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Hello,

I'm endeavoring, like many others :), to enter into the t-shirt foray as well. Designing/Selling artistic t-shirts. The problem is, I have no background in business, and right now, I sense that I need some structure. A friend of mine, recommended a business plan.

Do any of you guys have a formal business plan?
Can you recommend a good starting plan or guide for me to go by?

I believe I am very talented, and creative, however; I know my weaknesses according to business, planning, and structure.

ANy help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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I didn't use a business plan for my t-shirt business. However, I did for another business I will own in 2006. I found a pretty solid structure of one online and modified to meet my needs. It's good to have everything out on paper in front of you. I am thinking about going back and writing one for Dick Tees even though we are almost a year into a successful online venture.
 

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From my understanding a business plan is always helpful but not necessary if you are planning to grow naturally without debt or outside investors. However, I will recommend two fantastic business books that will help a lot concerning structure and business processes.

1) The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber
2)Lucky or Smart, by Bo Peabody

The first is much more helpful with structure and business processes.
The second is more inspirational when it comes to starting businesses.

Best of luck. Layla
 

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I think it depends on the type of person you are. Some people work well from a structured document like a business plan and some can get help just from the process of creating one (getting them to think about things they didn't realize were part of the business).

That being said, when I started, I didn't have a business plan. I just knew what I wanted to do and had the curiosity and drive to learn how to do it "on the fly".

I think to some people, a business plan can be just another reason to procrastinate from actually "doing" anything. You've just got to figure out what kind of person you are :)
 

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I think no matter what kind of person you are, having a business plan on paper can only help you. I am also an "on the fly" type person. But what I do is, when I have an "on the fly" moment, I just incorporate it into my written business plan.
If you have a business, you have a business plan. It just may be in your head, and not on paper. You come up with an idea (in your head), and you put that idea into action. That's why I think putting down the idea and plan of action that you have in your head onto paper is a good idea. It doesn't have to be structured the way a "traditional" business plan is, if you don't want it to be. But I think putting down your idea (plan) on paper can only help you in the long run. I like to call it "backing up your hard drive". You have all of these great plans in your head, so what would it hurt to put those down on paper. You can always modify it if you need to. It's your plan.
Also, as you get deeper into your business(and alot more busy), you may have ideas that take you away from what you really wanted your company to be or to do. You can go back, take a look at what you orginally intended, and see what you want for your company from an objective point-of-view, rather than an idea that may seem good because you just thought of it, but isn't really what's best for your business overall.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying everyone should have one, or that the only way to be successful is to have one. Just that I don't really see any negatives to having one. If you are successful, why stop there? What if you could be more successful? What if a business plan could actually help you to be?
Websailor,
A good tool that I have used is "business plan maker" and "business plan maker pro". You can get either in almost any store that sells computer software.
It asks you different questions about your company and puts your responses in a business plan format. It can be as loose or as structured as you want it to be.
It sells for about $40. Since you say you don't really have business sense and need some structure, I think this would be perfect for you.;)
 
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