Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Green Drinks -- Business Edition: Debrief of "Build-a-(Green)-Business"

At Green Drinks -- Business Edition on Wednesday, January 31, we went through the steps to Build-a-(Green)-Business. Based on suggestions from the crowd, we initiated a business plan, complete with strategic positioning, for a franchised recycling and composting drop-off center that also sells coffee, called Vermi-caffeinated.

The seminar was meant to illustrate the components of building a vibrant sustainable business, using the metaphor of the popular Build-a-Bear concept. The metaphor made the seminar fun and straight forward, but is still a valuable way to think about building a new enterprise.

Building a business can be a very structured and sequential activity, and planning each important step can reduce a lot of the stress and uncertainty of your new project. As Mary Cotey, the representative of CSBA member Forbo Flooring, often says, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

The steps of building a business aren't rocket science, but laying them out as steps can make a big difference in your success. Be intentional about how you come up with your idea, how you build your business plan, and how you evaluate what happens afterwards. It may just make your new venture as easy as creating a stuffed animal that looks like Elvis.

As if it had been planned, the City's Department of Business Affairs and Licensing is offering seminars on How to Write a Business Plan and How to Finance Your Business this month, along with their Doing Business With the City of Chicago and How to Get Certified with the City, and many others. For more information, visit: www.cityofchicago.org/businessaffairs.


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