Tips for Creating a Small Business Plan

Four successful entrepreneurial business owners share their stories and tips for creating a small business plan.

| July/August 1979

These four MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have started their own small-scale, entrepreneurial businesses and have been generous enough to share their tips for creating a small business plan for such businesses as a secondhand furniture store and how to sell fresh produce to a local grocer. 

Sell a Product You Love at Wholesale Prices

My family and I were looking for a way to accumulate the large amount of cash we needed to purchase land and tools . . . before the economy went completely down the tubes. We hadn't been searching long when we came across "We're Stuck on the Stickler" in the September/October 1976 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS , and the follow-up success story "How MOTHER EARTH NEWS Ruined My Life by Making Me Successful, Famous, and Rich" — in the September/October 1977 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. We knew right then and there that this answer to the woodcutter's prayers would play a part in our homesteading plans.

In fact, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' write-ups on the wood splitting device impressed us so much that we promptly invested $150 in a unit of our own . . . and contacted the manufacturer to inquire about dealer prices. When we were informed that the Stickler could be ordered wholesale — In quantity — for $112.50, we set out to demonstrate the miracle worker to other potential buyers. Our pickup truck — parked just off the highway — became our selling post, with the Stickler bolted to its wheel . . . buzzing away at log after log. The performance attracted a horde of passers-by . . . and before long we were raking in the orders.

That first weekend we sold 10 log splitters (at a profit of more than $350!) . . . and our roadside setup has provided us with a healthy income ever since. We also learned that the Stickler sells quite well at festivals and at energy, state, and county fairs. (At one such event we managed to peddle 126 splitters for a total profit of more than $4,000!)

We owe our success to MOTHER EARTH NEWS and her knack for putting people and information together at precisely the right time. And we'd like to help keep that flow of facts in motion so we're prepared to send details on how to set yourself up in business to anyone who'll mail us a self-addressed, stamped envelope. (Or you can take the plunge as we did: Just send us a check or money order for $150 for a Stickler of your own . . . state the year, make, and model of your vehicle . . . and within a few days you'll be out there demonstrating!)

Anyone who can read today's ever-present signs of double-digit inflation and skyrocketing fuel prices knows that the time for wood heat is now. We're helping to make that happen  and so can you!

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