It looks like the main thing that we will be measured on during the initial phase of the ITP program is our business plan. At the beginning of the second week, Karen talked about the components of the business plan and we had to submit one of the components a couple of days later. Every two weeks, we will have a review to see how we are doing on a particular component of the Business Plan.
Basically, the business plan is broken down into four parts. The first part talks about our business profile, who we are and what we do. The second part focuses on our understanding of the market and how we fit into it. In the third part, we discuss our main project a little and also discuss some of our secondary sources of revenue.
The last part deals with our financials and the executive summary. We will forecast what we will do to generate revenue and how much revenue we will get. The scary thing about this part is that we are expected to be self-sufficient. At the very least, by the end of the program, we should be generating enough regular, consistent income to replace the money we are getting paid to be on the program.
Obviously, we all want to be earning more than that, but the nature of the business is that it is unlikely that our main project – or primary stream – will start to generate income initially. It’s just very challenging for that to happen. So, if you don’t have an established secondary stream of income (something that will pay while you shop your project around), you need to get that established, too. Gulp.
Most of the people that come in to talk to us will discuss things that might be a part of the Business Plan or be a component of the strategy to implement the business plan. The challenge is that because of people’s schedules, some of the people coming in to discuss some topics will come in after that particular component is due. But I think that reflects the nature of the business – sometimes you just have to wing it or do as much as you can with the resources you have.
It’s all a work in progress. Our official classes end in mid-January and then we have a week and a bit to put the finishing touches on our Business Plans before presenting them.
And after the Business Plans have been presented and hopefully accepted, we go into the second phase of the ITP program: Working the Plan. Double-gulp!