Sample ‘How-To’ Document

Our “How-to” business plans include all the What, How, When, Where, and Why of how to run a particular type of eco-friendly business. It’s very practical, nuts and bolts information, but also contains higher level strategic advice from our interviews with successful eco-entrepreneurs.  It’s a non-technical, technical document that should be useful to any aspiring social entrepreneur, no matter their level of formal education*.

Here’s a typical table of contents:

What?  (An introduction)
Why?

  • What social/environmental problem does it solve?  Why is this green?
  • What are the industry ‘best practices’ in terms of sustainability?

When?

  • Time required to start
  • Task list for startup
  • Timeline for startup
  • Time estimated to breakeven/profitability

How?

  • “A day in the life” (Step-by-step how-to)
  • Pricing Strategy
  • Distribution Strategy
  • “A ha!” moments (strategic tips)
  • All stuff needed for business operations, with descriptions and greenest alternatives
  • Sample product (if appropriate:  i.e., for a consulting business, this might be a a sample building energy performance report)
  • Sample contracts (if appropriate)
  • Useful resources, including websites, courses, movies, and books
  • Industry Lingo
  • Money saving tips (tax, efficiency, materials, etc.)

Who?

  • Target Market description (who are the ‘bread and butter’ customers)
  • Best advertising and other types of promotion that would benefit this biz
  • Competition—how to analyze the potential competition for this type of biz
  • Typical HR needs

Sample 1: Low-cost target marketing section of our “How-to” mobile sustainable food vendor business plan

Sample 2: Pricing strategy section of our “How-to” eco-friendly landscape maintenance business plan

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*Green Business Village does its best to make sure these plans are appropriate for the entrepreneur’s level of education and training.  Plans for business startups that do not require a formal education, such as a sustainable mobile food vendor, are written, typically, on the 7th grade reading level so that they can be useful to any aspiring entrepreneur.  Other, more complex business plans for businesses that may require a more formal education or training to start are written for that target market, and may not be appropriate for those without that education or training in any case.