Branding 101 - The Business Plan


Below is the TFDS™ Simple Business Plan. Branding 101 is not for all clients. It's designed for those clients who either skipped the business plan step when initially establishing their business or for entrepreneurs who are just starting out. If you already have a solid business plan just skip over this exercise and go on to the next. For the rest of you, the outline below will serve as your new business plan. It will be useful for every stage of your business. It will help you to streamline your business and its services. It will be a tool that you will use as a guide to ensure that you're staying on track and focused as it relates to your business. It will also help you easily complete some of the other homework assignments. I suggest that your write it out on paper or your chosen note taking format so that you will have an immediate copy of your answers. Answer clearly, honestly and be sure to go back and proofread. Submit your answers and I will include an edited digital and downloadable copy within your Brand Style Guide at the completion of the project.

TFDS™ Simple Business Plan

Write out your mission statement. Your mission statement should answer the following questions: "Why are you going to business (purpose)? What solution will your products and services provide for your clients? What is your vision for your brand?
List your products/services and their price list. Will there be options/alternative methods to pay for your services. List the materials or tools that will also needed. (ie, Stripe system needs to be implemented?) List where you will sell or offer this product/service. Will you offer pro bono services? Will you require outside vendors to supply your products? If so, what are the cost and risks associated?
Describe your ideal customer/client. How will you find them? What are your target market's goals and how does your product/service help them reach them? What group can you afford your product/service? Is it a need or a want?
What are your non-monetary goals? 6-mo, 1-yr, 3-yrs, 5-yrs
Explain your business process. What are the most efficient steps you will take to make or provide your product/service? Will you need additional people to run your business? If so, how will you pay them? Selection process?
What is your marketing plan? What advertising methods will you use to get your products in front of your target market? How will you communicate to your target market that they need your product?
How will your fund your business? What are your financial goals for your business? (6-month, 1-yr, 3-yrs, 5-yrs) How much will it cost to start-up? (business license, marketing, etc.) Be realistic detailed and specific. This will save you a big headache later.
Identify your competitors. What sets you apart from your competitors? Conduct an in-depth SWOT Analysis.
*Strengths - characteristics that give you an advantage over others.
*Weaknesses - characteristics that place your business at a disadvantage relative to others.
*Opportunities - elements that the business could exploit to its advantage.
*Threats - elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business.