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Why Do You Need a Business Plan?

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Video DescriptionAbout Leslie SowersAbout Melissa Verplank


33 minutes, 37 seconds



Did you know that about 80% of new businesses FAIL in the first 5 years? It’s true. Nobody starts a business expecting to fail, but sobering statistics indicate that many do.

So how do you avoid becoming a statistic? Simple – create a business plan. On paper. Do this before you think about opening your own grooming salon, renting a table, or running a mobile grooming van.

All fresh business owners are passionate about their goals, but a business can’t succeed without a business plan. This is where you work out the crucial elements that every business needs. Even with the most basic plans, you will have sections that deal with:

  • start-up costs
  • financial estimates
  • marketing research
  • progress benchmarks

    Getting everything down on paper before you try to get the business started greatly increases your odds for success.

    Melissa Verplank has been opening pet-related businesses for years. Many of them have been wildly successful and are still going strong. In this lesson, Melissa sits down with her long time accountant, Leslie Sowers. Leslie has been involved in almost all of Melissa’s start-ups and has been Melissa’s mentor, coach, and adviser for over 30 years.

    In this short lesson, they go over one of the key elements all aspiring business owners need: a business plan. They will give you plenty of ideas to spark your entrepreneurial spirit, getting you set on your own path of business success.

    In this video you will learn:

  • what a business plan is and why you need to have one.
  • why you need to know who your prospective customers are and how you will reach them.
  • the importance of knowing what the budget will look like.
  • how to foresee problems and how to address them.
  • where to get more information on business plans.

Melissa Verplank

Certifications: CMG

Melissa Verplank - CMG, has over 30 years’ experience in the pet grooming industry. Her mastery of grooming techniques has won her numerous awards on a national & international level earning her the right to become a team member on GroomTeam USA. She has been the GroomTeam Coordinator and currently sits on the Board of GroomTeam USA. Ms. Verplank is an industry speaker, author, two time Cardinal Crystal Achievement award winner, Barkleigh Honors award winner and contest grooming judge.

During her formative years she ran a fleet of mobile grooming units and a busy grooming salon. In 1992, Verplank founded one of the Midwest's largest and progressive pet styling training centers; The Paragon School of Pet Grooming Inc. in Jenison, Michigan. Ms. Verplank realized the need for quality training and reference materials. To meet that need she created White Dog Enterprises Inc., a business which develops creative learning products for the professional pet stylist. The leading products for this company are Notes From the Grooming Table, The Theory of Five, and core-skill method training videos geared to training professional pet groomers. In 2007 she opened Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa. The resort has become the premier boarding facility in the west Michigan area offering luxury accommodations for boarding, daycare, grooming, and pet training. In 2010, Melissa launched her latest educational business,, an on-line streaming video library of educational material for all levels of professional pet grooming and styling.

Most recently, Melissa has earned the 2016 Barkleigh Honors Award for Book of the Year with the release of the second edition of Notes From the Grooming Table.  Her website, also was its third consecutive Barkleigh Honors Award for Website of the Year.


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