Archive for March, 2021

What Is A Business Plan? And Why Do I Need One

March 8th, 2021

For many entrepreneurs the creation of a business plan is the biggest hurdle in the development process of their fledgling enterprise. There is a mystery, almost a dread in many people when discussion of a business plan requirement is first broached. They conceptualize a boring, dry, painful experience and many would like to avoid this step if at all possible.

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that qualifies, quantifies and narrates a commercial opportunity. It is that simple to state, more difficult to execute, but anyone can customize a business plan that gets results. The plan must have an exciting Executive Summary. Like the opening scenes of a movie, or the first chapter of a book, the writer must set a hook.

Typically, active investors, angels, venture capital groups and investment bankers are deluged with business plans. Screeners typically read the document before passing along to decision-makers within the firm. However, very few move along the decision making food chain precisely because the Executive Summary lacks excitement, punch or sets a high level of anticipation about what is inside the document.

Having written dozens of business plans for clients I can attest that creating a plan that works is, well, work. No two plans are alike. The plan must be customized, well researched, structured and direct. I receive more than 500 business plan submissions annually in my consulting firm. Less than 1% have commercial potential as written. Many describe products, services, retail or new business development ideas that otherwise might be exciting. However, the plan does not convey that potential.

One of the worst things to evolve from the arrival of the inter-net is the ability to download a business plan template and write the document by filling in the blanks. The template itself is not problematic, I use a self-developed template when I customize plans. The problem is that many entrepreneurs do not have the writing skills, the research in hand, know the keys that turn on investors and thus, take shortcuts. Filling in the blanks without sweating the details and doing comprehensive research results in a document that will not be read and an opportunity that will never launch.

Rule number one in the development of any commercial opportunity: shortcuts equal failure!

I am a self-taught business plan writer. If I can do it, anyone can. In reality, however, most people just want to expose their opportunity to investors, licensees or potential partners. They don’t have writing skills, do not know the types of research necessary to support the plans sales model, need help in creating the marketing strategy, and will never be able to narrate financials.
Where can they go to create and exciting business plan document.

The following are resources readily available in most communities. Many are free.

Many colleges, community colleges and universities have developed small business incubators. They attract additional state funding, as small business growth and development are keys to job creation and an increased tax base. Take advantage of this community asset. Students, graduate students and professors are often available to direct your efforts. Ten years ago there were only a handful such programs. Today, over 1000 schools have some version of an entrepreneurial program.

Many states, regional and local governments offer business development programs. They have retired business people and mentors on hand to support, guide and train prospective entrepreneurs and guide business plan creation. There is no charge for utilizing this service, after all, your tax dollar supports these programs.

SCORE, the Service Core of Retired Executives is a Federal Government sponsored initiative. Thousands of retired, experienced business people make themselves available to evaluate commercial opportunities and direct the development and launch of those deemed to have potential. They are often intimately involved in creating business plans.

The Ewing Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, MO is devoted solely to the development of entrepreneurial development. Mr. Kauffman started, nurtured and developed Marion Labs from a tiny drug local company into a multinational, multi-billion dollar powerhouse. He also owned the Kansas City Royals baseball team. His devotion to developing and promoting the entrepreneurial base of the United States resulted in creation of the foundation that bears his name.

Seek out a consultant. Typically consultants charge a fee, just like lawyers, accountants or plumbers. The advantage of an experienced consultant is that they write business plans for a living, will be strong writers, able to properly direct or perform research, narrate financials and differentiate a commercial opportunity by creating an exciting word picture. Always seek references and talk to several before deciding on a consultant.

Why Do I Need a Business Plan?

You might not. You might not need a deeply customized business plan if you are seeking to license or sell an invention, a patent or a prototype product. In this situation, the potential licensee would take your work product and develop a plan that fits their internal organizational needs.

However, if you are attempting to fund a start-up business, self-market a product or buy a small business you will absolutely need to create a road map. That road map is your business plan. The map is not linear, there will be curves and setbacks, but by quantifying, qualifying and narrating a well- researched, customized business plan you are much closer to success.

Geoff Ficke is President of Duquesa Marketing, Inc. An international consulting firm with over 35

How to Find a Hungry Crowd For Your Product Creation and Development

March 8th, 2021

For any type of business to succeed product creation and development has to be a part of their overall business plan. For most people through finding and creating products that people want can be tough if you do not know how to go about it. By not having a formula or plan in place you will find yourself just spinning your wheels and your business struggling to try to stay above water. We have some tips to help you with product creation and development so you can market them to your customers and others who maybe looking for your services.

One of the main keys of product creation is finding out what people want. This is not as hard as it may seem. Finding what people want will take you a little bit of work, but it can be done with just some proper research. Many people tend to think you have to pay a company thousands to do the research for you. That is just not true unless you’re rich and can afford to toss money around. All the leg work can be done by yourself quickly and efficiently once you know the steps you need to take. Now let’s get into those steps to your first product creation and development.

On the Internet your best friend to help you create products for your customers will be forums. There are millions of different types of forums on all kinds of subjects. This means no matter what type of product you want to create there probably is a forum about it. The main reason we use forums is because people post questions and problems they have. By visiting these forums you can see what needs they have and get to work on a product to fix the problem. Two of my favorite places to visit are and The Warrior forum located at Big-boards is a listing of forums update daily showing the largest ones around. The Warrior Forum deals mostly with Internet Marketing, but has so much information you will want to visit it daily. Most people just try to guess what people need and that is a big mistake with product creation and development. You must actually see what people need so you can create what they want. Most people buy products because they solve a problem they have.

Developing your products is something you should take very seriously. Ask questions in forums, this will help you understand the needs of your potential clients. Quiz your customers past and present on what they need. By compiling all this information you can create products that people want and need. If you do this your business will continue to prosper no matter what type of economy were in.