Self-Employment and Business Plan Development

Self-Employment and
Business Plan
Stephen J. Swain, ATP
Rural Rehabilitation Specialist
Breaking New Ground Outreach Program
Purdue University
Purdue University New Ventures Team
Overview of Session
VR Small Business Enterprise Program
VR Process
VR Required Business Plan
Businesses I have worked with
What I have learned – VR and Clients
Improvements to the program
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
and Business Development in
• Vocational Rehabilitation Services has
available a small business enterprise
program to its clients
• The program requires a comprehensive
business plan
Small Business Enterprise Program
• It is only for start-ups, you cannot expand
an existing business.
• The program offers up to $30,000 the first
year and up to $15,000 the second year
for products and modifications to start a
Small Business Enterprise Program
• Vocational Rehabilitation Services will
provide up to 75% of start-up costs –
Client is responsible for a 25% match of
cash or in-kind.
• The products and modifications include:
– Training
– Professional, trade, or other
Small Business Enterprise Program
– Technical assistance or consultations
(for BNG, it is $250 per day plus
– Market analysis
– Necessary assistive technology
– Initial and turnover stock of raw
materials and inventory
Small Business Enterprise Program
– Insurance – Liability and Property
– Building remodeling
– Accounting, bookkeeping, legal counsel
– Advertising, Internet
– Heating and cooling, electricity,
telephone, cell phone
– Equipment, including Computers
Purdue University
Cooperative Extension
New Ventures Team
A team of Purdue University Extension
Educators and Campus Specialists who
assist entrepreneurs through:
• Individual and Group Consultations
• Publications
• Workshops and Conferences
• Web-Based Business Planner
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Apply for services or reopen client case
Complete initial Individual Plan of
Employment (IPE)
Some cases, VR pays for client to attend
Small Business Development Center
Business Plan Class (NxLevel Training –
a 12-week business plan writing course)
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Refine Business Plan to VR’s outline
Submit Business Plan to VR Counselor
and Office Supervisor
Preliminary Review of Business Plan by
VR Counselor and Supervisor
If questions about plan, return to client
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Resubmit business plan to VR counselor
Independent Review Committee (VR
supervisor, SBDC supervisor, CPA,
business owners, bankers, SCORE)
Business Plan Reviewed by VR
Approval, Refined, or Denied
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
If Approved, Complete Individual Plan of
Employment (IPE)
Final Approval
Officially Start Business
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Typically, there is no cash exchanged
between the client and VR for products
or modifications. VR is sent an invoice
and pays for the product or services.
The equipment provided by VR is not the
clients until their case is closed and the
business is sustainable at the end of 18
months to 2 years. VR can take
equipment back which they paid for.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
• The client reports to the VR counselor
monthly and is required to provide a
financial report at least quarterly and
sometimes monthly. The counselor may
make periodic visits to the business to
assess its progress. There may be
outside consultants asked to assist during
the start-up period.
Basic Required VR Business
Plan Outline
I. Title Page
II. Table of Contents
III. Introduction
A. Executive Summary
B. Purpose of the Business Plan
C. Statement of Goals and Objectives
Basic Required VR Business
Plan Outline
IV. Operating Plan
A. Ownership and Management
B. Other Staffing
C. Location
D. Operating Schedule
E. Operating Procedures
Basic Required VR Business
Plan Outline
IV. Operating Plan (Continued)
F. Tools and Equipment
G. Raw Materials/Product Inventory
Needs and Suppliers
H. Purchased and Contracted Services
I. Family, Community, and
Professional Supports
J. Inventory Control
Basic Required VR Business
Plan Outline
V. Marketing Plan
A. Target Market and Demand
B. Assessment of the Competition
C. Identify the Market Niche that the
Business will Occupy
D. Product/Service Pricing
E. Advertising Strategies
F. Distribution/Delivery Methods
Basic Required VR Business
Plan Outline
VI. Legal Issues
VII. Cost Projections
A. For Establishment of the Business
B. Projected Revenues, Expenses,
and Net Income Statements for the
First Two Years of Continuing
Business Operations
Basic Required VR Business
Plan Outline
VIII. Monitoring Plan (who will oversee
IX. Appendices: Supporting
Documentation (such as resume’, cash
flow sheets, balance sheets, breakeven
Business Plans Explored
Organic Produce*
Lawn Care & Snow Removal*
Pet Grooming*
Metal Detector Sales
Livestock Production – contract and
independent producer
Lawn Mowing and Clean-up
(* Businesses Approved for Funding)
Business Plans Explored
Wildlife Control*
Small Engine Repair
Embroidery, Bookkeeping, Tax Preparation*
Resale Shop
Smoked Turkey and other smoked meats
Ultra-Light Aircraft Flying Lessons
Technical Graphics
Business Plans Explored
Aroma Therapy Soap
Welding Shop
Petting Zoo
Indian Jewelry
Corn & Soybean Resin Plastics
Pet Hay
Sign Shop
Business Plans Explored
Custom Kitchen Cabinets
Woodworking & Sculpture*
Wooden Repair & Fabrication*
Antique Refinishing & Auto/Boat Fabric
Golf Tees
Medical Devices
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
From Vocational Rehabilitation Services
• Each office handles small business
enterprise cases different
• Each counselor handles small business
enterprise cases different
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
From Vocational Rehabilitation Services (cont.)
• Some supervisors have told their counselors
not to do any small business enterprise plans
• In some offices, the proposal must be
presented in the Required VR Business Plan
Outline, others it does not.
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
From Vocational Rehabilitation Services (cont.)
• Some offices ask the client to present their
business plan before the review committee
and others don’t
• Some offices do not have a independent
review committee in place
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
From Vocational Rehabilitation Services (cont.)
• The number of business plans in each office
depends on the counselors and their past
history with the program and your success
with clients on their business plans.
• Some offices have people that know
business and others don’t, so we have to
guide them.
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
• From Clients:
– Most clients don’t have any idea how to
write a business plan
– Most clients have a business idea but
don’t know how to develop it into a
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
From Clients:
– “I don’t have any competition. No one
makes or sells a product like mine.”
– Who are they going to sell to, how much
do they need to sell, and are there
enough people out there to sell to?
– Don’t know how they are going to
market the product?
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
• Most clients like the production side of the
business and ignore or put-off the
business side. It is more fun to make
something than to put together advertising
or sell.
• It is more work than they expected.
• Most clients expect to receive cash with
little accountability.
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
Additional Lessons from Others
Ticket-to- Work
Trial Work Period
Extended Work Period
Social Security Benefit Planners
What I have Learned in the Last
2+ Years
That I am smart enough to know that I
don’t know all of the rules and
regulations and that I have to rely on
other professionals so I don’t screw
my clients benefits up.
• There is assistance available to assist
clients write a business plan – internet,
universities, Small Business Development
Centers, etc.
• There are no grants available that I know
of to help with a start-up business except
Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
How to Improve System
1. Standardize process between offices and
2. Utilize a standard review committee
3. Insure that it is an option available to all
clients. Not all clients can or will want to
take advantage of the program, but at
least they will know it is there.

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