The Art of Developing Business a Plan

The Art of Developing Business A Plans For Start-Ups and Early Stage Companies

Following is a planning system that can help inspire potential investors, key employees and other influential people to act on your behalf to achieve your business vision and mission. Within it your ideas are presented in a unique 7-step sequence to direct thoughts, energy, intentions, emotions and actions.

With this planning system you will think differently and be better prepared to challenge the status quo. You will attract attention from the right people, create interest and may be able to obtain a personal meeting with potential investors where details can be discussed.

An additional benefit is that this unique system helps you answer the questions Why, How and What described in the TED presentation “Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Action” by Simon Sinek.

To understand how and why to use this planning system watch the following TV shows:

“Shark Tank” and “The Profit” – CNBC
“Restaurant Impossible” – Food Network
“Hotel Impossible” – Travel Channel
“Hotel Hell” – Fox
“Undercover Boss” – CBS

The bottom line lesson from these TV programs is to use the following thought process:

Why am I in business?
How will I best serve my stakeholders, clients or their customers?
What must I do to achieve critical financial, business and personal goals that support my Why and How?

Users of this planning and presentation system are pleased to report that they can create business plans 50% faster than when using conventional planning formats and they don’t leave out or forget critical elements. Users also report that it is easy to reorganize the information to fit a standard format required by a bank or other group with fixed (old school) ideas about what a business plan should be.

IMPORTANT – An initial business plan should never exceed 30 pages as most investors only pay attention to your Executive Summary (not more than 4 pages). Also, they usually will usually like or reject a plan within 5-7 minutes of reading and flipping through the pages. Use photos, charts & graphs for greater impact in fewer pages.

Grouped by the Energetics of Each Topic and Corresponding Color Frequencies

The purpose or mission of the organization and its efforts
Your vision of the business in 1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 years (a mental snap-shot)

Your leadership and management strategies for:

Ownership and business entity structuring
Start-up and growth funding/liquidity
Staffing, succession and culture
Growing and developing the business
Partnerships, strategic alliances and other jump-start business arrangements
Identifying and serving target market(s)
Anticipating consumer wants, needs and willingness to buy at profitable prices
Merchandising techniques for maximum sales, profits and inventory turns
product design, development, production and retirement
Project management
Marketing, sales and service
Customer service
Internal communication and public relations
Market share and competitive pressures
Positioning and lobbying to influence third-party power
Distribution channels and alternative business models
Pricing, revenue, profitability and cash flow
Performance tracking, reporting and remediation
Risk management
Staying relevant in rapidly changing markets with disruptive technologies
Dealing with regulations, taxes, fees and other costs of doing business


Business objectives
Formation efforts to date
Keys to success
Next steps
Technology descriptions
Sourcing & fulfillment
Current products & Services
Future products & services
Market trends
3 year sales forecast
Prospecting & qualifying methods
Primary distribution channels
Customer profiles
Management gaps
Business units
Key planning assumptions
Pro-forma P & L statement
Pro-forma balance sheet
Pro-forma cash flow
Business ratios (compared to competition and business field)
Start -up cash requirements
Break-even projection
Outside influences +/- that will impact opportunities and threats


Legal entity structure
Target market description
Market segmentation
Primary distribution patterns
Payment systems
After sale services
Organization structure
Implementation milestones
Sales Literature (including websites, email & direct mail)
Key operating procedures
Insurance coverage
Accounting and reporting systems


Key market needs
Typical advertising & promotion methods
Presentation & demonstration/trial methods
Networking methods
Source of customer satisfaction/loyalty surveys
White papers/reports/memos to be published
Media exposure & PR techniques


Ownership & capitalization
Future investment requirements
Five-year growth target
Value proposition
Competitive comparisons
Strengths & opportunities
Projected market share
Competitive strengths & weaknesses
Opportunities & threats
Pricing & promotional considerations – start-up & long-term
Sales terms/conditions
Current sales pipeline by size & potential
Customer loyalty programs & referrals
Sales closing techniques
Management team – names, titles & background
Personnel staffing plan
Outsourcing plan
Strategic alliances
Strategic services
Outside investments – why?
Sales contracts
Letters of intent – received & expected
Leases – what, when, where, why, who & how


Operating locations /physical & virtual
Buildings/work facilities
Office/production/storage equipment
Non-capital equipment
Office supplies
Product & service descriptions
Production systems
Product inventory
Product raw materials
Product packaging
Industry participants
Geographic sales territories
Delivery & storage systems – product rotation
Operating hours/availability
Sales tools
Communication Infrastructures & networks – phone, internet, fax, etc.
Other communication tools
Transportation systems/infrastructures/equipment
Franchise assets/support
Potential weather/environmental issues
Logos/trademarks/trade dress – pending & granted


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