Time line August 08 – June 09
As all things were happening simultaneously I was also working with people who have proven to be trustworthy and are still in the picture today. One of the few remaining people who has been there from the beginning is Danielle Lower, she is the Director of the Womens Business Institute at the Salt Lake community College. She works in tandem with the Small Business Development Center in Salt Lake City. I can’t tell you if every city has one of these programs you’ll have to reasearch for yourself. I found these through the Chamber of Commerce but another place to look would be SCORE. All of these resources are an absolute wealth of information, help and assistance if you are serious about starting a business I suggest you look into all of these resources.
Danielle has been advising me from the beginning and now that I look back she has been one of the biggest helps with the best advice and to think that I paid her nothing for this. Seems to me that the best advice that I’ve received to date has had no price tag attached, while a lot of the advice I paid for was questionable to say the least. Obviously this is not a hard and fast rule but, just my observation.
Danielle is a fantastic woman in many areas, one of the reasons I always liked her was I could tell that money was never her motiviation, she truly likes to teach people how to start and run a business. She instructs a program for refugees to teach them sewing and entrepreneurship skills. In addition to this and all her other duties, she is significantly involved with WIT and travels to Mumbai to help bring unskilled, disadvantaged women there out of poverty though entrepreneurial education and training. I have always admired and respected her but, now that I’ve met a few snakes in the grass I recognize the need to understand what motivates the person giving advice. This lesson I am taking to heart because although you can’t always know someones true motives there are many clues right out in the open, I suggest you notice them because they are important.
Because Mary had me convinced of just how I was going to launch this line complete with marketing and advertising strategy. I began to realize I was going to need more money than I had. Danielle was instrumental in helping me wade through my business plan. If you want a bank to talk to you, you need a business plan. I have since changed my thinking regarding getting a loan but for the sake of staying with the timeline I believed at the time that I needed a loan, a big one. So with that in my head I set about creating a business plan.
I feel so bad for Danielle because this was extremely tedious for her and I can’t tell you how much time she spent attempting to guide me to a workable plan. To this day I think this was the most painful process of all, some of us aren’t good at certain things and this is at the top of my not good at list. I despise writing a business plan, can you tell? What’s even more annoying is that as it stands my business plan right now is nothing more than fiction. Although I believe nothing is a waste if you learn from it and man did I learn from this plan, I still don’t have warm and fuzzies when I think about it.
The idea that I have to redo the plan entirely is not something I am looking forward to. However, I do realize whether you need money or not you still need a business plan. It forces you to think about all the things you want to gloss over, trust me the things you don’t think you need to worry about, put them on the top of your list because those are the things you should spend the most time on. Another tip I’ve picked up along the way, the things that are the biggest pain for me are always in the areas where I am weak. My advice is that you can not gloss over your weaknesses, you don’ t have to love these things but you still have to do them.