BDA Business Planning Conference — Spring 2022
Registration for the current BDA Business Planning Conference is now closed. Please visit our BDA Online Events page for upcoming events, including our next round of business planning in September, October, and November for which registration is now open.
We will host nine workshops and three drop-in sessions, for a total of 12 inter-related BDA recovery events, all focused on BDA business planning, with a BDA emphasis on business as a spiritual activity and service to the world. During this three-month BDA recovery conference, we will discuss all of the BDA Additional Tools together with a special emphasis on BDA Tool Two:
We write annual one-year business plans with definable and accountable goals and targets.
Because we will be welcoming DA and BDA members to share real-world details of their businesses, we must ask that all workshop participants meet the only requirement for DA and BDA membership:
an ongoing desire to stop incurring new unsecured debt, one day at a time, no matter what
Because we will be discussing the specifics of our businesses, including business names, locations, etc, the only protection for our anonymity will be required registrations and the closed-ness of the conference group. To maintain anonymity, we will not be recording any of the workshop sessions except the first-week orientation, for which this and the previous cycle's recordings are available here:
All three of these recordings will be helpful for participants in the Spring 2022 BDA Business Planning Conference and for those who are using these materials to create their own business plans. (Please don't create your plan without help, ideally from a more experienced BDAer!)
NOTE: For best results, we suggest skipping the first 19.5 minutes of housekeeping on this second recording. You can either fast forward or choose your starting point on the progress bar.
Here's the business planning template workbook we recommend using, in general, and especially for this conference series. We've also prepared some helpful guidance for business planning. We suggest planning for July 2022 through June 2023 during this conference cycle.
Before getting started on your business plan, you will likely want to prepare your personal spending plan for 2022. That plan will inform your salary and benefit needs in your business plan. Here's the personal planning template workbook we recommend using, in general, and especially for this conference series. We've also prepared some helpful guidance for personal planning.
Here is our weekly schedule for this three-month BDA recovery event (all dates are Sundays, noon-2pm pacific, 3pm-5pm eastern, etc):
April 3, 2022 — Orientation (lots of guidance on business planning, with a BDA emphasis on business as a spiritual activity and service to the world, lots of Q&A) — only this session will be recorded and made available above and on our home page.
April 10, 2022 — Welcome and 10-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 10 minutes of Q&A, discussion of BDA Tools 1 and 2, and then review of actual results for ONE 2021 business plan created in a previous cycle.
April 17, 2022 — Drop-in session #1: Facilitated discussion on rate increases for our businesses and services, led by a BDA member who successfully raised her rates by 25% in 2021, moving her business from barely scraping by to a generous gross profit and salary for herself.
April 24, 2022 — Welcome and 5-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 5 minutes of Q&A, discussion of BDA Tools 3 and 4, and then "workshopping" of ONE new business plan.
May 1, 2022 — Welcome and 5-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 5 minutes of Q&A, discussion of BDA Tools 5 and 6, and then "workshopping" of ONE new business plan.
May 8, 2022 — Drop-in session #2: Facilitated discussion on revenue generation, including online lead generation and other sales resources for our businesses with brainstorming and support from our fellows.
May 15, 2022 — Welcome and 5-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 5 minutes of Q&A, discussion of BDA Tools 7, 8, and 9 and then "workshopping" of ONE new business plan.
May 22, 2022 — Welcome and 5-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 5 minutes of Q&A, discussion of BDA Tools 10 and 11 and then "workshopping" of ONE new business plan.
May 29, 2022 — Nothing scheduled for business planning this weekend.
June 5, 2022 — Drop-in session #3: Facilitated discussion on promptly billing our clients and getting paid in full and on time, as defined in our letters of agreement, led by a BDA member who has done LOTS of work in this area of her recovery.
June 12, 2022 — Welcome and 5-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 5 minutes of Q&A, discussion of BDA Tool 12, and then "workshopping" of TWO new business plans.
June 19, 2022 — Welcome and 5-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 5 minutes of Q&A, and then "workshopping" of THREE new business plans.
June 26, 2022 — Welcome and 5-minute presentation from workshop leader, followed by up to 5 minutes of Q&A; review of BDA Tool Two, especially in terms of the change in our understanding and comfort level since this conference began; then "workshopping" of ONE MORE new business plan, PLUS gratitude sharing from workshop participants — gratitude for Higher Power, gratitude for our solvency, gratitude for the additional tools of BDA and for our fellow BDAers.
NOTE: Most participants will not be able to attend all workshops in this conference. That's okay. However, registration includes all TWELVE interrelated recovery events, and the more workshops and drop-ins you attend, the more you will get out of them.
Survey responses from the previous (Fall 2021) BDA Business Planning Conference cycle:
How to register:
Please send a one-time contribution of $125 via https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/BDAHelpforDebtors with a note that says:
(and your preferred email address for follow-up)
Please keep in mind that your $125 contribution will give you access to TWELVE 2-hour interrelated events, spanning three months.
All funds received will be split between our General Fund (10%), Literature Fund (20%), and Public Information Fund (70%) — Our service vision is to say "yes" to every request we receive for free DA and BDA conference-approved literature and to pay our media special workers to distribute our BDA PSA every six months (in April and October) through 2023. Please support our vision and service activities!
Please see our Treasury Plans and Reports for more information about "where the money goes" and reach out to email@example.com with questions.
NOTE: For newcomers to DA and BDA — we consider those in their first year of DA and BDA membership to be newcomers — we do not encourage your attendance in this conference series. Please claim your solvency date, take the 12 Steps of DA and BDA, and then consider digging into your business plan, applying all of the DA and BDA principles and tools. For application and support of DA and BDA's principles, especially but not only the 12 Steps, please consider attending one of the six-month BDA Solvency Immersion Conference cycles.
Qualifications for having your BDA business plan "workshopped" by the group:
At least 90 days solvent
Completed first three Steps in DA and / or BDA
Working with a DA and / or BDA sponsor (or someone else who is leading you through the Steps and familiarizing you with the rest of the DA and BDA program, we recommend the BDA Solvency Immersion Conference for this recovery help and support)
Willing to develop your plan with the workshop leader (or another volunteer leader
who developed their business plan in a previous BDA Business Planning Conference) over 6 or 7 one-on-one meetups, that is 8-12 hours of interaction, see preparation process below
Must be a DA and / or BDA member, recovering from debting with money (and leaving out other money-, time-, income-, and earning-related programs and services) — this qualification is non-negotiable, we actively discourage the breaking of DA's Traditions
First come, first served — as long as the qualifications above are met — at least eight, and possibly up to 12 BDA business plans, will be "workshopped" during this 3-month BDA Business Planning Conference, see weekly schedule above
Here's our standard timing for "workshopping" BDA business plans during each scheduled workshop (lower time offering if two plans are presented, higher time offering if only one plan):
10-15 minutes — Review of the business plan by its BDA member
2-3 minutes — Feedback and input from workshop leader (or other planning guide)
5-10 minutes — Q&A with BDA member about their plan
8-12 minutes — Feedback and input from workshop participants (up to 1 timed minute each) — What we are seeking here is experience, strength, and hope when our fellows have pursued similar goals, visions, and business plans or have taken similar actions as those being discussed. We are not looking for advice, and this is not a time to ask questions. This is time to encourage and support our fellow BDA members as they move their businesses forward with an annual one-year business plan with definable and accountable goals and targets, in this case for July 2022 through June 2023.
1 minute — Wrap-up comments from our workshop leader (or planning guide)
2 minutes — Wrap-up comments and gratitude from the presenting BDA member
There are usually seven standard — and lengthy — appointments necessary to prepare your business plan and then to prepare it to be "workshopped." (More appointments will be necessary if there is a significant amount of resistance or defiance exhibited during the process.)
Some planning and preparation will be done with the workshop leader; however, several BDAers who have had their plans "workshopped" in previous cycles of the BDA Business Planning Conference have been offered an opportunity to now share their experience, strength, and hope with the next BDAers practicing our BDA Tools, especially business planning. More shall be revealed.
There is no additional registration contribution requested for this extraordinary planned personal service to BDA members and their businesses, but many BDA members do make ancillary contributions as the year progresses, and they see their long-term business visions become manifest:
60 minutes to get to know each other, to establish trust and rapport, to share some of our debting history and DA and BDA recovery and experience. In the second half hour we ensure we're talking about pursuing our visions and businesses in solvent BDA terms — especially being "stewards of God's businesses'' (from the BDA Tools pamphlet) and of service as business owners. If that went well ...
60-90 minutes to "work your revenue, part 1." Really dig into the business's products and services, its income sources, defining them clearly in terms of benefits and outcomes for clients, not just features and processes, not at all in dollars or in benefit to the business owner at this point. The best plans include between three and seven distinct product or service offerings, diversification within the business.
60-90 minutes to "work your revenue, part 2." Really dig into the sales potential for each of the income sources, the projected income amounts, and how those numbers are derived (i.e. price of product or service times number of sales or deliveries per month in the period being projected). Best bet is to calculate these activities on a cash basis (that is, when will the business get paid), and we suggest most, if not all, plans be prepared three months at a time and multiplied times four for the annual plan, then reviewed and revised quarterly, based on calendar quarters. It's an ever-changing business environment; most of us cannot truly "see" what might happen beyond a three-month window. This is also a great time to do a "time check": Looking at provision of services and products only, how many hours will you as the business owner need to work on a monthly basis to deliver the products and services monetized in your revenue plan? How does this compare to the number of hours you want to work per month? Will the number of hours left after provision of services and products leave you enough time to perform the three primary overhead functions of most businesses: administration, including managing the business's finances and cash flow; lead and sales generation, knowing only so much of this function can be delegated; and supervision and leadership of the people who work for and represent you?
30-60 minutes to "work your gross profit." Use this time to check in with each other related to process as well as meditation and inspirations that have come up since your last meeting. Is the planning business owner feeling in alignment with their plan revenue number? In alignment with God's will for them? If yes, move on to cost of goods sold (COGS); that is, any direct costs that are committed to when a sale is made. (For instance, in construction: labor, materials, and subcontractors are all considered costs of goods sold, although there may be others, especially for design-build firms. Projects cannot be completed without these inputs; to commit to build a project is to commit to incurring these costs, which are separate from overhead and administration.) If the business owner is not yet in alignment with themself and with their Higher Power, return to the previous two discussions above until alignment is reached. This part of the process may have to be done several times if the planning business owner's vision is especially misaligned with the plan being created or vice versa. Gross profit is the amount available to pay the business owner a generous salary and benefits and to pay the business's overhead expenses — without incurring new unsecured debt!
90-120 minutes to create a custom spending plan framework based on understandable, consistent, and well-defined categories and subcategories. It's important to have a percentage of revenue (or income) column. This business planning template workbook has been successfully put to work by more than 50 BDAers so far, and we are rapidly creating a language of support with one another when discussing business plans. As in previous discussions in this process, it's suggested that the planning business owner allow themselves to be led through the development of categories and subcategories, staying focused on one line at a time, from top to bottom, and to invite experience, strength, and hope in business spending from their "business plan leader." The known information about the subject business's spending — not the dollars, but the activities — should be included in the "Details and Descriptions" column in as much detail as possible. Questions for research and investigation by the planning business owner should be highlighted for follow-up. This step is NOT about the money, nor about entering dollar amounts; it's about what the planning BDAer KNOWS about their business, and what they NEED TO KNOW in order to succeed with their plan. Remember: "dollars spent should generate revenue" or profit.
120-150 minutes (best done in one session) to fill the planning business owner's projected expenses into the customized spending plan framework, ideally in the three-month format, again remembering that money spent should generate revenue or profit. (For those who prefer to plan a single month and multiply it by 12, or to plan each of 12 months individually, there are templates for those approaches in the business planning template workbook.) It's best to start at the top and work to the bottom of the spending plan framework. With a desire for a "balanced budget," unless the BDAer is planning to invest from their personal accounts (or to attract capital from outside investors) during the planned year, tweaking will commence. The only way to balance the budget, of course, is to increase projected revenue or to decrease projected spending. There's no other way. It is recommended, whenever possible at this stage, to leave at least 10 percent of projected revenue unspent in the plan. This will provide contingency coverage in case of shortfalls in income or higher than anticipated expenses. Again: Our first priority in using the BDA Tools is to avoid incurring any new unsecured debt, either personally or in our businesses, one day at a time, no matter what.
60-90 minutes — Use this time to check in with each other related to process as well as meditation and inspirations that have come up since your last meeting. Is the planning business owner feeling in alignment with ALL their plan numbers? In alignment with God's will for them? If the plan has been balanced to an acceptable gain or loss, and the percentage column and bottom line have been reviewed together satisfactorily, the planning business owner should be asked to "own" their plan. Not to commit to the plan they've created before lots more prayer and meditation. But to "own" their plan and to become the driver.
Not the exact words, but the spiritual approach we encourage, is something like: "I have created this plan in faith, and it is my plan, at this moment, knowing that my plan will change and my actual income and expenses will change even more."
You will also be encouraged to try some specific prayer and meditation topics, personal to you, throughout the development of your plan. But that is meant to be encouragement, not homework.
Lastly, part of this ownership is that you are asked to present your BDA business plan to your planning guide (or leader) just as you would to the group. Your guide can then give you feedback at a very high level, while also timing your share.
NOTE: Of course, there may be adaptations to fit the personal recovery needs and experiences of the business owner or of the BDA Business Planning guide. Similarities in this process, rather than differences, will generally be helpful. If we treat our businesses as more alike than different, for planning, then we can truly see what is unique about what we are offering in the world.
Formatting your BDA Business Plan:
For a single month and then let the computer calculate twelve months for you.
For three months and then be multiplied by four. (This is the best option, especially if you're new to business planning, but usually for everyone. This approach leads to what is called a "rolling" budget, or spending plan, in our case.)
Specific amounts for each active subcategory for each of twelve individual months.
In all three cases, the months are numbered rather than named, since you can start your annual business plan in ANY MONTH. If you weren't ready in January, get ready and start in ANY MONTH of the year you're in.)
In all three cases, all formulas are built into the spreadsheets. In the numeric columns, the cells for entry have been highlighted in green.
NOTE 2: The 30+ BDA business owners who have had their plans "workshopped" in previous cycles of the BDA Business Planning Conference did use the business planning template workbook provided here to good effect. One of the takeaways was that our businesses are more alike than different. It also created a common language and application for the more than 130 registered participants who have joined us for previous BDA Business Planning Conferences.