Small Business Management students from the Minnesota School of Business-Blaine campus applied their knowledge from the classroom to create a business plan for Brandy’s Boutique, a business inspired by owner Brandy Favilla’s passion for helping others achieve their goals.
Brandy’s Boutique gives others the opportunity to expand their businesses by having a storefront for a day at different locations around the Twin Cities, meeting new people, and sharing their product with others. There are many home business owners, home party independent consultants, handmade crafters, and others who rely on word of mouth to expand their business, and Brandy’s Boutique offers an additional outlet for them.
Students Brianna Brown and Courtney Dobratz took the lead on the project. The class collected information about the business from Brandy and put it into a formal business plan. Students then created an executive summary to present to Brandy.
The plan includes a company overview, market analysis, services, competitive comparison, SWOT analysis, marketing plan, operations plan, financial statements, and a growth plan.
According to Mark Hanson, instructor of the course, the business plan project was the highlight of the quarter.
“This plan allows me to have a formal, written document that can change over time and be a breathing document of my overall success,” Brandy said. “I plan to continue to build off the document and watch how my business grows.”
Brandy adds that having this plan allows her to continue to take snapshots of the business’s successes, as well as address the weaknesses and opportunities that are presented.
Brandy has already taken steps to implement some of the suggestions students made and has updated the plan with additional information that has been added to the business since the introductory meeting with students. She’s already taken out a business loan to help with additional marketing and advertising for her show dates, which will help grow her business by increasing the level of traffic coming to her shows.
“We used many skills during this project, which was helpful when I went back to create my own business plan which I’m hoping to put into motion in early2015,” said student Courtney Dobratz. “Going back to write my own was easy, and I was able to model it after Brandy’s.”
Although student Brianna Brown does not plan to start her own business, she was happy to learn the basics behind how to put a business plan together.
“Working with Courtney and learning the aspects of Brandy’s business were enjoyable for me,” she explained. “I learned that things are not as easy as they appear. I am glad that we could help Brandy.”
For more information about Brandy’s Boutique, “like” the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/brandysboutiquemn. Show dates can be found by visiting the events page.