Friday, February 3, 2012

Dear Left Brain, I need a business plan

I think my "left-brain" exists only to add the required weight to my head! Its pretty useless otherwise :(

Less than a year ago, I decided I wanted to make a pair of earrings for my friend. I had no idea how to do it, what materials and tools I would need. Blank.
The right-brain took over, and here I am today, having already sold a lot more pieces of jewelry than I ever thought I would even make! This tells me it is time to register my shop as a business. Get there on etsy, make it easier for my customers to buy (instead of emailing back and forth and all), easier for myself to keep track of things, and well, take this to the next level. Besides, the IRS scares the daylights out of me! I do donate all my profits to charity, yet, I think I need to let the IRS know where the donated funds are coming from.

I had been reading all those "Quit Your Day-Job" articles on etsy which gave me  starting point, some basic information about what I need to do to start the shop. Don't want to quit my day-job since I won't be able to donate as much as I do now, but those articles really helped in figuring out what I need to do. Then I checked out books from the library, went over the SBA website and scoured the internet for resources. Everything pointed at one thing: You need a business plan!

Photo courtesy:

I have seen one. Vaguely remember hiring a corporate lawyer to draw up a business plan for me once for a partnership I had in the motel business. I think I didn't finish reading the first page. So you can imagine how excited I am that I need to make one. Myself. Left-brain, wake up. I need help. I dug up the aforementioned business plan. I could not read past the first paragraph this time around.

I downloaded a template from the SBA website, I beat myself into reading that completely and understanding what was needed. When I was done reading, I tried to start filling in the template. Useless, dumb, left-brain!
All I could fill out in that template was my name and address.

Since my left brain was not co-operating, and the right one was not interested, I found something else to do. I took a quiz. The results of which are these:

Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz
The higher of these two numbers below indicates which side of your brain has dominance in your life. Realising your right brain/left brain tendancy will help you interact with and to understand others.
Left Brain Dominance: 4(4)
Right Brain Dominance: 10(10)
Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz


I understand the need for a plan. It would be foolish to bypass that and move forward with anything. Will be difficult too, without the "roadmap" that the b-plan is supposed to be. So I checked out yet another book from the library:

I started reading it yesterday while I was visiting my hairdresser to touch-up my roots. The book gives me some hope. It said my plan does not need to look like a very serious, legal document. It needs to inspire me, and keep me focused and on track and all that. The first exercise said I need to go into a quiet room, create a nice ambience, shut my eyes, breathe in and out...wait! I want a business plan! Not meditation! I brushed off that thought and continued to read. What I read kind of made me feel better...helped me figure out what sort of business I want, why I want it like that, where I wanted it to be in a year, all while I was supposed to be lying down with my eyes shut. I can do that :-)

Well, I have not completely figured out the plan yet. There was no quiet place at the hair-dressers where I could go lie down, you see. But I am not as intimidated either. After my hair appointment, I went to Marshalls and bought me a nice Vera Bradley dry-erase board. To start my business plan.
Left brain, I hope the vibrant colors on that Vera Bradley dry-erase board wake you up and you contribute at least a little bit to my b-plan!

Would love to hear from those of you who are already on etsy, or have their own store about how they got started.


  1. Well I'm not here to give you a business plan but I came here to tell you that your dilemma made for some very enjoyable reading :-D You write really well and straight from the heart (that includes the letter you wrote me). I wish you the very best dear. I'll be figuring business planning WITH you while reading your posts.

    1. Haha, Priya :) Thank you! Straight from the heart is correct...whatever is in my head while I am writing gets written. I had completely forgotten about the letter, a mad one that was :D

      Wait, you don't have a business plan? Bad, bad! You need one :D

  2. Wah Wah.. kya baat hai, i think i know the first person that you made the earrings for...Come on, don't let the Gujju blood flow down the drain, right or left, you have a business plan in all parts of the brain, the jharkhandi's have no right to comment on any business plans :(, give me a job once you have your fortune 500 ready !!

  3. I think i know the friend you made your first pair of earrings :), don't I.. anyways happy to know that it has done so well, don't let the Gujju brain down, right or left, there are business plans all over the place and the Jharkhandi's of the world have no right to comment on business plans so I shall refrain... :)

  4. Nice ideas. Thank you for coming to my blog Kashmira, And about your question on beads on black and white cover sheet -

    Kashmira, I have a tray on top of that black and white cover - see in the 3rd ( or may be 4th pic) also I keep a felt piece to extend my bead project if I need to, that way I only have to clean the tray. It works okay. Hey, thanks for coming to my blogspot. And we do live kind of close by. May be we can do craft shows together sharing a booth or close to each other:) Dita

  5. visiting from BSBP :) the very basics - who do you want to sell to, how much do you want to sell, how much do you need to sell, what do you need to do to achieve that, marketing plan, budget. You already have the who because you have customers, the rest is just building on that :) Let your Right brain be creative with the marketing and design and it will help with the rest too! Back to your BSBP so I can tell you how pretty your necklace is!!

  6. That was really weird,i never know that we have a left brain and right brain,i was thinking if that is second though,business plan is really easy to do,First you need to focus on what you want and search for it and make it very creative.

  7. That's funny Kashmira - I have the Right Brain Business Plan book and have never been able to get into it and work up a plan! This has inspired me to work on a blog series, maybe one others can follow along with too. Glad to see I'm not alone in my vague planning stages.

  8. "You must have chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star." Nietzsche
    Those with organized minds aren't as creative because their thoughts don't have the freedom to mingle.