Business Plan Basics

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The Small Business Guide to Business Plans

Shows you How to Write a Business Plan to
Boost Your Business,
Get a Loan,
Attract Investors

Brian Hill and Dee Power's latest book, The Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business PlansThe Pocket Small Business Owner's Guide to Business Plansleads you through the process of how to create a business plan from start to finish. Order your copy now, published by Allworth Press.

Read our blog Business Tips

How to Start a Business

Millions of Americans share the dream of owning their own business, and fortunately many of them get the chance to live out their dream. The motivations for wanting to start a company are as varied as the individuals themselves. Some look at entrepreneurship as a path to great wealth; some crave independence, the desire to be their own boss; others want to build something valuable to pass on to their children. Still others believe they can make a valuable contribution to society through their venture, by developing products or services that make people's lives easier or better. One of the first steps s to decide the format of your business. The choices include sole proprietorship, partnership, S corp, C corp, LLC and PLLC.

Many people are unprepared for the challenges of starting and building a business, however. Things seldom turn out as planned. It often takes longer and requires more capital to build a company to the point it has positive cash flow than most would-be entrepreneurs imagine. Marketing cost, in other words the cost of acquiring each new customer, is usually higher than new entrepreneurs imagine. Before starting a business make sure you have the appropriate knowledge and training. Many business concepts are available as franchises. These Franchises for Sale take some of the guess work out of starting a business. You know you've got a tried and true concept.

Entrepreneurship is definitely not a 9-5, 40-hour-a-week job. New entrepreneurs are usually surprised by how long the work weeks can be. This can lead to stress on spouses and family members, who are not used to seeing you gone so much of the time. Family members need to be made aware of what to expect as far as changes in lifestyle, so conflict and resentment do not arise. Ideally, your family will share your excitement about the new enterprise. But they may also be worried about the financial and emotional risk that starting a new business entails.


Press Release Distribution can be an effective way to increase backlinks and search engine rankings. Press releases may result in coverage by major national magazines. Review sites aren't just for restaurants and press releases help here too, increasing visibility.

Using giveaways like Promo Items helps customers remember your product and services. Roadshows can take your message to customers across the country using state of the art media and technology. This is a cost effective way to reach thousands of focused potential customers and let your current clients know what you're up to. More information at Marketing


Outsource consulting services, programming and web design, as well as web hosting. Most small businesses don't have the need for their own server. Look for review sites to find the right host at the right price for your business. Hire freelance writers to compile your in house technical manuals.

There comes a time when your new business is going gang busters and there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. Outsourcing can be the solution to managing your work overload. Why should you outsource?

There are lots of tasks running a business that you personally may not have the expertise to tackle. While you could learn to do these tasks, the learning curve costs your valuable time. And the results may not be as high quality as you would like. Hire an expert such as an attorney or accountant with an online cpa degree, save money, save time, and get the job done correctly the first time. More at Outsourcing

Services and Products

Physical space for your business can be a challenge. If your business is small but you need a full service office with a receptionist, telephone service and mail then an executive suite would work for you. Most executive suites offer a private office and access to a conference room for client meetings. More services and products


Financing is a critical component for success. More than 90% of businesses fail in their first 5 years of business and the most common reason is not enough financing. If you're having financial problems insolvency advice from an experienced attorney is critical. Business financing is available through venture capital, angel investors, SBA loans, lines of credit, and leasing. You may decide to sell your home and use the proceeds to start a business.

There are alternative methods of financing such as asset based, trade and barter, royalty financing and Invoice factoring to name just a few. Factoring does not depend on your or your company's credit worthiness. The decision is usually based on the customer's credit.

What Kind Of Capital Is Right For Your Business?

There are two kinds of capital: debt and equity. Both kinds are typically used by a company during its lifetime. Lenders have different objectives than investors and therefore look at different factors about a company when deciding whether or not to invest or make a loan. Keep in mind that while there are two kinds of capital, there are many ways to find money for your company.


Debt is money borrowed, which must be repaid at a set time period and generates income for the lender over that time period. Lending sources include not only banks, but also leasing companies, factoring companies and even individuals.

Lending sources look primarily at two factors: how risky the loan is; and whether the company can generate sufficient cash to pay the interest and repay the principal. The growth potential of the company is secondary; the primary considerations are the track record and asset base of the company. Usually the debt must be secured against the assets of the company and very commonly must also be secured against the assets of the owner of the company, also called a personal guarantee.

Power of Publicity

power-of-publictyPut the power of publicity to work for your company. It's our new title on Kindle. If you don't own a Kindle reader you can download our guide The Power of Publicity onto your laptop, desktop or mobile device

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Business Plan Basics