Sunday, October 7, 2012

Skimping On Reading For Business Planning

Yep, you read that right. I've been skimping on my reading in exchange for business planning. I knew it would be difficult to plan the start-up of a business, but I didn't know it would be THIS hard of a job. I guess it's a good thing my timeframe for opening my business is set for July-August 2013. Gives me some wiggle room.

So far I've been working with the Mississippi Small Business Development Center out of University of Mississippi in Oxford to get an understanding and working knowledge of what I need to do. Since the town I live in isn't exactly the biggest town, and not to mention we have NO studios within an hours driving distance, I am trying to figure out which would be better– having a studio or just being a travel instructor.

The fella I'm working with from UM told me to build two separate business plans. One for having a studio and one for simply working as a traveling instructor. Let's just say that I'm not exactly business savvy in the sense of building business plans and I'm struggling. Granted, it is all fascinating. Writing the particular things that need to be written is proving more difficult than I imagined. The Executive Summary and Business Description aspects of the plan have me a bit jumbled at the moment. You're supposed to say this and not that, this goes in this section not that section, yada yada. I'll be meeting with Mr. C probably every two weeks (if I can) in order to get everything straightened out and on track.

My next hurdle will be acquiring funds for the start up (if I open a studio). This will be the biggest hurdle I think, mostly because I'm a veteran and therefore I can access funds a bit more easily if I have the SBA's "Veteran" backing to acquire funds. Here comes the kicker, the application process for obtaining a Certificate of Completion (or whatever it is that says I'm a veteran and the SBA has verified all my information) is tedious AND confusing. You have to have so many things for them to certify you as a veteran in need of funds. The process.... well I've seen two separate ways to obtain this piece of paper. Both are equal in length and both are just as confusing. Therefore, I will be making a phone call to the only person in this state that can probably help me. It is also crapy that he is in Jackson, Ms, which is approximately 1.5 hours south of my house. Maybe my next VA appointment can be scheduled on the same day I go visit him? Doubtful but I'm hopeful.

Now, all of this business planning is pending on my completion of my YTT that starts in February 2013. Not that I wouldn't make it through the training, but it is still hinging on becoming certified. I think I could help bring the wonderful aspects of yoga to this town and that people would enjoy it a lot, if they gave it a chance. I'm definitely going to have some marketing to do because word-of-mouth in this town isn't that helpful. I'm going to try to have the word-of-mouth become helpful though by offering group sessions to doctors offices, teachers of the school district, the college campus, and maybe some of the business around here.

Too bad I can't find a way to target the farmers around here.. That would be awesome. Hm, I might have to think about some way to get them interested: "Tired, achy muscles need a break? Come stretch them out at (insert studio name here) during one of our restoration classes.." Eh, so I need some work on my advertising, but I'll think of something haha. After all, I have until next June to start marketing hardcore :).

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