Start Ups are exhilarating and sometimes anguishing. More importantly, for many starting a business is unchartered territory met with anxiety and fear. However, one can extinguish these feelings with proper planning. This year marks the 10th anniversary of my bakery. Building a business has been the greatest challenge of my life. The lessons that I learned not only built my business but my character as well. My desire is share as much information that I’ve learned to help you avoid pitfalls and help you grow and sustain your business.
Business plans provide a road map. As an entrepreneur never overlook this critical first step. Create one immediately, first and foremost. In hindsight, I wish that I had developed a plan in the infancy stage of my bakery. Unfortunately, I prepared a business plan well after making to decision to start a business. During this time, I repeated the simple mistakes, never progressing. Eventually, I discovered a wonderful program sponsored by The University of Houston helped to rescue my bakery.
A 12 week program named, Stimulating Urban Renewal through Entreprenuership (SURE) answered my prayers. Each entrepreneur partnered with a consultant, a UH student earning a business degree. We learned how to manage a business as well as personal finances. At the end of the program each entreprenuer graduated with a laptop, business plan, an opportunity to pitch our business ideas to a panel of business analyst representing KIVA ZIP. Most importantly, we gain more knowledge about entreprenuership.
SURE provided the springboard for my bakery. The next year my products were sold in several stores around Houston including Nordstrom, Houston Panini and Provisions, Rice University and every community that I drafted in the business plan that I neglected to prepare initially. Do not hesitate or procrastinate; write your business plan today.