Intro- Sandy Stephen

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  • #2005

    Thanks for providing me this opportunity.

    I’m Sandy Stephen, a currently serving Imagery Technician and former logistician with 21 yrs service under my belt. I’ve had seven postings and each one was at least 5000kms from the last; I’m currently on my third posting to Halifax, NS.

    I’m a brand new entrepreneur that has taken baby steps, such as acquiring a business license, to slowly learn what is required to properly start a business. “Niner-domestic” has indicated that it may be time to shift the focus to her career and plant roots somewhere (likely NB) instead of going through the continuing series of postings every couple of years. While it is a nerve wracking idea for me, it presents an opportunity.

    My business idea is to lean on my photography skills and do portraits, head-shots, and environmental portraits. I am also skilled in real estate photography, so that’s another potential revenue stream. I would also like to offer framing using frames made by me from reclaimed wood to give the business a bit of the “why” and appeal to consumers that share a similar value with me.

    My two burning questions are:
    How do I write a proper business plan?
    Can you direct me to the best funding resources that I can leverage for startup?

    Erin Melnychuk

    Good morning Sandy,

    Great to meet you on the forum and learn about your business idea. I love the complement of offering the custom frames in addition to your photography.

    My recommendation is to hold off on writing your business plan until you’ve developed the business model, which we’ll be doing through this course. There are many variables which go into developing your business model. Using a business model canvas, like we’ll be doing here, will allow you to play with all of the variables, until you land on a model which you think will work. Then, it makes sense to write your business plan.

    The reason we take the approach is because business plans are long documents, which follow a fairly linear process. If you are playing with your business model as you’re developing the business plan, it’s not so easy to update a change to one of the variables throughout the entire document, because it will be threaded throughout.

    There are a number of free, online, business planners out there. These walk you through each section of your business plan. You can save your work and keep coming back to it. You can also export your completed business plans to save your document. You might consider checking out the one from BDC, but there are many.


    Judy Evans

    Sandy and Erin,

    The business model canvas is an amazing tool to define your business model for each of your business ideas, i.e. portrait photography, real estate photography and framing. Since each business idea may have different customers, this will involve different marketing strategies and different business operations. By creating these canvases, you can identify the differences and similarities of each business idea. When you create the full business plan, many of the key decisions have already been defined in canvas development stage.


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