credit card create two active tradelines on his credit report, they also yielded a history of on-time payments, resulting in a higher credit score. The money erby was paying each month on the predatory loan is now being saved toward his purchase of a food truck. Coupled with the business fundamentals and entrepreneurial mindset he explored during the 14-week entrepreneurship training, Erby is refining his business plan to offer healthy Asian food in the. At jp, we know the power and opportunity that small- business ownership and credit-building offer to low-income individuals.
After you've been operating, however, your goal will be to show your expenses, profits, and a reasonable projection on what those numbers will look like years down the road. Regardless, you should include the sources of funding that you have, be it venture capital or your personal assets. This data is of great interest to potential investors, partners, and creditors. Not only that, but it should be of immense interest to you. Having a solid plan to follow can help ensure that you're not trying to grow too much too quickly and that any risk being taken is a manageable one. Aside from just the bottom line, you should include a brief expense report that details where your funding is going to end. When Justine petersens (JP) credit building counselor first sat down with louis Erby. As the first step of the.
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Sadly, unless everyone already knows about your business before you open, you're going to need to do some sort of marketing—be it a newspaper ad, a catchy sign, or a website. No matter the strategy, it needs to be in your business plan. A marketing strategy is also more than simply how you plan to build awareness; you'll want to cover the logistics of your business, as well. How many people are you going to attract; how will you supply teenage that amount of product; how will you represent your company while attracting your customers? Furthermore, who's going to be doing the job?
You'll want to mention if you have a sales team, if you plan to hire an agency, or if you'll be doing it yourself. Financial overview The bottom line: it's not the most romantic part of running your own business, but it's one that's impossible to ignore. It's critical that you have a sound plan to fund the business. Since this is a guide for starting a business, much of this information will be based on the previous sections of your business plan —especially any research into your target market. For now, however, make sure you list what you can. Much of the business numbers will come later, but you should be able to provide an accurate accounting of your starting capital and the initial expenses you'll incur—be they from leasing office space or the starting salaries harry for yourself and any employees.
What does your product do? What makes it stand out? You should also include in your plan any important details surrounding the purchase of your product or services. For example, is it a single purchase or a subscription service? Aside from the basics, you should mention any intellectual property that's relevant. If you are applying for patents, own them, or are licensing some, it should be stated here.
While this probably won't come up too much if you're starting a café, it could be critical if you're designing a mobile app or other piece of software. Finally, what are your plans for the product? Unless you're selling pasta sauce based on your family's generations-old recipe, you'll probably need to update your service or product at some point. So, how is that going to happen? Be sure to outline any procedures that you're considering for the continued improvement of your product—be it periodic reviews and updates, or hotfixes in case any complications pop. Marketing strategy and business logistics After you've identified your product offering and who your target audience is, the next logical question is how will you pair them up?
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This part of the analysis is meant to address the strengths and weaknesses of your product in relation to the market that you're seeking to enter. As an example: resumes if you plan to open up a café on the corner, you'd need to account for other restaurants in the area. You may be able to lure customers away from their fast food habits, but national coffee chains may prove tough competition if that's a focus of your business. To round out your look at the market landscape, you should include any relevant local and state regulations. While operating a café probably doesn't have the amount of red tape that a fireworks business does, you should still mention the more common regulations, such as zoning, along with the difficulty and expense in obtaining specific licenses, if they will have an impact. After all, you could own the only building in town zoned to allow a bar, and that could mean great business. Product description every business needs a product and you'll want to be sure that your business plan highlights your unique offering in full. While not every product is going to be a new invention, it still must target a need in the marketplace. Any business plan should include a complete description of your product or the services that you plan to offer.
In addition, you would want to check on the answers trends in app popularity—are more people downloading apps or has it plateaued? And even if it has, is the market large enough to still go after? For your audience, it's important to define a target market that you believe you have a reasonable shot of capturing. Continuing with the app example: if you were making a game, what percentage of the market would actually be interested in it? Certainly a younger crowd might be easier to target than an older crowd who may be more interested in a news or finance app. Conversely, an app that aggregates stock market data probably wouldn't be a big hit with the teen demographic. Competitive analysis is the final consideration. To start, who are your competitors? You'll need to predict your share of the market, how difficult it will be to break into, how you'll price competitively, and emphasize what makes your product unique.
fact that they can get muddled is exactly why it's important to straighten them out—for your sake and to court investors. The basic idea behind presenting your company's structure is to show investors that you're organized and that you've accounted for every task that needs to be done—no small feat. For you personally, it's a great time to ensure that everything is ready to go smoothly. If you realize that you're going to be doing everything yourself, then you may want to consider spreading the workload around or hiring new personnel. Survey of your market. This boils down to identifying and defining a target audience for your product and addressing any other businesses on the competitive landscape. You should start with an overview of your industry, pointing out historic trends, its current size, and how it's expected to grow in the future. For example: if you're looking to design a mobile app for Apple's app store then you should cite how many people own iPhones and whether that number is projected to increase.
In short: Who are you, what do you do, and why? This is your place to lay out the legs ideas of your business and the factors that will make it a success: location, unique product offering, or personal expertise. Not only will business partners want to see a clear identity, but they'll want to get a firm grasp on your ultimate strategy and, most importantly, what sets you above the competition. Organizational Structure, this section is intended to relay the structure of your business —from business entity and management structure, to financial stake and the board of directors. While this may seem like overkill in a one- or two-person operation, it's still important if you plan on attracting investors. Afterall, no one wants to throw money at a business without a clearly defined structure. The first basic question to answer is who does what in your business? You may be the founder and ceo, but are you also the lead engineer? Do you have any partners or co-owners that also play important roles in business operation?
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An executive summary, there's a lot to cover in a business plan, so you'll want to make sure that your main ideas are introduced up front. A brief executive summary at the start of your business plan should include: basic information about your product/service and your goals; an overview write of your financials; and most important, a concise outline of your strategy moving forward. Think of it as a highlight reel, tailored specifically for the person reading your business plan. Our best advice: be relevant, but be brief. Company basics, first things first: you'll want to give an overview of your company. What, exactly, is your business? Let's say you want to start a café, but why? Do you aspire to be a national force, or do you hope to be a neighborhood hideaway providing atmosphere and respite to a local customer base? What do you sell—will you only serve coffee or do you plan on serving food complete with handmade bread and home-grown produce?