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PERFECTION...

is an iterative journey, NOT a destination.


f(x) = x/2 --> f(1), f(1/2), f(1/4)… --> 1/2, 1/4, 1/8,… --> gets closer to 0 with each revision, but never quite reaches it.

Don't get overwhelmed. Just start your draft. Revise later.






Business Plans

Organizational Development


BASIC STEPS


CAUTION: This Section Under Construction.

This page contains information that may be useful while developing business plans and related presentations. Generally, steps may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Document Business Concept (roughly 5-6 pages)
    1. Executive Summary (roughly 1 page; elevator speech)
      1. Very Briefly Describe the Market
      2. Very Briefly Describe Their Pain(s)/Problem(s)
      3. Very Briefly Identify the Current Solutions/Substitutes?
      4. Very Briefly Describe How the Proposed Solution Provides Greater Benefits
    2. Business Description (roughly 1 page)
      1. Provide a Concise Description of the (Proposed) Business
      2. Briefly Explain Why It Is Unique or Compelling
    3. Market Definition (roughly 1 page)
      1. Describe the Target Market -- Who Is the Customer?
      2. Describe the Customers' and Other Stakeholders' Problem(s) the (Proposed) Business, Product(s), Service(s), or Program(s) Will Solve
      3. Describe Other Solutions That Will Compete for That Customer and Other Stakeholders
    4. Market Opportunity (roughly 1 page)
      1. Describe the (Preliminary) Estimate of the Potential Market Size
      2. Describe the Number of Customers That Can Be Reasonably Served
    5. Product, Service, Program Description (roughly 1 page)
      1. Describe the (Proposed) Product(s), Service(s), or Program(s)
      2. Describe How the (Proposed) Product(s), Service(s), or Program(s) Will Solve the Previously Identified Problem(s)
      3. Describe How the (Proposed) Product(s), Service(s), or Program(s) Will Create Exceptional Value for Customers and Other Stakeholders
    6. Business Model (roughly 1 page)
      1. Describe How the (Proposed) Business Will Generate Revenues and Profits
      2. Describe How the (Proposed) Business Will Be Sustainable
  2. Develop Elevator Speech
  3. Document Business Foundation
    1. Vision
      1. Identify Vision Statement
      2. Describe Milestones
  4. Document Market Opportunity
    1. Outline Market Analysis
      1. The Overall Market
      2. Changes in the Market
      3. Market Segments
      4. Target Market and Customers
      5. Customer Characteristics
      6. Customer Needs
      7. Customer Buying Decisions
    2. Outline Competitive Analysis
      1. Industry Overview
      2. Nature of Competition
      3. Changes in the Industry
      4. Primary Competitors
      5. Competitive Products/Services
      6. Opportunities
      7. Threats and Risks
  5. Document Implementation Strategy
    1. Outline Strategy
      1. Key Competitive Capabilities
      2. Key Competitive Weaknesses
      3. Strategy
      4. Implementing/Executing Strategy
    2. Highlight Products/Services
      1. Product/Service Description
      2. Positioning of Products/Services
      3. Competitive Evaluation of Products/Services
      4. Future Products/Services
    3. Summarize Marketing and Sales
      1. Marketing Strategy
      2. Sales Tactics
      3. Advertising
      4. Promotions/Incentives
      5. Publicity
      6. Trade Shows
    4. Summarize Operations
      1. Key Personnel
      2. Organizational Structure
      3. Human Resources Plan
      4. Product/Service Delivery
      5. Customer Service/Support
      6. Facilities
  6. Document Financials
    1. Document Assumptions and Comments
    2. Provide Starting Balance Sheet
    3. Provide Profit-And-Loss Projection
    4. Provide Cash Flow Projection
    5. Provide Balance Sheet Projection
    6. Highlight Ratios and Analyses
  7. Executive Summary (roughly 2 pages)
    1. Briefly Summarize Business Concept
    2. Briefly Summarize Current Situation
    3. Briefly Summarize Key Success Factors
    4. Briefly Summarize Financial Situation/Needs
  8. Appendices
    1. Porter's Industry Forces and Related Dimensions
    2. PESTEL Analysis
    3. Competitive Advantage Value Chain Illustration
    4. Competitive Advantage VRINE Analysis
    5. SWOT-TOWS Analysis
    6. Strategy Diamond
    7. Logic Model
    8. Key Implementation Strategies
    9. Key Leadership Team Bios (e.g. name, role, key strengths and weaknesses, leadership experience, educational background)
    10. Key Cultural Dimensions
    11. Key Projects (e.g. project name, purpose, activities, outputs, outcomes)
    12. Stakeholder Alliances (e.g. name, role, key contributions, stakeholder description)
    13. Evaluation Strategy
    14. Credit History (Personal and Business)
    15. Resumes of Key Managers
    16. Product Pictures
    17. Letters of Reference
    18. Details of Market Studies
    19. Relevant Magazine Articles or Book References
    20. Licenses, Permits, or Patents
    21. Legal Documents
    22. Copies of Leases
    23. Building Permits
    24. Contracts
    25. List of Business Consultants, Including Attorney And Accountant
    26. List of Strategic Alliances
  9. Develop Stakeholder Presentations




QUALITY CRITERIA


This section contains information that may be useful while reviewing business plans and related presentations. Generally, quality criteria may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Business Idea
    1. Originality -- how unique is the business idea?
    2. Clear and Compelling Value Proposition -- a legitimate, recognized need has been clearly demonstrated along with appropriate solution(s)?
    3. Competitive Advantage -- proposed business creates more value for customers than alternative solutions?
    4. Market Opportunity -- evidence of adequate market size and creation of a viable business model?
    5. Feasibility -- reasonable prospect of funding and successful implementation?
  2. Presentation
    1. Materials Were Clear, Comprehensive and Organized
    2. Delivery Was Clear, Compelling and Persuasive
    3. Questions Answered Directly, Clearly and Effectively
    4. Allotted Time Used Effectively




INFORMATION SOURCES


CAUTION: This Section Under Construction.




CAUTION: The Area Below Under Construction.
http://www.youtube.com/user/stanfordbusiness Stanford Graduate School of Business http://ecorner.stanford.edu/index.html The Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) Entrepreneurship Corner is a free online archive of entrepreneurship resources for teaching and learning. The mission of the project is to support and encourage faculty around the world who teach entrepreneurship to future scientists and engineers, as well as those in management and other disciplines. http://nosmokeandmirrors.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/50_ugly_truths1.pdf 50 ugly truths about owning and running your own business…and 5 reasons to do it anyway By Mark Allen Roberts http://nosmokeandmirrors.com & http://www.outbsolutions.com Stanford Graduate School of Business Resources http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/ces/resources/ http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98359,00.html Business Structures http://www.nvca.org/ National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) is the premier trade association that represents the U.S. venture capital industry. NVCA's mission is to foster greater understanding of the importance of venture capital to the U.S. economy, and support entrepreneurial activity and innovation. The NVCA represents the public policy interests of the venture capital community, strives to maintain high professional standards, provides reliable industry data, sponsors professional development, and facilitates interaction among its members. http://www.socialedge.org/ By Social Entrepreneurs, For Social Entrepreneurs® Social Edge http://www.skollfoundation.org/ Skoll FoundationThe Skoll Foundation was created by Jeff Skoll in 1999 to pursue his vision of a sustainable, peaceful and prosperous world. Jeff believes that strategic investments in the right people can lead to lasting social change. The Skoll Foundation’s mission is to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are proven leaders whose approaches and solutions to social problems are helping to better the lives and circumstances of countless underserved or disadvantaged individuals. By identifying the people and programs already bringing positive change around the world, the Skoll Foundation empowers them to extend their reach, deepen their impact and fundamentally improve society.
  • ReferenceUSA is a directory of 14 million U.S. businesses that can be searched and sorted many ways including by company name, industry, location and size. This is a subscription databases published by Cengage Learning's Gale, which is typically available through larger educational and public library systems. Associations Unlimited for Hennepin County Library Card Holders

  • Business Plans Handbook. Subscription access to this publication is typically available through larger educational and public library systems' print or Gale CENGAGE Learning's Virtual Reference Library database collections. Subscription access to this publication is available for Hennepin County Library Card Holders, selecting the Business publication category, then selecting the most recent edition of the Business Plans Handbook

    Management Today offers articles, research, commentary, profiles, training and book reviews on all aspects of business management published in London for members of the Institute of Management. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.hclib.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=keh&jid=MGE&site=ehost-live http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/SubjectGuides.cfm?Topic=Business%2FInvestments&ShowAllDAtabases=Y Directory of 14 million U.S. businesses. Also includes U.S. white page listings, new businesses, and Canadian businesses. Details Subscription purchased by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), with funding from state and federal tax revenues and from Hennepin County property taxes Associations Unlimited Information about over 444,000 international and U.S. national, regional, state, and local nonprofit membership organizations in all fields. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Gale's Ready Reference Shelf Directory information on more than 300,000 organizations, publications and databases. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. D&B Million Dollar Directory Comprehensive marketing information on 14 million public and private U.S. and Canadian companies. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Top Business Databases * Articles: Business Source Premier & ABI/Inform * Companies/Industries: OneSource IBISWorld provides market research reports on over 700 U.S. industries, organized by NAICS code. The reports include key statistics, market segmentation, lifecycle, regulation, market share and industry outlook. Click here for a list of the industies covered. ACCESS: Licensed access for UW-Madison students, faculty and staff; available from campus libraries, home or office. Mintel Reports analyze market sizes and trends, market segmentation, along with consumer attitudes and purchasing habits. Click here for a guide to the database. ACCESS: Licensed access ONLY for UW-Madison students, faculty and staff; available from campus libraries, home or office. OneSource has market research on industry trends and analysts' reports in addition to detailed company information. ACCESS: Licensed access for UW-Madison students, faculty and staff; available from campus libraries, home or office. Passport Reference & Markets (formerly Global Market Information) has market research reports spanning all consumer sectors analyzed by country, region, or the global market. ACCESS: Licensed access ONLY for UW-Madison students, faculty and staff; available from campus libraries, home or office. You are required to register and create a password. Choices III (formerly Simmon's Choices III) is useful for retrieving demographics and psychographics of product users and media audiences. See the instructions for using this database and ask for assistance at the Reference Desk. ACCESS: Choices III is available on one computer in the Business Library. ABI/INFORM Complete http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=ABI Find articles on business, finance, and management topics from regional, U.S. and international publications. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Academic Search Premier http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=EBSCOAcademic Full text for nearly 4,600 scholarly publications across all academic disciplines. Updated daily. Details Subscription purchased by Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) with a state appropriation to the MINITEX Library Information Network. Advertising Red Books http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=RedBooks Detailed information about 14,500 domestic and international advertising agencies and profiles of 19,000 advertisers. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Associations Unlimited http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=AssocUnlim Information about over 444,000 international and U.S. national, regional, state, and local nonprofit membership organizations in all fields. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Business & Company Resource Center http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=BCRC In-depth company information and extensive access to business magazines & industry surveys. Details Subscription purchased by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), with funding from state and federal tax revenues. Business Source Premier http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=EBSCOBusiness Full text for nearly 7,400 scholarly business journals across all subject areas. Includes detailed company profiles and country economic reports. For quick access to detailed company and industry profiles, country economic reports, and market research reports try the Enhanced Business Searching Interface. Updated daily. Details Subscription purchased by Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) with a state appropriation to the MINITEX Library Information Network. We Corporate Affiliations http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=CorporateAffiliations Business profiles and corporate linkage ("who owns whom") for approximately 184,000 public and private companies worldwide. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. D&B Million Dollar Directory http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=MDD Comprehensive marketing information on 14 million public and private U.S. and Canadian companies. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. EBSCO MegaFILE http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=Mega Search mulitple collections of magazine articles, reference books, and images at one time. Details Subscription purchased by Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) with a state appropriation to the MINITEX Library Information Network. Expanded Academic ASAP http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=ExAcadASAP Find articles from scholarly journals, news magazines, and newspapers across all academic disciplines. Details Subscription purchased by Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) with a state appropriation to the MINITEX Library Information Network. Foundation Directory Online Professional Searchable database covering over 76,600 U.S. foundations and corporate giving programs. Accessible only at Central Library, 4th floor -- please ask staff for assistance. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Gale Directory Library http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=GDL Use this for online access to Brands and Their Companies and American Wholesalers and Distributors directories. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Gale Virtual Reference Library http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=GVRL Full-text content for dozens of in-depth reference books, including legal materials, business plans, social sciences, and lots for students. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Gale's Ready Reference Shelf http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=GRRS Directory information on more than 300,000 organizations, publications and databases. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. General Reference Center Gold http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=GRCG Full text access to 3,033 general interest and business magazines back to 1980. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Legal Forms from Thomson Gale http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=LegalForms Officially approved forms covering bankruptcy, bill of sale, contracts, divorce, employment, incorporation, landlord/tenant, living wills, name change, power of attorney, real estate, taxes and wills. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. MasterFILE Premier http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=EBSCOMaster Full text for more than 2,000 general interest magazines dating as far back as 1975. Includes reference books, book reviews, biographies, primary source documents, and images. Updated daily. Details Subscription purchased by Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) with a state appropriation to the MINITEX Library Information Network. Mergent Online http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=Mergent Detailed financial information on publicly held companies. To access the Mergent Manual archives (1905-2007), go to Mergent WebReports. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Minnesota Grantmakers Online Searchable database of Minnesota grantmakers and grants. Accessible only at Central Library, 4th floor -- please ask staff for assistance. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Morningstar Investment Research Center http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=Morningstar Financial data on more than 30,000 stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs, and buy/sell guidance on more than 1,900 stocks and 2,100 mutual funds. Details ProQuest Discovery http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=ProQ Full-text articles from over 2200 magazines covering the arts, business, education, health, literature, politics and general interest, from 1972 to the present. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. ProQuest Newsstand http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=ProQNews Full-text articles from major national and regional newspapers, including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Barron's and the Star Tribune. Coverage varies by title. Details Subscription purchased by Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) with a state appropriation to the MINITEX Library Information Network. ReferenceUSA http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=RefUSA Directory of 14 million U.S. businesses. Also includes U.S. white page listings, new businesses, and Canadian businesses. Details Subscription purchased by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), with funding from state and federal tax revenues and from Hennepin County property taxes Regional Business News http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=EBSCORegional Full text for 75 business journals, newspapers and newswires from metropolitan and rural areas across the U.S. Updated daily. Details Subscription purchased by Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM) with a state appropriation to the MINITEX Library Information Network. Small Business Resource Center http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=SBRC Market research and more for small business owners. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=SPNetAdv Eleven of Standard & Poor's most popular investor information products. Details Subscription purchased by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), with funding from state and federal tax revenues. StarTribune http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=Strib Value Line http://www.hclib.org/pub/search/Login.cfm?db=ValueLine Comprehensive source of information and advice on 1,700 stocks, more than 90 industries, the stock market, and the economy. Details Subscription purchased with funding from Hennepin County property taxes. Full text of articles from the newspaper, 1986 to present. See also Historical Minneapolis Tribune (1867-1922). Details Subscription purchased by the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA), with funding from state and federal tax revenues.

    [BACK TO TOP] Source Mintel Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage Business & Company Resource Center (Gale) NAICS.com/search.htm Census Bureau Census.gov American Factfinder Factfinder.census.gov Lexis-Nexis Academic Hoovers Online BizStats Bizstats.com

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