Seeking: Business Plan Writer

If you are truly serious about starting a business and finding investors, then you are the only person who can write the business plan. There is simply no way to effectively write a business plan using a consultant.

Here’s a great little article on business plan writing:
http://www.va-interactive.com/inbusiness/editorial/bizdev/ibt/business_plan.html

and an excerpt that illustrates my point. primarily, it’s not the end product but the process that they must go through to get there that will set the company on the write track to be successful. one of the questions investors will ask is if he wrote the business plan, if the answer is no, then their view will be that he both unwilling to put the effort in the core areas necessary to make the company successful and doesn’t know enough about the business to effectively manage it if they were to invest money.

I. Why Write a Business Plan?
Why should a business go through the trouble of constructing a business plan? There are five major reasons:

  1. The process of putting a business plan together forces the person preparing the plan to look at the business in an objective and critical manner.
  2. It helps to focus ideas and serves as a feasibility study of the business’s chances for success and growth.
  3. The finished report serves as an operational tool to define the company’s present status and future possibilities.
  4. It can help you manage the business and prepare you for success.
  5. It is a strong communication tool for your business. It defines your purpose, your competition, your management and personnel. The process of constructing a business plan can be a strong reality check.
  6. The finished business plan provides the basis for your financing proposal.

Planning is very important if a business is to survive. By taking an objective look at your business you can identify areas of weakness and strength. You will realize needs that may have been overlooked, spot problems and nip them before they escalate, and establish plans to meet your business goals.

The business plan is only useful if you use it. Ninety percent of new businesses fail in the first two years. Failure is often attributed to a lack of planning. To enhance your success, use your plan! A comprehensive, well constructed business plan can prevent a business from a downward spiral.

Finally, your business plan provides the information needed to communicate with others. This is especially true if you are seeking financing. A thorough business plan will have the information to serve as a financial proposal and should be accepted by most lenders.

II. Who Should Write the Business Plan?

You, the owner of the business, should write the plan. It doesn’t matter if you are using the business plan to seek financial resources or to evaluate future growth, define a mission, or provide guidance for running your business — you are the one that knows the most about the business.

There are a number of software packages in addition to this article that can assist you in the formatting process: Business Plan Pro, Palo Alto Software, $89.99 and Small Business Advantage, Encore Software, $39.99 are only two of many available.

Consultants can be hired to assist you in the process of formulating a business plan, but in reality you must do a majority of the work. Only you can come up with the financial data, the purpose of your business, the key employees, and management styles to mention a few items. You may still choose to use a consultant, but realize that you will still need to do most of the work, so why not tackle the plan yourself? If you need further help in one area, then seek the assistance of the consultant.

 

here are some additional resources for him as he creates his business plan:
http://www.sequoiacap.com/ideas/
http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/index.html
http://www.myownbusiness.org/
http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/syws/bizplan/bizplan.html
http://articles.bplans.com/index.php/business-articles/category/writing-a-business-plan
http://www.score.org/template_gallery.html

HTH,
randy

– Randall Noval
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Best Job Resources Right Now? (headhunters, social networking, websites, etc.)

– Randall Noval

Advice on small-biz banks

what do people use their banks for? have they simply become a repository for cash and transferring money securely between parties (something that paypal is becoming), or are there additional values to be realized in their small-business departments? a couple minutes searching found some information for what to look for in small-business banking services. from what i’ve heard here, there doesn’t seem to be much differentiation between banks.

thanks

———-

From Forbes:
How To Choose A Bank For Your Small Business
http://www.forbes.com/2008/07/07/citigroup-jpmorgan-wells-ent-fin-cx_ml_0707smallbizbanking.html

It should make life easier, offer guidance and support, and not charge whole body parts for the privilege…

Look for online cash-management (which eases the sending of invoices, collecting of payments and cutting of payroll checks) and loan-application services–often free for small-business depositors. Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have gone a step further, charging as much as $15 per month for additional online services, such as transferring money among different banks and creating custom-logo invoices.

Next on the menu: specific industry expertise. Not all banks are comfortable financing companies in certain industries or in certain stages of their growth cycles…

Some parting advice about working with banks: Make sure to get to know your banker before you need the dough. Lenders like doing business with people they know, so take steps to establish those relationships long before you go looking for a loan. Start by setting up an appointment with a lending officer to have a general chat about your business; you’ll make a good impression and establish yourself as a potential long-term customer.

Finally, says Siewert: Get to know at least two people at the bank (say, the credit manager and the local branch manager). It never hurts to hedge your bets–especially in a credit crunch.

———-

Small Business Banking 101
http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/bestpractices/a/aa102002a.htm

[paraphrased] do not mix personal & business money, keep all transactions in completely separate accounts

———-

Guide to Business Banking for Startups
http://www.business.com/directory/financial_services/small_business_finance/banking/

Helpful advice for making the most of this Guide:

  • When considering bank fees remember they are partly tax deductible as a business expense.
  • Opening an account early on in your business can help establish relationships needed for future financing.
  • Look for banking extras such as online banking, payroll and tax services, and discounted employee banking. Try a VISA check card. You may need one in case you need to build credit to obtain a credit card.

– Randall Noval

Is it illegal to reproduce another website design?

Jules wrote:
> *Is it illegal to reproduce another website design both for personal and commercial purpose?*

it’s been said that if you steal from one, it’s plagiarism, but if you steal from many, it’s research (picasso reportedly said “good artists copy, great artists steal”). copying other websites is part and parcel of the growth and development of the internet. i can’t imagine the massive explosion of websites without people stealing designs, code and other stuff from people ad nauseum. i, for one, love wget as a tool, one of the single most useful ways to get stuff from websites. that said, there is a line, typically that line is drawn between copying someone else’s work so that you can create something new & original and copying someone else’s work so you don’t have to put the effort in. the operational word here is “transformative”, as in, is your work transformative in nature? if you’re exactly copying apple or endgadget, you’ll run afoul of trademark & copyright law. there is no legal definition or consistent precedence set here, your best bet will be to hire a lawyer. if you think that’s too expensive, consider how much it’ll cost when (not if) apple or engadget come after you for stealing their design.

here are some relevant articles.

Copying Web Design: How Much Is Too Much?
http://www.inc.com/magazine/20010315/22247.html

Design Theft – The Webmaster’s Recourse
http://www.sitepoint.com/article/theft-webmasters-recourse

Copyright on the Web
Part 1: Being on the Web Doesn’t Make it Public Domain – Protect Your Rights
http://webdesign.about.com/od/copyright/a/aa081700a.htm

HTH,
randy

– Randall Noval

GARTNER: Good Old-Fashioned Outsourcing Has Got To Stop!

The compulsive, ad hoc and fundamentally tactical approach to outsourcing practiced by most companies will be unsustainable by 2010, Cohen said, in part because companies will be doing more outsourcing with more suppliers. Organizations tend to outsource to solve a short-term problem, Cohen said. Unless organizations practice what Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner calls a “disciplined multisourcing” strategy, their ability to grow and their profitability will erode.

“Most of you know you’re stuck in good, old-fashioned outsourcing, and you know you need to kick it up a notch,” Cohen told a packed room.

The first step to reform is asking the right questions in the right order, Cohen said. Most companies begin the decision to outsource by asking who is out there, when the question that needs to be addressed head-on is why the organization is contemplating changing the way it delivers IT. That query should be followed by asking what, who, how and finally where, she said.

SearchCIO

50 Reasons Why More People Aren’t Using Your Website

1. Because they don’t want to generate content, they want better life
2. Because it solves a problem they don’t have
3. Because it won’t help them with their problem
4. Because oprah didn’t mention it
5. Because everyone they know isn’t using it
6. Because it doesn’t let them spy on people they care about
7. Because they just don’t care about what they see
8. Because nobody at work said they should use it
9. Because it’s not fun enough
10. Because it doesn’t make them smile

Scott Heiferman’s Notes