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Client Requests and Assignments
 

Client Requests and Assignments

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    Client Requests and Assignments Client Requests and Assignments Presentation Transcript

    • Business Plan Assistance For SCORE 34 Mentors Client Requests and Assignments
    • Client Requests for “Business Plan Assistance”
      • The two most frequent areas of assistance asked by new clients of SCORE are:
      • Starting a Business
      • The Business Plan
      • Both are so vague that it is not clear what knowledge the client has or whether it is even the right question to ask.
    • First--Get to Know Your Client
      • Have your client talk about their current work, their family and their financial position (i.e. own home, credit score, etc.)—very important if client needs a loan
      • Listen more; talk less– have the client get comfortable talking to you
      • Identify their strengths and weaknesses (so you can be prepared to address areas of which they are not aware (e.g., accounting).
    • A Simple Start to Business Planning
      • A Business Plan [BP] is the end product not the next step.
      • Most clients can’t handle the complexity and confusion of even the outline of a BP
      • Use the following 5 Assignments to outline the really key issues before working on the full business plan
    • Five Initial Assignments
      • Answer* each on 1 page of paper:
      • 1. What is my vision of the new business?
      • 2. Can I make money on an individual sale?
      • 3. How much must I sell in a month to make a profit?
      • 4. How much cash do I need to start.
      • 5. Do I have stakeholders buy-in?
        • * Use details in the referenced SCORE Briefs
    • Assignment 1 - Vision
      • 1. What is my vision of the new business?
      • Assignment: Have client write a one page newspaper article about their next year in business, Use the required details outlined in:
      • - Brief # 20.10 Instructions for One Page Newspaper Article
      • Note:
      • - Most clients can write a simple newspaper article whereas a “business plan” is just not yet in their comfort zone. This will also force them to focus on the key issues.
      • -If client is already in business, then do both Part A and Part B of the Assignment #1
    • Assignment 2 – Make Money
      • 2. Can I make money on an individual sale?
      • Assignment: Have client complete a one page form that will identify the estimated gross margin [with no overhead] on a sale. Use one of:
      • - Brief # 20.21 One Page Gross Margin Calculation - Product
      • - Brief # 20.22 One Page Gross Margin Calculation – Service
      • Note: Ignore the fixed costs, just see if the product/service sales price has enough margin to cover the “variable” costs. We will deal with volume and fixed costs later
    • Assignment 3 – Break Even Point
      • 3. How much must I sell in a month to make a profit?
      • Assignment: Have client complete a one-page form that estimates fixed costs and then determines the volume of sales needed to make any monthly profit. Use instructions in Briefs:
      • - Brief # 20.31 One Page BEP Calculation - Product
      • - Brief # 20.32 One Page BEP Calculation - Service
      • Note: client estimates costs and then must up the sales volume until there is enough gross margin to cover it!
    • Assignment 4 - Cash
      • 4. How much cash do I need to get started?
      • Assignment: Have client complete a one-page form that estimates the startup expenses and two months of operating capital needed (inventory, A/R) and then identifies where that cash will come from. Use instructions in:
      • - Brief # 20.40 One Page Needed Cash Calculation
      • Note: client estimates items and amounts then struggles with where all this money will come from. A rough but a good introduction that will let you know whether their business idea has the “smell” of practical.
    • Assignment 5 - Stakeholder
      • 5. Do I have stakeholder buy-in?
      • Assignment: Have client complete the check list to introduce and document potential stakeholder issues.
      • Use:
      • -Brief # 20.50 – Stakeholder Buy-in Check List
      • Note:
      • - Stakeholders are any persons [wife, kids], groups [bank], organizations [employer], or system who affects or can be affected by the proposed business.
      • -Client will probably find this eye opening as they likely will not have thought about a lot of the support/time/other stakeholder issues. This will be used for subsequent discussion of participation in the business.
    • Use of Initial Five Assignments
      • Having simply raised these fundamental issues in the clients language, you have:
      • 1. Identified the KEY issues to be dealt with before all of the confusion and secondary questions of a business plan are tackled.
      • 2. Likely raised real questions in the client ‘s mind about continuing . Not committing family assets to a failure is a WIN!
      • 3. Determine if an economic basis for the business exists.
    • Other Frequently Used Briefs:
      • Pricing Procedures for Retail (Brief # 07.00)
      • Pricing Your Service (Brief # 07.01)
      • Pricing For Manufacturers (Brief # 07.02)
      • Legal Structure (Brief # 02.00)
      • Partnership Agreements (Brief # 02.09)
      • Balance Sheet (Brief # 04.07)
      • Income Statement (Brief # 04.05)
      • Cash Flow Projections (Brief # 04.09)
      • Your Business Accountant (Brief # 04.01)
      • Your Business Attorney (Brief # 08.00)