Us folks here at KLADO believe it's important to build a strong foundation. When we first set out to create a brigadeiro company, we not only had to figure how to do it, but also why.
One of the exercises we did was crafting a business plan. There's two schools of thought about business plans. One believes that it's vital and another believes that it's not required. We were somewhere in the middle.
As we began to develop our brigadeiro recipes we knew that in order to turn our idea into a business, we had to take the time to understand our business. We had a vague idea of what we wanted to do, who we wanted to be and why. The issue was how do we put our thoughts in an organized and succinct fashion? Hello, business plan!
We scoured the web for a good business plan template. I even dug into my old college and work files to see if I had anything archived in my hard drives, but I came up short. After hours of searching, I found a good starting point, thanks to Shopify: https://www.shopify.com/blog/business-plan-template
Jesse and I spent not only hours, but days, writing and re-writing our business plan. We researched extensively our target market - what sandbox we were going to play in. We agreed fundamentally on what we wanted to do, but disagreed on some of the approaches. We went back and forth on what some may deem as silly details, but we wanted to get it right.
Slowly, we began completing each section of the business plan, leaving our executive summary for last. We deliberated on our SWOT analysis (SWOT = Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats). We realized threats were everywhere. Who would've thought election results could be a line item in our SWOT? Tariffs? Mail delays? We have no control on these outside factors, but as part of the business plan, we began to recognize these threats and mitigate accordingly. We thought long and hard on what differentiated us from our competitors. We created a marketing plan.
There was so much information crammed in a twelve page document. After we finished our first draft, a sense of excitement awoken inside of us. We saw, in writing, our business laid out. It clearly spelled out who were were, why we were different, where we were headed and how we'd get there. KLADO began coming to life.
A business plan serves as the blueprint for your house. It's laying the foundation for what you're going to build. Of course, a business plan is not set in stone. It will change. It will evolve. However, we thought it was a crucial starting point for KLADO, since it forced us to think and see our business holistically.
Writing a business plan sucks, but it's a great tool to have in your toolkit! You just have to remember to bring it out sometimes and dust it off!