Business Planning

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The Ideal Business Plan for Investors
One of the most frequent questions we get on New Venture Lab is how to raise capital for a startup in amounts that range from $5k to $1m. This stage of business development and investing is typically funded by personal savings (at the lower end of that range), friends and family (the next...
 
 
Three Google Tools to Check Before Starting a Business
A very good article of how to quickly target your market and message:I don’t take time for a SWOT analysis and fifty page marketing plans. I don’t hire marketing MBA’s who learned about advertising and tested focus groups in college. Why do that when there are tools that can tell you...
 
 
The Anatomy of a Successful Startup
This short video is an overview of one of my successful ventures with a discussion of the overall timeline, how the company was launched, the results to date, and a few lessons learned. ...
 
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The Secret to Coming Up with the Big Idea
This short video explains the best way to come up with a breakthrough idea for a new business or new offering for an existing business:...
 
 
The Nearly Impossible Ideal Company
The ideal company is one that...…has a seasoned, high-integrity, well-educated, entrepreneurial and fully-developed management team with excellent leadership and communications skills that have successfully built other companies together, have unmatched strategic, analytic, and financial...
 
 
Good Advice from a Christian Angel Investor
I recently became acquainted with Bill Murray, the man that leads Christian Angel Capital Network.  He told me that his initial due diligence on a potential investment always starts with four questions along these lines:Will your business idea honor God?Will your business idea...
 
 
Megatrend Watch: From Complex to Simple
There is a movement afoot, but it is not new.  It's actually been happening for quite a while, but it is picking up momentum given the current state of the economy and it can be summed up as follows: there is a movement towards "simple" or "good enough", call it the "flight to simplicity" if...
 
 
5 Perfect "Spare-Time" Online Businesses
As we've written before, we recommend that aspiring entrepreneurs start a simple, low-risk business just to learn, and to increase their risk tolerance.  There are many such simple, low-cost and low-risk business models available for you to test on the internet.  The article below...
 
 
Business Models Matter - Part 2
In a previous post, I wrote about why business models matter and highlighted key differentiators with some examples.  This Harvard Business Review article summary sheds additional light on the matter of business models and offers some tips for entrepreneurs. The Idea The terms...
 
 
You Don't Have to Give Up Your Day Job
Are you considering launching an Internet business in the evenings and weekends while you hang on to your day job?  Here are seven tips on how to do just that (with a bit of editing to clean it up)... In the beginning, it's not always practical to dive into a Web startup full time, though...
 
 
Forbes 2008 Business Plan Contest
Forbes recently announced this year's business plan contest with a $100,000 first prize: Boost Your Business In 2008 Buff up your business plans, entrepreneurs, because the second annual $100,000 Forbes.com Boost Your Business contest is getting ready to roll! Last year, nearly 1,000...
 
 
Quiz #3: Did This Business Plan Succeed?
Test your entrepreneurship skills.  Read through the profile below and try to determine whether or not you think this startup survived.  The outcome (or the current status) is shown below: The Idea: Concept: Inspired by the success of Southwest Airlines (nyse: LUV) and JetBlue...
 
 
Quiz #2: Did This Business Plan Succeed?
Test your entrepreneurship skills.  Read through the profile below and try to determine whether or not you think this startup survived.  The outcome (or the current status) is shown below: The Idea: Concept: A Web-based service that delivers groceries, dry cleaning, videos and other...
 
 
Quiz #1: Did This Business Plan Succeed?
Test your entrepreneurship skills.  Read through the profile below and try to determine whether or not you think this startup survived.  The outcome (or the current status) is shown below: The Idea: Concept: Car dealerships want to move cars, but what they really want is to service...
 
 
Sustainable and Unsustainable Trends
As you perform your business planning, whether you are planning a start-up or mulling over your annual plan for your existing business, consider the trends you see around you and attempt to determine whether they are a flash-in-the-pan fad (unsustainable trend) or whether they are trends with...
 
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Breakthrough Idea for 2008: P2P
In terms of breakthrough ideas for 2008, consider in your business planning how to take advantage of the peer-to-peer, or P2P, networks that are springing up and disrupting so many business models.  What started with music and spread to video and other content is now predicted to create havoc...
 
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The Problem with Being First
Those of us that participated in the craziness of the dot com days in the late 1990's through 2001 will no doubt recall that there was a rush to be first-to-market and launch your company quickly with the coveted "first-mover advantage" status.  Simply having that phrase in a venture capital...
 
 
Defining Success in the Restaurant Business
You've probably heard that most start-up restaurants fail, but that is merely a myth according to one business professor based upon his latest research into restaurant failures and successes.  While running a restaurant is not necessarily a great fit with the context that most Christian...
 
 
Business Models Matter
In business school, I had the privilege to read, study and analyze 1,600 business cases and as a strategy consultant I had the opportunity to transform several different businesses and industries.  Additionally, over the past decade I have reviewed, invested in and created hundreds of business...
 
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Q&A

Looking for Sponsor Company to Develop a Product Idea
I have an idea for a product that doesn't exist yet based upon internet research. It has been on my mind for some time and I keep shrugging it off but feel that God may be putting it on my mind for a reason. I would like to know of a Christian company that will work with me to create...
 
 
How Do I Get Started On a Family Business?
I would like to start a family business, but I'm not sure where to begin. I currently live 45 minutes from work and I have several children and a wonderful wife. I also have a hobby farm and pay a high monthly mortgage payment. I would like to be available for my family instead of being out of...
 
 
Transitioning from a Job to a Startup
This question is related to transitioning. My husband has a job with great benefits and is making more than he ever has in his line of work, which he has been doing for 20 years. In the beginning of his career, he always wanted his own business but it just never worked out.  As our oldest...
 
 
Inventor Looking for Manufacturing and Marketing Partner
Does the purpose of NVL include helping a Christian inventor like me get connected with a Christian manufacturing/marketing company? If so, I would like to know how this might take place. ...
 
 
Planning with Consideration for the Economic Forecast
Should the economic forecast be an important factor in determining the type of business to start or acquire? ...
 
 
Computer Repair Business
What do you think about the Computer Repair/IT Field? I think it is a good place to start, but I would try to figure out a way to move from onsite hourly repair engagements or consulting engagements to recurring remote services engagements.  For example, you could get burned out doing a...
 
 
Tips on How to Build an Internet Business
Have a few quick questions for you.  Since you've had experience with dot-com businesses, in your opinion:Are dot-com businesses (like for instance NetFlix) still viable business ideas?From idea conception to sustainable profit, for dot-com businesses, what amount of capital and time is...
 
 
How Do I Get Started On a Business Without Any Savings?
I feel the Lord leading me away from my 9-5 job to something more home-based. However, I'm currently living "paycheck to paycheck". I don't want to borrow any money to get started as I'm working on getting debt free and any extra money is going to this. Should I just wait it out, take on a second...
 
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How to Launch a New Branch Office
I have a PC service business that I have operated in a small community for ten years, and two of my children are now old enough to work with me.   I have a process oriented, TQM background, and I've developed effective methods for handling large volumes of repair with high...
 
 
Out-of-Work IT Director Looking for Ideas
I am an out-of-work IT director that cannot seem to land another job and I'm planning ahead for the worst while looking for ways to avoid that eventuality, however likely it may be.  I'm in my fifties and I know from experience that finding more work anywhere near my own field will probably...
 
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Idea Generation and Industry Analysis
My family has some investment capital and there are several initiatives that the Lord is placing on our heart  so we are going to pray, read Scripture and think through ideas, information, articles, etc. that are relevant to this topic.  I have listened to your messages you gave at the...
 
 
Testing Out a Business Concept in Company Counseling Services
I have been considering starting a business that would provide pastoral care for businesses that want to have this service available to their employees.  It would involve providing a chaplain to have small group Bible studies at the business site, biblical counseling, and or seminars on...
 
 
Planning a Business with Non-Christian Classmates
I am a full-time college student in the process of planning and starting up a company with two college classmates of mine that are not believers.  Any advice on whether or not that is a good idea? ...
 
 
Industry Research
What tips do you have on how to research a target industry?...
 
 
Business Plan Format
What is the most effective media to share your business plan through? ...
 
 
Preparing to Launch
Should I launch into my new entrepreneurial idea right away even if it involves dropping a steady source of income?  Or what transitional steps should I consider?...
 
 
Idea Generation
What is the best way to generate business ideas? ...
 
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Eliminating Bad Ideas
How do I eliminate bad business ideas without spending excess time on them? ...
 
 
Initial Focus
When developing a business plan what should be the initial focus?...
 
 
Retail Business Plan
Do you have a business plan template you could recommend for a retail business? ...
 
 
Determining the Size of the Market
What is the best way to conduct market research into the size of my target market? ...
 
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Business Plan Template
Do you have any recommendations on a template that I might follow when creating a business plan? ...
 
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Growth Rates for Services Companies
I am planning on launching a services company, but not sure what I can realistically plan on for annual growth.  What advice would you give me for planning purposes?...
 
 
Discovering A Customer's Unmet Needs
I liked your answer on how to generate ideas for a new venture, but I would like to understand better how to discover a customer's unmet needs.  Can you please elaborate on that? ...
 
 

Links

Economic Data
 
Economic Census
 
Business Data and Statistics
 
U.S. Population and Household Data
 

Quotes

Steven Blank on Failure
...fail over and over, quickly, until you find a working business. This is what entrepreneurs need to do to reduce the [business] mortality rate. - Steven Blank, Stanford University lecturer and serial entrepreneur...
 
 
The End of the Landline?
20% of U.S. households have given up their landlines in favor of cell phones. Wireless-only households increased by 17% from the first six months of 2008 to the second half of the year — the largest jump since the National Center for Health Statistics started collecting data in 2003. For the...
 
 
Americans Keep Cutting Entertainment Budgets
74% of American adults expect to spend less on entertainment and eating in restaurants in the next six months, an increase over November when 65% planned to decrease spending on eating out and 64% expected to reduce entertainment spending. Only 21% say they expect to have more money for...
 
 
Paul Meyer on Achieving Goals
If you are not making the progress that you would like to make and are capable of making, it is simply because your goals are not clearly defined. - Paul Meyer, motivational speaker and author...
 
 
Proverbs 15:14
The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness. (KJV) ...
 
 
Proverbs 21:5
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want. (KJV)...
 
 
Guy Kawasaki on Start-Ups and Business Planning
[Do not] fire up Word to write a business plan, launch PowerPoint to craft a pitch, or boot Excel to build a financial projection.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!...What you should do is (a) rein in your…tendency to craft a document and (b) implement. This means building a prototype, writing...
 
 
Proverbs 16:3
Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. (KJV)...
 
 
Proverbs 24:27
Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house. (KJV)...
 
 
Bill Gates on Business Trends
This is a fantastic time to be entering the business world, because business is going to change more in the next 10 years than it has in the last 50. We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don't let...
 
 
Zig Ziglar on Business Planning
If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer.If you wait until all the lights are "green" before you leave home, you'll never get started on your trip to the top. Unless you have a definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies...
 
 
Eric Allison on Planning
World trade means competition from anywhere; advancing technology encourages cross-industry competition. Consequently, strategic planning must consider who our future competitors will be, not only who is here today. - Eric Allison, American financial writer...
 
 
Alan Lakein on Goal Setting and Planning
You cannot do a goal. Long-term planning and goal-setting must therefore be complemented by short-term planning. This kind of planning requires specifying activities. You can do an activity. Activities are steps along the way to a goal. Let's say you desire security. Putting $10.00 in the bank or...
 
 
Mark Caine on Planning
Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous. - Mark Caine, American businessman...
 
 
Graeme Edwards on Planning
It's not the plan that is important, it's the planning. - Graeme Edwards, New Zealand businessman...
 
 
Hillel Einhorn on Planning
In complex situations, we may rely too heavily on planning and forecasting and underestimate the importance of random factors in the environment. That reliance can also lead to delusions of control. - Hillel Einhorn, American academic...
 
 
Dwight D. Eisenhower on Planning
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. - Dwight D. Eisenhower, America's 34th President...
 
 
Sir John Harvey on Planning
Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. - Sir John Harvey, British actor...
 
 
Winston Churchill on Planning
Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning. - Winston Churchill, British statesman and Prime Minister...
 
 


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We are constantly adding resources, so check back frequently for new items.

Additional resources offered by New Venture Lab:

Family Works: Inspiring Profiles of Family Business - Volume One

Family Works: Inspirting Profiles of Family Business - Volume Two

Venture Academy Online - subscription-based HD video of our Christian entrepreneurship training course

 

Startup Financial Model Website

The Startup Financial Model a detailed, multi-sheet, completely integrated, easy-to-configure Excel-based business plan model for those who are planning or running a startup or small business and want an excellent financial model to enhance their business plan and capital-raising efforts. This companion site of ours includes step-by-step video instructions and customers choose what price they pay.