Satchel Burton ’18 LABB 2016-Writing the business plan was a very interesting yet slightly challenging experience. Before this program, I didn’t even know this kind of document existed, let alone written one before. My business partners and I basically had to create a description of our business venture and all of its unique facets. For example, there was a Financials aspect to it as well as a marketing, risk management, and industrial analysis. As you can imagine, there was quite a large amount of work for us to do. The first step we took as a team was to divide up the work so that we could each focus on specific parts and create quality pieces. I was in charge of the Industry Analysis, Competition Analysis, and the Executive Summary.

For the industrial analysis I just took a look at the market in which our company would be competing in, which was the coffee creamer market, and I described its current and future state. Next, I looked at all of our competition and mainly focused on how we could gain an advantage over these other firms. Finally, the executive summary was just a quick summary about what our business venture was and what it entailed. When we all finished our own respected parts we then put them together as a team. This required some editing and conversing so that we were all on the same page. For the finishing touches, we added graphs, important images, and a nice laminated covering so that it presented nice to the investors.

After we completed the business plan, I realized how important it is when really starting a business. There are a few main jobs that the plan does. One, it gives your business organization. It really covers all the areas that need to be addressed and the plan itself forces you to consider every different component and how it all comes together. Second, the business plan is one of the first things investors see when they look at your business. So it is important to have it clear, concise, and filled with useful content that would convince the investor why he or she should put their money into your business. Third, the business plan keeps you accountable. There are tons to work on when starting a business. The plan forces you to make sure you have all your components down and that you are knowledge about every corner of your venture.

All in all, writing the business plan was a great experience and it helped me and my group really understand what our business did, how it would do it, and when it do it. It made our ideas into concrete plans in which we could execute. Thank you very much to the Lilly Endowment for giving me such a great opportunity, I am truly grateful for this program.