By Leah Gonzales, WEV Program Manager
The organized and ambitious clients who sign up for WEV’s Smart Entrepreneurial Training course by our second enrollment deadline, have the opportunity to attend a ‘Plan for Success: Paper Napkin Financials’ workshop in advance of the course. Developed by instructor Julie Samson, ‘Paper Napkin Financials’ is a great introduction to basic financial terminology and analysis. After acquainting clients with the necessary small business jargon, she provides a 6-step process for a quick financial assessment of a business idea. While we can’t guarantee (in our best infomercial voice), “in just one hour you’ll know whether or not to pursue your business idea, or your money back,” it IS a good jumping off point to help determine if an idea could be feasible and worth looking into further.
Julie makes an otherwise intimidating process fun and comfortable as she teaches clients to play with their numbers. The key word here is ‘play,’ because more often than not, it is initially a guessing game for start-ups! Projections should be based on research about the industry, what competitors are doing, the owner’s capacity, etc. but really they are a best educated guess. Therefore, flexibility and open-mindedness are an entrepreneur’s best friends when it comes to starting a business.
Things rarely work out exactly as planned and that’s okay! ‘Paper Napkin Financials’ connects clients’ personal finances to their business’, and prompts analysis of current personal budget versus the vision or ideal budget (when your business draw or salary is enough to pay your personal expenses), versus a bare-bones budget that would allow the owner to inject more money into the business. It’s important to separate personal from business finances, but also recognize the impact they have on each other. It’s equally as important to create Plan B, Plan C and so on to make sure personal and business finances can weather times of plenty and scarcity alike.
If you’re thinking of taking SET to start a business, I hope you signed up in time to attend this workshop and WEV’s other Plan for Success workshops. Not to worry, we’ll provide the paper so you can leave the napkins at home!