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Inspiration and solid business plan help entrepreneur take message to the world

CompanyMessage Bags
Industry:Retail Trade
City:Scarborough, Ontario
Amounts: various  Find what funding programs you qualify for

Business plan development sets goals

Dena Pitter's path has taken her in a number of directions. She's a singer, musician and songwriter who works in styles ranging from pop to jazz to soul to Bossa nova. She has worked in restaurants, she's worked with seniors, and in the last four years, she's also turned her talents to fabric design. At the same time, she began exploring healthy living, visiting health food and organic food stores in Toronto and learning more about sustainable lifestyles.

One day she walked into a Chapters store and saw a tote bag with the quotation "Follow your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." She bought it but was disappointed when it began to fall apart after a couple of months. That sparked an idea, and today she's pursuing her dream of a unique, organic, environmentally friendly tote bag, complete with inspirational messages: Message Bags. With a great idea and business plan development, her business started to evolve.

Starting up “Message Bags”

She began by attempting to improve the texture of the bag, using organic cotton and re-designing the structure to make a stronger, more comfortable bag. She also sought out her own quotations for the messages and explored suppliers who could provide her with more colour options. Organic cotton is often white or beige. "It's extremely boring," says Pitter. "But I located this place in Toronto that sells organic cotton in navy blue and dark brown, so that was interesting. She also sourced out a company to manufacture the bags to her designs.

Business plan development crucial to success

And she realized early on that a business plan would be a crucial element in her success. "It's a road map, a way to build credibility, a tool for overall funding, and it just helps you become organized and set some goals." Turning to the professionals at the Centre for Business Plan Development was a smart move, says Pitter. "I found our writer was very professional, and she was available if I needed to change certain things. She was very helpful and accommodating."

Competitive edge brings advantages

Pitter is building relationships with retailers that cater to her market in the Toronto area and has found that many are interested in the samples she's shown. She feels she's well positioned with a competitive edge. "I've seen bags that are similar to mine except they're not organic, or they're organic, but there's no colour – just a pattern or a tree versus interesting quotes. So I haven't seen anything out there that's exactly like what I have." Message Bags are also available with French and Spanish quotations, as well as English.

Imagine how a professionally prepared business plan could help grow your business. For a free consultation, call 1-800-481-8434.

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