How to Improve Your Business Plan?

Business owners put a lot of effort in crafting their business plans. Who wouldn’t  After all, these plans can be considered as the “Holy Book” of the entire company. Generally, business owners are capable of producing a viable and workable plan. Most of the time, however, getting the help of an external party could greatly improve the overall appearance and content of the business plan.

Some business owners feel that external consultants are just hired only to support plans that are already decided on or take the blame for an extremely unpopular decision. Some, however, feel that these external parties would bring new ideas and experience to the company. Both views are correct, of course. So the decision on whether or not to hire one would depend on the consultant and the purpose of getting one.

In case you decide to hire a consultant to help you in producing a business plan, you should make sure to get referrals from different people including your colleagues and other professionals – such as accountants and lawyers – that you deal with. Also, make sure that the consultant whom you are going to hire has broad experience on the task that you are asking him or her to do.

When hiring a business plan consultant, you should also make sure that you have reference from his or her previous clients. This would assure you of the performance of your potential consultant.

Aside from external consultants, business owners can also get the help of various organizations that could provide information and guidance to owners of startups and small businesses. These include Small Business Development Centers, the Service Corps of Retired Executives, National Business Associations, Chambers of Commerce, among others.

These groups provide support to businesses, especially those who need help in various areas such as planning, marketing, recruitment, advertising, etc.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

Secure Business Funding with a Winning Business Plan

Secure Business Funding with a Winning Business PlanA business plan, by definition, is a piece of document that provides details on how a company should function. For some, a single sentence detailing an objective of the startup can be considered as a business plan. This, however, is not the type of plan that a business owner would want to present to a potential investor. So what makes a winning business plan that could assure financial support from potential investors?

To answer this, we must first enumerate and define different types of business plans that an owner can use for different purposes.

1.      Mini-Plan

A mini-plan is a short document that is used to test a business concept or pique the interest of a potential investor or partner. It usually runs from one to ten pages, depending on the type of the business, and contains all key elements and aspects of the company.

A mini-plan is not intended to be a substitute for a full plan. Instead, it can serve as an outline or introduction to a full-length plan that will be produced later on. This plan is definitely not the type of document that you would want to send to a potential investor.

2.      Working Plan

If you are a business owner who want to increase the productivity of your company, then you might want to consider writing a working plan that could complement a well-written mini-plan.

Unlike the mini-plan that is limited to all the key aspects and elements of the company, a working plan is mainly focused on the details of the operations of the company. Continue reading “Secure Business Funding with a Winning Business Plan”

The Importance of Business Plans

business plan

Business plans are not just for startups that are in search of business funding. In fact, a lot of experienced entrepreneurs spend considerable time writing and revising their plans. The truth is, as long as you’re in the field of entrepreneurship, business plans should always be one of your priorities.

Writing a business plan is not easy. Most of the time, business plan writers will have to look into the every aspect of the company in order to come up with a decent plan. A business plan that provides a solution to a problem without looking into the factors related to that issue will not contribute anything to the company. Rather, it will have to cover a lot of things that one wouldn’t have thought.

Despite these hassle of writing these plans, the result of the endeavor will provide the company with something that could contribute to the success of the business. For one, it would teach the business owner things that he or she is not familiar. During the process of writing, he might even come across problems that he would be able to solve even before they affect the business.

Aside from helping in securing business funding, having a business plan could help the company achieve goals such as finding new ventures, securing suppliers, and engaging more customers.




More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our

Is It Time To Apply For A Startup Accelerator?

Following the rise of startup accelerators, the number of new entrepreneurs who want to get a position within these incubators has also significantly increased. Wall Street Journal reports that the applications to more than 200 accelerators around the world have almost doubled in the past two years.

According to Marc Nager, Chief Executive Officer of Startup Weekend, an accelerator may be good for those who are new on the field of entrepreneurship. However, in isolated cases, some of the terms may not be as acceptable. Nager provided some information that might help those who have yet to apply for an accelerator.

Understand the Basics

For Nager, would-be entrepreneurs must start with understanding the basic terms of the deal. He said that before applying, they should look at the benefits that they will get once they participate in this venture.

In the world of startup accelerators, a lot of value will come from the network that will be established amongst the students, mentors, and program leaders. Nager added that the applicants should also use to their advantage the possibility of having one-on-one experience with experienced entrepreneurs. He stresses the need for applicants to identify at least three mentors who have had experience on the industry that they are working on. This will ensure that the sessions will be maximized and will result in a highly beneficial experience.

Choose Wisely

Nager advises that when applying for startup accelerators, would-be entrepreneurs should consider signing up in well-known programs. He said that these will ensure better results that will be advantageous for the participants.

Unfortunately, well-known start-up accelerators usually have very low acceptance rates. With this, applicants can also try signing up in local versions of the accelerators provided that they have high quality program, mentors, and leaders.

Nager also noted the rise in the number of accelerators that offer specialized programs. There are those that focus solely on providing programs that help healthcare startups, civic startups, and startups that use a specific technology, among others.

The specialization may be advantageous for some startups. However, it must be noted that there are also things that one may miss if he or she decides not to sign up in one of the traditional accelerators that offer a wider range of coverage. Because of this, would-be applicants should know how to weigh the benefits before deciding to participate in specialized programs.

 Work on that Application

As stated, the chances of getting admitted into a well-known accelerator are very slim. Because of this, would-be entrepreneurs should toughen up their applications if they want to get the nod of the evaluators. 

One thing that they can do, Nager says, is to understand how the applications were evaluated by the accelerators. He also said that having a good team that will shine above the rest will boost the chances of getting selected.

Finally, he said that the applicants must do all their best to impress those who will decide on the applications. He suggests the use of human element, among others, to get the approval of the decision makers.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

10 Common Mistakes That Entrepreneur Makes

When it comes to beginning a Small Business, there’s no guaranteed playbook that contains the successful strategy. On the other hand, there are about as many mistakes to be created as there are entrepreneurs to make them.

Here, in my experience, are the top 10 common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when beginning a company:

1. Going it alone. It’s difficult to develop a scalable company if you’re the only individual involved. True, a single public relations, web design or talking to firm may require little investment to begin, and the price of selecting even one management associate, revenue rep or entry-level worker can eat up a big piece of your earnings. The solution: Make sure there’s enough edges in your costs to enable you to produce other individuals. Customers generally don’t mind freelancing provided that they can still get face time with you, the experienced professional who’s handling the project.

2. Asking too many people for advice. It’s always good to get feedback from experts, especially experienced entrepreneurs with built and sold effective organizations in your industry. . But getting too many people’s opinions can delay your decision so long that your company never gets out of the starting gate.  The answer: Set up a strong advisory board that you can tap regularly but run the day-to-day yourself.

3. Investing too much of your time on product development and not on your sales. While it’s hard to develop an excellent company without a great item, entrepreneurs who invest too plenty of their time fiddling may drop clients to a competitor with a more powerful sales organization. “If you don’t keep one eye strongly targeted on revenue, you’ll likely run out of money and energy before you can efficiently get your item to promote.”

4. Targeting too small a market. It’s appealing to try to corner a niche, but your company’s development will quickly hit a wall if the industry you’re targeting is too small. Think about all the school High School basketball stars who desire of playing in the NBA. Because there are only 30 team and each team utilizes only a few gamers, the chances that your son will become the next Michael Jordan are pretty sleek. The solution: Pick a bigger industry that gives you the chance to pick up a piece of the pie even if your company continues to be a smaller player.

5. Coming into an industry with no distribution partner. It’s easier to break into an industry if there’s already a network of providers, manufacturers’ associates and other third-party merchants ready, willing and able to sell your item into current distribution channels. Fashion, food, press and other significant sectors works this way; others are not so fortunate. That’s why service companies like public relation, yoga exercises companies and pet-grooming organizations often battle to endure, changing between feast and famine. The solution: Create a list of potential recommendation resources before you begin your company and ask them if they’d be willing to send company your way.

6. Paying too much for clients. Investing big on promotion may produce lots of clients, but it’s a money-losing strategy if your business can’t convert those dollars into life-time client value. A magazine or website that usually spends $500 worth of promotion to acquire a client who pays $20 a month and cancels his or her registration at the end of the year is simply serving money down the strain. The solution: Test, evaluate, and test again. Once you’ve done enough evaluating to determine how to make more money selling goods and services to your potential customers than you invest obtaining those clients in the first place, throw out a significant promotion strategy.

7. Raising too little investment. Many start-ups think that all they need is enough money to lease space, buy equipment, stock inventory and drive clients through the door. What they often forget is that they also need a capital to pay for employee’s salary, utilities, insurance and other expense costs until their company begins turning a profit. Unless you’re running the kind of company where everyone’s working for perspire value and deferring settlement, you’ll need to increase enough money to tide you over until your earnings can cover your costs and produce positive income. The solution: Determine your start-up costs before you open your gates, not afterwards.

8. Raising too much Capital. Believe it or not, raising too much money can be an issue, too. Over-funded organizations tend to get big and swollen, selecting too many individuals too soon and spending useful resources on display cubicles, events, picture ads and other extras. When the money runs out and traders drop perseverance, start-ups that frittered away their money will have to shut their gates. No matter how much money you increase at the beginning, remember to bank some for a stormy day.

9. Not having your own Business Plan. While not every company needs an official business plan, a start-up that needs significant capital to grow and more than a year to make money should map out how much money it’s going to take to get to its destination. This means considering through the key analytics that develop your company check and building a model to rotate off three decades of revenue, earnings and cash-flow forecasts. “I misused 10 decades [fooling around] considering like an specialist and not a company owner,” says Louis Piscione, chief professional of Avanti Media Group, a New Nj company which makes video clips for business and private events. “I discovered that you have to put some of your innovative professional toward your own strategic strategy that predictions and sets objectives for development and success.

10. Over-thinking your Business Plan. Thinking too much can have an enormous impact on the outcome of a decision. For many businesses, decision-making often take one of two directions; either over-analyzing a situation, or forgoing all the relevant information and simply going with their gut. However, in trying to avoid over-thinking a decision for fear of decision paralysis, managers often ‘over-correct’ and end up not thinking enough. The truth is that your own business plan is not an amazingly ball that can estimate the future. At a certain point, you have to shut your eyes and take the step of trust. Recognize when you’ve been staring at the problem instead of trying to solve it. Then relax: Make a plan, narrow down your options, then just do it.


More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

Funding Your Own Business

Say you are planning to have a business and, furthermore, you know the know-how to bring it into development.  The only thing you are losing is the cold money to get started.  What are your options?

Suppose you do not have a ready line of credit, an extensive bank administrator, rich family members or a significant store of retirement savings you are willing to risk, you are going to have to do some serious preparation and hard work.  Luckily, there are a number of sources of finance for the Business startup owner, at least one of which may be right for you.


Available only to U.S.-based businesses (but if you are outside the US you can look for something that has a similar program), the SBA (the U.S. Small Business Administration) has served a large number of business owners begin their own Business.  The SBA does not issue resources (money you do not have to pay back) or create financial loans straight, rather, it assures financial loans made by personal loan organizations thereby decreasing or removing the danger natural in new organizations and making loan organizations more willing to offer.

The main concern for the SBA is reimbursement ability from the income of the company as well as “good personality, control ability, security and owner’s equity”.  You will be expected to individually assure your mortgage.  This implies your personal belongings are at risk.

As for the types of organizations qualified for SBA financial loans, the SBA enforces the following criteria: the company must be “for-profit” (it only indicates that your company has a revenue reason, not that it has actually produced a revenue yet), ), be engaged in business in the United States, there must be “reasonable” owner equity (what’s reasonable will depend on the circumstances) and you are expected to use alternative financial resources first, including your own personal belongings.

The SBA also enforces restrictions on the use of loan proceeds. For example, although the proceeds can be used for most company requirements (the cases given by the SBA include “the purchase of real estate to house the company operations; development, remodelling or leasehold improvements; getting furniture, furnishings, equipment; buy of inventory; and operating capital”), you cannot use the loan proceeds for financing floor-plan needs, to pay current financial debt, to create expenses to the business owners or to pay past due taxes etc.

As a common concept, loans for working capital must be repaid within seven years and loans for fixed assets must be paid for by the end of the economic life of the assets (but not to exceed 25years).


Angel Investors are good spirits with a healthy sense of self-interest. Determining they can get a higher come back if they are ready to take a bit of a risk, they are also often effective business owners themselves and want to give other a hand up. Think of financing from angel investors as a link or gap-filler between being a start-up and preparing for venture capital.  The kinds of money we’re referring to here are between about$150,000 and $1.5million.  Beyond this point you are in low venture-capital area. The SBA reports that there are around 250,000 angels in the U.S., financing about 30,000 organizations a year.  So, how do you connect with one?  Not a easy task, unfortunately.  It comes down to networking.  Begin by speaking with professional and business associates – they will often know someone who knows someone etc..  However, we at can help you in this.


You’re in the big teams now.  Usually you are in the ballpark of millions (of money that is) rather than a thousand.  Venture Capital organizations look for their return on investment from capital appreciation rather than interest (unlike banks, for example).  They’re generally looking for a return of 500-1,000% on exit. It will not shock you to learn that vc’s are particularly hesitant of internet-based organizations right about now and not surprising.  It also provides them right.  But if you have a powerful Business Plan and powerful development potential, this could be an option for you longer term.

One of the common issues about this form of financing, however, is that you have a limited control over your business. Venture Capital usually wants to have control on your business, in return for their risk. A venture capitalist will have to seat as a board member, for example. Always remember, that it’s in the vc’s best passions for your company to be successful, so providing up some control in return for outside skills may well be something worth thinking about.

For this, your best bet would be to begin out by analyzing the various loan program provided via the SBA (or your local equivalent).  But do not ignore, close to home sources first.  If you have household resources at your convenience (for example) and you are assured that your business will be effective (and unless you’re assured about that, don’t get into financial debt with *anyone*, let alone household members), better to begin out slowly and convenience into outside sources of financing as your company (and, furthermore, your company’s cashflow) can support it.  After all, Uncle Jack is much more likely to know about the temporary income meltdown than Uncle Sam.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

Business Plans Need to Incorporate Best Practices

In a sense, ‘best practices’ is a euphemism for business plans. Developing business plans is critical to success because it is focused on what makes a business successful. The term best practices is tossed about quite a bit, but what does it specifically mean for a business plan?

The business plan best practices means building a convincing case that your company is an excellent proposition that efficiently and effectively serves the market by providing products and services that the market will embrace. The primary way the business case is built is by differentiating the business in some manner. The business plan must leave no doubt as to why the company is selling particular items and how those items will appeal to the target market.

Forward Thinking

To determine the best practices for marketing, the competition must be thoroughly analyzed. The analysis is not just a case of listing competitors selling similar products or services. The competition must be assessed as to what it is doing now to succeed and how it plans on succeeding in the future. In other words, best practices are forward thinking, and the plan preparer does not get mired down by focusing only on the past. In addition, businesses that can easily become competitors need to be considered also.

A best practice in business plan development is to develop a thorough understanding of competitor specifics. Exactly what sets your competitors apart? Each company has something unique about its products, marketing strategies, management, customer service practices, or product and service delivery. You need to understand these differences in detail to position your company correctly.

It can be fatal to underestimate the competition as many businesses have learned. Even seasoned companies like RIM and Blockbuster found themselves struggling to survive because they failed to understand what the competition was offering the niche market. Your goal in the business plan is prove the competition is not addressing a problem you are able to solve, and then develop a strategic marketing plan to implement your particular solution.

Honesty Counts

In addition, best practices in business plans dictates establishing realistic financial goals. A new business will need to make a profit with a couple of years in most cases in order to remain viable. Projecting unreasonable sales or underestimating expenses will be detected by experienced angel investors, banks, venture capitalists and equity funders. There must be evidence or documentation that the business plan marketing and financial goals make sense based on industry performance. You can project sales and expenses for brand new products and services, but they still need to be based on market research.

There are many other best practices that include developing a flexible business plan and analyzing best case/worst case scenarios. Ultimately, the business plan is about honesty – honest descriptions, honest research, honest analysis and honest assumptions.

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Business Plans and Benchmarking

Benchmarking can be an important concept in business plans. Benchmarking comparisons can be used to compare your business goals to the domestic or foreign competition. The comparisons can show how your business idea is viable in comparison to other successful businesses. The benchmarking can make your business plan more credible and prove that you have identified the best practices for marketing products and services.

The benchmarking process has one ultimate goal which is to evaluate your current competitive position. It is a method for taking your focus on the internal business to the external environment. How does your business fit in the industry? Are you competing locally, nationally or internationally? How have other businesses achieved success, and what will you do the same or differently to achieve excellent performance? If performance gaps are apparent between your business and the competition, what are the plans to close the gap? How will you measure success?

There are different ways to perform benchmarking analysis. You can review the marketing strategies other companies have used to succeed, compare products or services, complete a functional analysis to identify where you are innovative, and so on. In reality, you can benchmark in any way that makes sense for your particular business in terms of market performance.  Business success requires serving a niche market more efficiently and innovatively than the competition. If you don’t understand how successful competitors have performed, then you have no comparative information for competitive assessment.

Benchmarking is an important step in business plans. Before starting the analysis, the first step is to identify the most logical type of benchmarking. From that point on, it’s a matter of research and then identifying the best practices that suit your business.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

Polishing Business Plans

Developing business plans takes time, effort and patience. It is a plan for success, no matter how you define success. The business plan can be used to find funding for a start-up or expansion, or to guide an existing business. Some people think the business plan is only needed when searching for financing, but that is faulty thinking. The business plan forces business owners and managers to define goals and then make plans to meet them within a set of circumstances that include competition.

Following are some tips for refining your business plan. The business plan template is the best guide available to ensure that all elements are completed. These tips will simply add a bit of polish to the plan.


  1. Do the Executive Summary last and not first. The summary needs to concisely state the nature of your business. The best way to ensure the important information is included despite the brevity of the summary is to develop the plan details first. In that way, the Executive Summary is much easier to develop.
  2. Market strategies are more than just numbers and some statements defining the market. It should also define what makes your selling proposition different from that of your competitors.  What does your business bring to the marketplace that is different in terms of products or services, customer services, selling approach and so on? A polished business plan emphasizes uniqueness.
  3. In the competitive analysis, don’t simply describe the competition. You need to explain the distinct advantage your business has over the competition. Once again, the polished business plan makes differences and not sameness clear.
  4. In the operations plan, don’t forget to discuss the benefits that your business will bring to the community. This has become especially important in light of the current economic condition. Will your business opportunity create new jobs or support economic growth?


In the final analysis, polishing business plans means adding the information that turns a paper business into a real business for the readers.

More detailed information and useful advice can be found at Created by Mark Favre, it offers expertise and assistance with developing and funding your concept, including a private forum for queries and discussions. If you need access to investors and funding providers, please do check our website.

When Opportunity Knocks, the Business Plan Can Answer

Business plans can be viewed in a lot of ways, but in some cases they represent a plan to answer an opportunity. A business opportunity is basically a packaged business that you can start but is not necessarily a franchise. Unlike a franchise, a packaged business is fully controlled by you, and the seller has no say in how you operate your business. Once the business sale is completed, the buyer is on his or her own. The business purchase includes buying equipment or specialized materials and then establishing whatever type of operations you want.

When a business opportunity comes along, it is important to thoroughly evaluate it, of course. There are unfortunately a lot of scam artists who promise big returns if you will only make the initial investment. A good example is a cabinet company that promised business owners enormous returns for redoing cabinet faces. An investment basically bought you a manual and a half day of training. That may be enough for some people, but for others it was a plan for failure. The company was taking advantage of people desperate to get a side business started.

Review From All Angles

The business plan template can be used to ensure you evaluate the business opportunity from every angle. Naturally, you want to ensure the business is legitimate, follows state laws and regulations, and can support its claims with a list of others who have bought the opportunity. If it passes the first review, then use the business plan template as a guide for further evaluation.

For example, in the market strategies section you would be guided towards doing research on the niche market the business opportunity would target, the type of strategies that would be most successful, and the competition. The template can help you make sure that you consider all the important business factors before investing.

Evaluating a business opportunity after it has been purchased is not a good idea. The evaluation needs to be thorough before the opportunity is purchased. The business plan template is the best guide you can use.

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