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The Business Plan badge is part of the Cookie Business badge set introduced in 2011. It replaces the retired XXX badge. It is featured on the Do-Si-Dos sash.

Girl Scout Cadettes learn how to write an effective business plan for their cookie business.

Step 1: Write your mission statement and business goals Edit

A mission statement is a short, clear description of your business’s purpose or reason for being.  For example, Girl Scout Cookies are sold to provide customers with a tasty treat and to help girls do great things through Girl Scouting.  You may want to add a sentence about why you and your friends are selling cookies as well.  Next, write down your business goals.  This includes your own goals and your group goals.  Your goals can include both specific sales goals and a goal for using your money (taking a trip, fund  a Take Action project, and so on).

Step 2: Increase your customer base Edit

What’s the number one reason people say they don’t buy Girl Scout Cookies?  They were never asked!  Spend some time developing ways to reach new customers, as well as coming up with ideas for connecting with last year’s customers. For example, you could research events that happen in the community at the time of the cookie sale – you can reach a lot of potential customers at places where people gather!

Step 3: Get into the details Edit

Decide what you want to do with your cookie money, figure out how much that will cost then set some smaller sales goals that will help you reach your team’s larger goal.  Create a timeline for your cookie sale that includes time for planning before the sale starts.  As part of your planning, work out the logistics of the sale.  For example, where will you sell?  How often?  Who will sell at the cookie booth, and when?  What supplies do you need to get to decorate your cookie booth?  Who will make posers or create clever slogans?

Step 4: Make a risk management plan Edit

A risk management plan gets you thinking about solutions to potential problems, even before they occur!  This can be as simple as answering these three questions:

  • What can go wrong?
  • What can you do to keep this from happening?
  • What plans need to be in place if things don’t go as you expect?

Make a list of things that can go wrong.  For example, you may have to deal with bad weather or several girls could get sick and be unable to sell cookies.  You might want to talk to older Girl Scouts about problems with which they’ve had to deal to get more ideas.  Once you have your list of what could go wrong, brainstorm ways to make things right.

Step 5: Gather expert feedback on your plan Edit

Once you have your business plan on paper, ask someone who runs her own business to critique it and offer suggestions for improving it.