Case Study How a business plan helped launch StyleTrail

Updated: Aug 25

"We hired Kasia because we needed a business plan for our company, Style Trail, so that we could apply for an accelerator program in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area. Working with Kasia was very easy. She was a very responsive and very eager to help us with our business needs. With the business plan she wrote for us, we were accepted into multiple accelerator programs. We are now able to target our core customers based on the information that Kasia provided. I have recommended Kasia’s services to my colleagues!"

Eric Warner, like many entrepreneurs, saw a need in the market, a very specific need. When he was on his way to get his hair cut he noticed an archaic “Help Wanted” sign in front of the barbershop he frequents. After returning a few weeks later, Eric saw that it was still there, the position had not been filled. The thing about Eric is that he is a natural problem-solver and he loves helping others, especially businesses in his community. So, Eric was determined to find a more effective way to fill these job positions with licensed stylists, thereby increasing the shop owner’s revenue and productivity. So, he came up with the idea for StyleTrail.


StyleTrail is a mobile app designed to help barbers and hair business owners find qualified, licensed stylists. Style Trail connects shop owners to talented beauty professionals to fill their empty booths and provides licensed barbers and cosmetologists with unoccupied, professional work spaces all over the world.


Eric gained the necessary experience, but lacked the specific expertise to start his own business. As a natural problem solver, he began a quest to find the information he needed to succeed and stumbled upon a life-changing book, “The Lean Startup”, by Eric Ries, which inspired him to become a founder.


Like many of us, Eric was taught that a traditional 9-5 job was the best way to earn a paycheck. However, like many of us, he found that working a full-time day job was not as fulfilling. This lifestyle lacked flexibility and freedom to explore new concepts and ideas, so he began working as a consultant. This consulting experience provided him the opportunity to develop the discipline and time management skills that are crucial for an entrepreneur.



Challenges

When Eric came to me he needed a business plan to submit to an accelerator program in Baltimore, MA. An accelerator program is a a highly selective, intensive program that offers the funding, mentorship, education and networking necessary to jump-start growth.

The business plan had to describe the business idea, the problem, solution, the owners experience, the need, the target market, why customers will use the product/services, who the competitors are and how the business will make money. In Eric’s case, he already had a business plan which was a great start.


When an entrepreneur wants to start a business the best way to start is with a business plan. But many times because you are working on other parts of the business you just don’t have the time to edit, proofread, up-to-date information, accurate financials, etc. That’s when you need a business plan writer to come in and take it to that next level. And that’s exactly what Eric needed.


Solution

When I took on Eric’s business plan I saw that he did a great job but in order for it to be submitted into the different accelerator programs he needed someone who could be 100% focused on his business plan to bring it to that professional level. So I edited the business plan, made sure the information was up-to-date, easy to read, natural flow of information, accurate financials, reconstructed the format, and gave it a more professional feel.


Benefits/Results

To date Eric has been able to use his business plan to enroll in 2 accelerator programs -BCAN (Creative Startups) and Founder Gym. He has also gathered a list of over 100,000 contacts within the beauty industry and 50 committed Beauty Professionals.


He is currently working on establishing a solid foundation for his business. By being accepted into these accelerator programs he has access to their network of professionals, other startups, and making connections. Through these accelerator programs, Eric has access to mentorships, investors, and other support to help his business, StyleTrail, become a self-sufficient business.


Eric had a goal, to help local business and he followed through with a business plan and now he’s on his way to turning his business into a solid business. You can write a business plan out on your own like Eric and then have it edited by a professional or you can have one professionally written from start to finish by me, a professional business plan writer.


Final Thoughts

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” --Antoine de Saint
  1. Secure funding – 36% were successful with a plan compared to only 18% without a plan AND

  2. Increase business – 64% saw growth in a 12 month period compared to 43% who stayed the same, decreased or closed altogether.

Researchers say that “Except in a small number of cases, business planning appeared to be positively correlated with business success. While our analysis cannot say that completing a business plan will lead to success, it does indicate that the type of entrepreneur who completes a business plan is also more likely to run a successful business.”* *Sourcehttp://timberry.bplans.com/2010/06/real-data-on-the-success-of-business-planning.html


Lastly, I want to mention accelerator programs. These programs are great for entrepreneurs who want to gain valuable experiences from experts in their industry, to turn their business idea into a self-sufficient business. Many times in order to be accepted into an accelerator program you need a business plan. So for your business plan needs, contact me or check out my services page.


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