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Larry and Stacie Overman, owners of Lavender Kisses Farm, harvesting lavender for their operation.

“We wrote a business plan we can take to any investor, and it's game on.”

Larry and Stacie Overman are no strangers to hard work and entrepreneurship. But when it came to writing a business plan for their destination lavender farm outside of Tennessee's Music City, they also knew they needed some help.

“For about five years, we were RV living and traveling around the country,” says Stacie.

“I wanted her to have a home,” adds Larry. “She deserved a home.”

And more. The Overmans wanted to create a special place to build on their can-do background that ranges from running a talent agency to managing assets for oil and gas companies. They were willing and ready to work hard to make that dream into reality.

But first, they had to ensure they were going in the right direction.

Stacie Overman packing lavender products to ship off to customers.
Stacie balances the operational logistics of Lavender Kisses Farm, with a mission of bringing comfort, peace, and love.

Bringing comfort, peace, and love through good business

Larry and Stacie had run businesses before. In addition to working for 20 years in the energy sector, Larry owned and operated a gold mine in Oregon. He also owns a competition monster truck as part of a team intent on setting records. From a modeling career to managing talent, Stacie understands how to balance creative work and business logistics.

Pondering their next chapter in life, they describe their inspiration as getting a message.

“Everything is about bringing comfort, peace, and love to everybody”

“We were told to do lavender,” explains Larry. “I'm not a super religious person. I haven't been to church in years. But I wholeheartedly, with all my being, believe that God put us where we're at.”

Their original idea was simply to plant lavender up the driveway. Then the Overmans learned more about lavender. The wellness benefits, different varieties, and how to use it for food, beverages, and products. They realized the potential to work with lavender in a way that could bring calm and wellness into people's lives.

”I've given lavender to people who have insomnia,” says Stacie. “One guy we work with told me he's slept better than ever. As soon as people try lavender, they sleep better, feel better, and want more.”

With a deep love of the land and growing things, combined with an understanding of the botanical wellness benefits of lavender, establishing Lavender Kisses Farm was a natural confluence with their business sense—and sense of adventure. They also saw the potential for Lavender Kisses to support causes and organizations they care about, including veterans support, suicide awareness, and cancer research.

“Everything is about bringing comfort, peace, and love to everybody,” says Stacie.

Stacie collaborates with a LivePlan Plan Writer to craft a business plan remotely.
Stacie and Larry sent over notes and research—their plan writer did the rest.

While the Overmans transitioned, a LivePlan business writer developed their plan

Bringing in livestock, planting lavender, and developing activities and amenities that would make Lavender Kisses a draw for tourists. There was so much to do. While starting the business and relocating to Tennessee, the Overmans faced a challenge. Making the time to work on their overall business plan.

“I searched for business plans to see what was out there and started reading about LivePlan,” says Larry. “LivePlan didn't make writing a business plan seem overly complicated. Reading through it, I started seeing it as the route we needed to go.”

“LivePlan didn't make writing a business plan seem overly complicated.”

Instead of working on the plan themselves through LivePlan, they also worked with one of LivePlan's business plan consultants for help writing the plan. To start, Larry and Stacie just sent over notes and the research they had already done.

“We worked with an incredible business plan writer with LivePlan,” says Stacie. “We were working hard at other jobs and contracts. As we were making the transition, if you were going to pull a dream team together, it was a blessing how it fell together.”

The Overman's LivePlan team added data, research, and notes from Larry and Stacie's vision into LivePlan, and the business plan writer took it from there. During check-in sessions by phone, the writer would update the Overmans on what she was taking care of, anything she needed from them, and what information she had added to LivePlan.

“LivePlan made our life so easy,” says Stacie. “It was so professional.”

Stacie presents the variety of lavender-based products they selected with the help of a LivePlan Plan Writer.
Working with a Plan Writer ensured that Larry and Stacie could easily showcase their progress with anyone.

An impressive business plan they could take anywhere

That's not to say it was effortless to hand off the planning tasks to someone else. As take-charge people, Larry and Stacie were accustomed to doing the legwork and due diligence. As the process progressed, they soon realized they were gaining far more than they were letting go.

“If I hire someone to do something, I want to share with them what the endgame is, and they run with it,” explains Stacie. “I don't want to micro-manage them. I want them to do their best.”

“I was pleasantly surprised at how easy LivePlan made the experience and how good our business plan turned out.”

When the writer came back with the final business plan, the Overmans found themselves facing a surprise.

“She was able to capture everything about who we are,” says Larry.

With a finalized business plan, the Overmans could focus on finishing their move, establishing the farm, and implementing their ideas. They could also give assurance. When meeting with mentors from university agricultural programs, for example, they could show the plan and share their progress as evidence they were going in the right direction. Bankers and business investors also have been responding positively to the plan, says Larry.

“Our lives at the time were so chaotic, so I was pleasantly surprised at how easy LivePlan made the experience and how good our business plan turned out,” says Stacie. “The whole experience was enjoyable and seamless.”

Larry begins the work of harvesting a lavender plant.
With a plan in place, Larry and Stacie got to work establishing their farm.

Putting the plan to work in LivePlan and on the farm

Starting with 55 acres, the Overmans added another nine in 2021, growing the entire property to 64 acres. During this time, the farm's 4,000 lavender plants reached harvest size. The real work begins when they're ready to be transplanted to the actual fields. Larry plans to lay the two acres of plants in curved rows to accommodate walking and seating for a main events pavilion.

“The rows of lavender will be in an arc but spaced for seating with paths up the middle,” explains Larry. “The pavilion will be like a wall-less chapel for weddings, concerts, whatever we want to do there.”

“We appreciate each other's strengths and come together on a common ground for the weaknesses.”

Lavender Kisses has also welcomed its first head of livestock, including three Scottish Highland cattle, four Nigerian dwarf goats, and four dogs. From veterinary check-ins and mowing that can take eight hours to making lavender soap and shipping orders—the Overmans put in full days, every day. With their business plan by their side, they're prepared to segment, manage, and delegate tasks.

“We appreciate each other's strengths and come together on a common ground for the weaknesses,” says Larry. He adds that when they're ready, they'll bring someone on who can take on the tasks they prefer to delegate.

“Dividing and conquering is ideal sometimes,” explains Stacie. “I'll tell him to get in the tractor while I handle something else. It's tough when we're two leaders, and neither of you is a follower.”

By having their business plan in LivePlan, the Overmans can set milestones based on their short-term and long-term goals. As they expand the farm's offerings, they will purchase materials, design spaces, and hire additional staff. Larry and Stacie will also forecast the net impact of costs on the bottom line and check that against the projected revenues for new products at services.

Their business plan also guides them through developing and creating more lavender-focused products, such as lavender essential oils. In addition to their line of custom lavender soaps, for the spring of 2022, the Overmans will also begin marketing goat milk soaps made with milk from the Nigerian dwarf goats at the farm.

As they add more product lines and work out the supplies needed to maintain supply, LivePlan can help the Overmans evaluate sales, soap ingredients, and seasonality. That way, they can better plan special edition or limited edition products and packages, discontinue products or product lines that don't perform or map out a path to expanding production on their most popular soaps.

Larry and Stacie can also examine the impact on revenues and profits from different scenarios, such as what they might expect for a busy holiday season or combining an event on the farm with product sales. Products, though, are just the beginning.

A showcase of the variety of products that Lavender Kisses Farm has available to customers.
With a variety of products and services, Larry and Stacie are prepared to impress visitors, no matter the season.

A reason to visit for every season

Another goal of Larry and Stacie's business plan for Lavender Kisses Farm? To bring in tourists and other visitors.

This sort of direct tourism is new to the area. The Overmans see an opportunity for their bottom line and the community by making Lavender Kisses Farm a destination—but not just during June when the lavender is fully in bloom.

“We need people there every season; people can come for holidays, before or after the lavender.”

“We need people there every season,” says Larry. “People can come for holidays, come before or after lavender.”

That lavender can come home with visitors in different ways, such as lavender-infused Angel Kisses Coffee. Instead of being floral, Larry says the lavender “adds a spice” and “brings out the hidden chocolate notes.”

Guided by their business plan, the Overmans are developing wellness products—and they're dreaming even bigger. A corn maze, acreage for Christmas trees, vacation rental cabins, and a Santa's village are in the works.

“In about two years, we're adding an intimate, French-style restaurant,” says Larry. “We haven't begun construction, but we already have a reservation list.”

A lavender plant placed carefully in the Overman's field.
Working with a Plan Writer allowed Stacie and Larry to focus on creating and growing their business.

LivePlan laid fertile ground for healthy business growth

Larry and Stacie credited their business plan with giving them the focus they needed to hit the ground running. It's a good thing, too.

“Soap and bath bombs are selling as fast as we can make them,” says Larry. “Over the holidays, we even had to stop the online ordering once we ran out of stock.”

“I love that LivePlan walked us through step by step and helped us with whatever was lacking... Whatever we had, they just made it even better.”

They continue to leverage their business plan in different ways—even in their marketing.

“We use some of that business plan copy on our social media,” says Stacie. “Instead of us having to yammer for an hour to say it, she had something we could use right in the plan.”

Based on their business plan and forecasts, the Overmans expect the farm to be able to sustain itself financially by 2023. And just as it takes the right conditions to get their lavender plants to bloom and prosper, their business plan has given them the fertile ground they need to get their business off to a healthy start.

“I love that LivePlan walked us through step by step and helped us with whatever was lacking,” says Stacie. “We had never done anything like that, so it was seamless. I enjoyed that it was them walking us through, step by step. Whatever we had, they just made it even better.”

As they transitioned from life on the road to starting the farm, Larry and Stacie both gained peace of mind. Along with using their business plan to get up and running, they remind themselves to come back to the plan and see how that can guide them when strategizing or working on a problem.

“It's our road map, continually helping us stay on track and focused,” says Stacie.

Larry has also appreciated not only the “feel-good reinforcement that we're doing the right thing” that he gets from their plan but how it's helped them open doors for everything from networking to financing.

“We wrote a business plan we can take to any investor, and it's game on.”

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Lavender Kisses Farm

Larry and Stacie worked with a LivePlan plan writer to craft an investor-ready business plan. What will you do?