I spent a large part of yesterday learning all about the pros and cons of sole proprietorships and limited liability companies. I also spent a large part of the day trying to get my head around the intricacies of writing a business plan. While an essential part of starting a business, it's also mind bending.
For example, you have to talk about the purpose of the business. For a yarn shop, that's easy, right? Clearly, the purpose is to sell yarn. End of story. But that doesn't make for good reading, so you have to come up with a plot, a very concise plot. Who, where, what, when, how, why, and how much. Who is the target market...um..fiber enthusiasts? Who are they? Women between the ages of 23 and 80? What about men? What about the amazing young girls (and boys) who knit? Where? I dunno...I don't have shop yet. Historic downtown Leesburg. What? Yarn. What kind? Yikes! There's a million types. How do I choose?! Ummm...how about natural fibers?
And that's answering questions about the stuff I think I know. Legal structure? Ummm...sole proprietorship or limited liability company? (I really like the limited liability part; I don't want to lose our retirement because someone who has a cat phobia was terrorized by the sleeping shop cat and sued the daylights out of me.) Financials: cash flow, break even analysis, balance sheet...yikes!
I knew that writing a business plan would not be easy. I did not anticipate writing five sentences in four hours. But thank goodness for the internet and Google. There's a ton of good information to be had.
There's another reason why I found the business plan to be rough going:
Needless to say, very little knitting and housecleaning was accomplished yesterday. The Christmas knitting is sitting, forlorn and neglected, in my workroom. The sock is getting slightly more attention, but spends the majority of its life confined in the dark recesses of the knitting bag. And so it will continue. The remainder of the day will be spent cleaning, laundering, grocery shopping and cooking.
Then, perhaps, I'll be able to knit (or write a business plan) with a clear mind.