Start Here November '21

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Page 79 of 102 75 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 1 take more time, but it could allow you more flexibility in choosing a location, equipment, and the work you want to produce. What Goes Into a Business Plan? The first thing you need to do is create a business plan. This plan should have an ROI (return on investment) model. Create a spreadsheet and a letter explaining the new business plan. Include actual numbers with a timeline that shows how, in time, the busi- ness will start to make money. The business plan should review the basics such as payroll, rent, overhead (electric, heat, etc.), marketing, capitol (equipment), future expansion, expected material costs, vehicles, and anything else needed to make the business successful. Dave Conrad, Mutoh America, says the business plan should look at basics like market strategy, competitive analysis, a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), short- and long-term goals and what you will do to attain them. "This is your blueprint for the business," Conrad says. "It is important to understand where you are, what you have and what opportunities you have to grow to where you want to be. A well thought out business plan is your launch pad for the business." Should You Buy or Lease Your Location? "Cash is king, and unless you have it growing on trees, it is a wise decision to rent your facility to get started," says Conrad. "So many factors will come in to play where you may not have control over and not having to worry about common area maintenance and the day-to-day upkeep of a property will free you up to focus on your business and growing it." Javier Mahmoud, Fujifilm Graphic Systems, declares that depending on cash flow, if you can buy a brick-and-mortar loca- tion, do it. Invest in equipment that allows you to print and customize a greater variety of items. (Image courtesy Roland DGA) The first thing you need to do is create a business plan. Alphagraphics, a shop in Roseville, California, uses a 4' X 8' UV-curing flatbed printer offering durable prints for both indoor and outdoor use. (Image courtesy Mimaki USA)

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