According to Black Enterprise, as of 2018, there were 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. Within the next 45 years, Black America may make up almost 20 percent of the U.S. population and own more than 2.5 million rapidly-growing enterprises. An estimated 5.8 million women of color owned businesses employ 2.2 million people, and generate $387 billion in revenues. Cue the confetti and commence the applause because we are out here doin it! 

Now, this is where you come in, sis. Do you have the dream, possess the ambition, but are lacking the plan? Well, thanks to Julia Rock, owner of Rock Career Development (RCD), you can now seize the tools to create that business plan to officially get things started. 

Step 1

Writing a business plan can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember, your business plan is to serve as a brief outline of how you plan to successfully start up, run, and grow your business, emphasis on the word brief (no one is reading a 75-page business plan in 2019). There is no expectation that you will be able to forecast and foresee every possible situation, but the business plan helps you to truly flesh out your business concept and effectively convey to potential investors, banks, etc. that you understand your industry, your customers, and your numbers (i.e. financial projections) well enough to make a profitable business. So as you are writing your business plan, start with the critical focus areas such as such as your target market, your competition, and your financials, and then fill in the rest of the details.

Step 2

Most people struggle with the financial projections, but while you may not have any historical results to use for reference, if you have developed a solid understanding of your industry, overall market trends, and customer preference, you can leverage this into creating practical sales forecasts. The same applies to calculate your expected expenses. Knowing your industry and understanding your startup/entry costs, and then the costs to produce/procure, market, and sell your product to customers while running daily operations will allow you to develop a realistic expense outlook.  

Step 3

If a traditional business plan seems like it may still be overwhelming and time-consuming for you to start with, opt to complete a Lean canvas or a similar one-page business plan, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. These one-page plans still include many of the elements from a traditional business plan, but it allows you to simplify your business concept and summarize these areas in a much more manageable, easy-to-digest format. These plans can be used as a starting point to complete a full business plan when you’re ready, or if your expected business structure and financing will be fairly simple, you can head right into execution!

Photo: Julia Rock / Rock Career Development

Rock Career Development is not just a “resume writing” company, it also provides a full suite of career and job search services  to ensure you go from application to actual job offer with the compensation that you desire. In addition, Rock Career Development provides leadership development with a particular focus on women. RCD assists individuals to step up their skills and become more confident leaders in their organization. Most career consulting firms don’t usually have an entrepreneurship strategy arm attached to them, but RCD has made it their mission to help entrepreneurs create sustainable success.

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