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5 Reasons to write a business plan 

As small business owners and entrepreneurs, there are many crucial steps toward starting your businesses and ventures. From accessing capital to branding and marketing, there is a lot that goes into launching a business and turning ideas into reality. One important step that should not be overlooked, is writing a business plan. 

A business plan acts as a roadmap for your business and can be especially helpful when you are first starting out. Many new entrepreneurs may shy away from creating a business plan, thinking it is too difficult or unnecessary, but having one can make all the difference in your entrepreneurial journey. 

Since December is National Write a Business Plan Month we are encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to take that first step and start planning your dream business by writing a business plan. 

5 reasons why you need a business plan

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides various resources to small business owners including advice and services to help you write your business plan. Below are the SBA’s top 5 reasons for why you need a business plan

  1. It will help you steer your business as you start and grow.

Think of a business plan as a GPS to get your business going. A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan like a GPS for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through and detail all the key elements of how your business will run. 

  1. It’s not as hard as you think.

A business plan is a written tool about your business that projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the path your business intends to take to make money and grow revenue. Think of it as a living project for your business, and not as a one-time document. Break it down into mini-plans – one for sales and marketing, one for pricing, one for operations, and so on.

  1. It will help you to reach business milestones.

A well-thought-out business plan helps you to step back and think objectively about the key elements of your business and informs your decision making as you move forward. It is essential whether you need to secure a business loan or not. Keep in mind that the plan does not have to be like an encyclopedia and does not have to have all the answers.

  1. It can help you get funding.

Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Having one in place will help investors feel confident that they will see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you will use to persuade others that working with you (or investing in your business) is a smart decision.

  1. There’s no wrong way to write a business plan.

There is no right or wrong way to write a business plan. You can pick a plan format that works best for you. What’s important is that your business plan meets your needs. Most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional or lean startup.

You might be interested: Employees are quitting in record numbers to start their own business

To help you get started, The SBA offers a Business Plan Tool that helps simplify the process. The tool consists of eight easy-to-follow steps to help create a well-prepared plan.

Female founders and leaders gather for holiday Fundraiser and Silent Auction

Latina in Business’ Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction is a time for giving and receiving. This year, our fundraiser titled Latinas Are Back in Business, will focus on celebrating the successes of female entrepreneurs and founders, supporting each other, sharing the struggles and lessons learned during the pandemic, and amplifying the voices of minority small business owners. 

The Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction will take place on December 8 from 4pm to 7pm, featuring special guests, celebrities and female founders. 

“We are extremely excited and grateful that many sponsors and members are joining us to amplify the voice of  Latinas suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic.  We want to bring a little joy and hope to many female founders and tell them we will continue to support them,” Susana G Baumann. President and CEO, said.   

Join us for this free virtual event on Wednesday, December 8 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm EST –Zoom and Live streamed on Latinas in Business Facebook page. 

You won’t want to miss this event! Register Now! 

 Guest speakers to share their stories of business and success as female founders 

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah, CEO and Founder, Red Shoe Movement

Mariela Dabbah is the founder and CEO of the Red Shoe Movement, a leadership development company powered by a global community of women and men allies who support each other for career success. She is also a TEDx and International speaker, award-winning, best-selling author and go-to corporate authority for Fortune 500 companies interested in inclusive cultures.  

Dr Ginny A. Baro, founder of Fearless Women at Work.

Dr Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning international motivational speaker, certified leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. Named one of the Top 100 Global Thought Leaders, she delivers coaching programs, trainings, and keynotes to global audiences to develop individual women and leaders and helps Fortune 500 companies build inclusive leadership dream teams.

 

Rosario B. Casas is an award-winning women-in-tech advocate, co-founder of Business Creative Partners, leading digital adoption and transformation for Hispanic owned businesses. She is a Colombian-born serial entrepreneur, with over 8 years of practical experience in data and technology platforms and management roles. Most recently, she co-founded  Brooklyn2Bogota, a digital incubator for Hispanic business owners. The program aims to help close the digital divide post-COVID for business owners and entrepreneurs 

Tania Molina, founder and CEO of Villakuyaya Organic Dark Chocolate.

Tania Molina is the founder and CEO of Villakuyaya Organic Dark Chocolate. Originally an architect by profession, Tania shifted her career in 2014 with the entrepreneurial dream to create her own chocolate brand. Drawing on her Ecuadorian roots, Tania created Villakuyaya with quality ingredients and sustainable practices as her guiding goals. 

Lourdes Lulu Carey

Lourdes “Lulu” Carey, owner and founder of SweetLove gifts.

Lulu Carey is the owner and founder of SweetLove gifts, an online gift shop that personalizes a variety of products, from wine bottles to balloons and surprise gift boxes. Lulu started her business during the pandemic after discovering her creative side this past year. From hobby to business, Lulu shares her story as a new entrepreneur and the challenges and successes throughout her journey so far. 

Erica Sandoval, author and clinical therapist.

Erica Sandoval is a passionate licensed clinical therapist who is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is also committed to amplifying the voices and businesses of Latinx social work leaders. Erica’s book, Latinx In Social Work, has been named a #1 Best Seller New Release on Amazon. 

Jacqueline Camacho

Jacqueline Camacho Ruiz, entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, philanthropist and pilot. 

Jacqueline Camacho Ruiz is a visionary social entrepreneur that has created an enterprise of inspiration. As an entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker, and philanthropist she has created two successful award-winning companies, two nonprofit organizations, published over a dozen books, created many products, and held dozens of events around the world in just the past decade. Additionally, she is one of the few Latina sports airplane pilots in the United States, living by the motto: “taking off is optional, landing on your dreams is mandatory.”

Pilar Avila, founder of interDUCTUS, and  Renovad experiential retreats.

Pilar Avila is the founder of organizational change management consulting practice, interDUCTUS, and  Renovad experiential retreats. After building a fruitful career over 26 years providing leadership at institutions across the private equity, hospitality, and nonprofit sectors, Pilar decided to launch a consulting practice as a boutique lifestyle business inspired by her journeys across 5 continents and 18 countries, and the desire to spend more quality time with the extraordinary women who serve as her mentors and collaborators. 

Crystal Berger is the Founder of EBO.

Crystal Berger is the Founder of EBO, an on-demand expert bookings API that is committed to breaking barriers to entry in media using emerging technology. She is also the host of the Counter Culture Podcast, and a lifestyle contributor using emerging tech to break barriers to entry in media and corporate as a media tech entrepreneur. Berger has been recognized as a NAACP Award-Winning Journalist and is a Social Media Ambassador for the United Nations.

Nicole Mason, National CEO of Lemonade Day.

Nicole Mason serves as the National CEO of Lemonade Day, a non-profit committed to preparing youth for life by instilling an entrepreneurial spirit. For 15 years, Lemonade Day has offered youth K-8 an entrepreneurial and experiential program infused with life skills, character development, financial and business literacy, and mentorship. Their vision is for all children to be introduced to entrepreneurship through the real-world experience of starting their own business – a lemonade stand, the quintessential first business for young entrepreneurs.

silent auction

Register now for our Silent Auction for a chance to win big prizes from our donors! 

This year’s Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction is all about giving and receiving. For over a year, small businesses and entrepreneurs have struggled through hardships due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As an organization, Latinas in Business has been committed to amplifying the voices of minority small business owners and female founders through these turbulent times. 

Our fundraiser this year, titled Latinas Are Back in Business, aims to bring together our vibrant community of business owners and entrepreneurs to celebrate their success and share their stories and experiences throughout the pandemic.  

The Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction will take place on December 8 from 4pm to 7pm, featuring special guests, celebrities and female founders. 

“We are extremely excited and grateful that many sponsors and members are joining us to amplify the voice of  Latinas suffering during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many female founders have suffered losses not only in their businesses but also in their families and friends.  We want to bring a little joy and hope to many female founders and tell them we will continue to support them,” Susana G Baumann. President and CEO, said.   

Join us for this free virtual event on Wednesday, December 8 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm EST –Zoom and Live streamed on Latinas in Business Facebook page. 

You won’t want to miss this event! Register Now! 

Register and make a bid for a chance to win big prizes! 

The silent auction portion of the event will feature big prizes from our donors and fellow minority business owners, female founders, and entrepreneurs. Register for the event and make a bid for a chance to win one of these prizes. Below is a list of our confirmed donors so far, with more to come! View the full auction page here

fundraiserCrate & Twine Gift Box donated by co-founder Tania Molina. Crate & Twine combines the efforts of two strong, independent small business women from two distinct fields of industry. Tania, creator and owner of Villakuyaya Organic Dark Chocolates, and Suany Baca, creator and owner of Sweets by Suany, came together with a vision of uniquely curated gift boxes centered around Tania’s chocolates and Suany’s cookies and sweets, and filled in with heart and soul items that give the receiver of the gift box a feeling of love and pride from receiving.   

Win one of these beautiful gift boxes to share with a loved one this holiday season. The gift box includes: Villakuyaya Chocolate Bars (3), Villakuyaya Hot Chocolate Jar, Villakuyaya Truffles (4), Sweet by Suany Alfajores Marplatences (2), Sweet by Suany Design Christmas Cookies (2), Sweet by Suany Choco Bomb by Villakuyaya Chocolate, Christmas Rompope, Palo Santo by South Rhoades Apothecary, Crocheted Mini Christmas Gnome by Lnkreactions, Fancy Matches by Candlefolk, and a Custom Candle. 

Create your Business or Career Vision for 2022! donated by Dr. Ginny A. Baro. Connect with Dr. Ginny for a private 1-hr. VIP strategy & business acceleration session AND a copy of Dr. Ginny’s latest best-seller “Healing Leadership” book.

During that one hour, Dr. Ginny Baro will cover the top 3 challenges and create a 12-month practical action plan based on what’s most important and meaningful to you!

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning international motivational speaker, certified leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work. Named one of the Top 100 Global Thought Leaders, she delivers coaching programs, trainings, and keynotes to global audiences to develop individual women and leaders and helps Fortune 500 companies build inclusive leadership dream teams.

Group Session for 6 donated by Erica Sandoval. Erica is a passionate licensed clinical therapist who is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is also committed to amplifying the voices and businesses of Latinx social work leaders. 

This prize includes an inspiring group session for 6 people on “How to Set Boundaries & Cultivate Joy with Latino Families this Holiday Season” Or “Navigating Difficult Conversations.”

Additionally, winner will receive a copy of Erica’s book, Latinx In Social Work, #1 Best Seller New Release on Amazon. 

3-month Business Coach and Advisor to Grow! donated by Jennifer Garcia. Jennifer Garcia is a multi-faceted business professional and leadership coach with a passion for empowering people and transforming businesses. 

Jennifer is also the founder of Fluential Leadership, a business and leadership consulting firm focused on elevating small-to-medium-sized business performance through developing and executing growth strategies, recruitment, and retaining talent. 

Let Jennifer guide you and help you grow your business with this 3-month coaching package! 

Improve your Life with YOGA virtual classes! donated by Norma Colón. Win 2 Sessions of 5 classes each that will teach you simple techniques!

Norma Colón, a proud Latina, born and raised in The South Bronx, brings her passion for Iyengar Yoga to every class and private lesson.

A Certified Iyengar Yoga instructor since 1999, (with other prior certifications) Norma has been practicing and teaching Yoga for more than 40 years, in the tradition of Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar since 1987. Norma has studied with many of the world’s top Iyengar Yoga teachers as well as with her Guru, B.K.S. Iyengar and his daughter, Gita Iyengar. She continues her studies with Abhijata Iyengar, even on Zoom.

Private YOGA classes to jumpstart your wellness! donated by Norma Colón. Place a bid on this prize for a chance to win 3 private yoga classes with Norma, an experienced certified yoga instructor with over 40 years teaching and specializing in Iyengar Yoga. 

Reconnect to the Power Within with RENOVAD donated by Renovad Experiential Retreats. Renovad hosts world-class renovation experiences around the globe in destinations that evoke relaxation, inspiration and adventure, providing women of consequence a unique opportunity to reinvigorate mind, body, and soul. 

Bid for a chance to win a $500 GIFT CERTIFICATE towards one Renovad 2022 Experiential Retreat.*

Choose from the following upcoming Retreats:

MOROCCO: Zagora Desert, Marrakech & Atlas Mountains, May 27 – June 4, 2022, OR GREECE: Athens, Paros & Santorini, Sept 3-10, 2022.

*Valid with the purchase of a complete CORE RETREAT PROGRAM. Please find additional information about these trips: https://www.renovad.co/retreats

fundraiser4 VIP Tickets to Disney on Ice at Prudential Center in Newark, NJ donated by Investors Bank.

Thanks to Investors Bank, one of our amazing sponsors for this event, you will have a chance to make memories with your entire family at Disney On Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! at Prudential Center in Newark NJ.

See your favorite Disney characters like never before! VIP tickets for the best location

We will also be giving away a number of Latina Inner Circle Memberships during the silent auction to all who participate on December 8 from 4 pm to 7 pm on our Facebook LIVE Streaming event.

To view the full list of prizes and donors, visit the silent auction page here. For more information and to register for the event visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/208728290937.

startups and entrepreneurs

7 Tips startups and entrepreneurs should consider to avoid going down

As a former member of SCORE, an organization that provides advice for startups and entrepreneurs, I used to talk weekly to men and women who were planning to start their own business. In a turbulent and uncertain economy, it might seem a great idea. Those who have an entrepreneurial spirit are enticed to pursue their dreams.

startups and entrepreneurs

Young or middle age, professional or skilled, men or women, it was always amazing to see how many of them have very unrealistic expectations about what entitles to run a business. Some not only lacked abilities and knowledge of the everyday operation but also the necessary assets and funding to start and sustain the business.

Many years ago, developing the vision and planning of my own business was a very exciting time. My thinking was “If I can do this for someone else, I can do it for myself.” I envisioned the perfect picture of a successful business but had very little idea of how to run it. Although I had excellent professional skills as a translator, I lacked the operational and financial acumen to pursue this new venture. I was lucky enough to get good advice and in time acquired that experience.

Most prospective startups and entrepreneurs find themselves at the same starting point. So the task of SCORE members is to “drop some bombs”. If you are thinking about starting your own business, considering these specifics might help you make a decision.

  1. You are your own boss and something else

Working for someone else is doing what you do best, and why you have been hired in the first place. When working for yourself, you dedicate 60% of the time –and sometimes even more– to tasks involving other professional skills such as accounting, hiring and managing people, marketing and selling, investing in equipment, and planning and evaluating your business. In other words, you become the CEO, the CFO, the PM, the OM, and the sales force of your business, and work an average of 60 to 80 hours a week. Are you willing to sacrifice time with your family and other activities to do so?

  1. Forget your vacations and other benefits for a long time

As an employee, you receive a salary, benefits, paid time off, annual vacations and probably some sort of health coverage. Startups and entrepreneurs might not have all those benefits for a long time until their business really takes off. Can you and your family be covered in someone else’s plan –your spouse’s, for instance? Do you understand you probably won’t have time or money to take a vacation for a long time?

startups and entrepreneurs

  1. You got a new family

Hiring and managing employees entitles not only to have a thorough knowledge about labor laws but also the skills to handle other people’s personal lives. You need to have good character judgment when you hire someone, provide training and tools for your employees to do their jobs, be ready to demand the right performance, and deal with their personal and family problems –most employees become part of “your” family. Also, you need the guts to fire them if the person does not fit in the company’s culture or you need to make business decisions. Are you ready to follow through?

  1. It takes money to make money

Startups and entrepreneurs’ new ventures usually require deep pockets. Unless you bring clients from another business setting, or you started a side business and then you expanded into a full-time activity, clients will certainly take time to show up. You need to build credibility and a brand name among customers. Overhead expenses can be very costly, especially if you have a “brick and mortar” location, which asks for rent, utilities, maintenance, and probably a considerable set up investment. Also, you need reserve funding to sustain your business during rainy days, and a substantial cash flow to pay vendors and employees.

  1. This or that?

Making sound decisions about the type of business you have in mind is a bumpy road. Starting as a consultant with a virtual office is cheaper and faster than opening a store in the local mall and buying merchandise. I advised a woman once who was crazy about a line of products she used and loved, and thought she could sell it; she was looking at a small store in a stripping mall with a monthly rent of over $2000. She was counting on her lifetime savings –not enough to sustain the business for more than three months– and credit cards for startup costs. She had a full-time job, good credit and never had retail experience before. I was torn because I saw a bleak future and shared my concerns with her, and that was all I could do. The decision, in the end, was hers.

startups and entrepreneurs 3

  1. Where is the boss?

Although you are the front face of your business, your best bet is to find and train people to step in at any time. Not an easy task, but learning to delegate was one of the most difficult lessons for me. Because you are so invested in your business –in money and expectations– it is very easy to take over other people’s jobs if you feel they are not performing at their best. So you end doing everybody’s job instead of steering the business, which is your main objective.

  1. Do not forget the big picture

Building a business you can eventually sell is something you might not have in mind when you start but definitely something to be considered. Life changes and although you think your business will last forever, your children might not be interested in following your steps, or you might get sick, or your spouse might have to move to another job and location. At those times, having the ability to sell your small business could become a better option than just closing the doors and letting go of many years of effort.

Keeping in mind these and other factors might allow you to develop a productive small business with realistic expectations, and avoid getting trapped in your own dream.