I don’t believe in business plans anymore.
Professor LaTanya White
Growth Mindset Coach and Business Development Expert
Professor LaTanya White is a growth mindset business coach for multicultural women and minority entrepreneurs. She helps them navigate through their confusion, fear, and insecurity to a place of clarity, confidence, and competence on their journey to Becoming FEARLESS- her proprietary (and wholistic) business development process.
Professor White has been featured in several media outlets including Ask.com, Essence Magazine, Florida A&M University magazine, Forbes.com and SiriusXM Radio.
…and I haven’t believed in them since I traveled to Bali Indonesia to participate in the inaugural cohort for The Change School (formerly Change Ventures) in 2013. Change Ventures was a social entrepreneurship accelerator program that challenged the participants to go from idea to market in 30 days.
I write about one of the most impactful experiences of my life, one that truly oriented to me to what I feel is my life’s purpose, as a participant in that very first cohort in my first book, Becoming FEARLESS. The long and short of it is, anyone can easily accomplish this…with just a little bit of retraining.
As an advocate for Black and ethnic minority entrepreneurship, there are so many assumptions about what we think it types to launch and grow a viable business idea- assumptions that the White majority just don’t operate under.
Waiting to start your business until after you write a business plan is one of them!
Let’s face it: if you think your business idea has the possibility to change the way we move through the world and improve the quality of life for people around the world, can the world really afford to wait until you think your idea is perfect enough to ‘put it out there’? If that is the case, then you must be really comfortable with the idea of putting your purpose on hold as well. #jussayin
Enough of me lecturing though :).
What you will find below are my go-to resources (in priority order) for launching and growing almost any business idea you have. Although, you have the entire semester to implement these resources, it actually be done 30 days or less….it all just depends on how motivated you are.
My goal in this class is for you to walk away with the entrepreneurial skillset and business structure that will allow you to go to Sunbiz.org and officially register your business an an LLC in the State of Florida. But that’s only two parts of the three-legged stool. The last leg is the entrepreneurial mindset- and that’s a whole ‘nother undertaking. I’m up for the challenge if you are, though!
Follow this itinerary to continue the journey to your entrepreneurial legacy.....
Part 6: Brand Kit Development
Bespoke (adjective): Custom-made; dealing in or producing customized experiences
Now that you have a street-level of how your Prospect feels, prepare to take a deep dive into color meanings. Be able to discuss the history (if applicable) and what the color means in general. Make the connection between this background information and how it is important to your business.
The next aspect of this production is font selection. You will need to identify and select fonts that you will use for your headings, subheadings, and body of the different forms of content you and your team will create.
Based on the humanistic and emotional connection you should have with your future first customer, select the colors and fonts that would speak most to that Perfect Prospect (with the understanding that she or he represents your larger target audience). With the Canva Color Wheel, you can create and download your color palette with images of the specific colors and the relevant color numbers.
Include this palette in your company style guide. Use a blank Presentation template in Canva showcasing your fonts and specific colors. The slide(s) should include the business name, tagline the design elements that you would want in your logo. You can draw inspiration for those design elements by clicking on the Elements icon in Canva, which can be found on the left side of the screen whenever you are drafting any type of design in Canva.
One of the culminating aspects of this bespoke experience you are creating for your customers is your website. Donald Miller, author of Building a StoryBrand, suggests there are 5 things that every website should include. Sign up on his website to learn what they are for free! Your final deliverable is updating your website to incorporate each of those five things along with design elements of the brand kit that you have just created.
Part 7: Business Operations & Training Manual
With more than 20 years’ experience in business development, customer relationship management, integrated marketing communications and strategic pricing, I have found that the shortest distance between an idea and executing the idea is Business Model Canvas. The 20-minute video below translates the Business Model Generation concept so you can build your own in the creation of your Business Operations Manual (BOM).
A finished BOM is a document file that incorporates your brand identity (color scheme, fonts and logo if available) and is the detailed, written version of your business model canvas.
Using design principles and free software like Canva, Easely, or Spark by Adobe, create an internal training document that does the following:
1) Tells the story about the people you serve and paints the vision of your impact according to your Empathetic Business Design; and
2) Outlines in specific detail the way each aspect of the business should operate given your Business Model Generation.
Formatted like a magazine and uploaded to your website, the cover page of your organization’s BOM should be so visually enticing that someone wants to open it up and read it. While protecting the brand identity, it should be entertaining, inspiring and educational. Everything that you have done up until now (if you have gotten and incorporated my feedback) should make this easy to do.
Part 8: Pitch Presentation
In preparing for take-off, your final submission will be a voice-over video pitch (think of it as an infomercial) based on Guy Kawaski’s The Art of the Start. Use this Pitch Deck Template to pitch the business idea that you are developing.
The visual elements and slides should be on-brand, with a color scheme and font that is consistent with the brand identity you previously created.
It should be no longer than 5 minutes in length and should end with a strong call to action. Make sure that your call to action is consistent with everything in the pitch that leads up to the call to action. For instance, if your Problem, Value Proposition, Underlying Magic, etc. slides are speaking mostly to your future customers, then your call to action to should speak to them and not potential investors. The direct call to action from your StoryBrand should fit seamlessly in this pitch.
Create an account on Loom.com to create a voice-over for your video pitch. You will want to do 2-3 run throughs to ensure that you master the technology and get your timing perfected, however, this assignment should not require any editing of the final video.
Once complete, post the link to your voice-over video pitch on your website.