Parts of a Business Plan – Using Funds

In this quick video I walk through one of the biggest parts of a business plan – the 5 steps you need to take in order to accurately tell a bank how you will be using the funds that you are requesting. This is the 2nd step in my Fast Access to Working Capital Formula, and it’s a big one.

So, here’s a quick 4-minute video on how to craft your best business case and show a bank that their funds will not be mismanaged…


 

(00:00)
Hi, this is Pete Kremer with the Fast Access to Working Capital Formula. Today in this very quick video I’m going to be going through my second step in the formula – Using Funds. Now this is very important to provide the best business case to a bank and show them exactly how you’ll be using the funds that you’ve requested.

(00:23)
These are the exact same steps that I use when I write business plans for my clients. My clients have gone on to raise $200,000 to $2.5 million dollars in bank loans, and up to $3.5 million dollars in private investment. So these steps do work in order to provide a clear use of funds for a potential investor or bank.

(00:45)
As you’re probably aware, investors and banks are in the business of making money, not giving it away. So you need to show them that their funding will not be mismanaged. According to a recent Intuit study, 61% of small businesses worldwide report struggling with cash flow. This means that you have to show a bank exactly how you will be using the funds that they are giving you.

(01:13)
In order to do this, there are five major steps that you need to conquer in order to write your best business case for using the funds. The very first step, it’s very top-level, but you have to answer the question of ‘why you need the funding?’. For some business, it might be hiring new staff. For others, it’s purchasing new equipment or purchasing real estate, but you have to answer that question of why you need funding.

(01:40)
The second step is research. You have to go and research the exact costs of what you’re telling a bank you need the funding for. The third step is defining your one-time expenses. Now that you know what you need the funding for and you’ve research the cost, you have to clearly define in a chart what those new one-time expenses will be. The fourth step is defining your on-going expenses. For existing businesses this is fairly easy because you should have profit and loss statements with your expenses, but you also have to be clear on what new on-going expenses will be once you receive that funding.

(02:26)
And this leads to step five is to account for growth and rising expenses. Once you get funding, your business… I mean you should expect your business to grow. So you have to account for all the new expenses that are going to be on your profit and loss statements. As simple as this step may seem, I put it second in my Fast Access to Working Capital Formula because it’s super important that you get this step right. This formula is a proven method that will greatly increase your chances of accessing working capital through an SBA guaranteed loan or from a traditional lender.

(03:09)
If you want to get crystal clear on the one thing you should be doing right now to get fast access to working capital, go to my website petekremer.com/calendar and book a free strategy session. This is a 30 minute call that I offer for free just to help you get crystal clear on how you can gain access to up to 5.5 millions dollars in working capital. Hope to see you on the other side. Cheers.

 

 

petekremerParts of a Business Plan – Using Funds
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How The Correct Business Plan Structure Will Help Get You Funded

A while ago I wrote an article titled “Business Plan Structure: 6 Must-Have Sections”. In the article I discussed the sections that every business plan must have in order to answer all the questions an investor or bank needs to see.

Recently, I was asked to record a video explaining how this fits into my full signature method to help established small businesses and startups get funding. So, here’s a quick 5-minute video on how everything fits together…


 

00:00

Hi, this is Pete Kremer. I’ve been challenged to record a video, and this is the first time I’ve done it, so I thank you for watching. The fact that you are even watching means that you’re investing in the growth of your business, which is a huge step towards your success. In today’s video, I’m just going to go through the 6 sections that every business plan must have in order to answer all the questions that an investor or bank needs to have answered, in order to make an informed decision on lending you money.

00:33

I use these six sections in every single business plan that I write. And I’ve helped my clients get approved for $200,000 to 2.5 million dollars in bank loans, and up to 3.5 million dollars in private investment. So these business plan sections really do tell the whole story, if written correctly.

00:52

First, before I go into it, I just want to say 30% of small businesses close within the first two years of operations because they don’t have enough working capital, they don’t have enough money on hand to take on large projects, to hire staff. So when you are seeking funding, you are in luck if you’re going for an SBA loan. The SBA approved over 71 thousand loans last year, and provided over 30.2 billion dollars in lending to small businesses, just last year alone. So you are in luck.

01:28

However, there is one little thing here. You have to have a business plan. Straight from the SBA website right here, it says “Get ready, before you start talking to lenders, you look through this abbreviated checklist.” First thing on here? Business plan, right there. So let’s hop into it. I’ll go through the six sections that every business plan must have.

01:50

First off, section one, executive summary. This is pretty straight forward. But I do have to warn you, most people try and write this section first, but you can’t. It’s in the name. It’s a summary. It summarizes your entire business plan. So really, write this section last. It’s just a quick summary of what your business is, your growth plan and everything in a one to two page format.

02:16

Section two is your company overview. This gives a bank or lender a snapshot of what you’re currently doing, what your corporate status is, what your vision for the future is, what your management team looks like.

02:29

And then we’re on to section three, products and services. This is pretty straightforward. You basically describe the products and services that you currently offer, and then any planned products and services if you’re launching a new product line with the funding you’re seeking, anything like that.

02:45

Section four is your industry overview. This will give a bank or lender just a view of the industry that you’re in. A view of your competition, what they’re doing well right now, but also what holes might be in the market that you can capitalize on. And then what advantages you have over your competition, and how you intend to gain more market share.

03:08

Section five is your plan of operations. This is a very important section, this is where, when you’re asking for a loan, this is how you’re going to use the loan. Your plan of operations. This is, “I’m asking for 200 thousand dollars, and this is what I’m going to do with that money.”

03:27

And then section six is the financial section. This is where you’re putting numbers to your plan of operations. So you’re going to go over your current financials, provide profit and loss statements, but then also go over your profit and loss projections for the next three to five years.

03:46

So if you’re asking for 200 thousand dollars, how is that money going to make you grow, and what is your profit and loss statements going to look like after that investment? So those are the six sections that every business plan must have. There is an optional section here, the appendix. If you have supplier contracts or very in-depth standard operating procedures, those can go into an appendix. Because they don’t have to be part of the main business plan.

04:19

But anyway, those are the six sections. I wanted to go over … This is where, in my signature system, the six sections lie. In writing a compelling draft and having a rock solid plan. But in order to get to that stage, you really have to pre-qualify and see if you can even qualify for a bank loan. And then you have to, before going and writing these six sections, you go through what you’re going to use the funds for, what your growth plan is, what the industry looks like.

04:53

Formulate those financial projections, and then you’re done with the six sections that every business plan must have.

05:03

So anyway, that’s my quick spiel on how to write a business plan. If you would like to get clear on next steps for getting a SBA bank loan, feel free to go to my website, petekremer.com, and just book a free strategy session. You can just go to the homepage there and, right there, is book free strategy session

05:27

And we can talk for 20 to 30 minutes about exactly what you need to do, right now, in order to gain access to working capital through a SBA loan. Cheers, thanks for watching.

 

petekremerHow The Correct Business Plan Structure Will Help Get You Funded
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The Death of the Traditional Business Plan is a MYTH!

Put your thoughts on paper before writing your business plan.

The death of the traditional business plan has been discussed over and over again. Writing a business plan is often cited as the first thing an entrepreneur must do before starting any new venture. However, a traditional business plan rarely (if ever) survives the reality of the market once the full document is completed.

So, do you really need to sit down and write a traditional business plan, or is it a waste of time?

This is the question. No doubt this probably isn’t as big as the Nature vs. Nurture debate, but… it’s very relevant to many small businesses and entrepreneurs.

What I mean by a ‘traditional business plan’ is the more detailed and much longer document that includes all the traditional sections that a business plan includes:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
  • Products and Services
  • Industry and Market
  • Plan of Operations
  • Financial Section
  • Appendix

Within each of these main sections there are usually a number of sub-sections that break down into more detail.

So, what is the case against writing a traditional business plan, and what is the case for writing a traditional business plan?

 

The Case Against the Traditional Business Plan

There are really big names out there; huge influencers like life coach guru Tony Robbins who say “Throw out your business plan.”

Robbins writes, “The pace of change in the professional world has accelerated to the point where a business plan is no longer enough to plot the future of your company with any certainty. Disruptive technologies or unexpected competitors can come along and displace your business overnight.”

…I totally agree with this. BUT, this mainly applies to technology startups that are entering a niche market.

The problem with many people writing a traditional business plan is that most small businesses and entrepreneurs want to use their business plan as a cookbook. They want to follow it step by step like a recipe in order to grow their business. However, because it’s such a fast-paced world, this simply doesn’t work. This is the point Tony Robbins is trying to make. Yet Robbins’ target market does not include the ‘Mom and Pop’ shops out there that need extra working capital to purchase new equipment, or add additional staff.

 

The Case For the Traditional Business Plan

There are still certain times when you must have an investor-ready business plan prepared.

A traditional business plan serves a specific purpose for a specific time and place. You can’t use your business plan as a cookbook. You have to realize that your business plan is a living document. It needs to be changed and enhanced continuously based on the business decisions you make.

If you’re seeking funding in any capacity, you will need some form of a business plan to present to investors and lenders. Here are the 3 situations where you will need to have a business plan written.

  1. Bank loan –

A traditional business plan is the foundation for your eventual funding and growth. Whether you’re seeking seed funding to launch or working capital to grow, an investor-ready business plan sets you up for success. When seeking a bank loan, your business plan must be unique to your specific business. It doesn’t have to be eye catching and flashy, but the content has to be your own. Let your lenders know why they should invest in your company, and in you.

In fact, the Small Business Administration (SBA) says directly on their website, “Before you start talking to lenders, have a look at the abbreviated checklist to see if you’re ready.”

And what the first item on that abbreviated checklist? “Business Plan.”

SBA Loan business plan

‘Business plan’ is the first item on the SBA’s checklist for obtaining a bank loan.

 

  1. Private investment –

This is a very similar situation to seeking a bank loan. Unless you’re seeking funding from friends and family, nearly every private investor or investment firm will ask for some sort of business plan.

In this situation your business plan can be scaled back a bit from a ‘traditional business plan’, but it still has to include the 3 integral pieces of information; the where, the what, and the how.

  • Where you are now, and where you want to go;
  • What you do, what industry you’re in, what your competitors are doing;
  • How you will grow within the market, and how you will make money.

 

  1. Initial Public Offering –

Again, if you’re going public you will need a business plan. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires all companies to include a business plan within their registration documents.

There’s a strong chance that if you’re reading this article, you probably aren’t going public… yet. Once you get to that point, you’ll be working with a securities law firm that has business plan writers (like me) to make sure you’re adhering to all SEC rules and regulations. However, this is a situation where you will need a business plan, so I needed to include it.

Besides the fact that writing a traditional business plan is required in many situations, the whole business plan writing process helps you discover valuable information to help you succeed. Even if you’re not seeking funding, writing an investor-ready business plan as an internal roadmap can provide huge benefits to your business. You’ll discover what competitors are doing, and find holes in the market that need to be filled. This leads you towards a better definition of your ideal customers, and in turn, a better sales and marketing strategy.

All that said, don’t prioritize planning over doing. If your business plan is for your eyes only (an internal roadmap), make sure you’re focusing on the Plan of Operations by actually DOING. Create milestones and goals, and then continuously edit your plan based on your decisions.

Cheers to success!

 

Reach Out If You Need Help

As always, you can always reach out for free resources to get you unstuck and eliminate the business plan writing overwhelm.

I’m super accessible, so reach out with any questions you have. If you’ve ever received an email from me, you’ll see that I include my email address, phone number, skype ID, and Calendly calendar… so reach out in whatever way is easiest for you.

You can even instant message me in the bottom right corner of my website (https://petekremer.com), or use Facebook Messenger to message Pete Kremer Page (https://facebook.com/petekremerpage)

Some other helpful resources:

You Make Your Business Plan Unique (ebook)

Business Plan Structure – 6 Must Have Sections

petekremerThe Death of the Traditional Business Plan is a MYTH!
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Business Plan Writing Secrets Hiding In Your Own Head

Start writing a business plan now

Yes, there are some business plan writing secrets hidden in your own head. Let me delve into a couple secrets that will help certainly help you if you’re at a stand still.

In my years as a business plan writer I have come across thousands of people in the process of writing their own business plan. In fact, go to Freelancer.com, UpWork.com, Fiverr.com, or any other freelancing platform, and you’ll find hundreds of job posts per day for ‘business plan’.

But it’s funny really…

You’re passionate about your company, new venture, or new idea. Ideas are pouring into your head – product offerings, product features, product tweaks, customer base, marketing techniques, sales pitches, partnerships, global growth, and on, and on. You can’t wait to dive into the deep end and start planning for world domination (maybe an exaggeration).

But for some reason when it comes time to sit down and put the pen to the paper, the business plan never gets done.

Why is that?

Often times a business plan never gets written because you focus on creating the business itself. Writing a business plan takes a back seat to actually making sales and growing your company. In this scenario you rarely even need a traditional business plan, which is quite lucky for you.

However, if you need funding to get you idea off the ground, or to grow your company to the next level, you will need a detailed business plan. For far too many individuals and small businesses a business plan never gets written because of overwhelm. You get stuck thinking about all the possibilities, and can never focus and define one clear path. Your endless ideas and the intrigue of ‘what ifs’ create this overwhelm.

So, how do you focus?

The answer lies within the great Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss movie ‘What About Bob?’

“BABY STEPS”

Baby Steps – Business Plan Writing

Baby Step #1 for Starting Your Business Plan:

Start Your Business Plan with the Secrets Hiding In Your Own Head

To start the business plan writing process, write about now. Describe where you are right now with your company, new venture, or idea. It doesn’t matter if it’s just an idea that’s barely on paper. Only you know where you’re at right now, and you have to describe it in your business plan anyway… so start there.

Here’s start: “As of [insert date], [insert company name or working title] exists as a development stage company that…[describe what you do now].”

It’s far easier to describe the facts than creatively word the prospective future. So, just start writing the facts about where you are now, and this will give you a baseline for where you want to be.

Baby Step #2 for Starting Your Business Plan:

Write About The Parts That You Are Passionate About.

Once you have established the baseline of ‘where you are now’, dive into the section(s) of your business plan that get you excited. What parts of the business get you excited?

If you’re super passionate about the crazy awesome product features that you want to build out, then dive into writing the Products and Services section.

Or, if you can wait to discuss the ingenious marketing ideas you have in order to gain traction, start writing your Sales and Marketing Section.

You get my point – just write down all the ideas in your head.

Once you’ve written about your current status and the sections that you’re passionate about, you may start quoting ‘What About Bob?’…

“I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful.”

What About Bob? - I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.

Reach Out If You Need Help

As always, you can always reach out for free resources to get you unstuck and eliminate the business plan writing overwhelm.

I’m super accessible, so reach out with any questions you have. If you’ve ever received an email from me, you’ll see that I include my email address, phone number, skype ID, and Calendly calendar… so reach out in whatever way is easiest for you.

You can even instant message me in the bottom right corner of my website (https://petekremer.com), or use Facebook Messenger to message Pete Kremer Page (https://facebook.com/petekremerpage)

Some other helpful resources:

You Make Your Business Plan Unique (ebook)

Business Plan Structure – 6 Must Have Sections

petekremerBusiness Plan Writing Secrets Hiding In Your Own Head
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Add These 2 Sentences to the Financial Section of Your Business Plan to Make Banks (and Investors) Keep Reading.

Financial Section of a Business Plan
When you’re seeking investment for your business, 9 times out of 10 you will be asked for a detailed business plan. Whether you are approaching banks, private investors, or venture capital firms to fund your business, the financial section of your business plan is the most important piece.

Your financial section has to be rock solid.

Upon first read-through, most bank loan agents and private investors with read your Executive Summary, skim your Products and Services, and then turn to the Financial Section of your business plan. So, of course the numbers have to be well researched in order to develop realistic financial projections. But also, you need to explain your numbers and how you will pay back your loan and/or make the investors money.

So, how do your explain your numbers in the Financial Section of your business plan?

Add These 2 Sentences to the Financial Section of Your Business Plan

Usually the first section of your main Financial Section will be titled the Financial Overview. This is where you essentially write out in paragraph form what your numbers show within your Profit and Loss Statements.

There are two sentences that you should add to the beginning of your Financial Overview. These sentences start the description of your numbers off right, and keep your potential investors reading.

The two sentences are:

 

These profit and loss statements show that cash flows can be maintained, and [debt obligations] can be paid back at a very manageable rate. Based on these conservative profit and loss projections, the Company projects that we will have the necessary cash on hand to repay our debt in its entirety by the end of [insert year].

 

Let me break down these sentences and show you why they get readers interested in your financial projections.

Breaking Down the 2 Sentences

Within the first sentence you are telling a bank or investor that, ‘we will have cash flow.’ The within the Profit and Loss Statements you’re about to see, we will have ample cash flow… enough cash flow to pay back any debt obligations.

Note: The words ‘debt obligations’ can be changed to make more sense for a private investor. Perhaps use, “dividends” or “profits”.

Now, in the second sentence there is a very key word that I use – conservative. I think it’s imperative to always be very conservative and realistic when developing the Financial Section of your business plan. And, you should tell your potential investor that you did so. “Based on these conservative profit and loss projections…” tells your potential investor that these numbers aren’t grandiose dreams, but rather, well-researched and detailed financial projections.

Conclusion?

There is no ultimate conclusion to formulate here because every business is unique. Every funding situation is unique as well.

I cannot ever promise that a bank or investor will give you money to grow or start your business… that completely depends on your business.

However, I can say that your business plan plays a huge role in whether or not you get the funding you need. And, the Financial Section is the most important section. So making the Financial Section of your business plan as ‘reader-friendly’ as possible is a big piece to the puzzle.

Reach Out If You Need Help

I’m super accessible, so reach out with any questions you have. If you’ve ever received an email from me, you’ll see that I include my email address, phone number, skype ID, and Calendly calendar… so reach out in whatever way is easiest for you.

You can even instant message me in the bottom right corner of my website (https://petekremer.com), or use Facebook Messenger to message Pete Kremer Page (https://facebook.com/petekremerpage)

Some other helpful resources:

You Make Your Business Plan Unique (ebook)

Business Plan Structure – 6 Must Have Sections

petekremerAdd These 2 Sentences to the Financial Section of Your Business Plan to Make Banks (and Investors) Keep Reading.
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Business Plan Structure – 6 Must Have Sections

Business Plan Parts: 6 Must-Have Sections

Business Plan Parts: 6 Must-Have Sections

Business Plan Structure: The 6 Must-Have Sections

To answer every question an investor is looking for your business plan structure must have 6 essential sections. There is not one perfect business plan template that suits every business, but every proper business plan structure will have these sections.

Business owners and entrepreneurs often get extremely frustrated trying to use business plan template and software programs. It’s a simple fact that no business plan template works as a catch-all for every business.

Many times each of the 6 sections is broken down to include multiple sub-sections. The sections and sub-sections can be organized differently from business plan to business plan depending on what content should be highlighted to ensure the best ‘pitch’ for a particular business.

Here’s a rundown of the 6 sections that I include in every business plan regardless of the desired outcome of the business plan (investor funding, bank loan, IPO):

– 6 Sections Every Business Plan Structure Must Have –

Section 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Your executive summary should be a brief overview of the next 5 sections described below. Keep it short (1-3 pages max.), but include all the key highlights about your business. Since it’s really the ‘highlight reel’ of your business plan, you really should write your Executive Summary last. Yes, it’s the first section, but seriously write it last.

 

Section 2. COMPANY OVERVIEW

Your Company Overview should be a quick snapshot of 1) what you do; 2) what stage you’re at now; 3) where you plan to go; and 4) how you plan to get there. Most of these will be explained in more detail in the coming sections.

Here are the subsections that I generally use within the ‘Company Overview’ section:

  • CURRENT STATUS
  • THE COMPANY VISION
  • MANAGEMENT (optional here, depending on if you want to highlight your management team early on)
  • THE COMPANY OPPORTUNITY

 

Section 3. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

This section is a no-brainer. You should be detailed in your descriptions of your products and services.

 

Section 4. INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

The main objective of the Industry Overview section is to convey to a potential investor that you really know your market. However, when researching and writing this section it’s an opportunity to really work on your financial projections by review your customer demographics and competition.

Here are the subsections that I generally use within the ‘Industry Overview’ section:

  • TARGET CUSTOMERS
  • COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT
  • COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

 

Business Plan Writing ProcessSection 5. PLAN OF OPERATIONS

Now it’s time for you to show a potential investor that you have a game plan to actually make a profit and grow your business. You need to list out the phases of your development, launch, sales strategy, and growth strategy. And, include milestones with deadlines and costs for each phase or milestone. 

Here are the subsections that I generally use within the ‘Plan of Operations’ section:

  • OPERATIONAL MILESTONES
  • SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
  • GROWTH STRATEGY
  • MANAGEMENT (if not included in the Company Overview section)

 

Section 6. FINANCIAL SECTION

Many times an investor or bank will skim the first 5 sections of your business plan and turn to the financials right away. All detailed financial sections should include these sub-sections:

  • FINANCIAL OVERVIEW
  • STARTUP EXPENSES AND CAPITALIZATION
  • PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENTS
  • BREAK-EVEN ANALYSIS
  • KEY ASSUMPTIONS

 

Section 7. APPENDIX (Optional)

I say that there are 6 essential sections every business plan structure must have, but I usually include an Appendix as Section 7.

An Appendix isn’t always necessary, but if your business plan turns out to be over 30 pages, you should consider taking out some of the more detailed descriptions and add them as appendices.

petekremerBusiness Plan Structure – 6 Must Have Sections
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2 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy a Business Plan Online

You need a business plan, but… DON’T BUY A BUSINESS PLAN ONLINE… you’re just wasting your money.

 

Here’s why:

You need funding for your new idea or expanding your business. The first thing you learn on the Internet is that you need a business plan. Investors and banks will ask for a detailed business plan before even considering giving you money.

However… needing a business plan usually means that you’re in a transition phase. It’s a super exciting time. It’s also a very busy time. Your brain is in overdrive trying to keep up with the things you need to do… you devote what little time you have to researching ‘how to write a business plan’, ‘business plan sample’, and perhaps ‘business plan template’… and then… you find out that writing a business plan takes a lot of time.

Business Plans Take Time

There are so many questions that need to be answered in order to create a polished business plan. You need to do in-depth research on your industry, competitors, target market and financials.

What are your competitors doing well, and where is there room to capitalize on the market?
Is their price point better or worse than yours?
How will you gain market share? Who is your target customer?
What is the market size for your target customer?
How many products do you need to sell in Year 1 just to break even?
What does your realistic 3 to 5-year forecast look like?
…and on, and on.

The business plan writing process helps you uncover a lot of things that you may not have thought about yet. Download my FREE Business Plan Questions for a full list of questions you need to answer when writing your business plan.


2 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy A Business Plan Online

Reason 1: Writing a Business Plan Helps You Learn About Your Business and Competition.

The process will help you uncover a lot of things that you may not have thought about yet. I touched on this just above… writing your business plan is a process. You need to answer a lot of serious questions about your company. Researching and finding those answers brings many new things to light.

An experienced business plan consultant will walk you through the process. A business plan consultant’s job is to do all the time-consuming ‘heavy lifting’, yet also make sure that you understand your business model as well as your completed business plan. This enables you to focus all your energy on your business during the business plan writing process, yet understand every detail of the business plan once it’s finished.

Reason 2: You Only Get One Shot with Investors.

An investor is investing in YOU just as much as your business.The ideas in your head (your branding, your processes, etc.) are what make your business unique. If you are serious about getting funding for your new or growing business, you cannot simply buy a business plan template online because…

“You Make Your Business Unique”

I seem to say this a lot to prospective clients… but I really need you to get it, or you’ll waste a lot of time and money. You can’t simply buy a business plan. A client of mine decided to buy a ‘business plan’ online before coming to me. Here is a section that I cut and pasted from the ‘business plan’ they bought online.  I keep putting ‘business plan’ in quotes here just to be sarcastic… this was not a business plan at all.

Why not to buy a business plan online.

A client of mine decided to buy a business plan online before coming to me. This is the business plan they received.

1.1 Executive Summary

With such economic outlook and strong business model, coupled with lifestyle change, the business over collaborative and communication platform are going to be the future in global social arena. In this scenario, a young group of young entrepreneurs have decided to ride over this opportunity. This business plan is prepared to conceptualise the whole idea into a structured document for initiating well-defined business. The business plan is developed to showcase a business opportunity. At the moment, [INSERT BUSINESS NAME] is highly poised to move forward to create big business opportunity with complete visibility in the near to medium term horizon. With the understanding of macro and micro economic environment, the business is to set the mission for its plan which is nothing but a concise version of group’s vision and its philosophy of doing business to create stakeholders value. Once mission is defined, the business plan would set the financial objectives with a clear timeline. The idea is to ensure that business returns are adequate and meets all stakeholders’ expectations in the course of business evolution over time.

Again, this was cut and pasted directly from the ‘business plan’ that my client purchased online before coming to me. The only thing I changed was the [INSERT BUSINESS NAME] in order to really highlight my point.

Disregard the typos and poor grammar…
in 176 words, this ‘Executive Summary’ describes absolutely nothing.

This is boilerplate text (fluff) that allows the ‘business plan’ seller to simply insert a new business name and send it out the door. There is no mention of the type of business, or even the industry for that matter! They simply changed the business name. AND, they charged for it. AND, the entire ‘business plan’ (16 pages) was equally as vague and fluffy.

Would You Invest Your Money After Reading This?

Does this get you excited to pull out your checkbook and invest?

I don’t want you to learn the hard way like my client did. Simply don’t buy a business plan online. If you present an investor or bank with a vague, wordy business plan template that you purchased online, they will simply show you to the door.

petekremer2 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy a Business Plan Online
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Help Writing a Business Plan

New Idea or a Growing Business?

You have a new business idea, or you want to grow your existing business. Awesome! This is exciting. However, you need funding to launch your idea or expand…

The Internet tells you that you need a business plan to present to investors and banks. TRUE.

One Hat One Hand Business Plan

One Hat One Hand, LLC Business Plan for Business Growth

Now You Need Help Writing a Business Plan.

First things, first…

Business plans take time. Your business plan needs to be as detailed as possible. Investors and banks need to understand your current status and your vision for the future… but it can’t be filled with ‘hope to‘ and ‘change the world‘ statements. Everything has to be backed by solid market research, as well as in-depth descriptions of how you plan to make your company a success. This leads me to my next point.

 

You Have to be Part of the Business Plan Process

You cannot present investors and banks with a business plan template that you purchased online. More on that in my article “2 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy a Business Plan Online”.

You are the driving force behind your business. Thus, you should be an integral part of the business plan writing process. Even if you seek help writing your business plan (from someone like me), you are an integral part of the process because you make your business unique. There will be many questions that only you can answer.

 

Answer All the Relevant Business Plan Questions

Certain questions have to be answered within every business plan. A lot of those answers will come from you.

Answers relating to…

• Your management team
• Ownership structure
• Key features of your products and services

…will have to come from you. These are the straightforward and easy questions to answer, but you hold the answers.

 

Unique Business Aspects Come from You

You will also have to answer questions about:

• The pricing model for your products and services
• Your competitive advantages within your target market
• Sales and marketing strategies

A business plan template cannot answers these types of questions for you. These questions need to be answered thoroughly and honestly. Really try to focus on you and your business. What makes your business unique? The whole point of an investor-ready business plan is to convince an investor or bank that you are worth the risk… ‘risk’ meaning ‘giving you their money’.

Download my FREE Business Plan Questions for a full list of questions you need to answer when writing your business plan.

 

Get Feedback and Revise

Angel investors and Venture Capital firms are hard to get a meeting with. AND, you only get one shot!

Once you have answered all the necessary business plan questions, and written a detailed business plan, take your business plan to a local bank or your local SBA office. Get feedback from them. Pay close attention to what the banks and the SBA are looking for. Make revisions to your business plan based directly on their feedback.

If you have the time, help writing a business plan can come from many sources.

 

Hire a Business Plan Consultant If Needed

Not everyone is a writer. You also have many other things occupying your time while you are developing and growing your business. You can hire a business plan writer to compile a neatly formatted and pretty document. BUT, it takes a business plan consultant for real help writing a business plan. A consultant will help you strategize the future of your business and really plan out the right business plan direction to help you secure funding. Here is a Business Plan Consulting – Case Study that I wrote to highlight how a business plan (and an entire business direction) can change during the business plan writing process. Check it out here: Business Plan Consulting – Case Study

 

P.S. Learn More About Developing Your Business Plan

I’ve written a few articles and developed some FREE materials to help you write a business plan that is unique and attractive to investors and banks.

FREE Business Plan Questions
2 Reasons Why You Should NOT Buy a Business Plan Online

petekremerHelp Writing a Business Plan
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FREE Business Plan Questions

Business Plan Questions document

Click to download your free Business Plan Questions document.

So, You Need a Business Plan

You are starting a new business or expanding your existing business. Now you need a business plan so you can get the funding you need to launch and expand.

Answer These Business Plan Questions

Whether you are starting a new business, or writing a business plan for your existing business, this list of Business Plan Questions includes all the questions you will need to answer.

I have been writing business plans for over 10 years, and this list of questions is the first thing I send to all of my new business plan clients. I absolutely promise that if you answer all of these questions, you will have all the content necessary for your business plan. AND, you will be one step closer to getting investor funding or a bank loan.

Be Thorough and Answer Honestly

Answer the questions thoroughly and honestly. If you don’t have answers for some of the questions, it’s completely fine. Use this time for in-depth research and planning. Plan out your business model and hone your business strategy as you answer these questions. It’s better to be honest and say that you are in the ‘idea phase’ or ‘development phase’, rather than talk big without research to back it up… if you’re serious about getting funding, investors will always ask the right questions to find out the truth.

“You only get one chance to make a first impression with investors.”

Now Dive into These Business Plan Questions

I hope this document provides you great value on your journey towards business development and growth.

Now, dive into these Business Plan Questions! Good luck, and have fun with it!

These are exciting times!

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Business Feasibility Study – Case Study

Feasibility Study Cover

Feasibility Study Cover for Ramblin’ Adventure Club

Ramblin’ Adventure Club (RAC) Feasibility Study

RAC came to me for my small business consulting services. Their passion was unmatched, but their current business model wasn’t profitable at the time.

They wanted me to write a business plan for the company to use as an internal document to guide their direction and growth.

The first action was to assess the company’s status and then do a full-scale feasibility study to determine whether the company should ‘preserve or pivot’ from their current business model.

What is a Feasibility Study?

In business, a feasibility study is an assessment of the practicality of a proposed business direction or revenue stream. This is used to guide a company through the decision making process for the launch of a new business model, or the expansion of an existing business model.

Feasibility Study vs. Business Plan

A feasibility study is meant to determine whether or not a single business model is viable within the market. Whereas a business plan details the company as a whole and its future direction.

When compared side-by-side, an in-depth feasibility study contains most of the same sections that are included within a business plan. However, a feasibility study usually just details one business model or product. The business plan will detail every business model, product and service that the company offers. Thus, a business plan will have more detailed financials because the financial section will encompass the entire business.

Feasibility Study Table of Contents

Feasibility Study Table of Contents

CREATING A FEASIBILITY STUDY –

Step 1: Assess the Current Status

The first step in developing a feasibility study is to assess the current status of the business.

IN this case study RAC had hired me because the company received funding and grew their staff, but the company was not profitable because of their premature growth.

Together we took a look at the current revenue streams and operating expenses… this may seem very basic, but when you’re running the day-to-day operations of a business, simple things like this often get overlooked.

 

Step 2: Decide to Preserve or Pivot? …or Both?

The problem was that RAC had hired multiple new staff members to ‘grow’ the company, but had overlooked the fact that in their current business model the service they offered had a maximum capacity for daily participants…meaning there was a clear ceiling for revenue potential.

Before deciding to preserve or pivot we went through their ‘Best-day Analysis’ and ‘Break-even Analysis’, and we found out that they needed to be operating at capacity every single day just to realize minimal profits.

Best-day Analysis:

Maximum Potential Revenue – Operating Expenses = Maximum Potential Profit
For obvious reasons, you want the Maximum Potential Profit number to be as large as possible.

Break-even Analysis:

Minimum Customers Needed – Operating Expenses = 0
When doing a Break-even analysis, a lower minimum customers/services/products needed is better. This means that you only need X number of customers to break even on your operating expenses… every customer above X will equal profit.

 

In their current business model, RAC’s daily Maximum Potential Profit was just above their daily operating expenses…

We needed to pivot!!!

 

Step 3: Reassess the Company Vision and Brainstorm New Revenue Models

Goals… Hopes… Dreams… What is the Company Vision?

In most cases you can’t simply change a lemonade stand into a fine dining restaurant simply because you would make more money.

RAC was born from the idea that the nature of childhood has changed dramatically for the current generation of kids. American childhood has moved indoors during the last two decades. This has taken a mental and physical toll on today’s kids. The ultimate goal of the company was to provide a safe and supportive environment that offered kids a chance to connect with nature, while promoting academic, personal, social and recreational development.

Keeping this in mind, we started to formulate a list of business models and revenue streams that would follow the company’s vision, yet produce more profit. The goal wasn’t to assess the ideas yet, just to get them down on paper.

 

Step 4: Lowest Hanging Fruit… Pick it First

This is the ‘feasibility’ part of the feasibility study.

After formulating a list of possible directions to take the business, it was now time to assess the feasibility of each possibility.

I needed to ask the questions…

What is easiest to execute?
What costs the least money to realize the most profit?

These questions can only be answered through market research, demographics studies, and analysis of the competitive environment. This research will determine the feasibility of each new business model that is proposed.

 

Step 5: Develop a Strategic Plan

In this particular case study, after researching each new business model, we decided to preserve AND pivot. RAC’s original business model was not the problem. The cost of the new staff was the problem. The launch of a new revenue stream using the existing staff was the answer. This allowed the company to preserve the core business model that the company was founded on, and grow the business at the same time.

This feasibility study led me to write a business plan for the company that detailed preserving the current business model, and launching a new business model the would provide the company with exponential growth within their target market.

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