Business of Craft Shawn Allison Preparing a Business Plan


My guest today is Shawn Allison, a business and marketing consultant with the Central Mountain Small Business Development. Shawn has more than 20 years of experience in business development, direct marketing, strategic planning, budgeting, marketing automation and graphic design. Shawn is joining us today to give the down and dirty lowdown on how to write an effective business plan.

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#1 We always hear about the business plan being a must-have component of a successful business. Would you agree with that? Do we absolutely have to have a biz plan to launch? [2:19]

#2 There are a lot of components to an extensive business plan we won’t have time to go through all of them in detail today but maybe we can start with a few of the most critical elements and then let’s unpack those bit by bit? [3:37]

#3 How do you assess whether or not you have the skills for a successful business? [5:23]

#4 What are some of the components of the mission statement? Is that something listeners could do quickly just to get started on the process? [7:39]

#5 I read this quote from venture capitalist Andrew Anker I’d like you to comment on. “First and Foremost you have to have passion. You’ve got to understand why you’re going to be wildly successful. And you have to be able to sell it to people. It’s very easy to write a business plan with lots of pretty charts and graphs and if you can’t present it to coworkers, employees investors and ultimately to the customer, you’re not going anywhere. You always have to be the passionate person who lives, breathes, eats and sleeps the idea”  Could you expand on this for us? Perhaps provide some examples? [10:39]

#6 What would you say is the next biggest chunk of the plan that people need to tackle? [12:52]

#7 What resources are out there to help people get an understanding of that financial piece? [14:36]

#8 What would be the third most important piece of the business plan? [18:20]

#9 What advice do you have for people who struggle with the marketing piece? [22:00]

#10 Would you agree the owner is the best person to do the selling or are you better off to hire a great sales agent and insert them into the business? [25:25]

#11 I think a lot of listeners today are wantrepreneurs who will be doing it all themselves or have really small staff and one of the struggles they have is determining if and when they can afford to hire. Do you have any advice on navigating that piece of the puzzle? [27:53]

#12 Do you think there are parts of the plan that are deemed more important and deserve more focus? [29:25]

#13 I think one reason people don’t write a business plan is because it can be really tedious and time consuming. Do you have any tips to make the process less painful? [31:11]

#14 What is the biggest mistake people make when writing a business plan? [34:58]

#15 Do you have certain time frames or benchmarks where you advise people to revise the business plan? [36:13]

#16 What about having different scenarios to run the numbers and guide you? [37:37]

#17 Do you have any books or websites or resources you use to help people with the process of creating a marketing plan? [39:46]

The Successful Business Plan: Rhonda Abrams

Episode #61 of BOC with Mike Michalowicz
Central MTN SBDC:
SBA: Small Business Administration-

The Financials Plan: BOC show with Susan Dunn- Airing 3/15/2020

The Marketing Plan: BOC show with Jamie Billesbach –Airing 4/1/2020