A Simple Business Plan

When Entrepreneurs hear “Business Plan,” they get worried that they might have to prepare a thick document with graphs, projections and glossy visuals.

In reality, having a business plan is conceptual. If you don’t have a plan in your mind that is crisp and to the point, putting lots of words (and graphs, spreadsheets, visuals) on paper isn’t going to help.

What should this simple business plan include:

  • What are you doing? Describe your product or service in simple , non-technical terms
  • Why are you doing this? Is there a need in the market place? What is the size of the market or need? What share do you expect to get? Are there competitors? Why are you better? What challenges/barriers are there? Do you have proprietary technology?
  • How and where are you going to do this? Describe your organization to design, manufacture/provide, deliver/distribute your offering. What are your selling channels and how will you reach your potential customers?
  • Whom do you have to support you? Review your management team and key personnel
  • What are the economics? How will you make money and how long will it take? How much do you need and how much will you make? How realistic are your numbers?

This is it – plain and simple. If you have thought through all these questions you are almost there. Practice your pitch and perfect it. Now put it in a nice, readable, short presentation and you are done.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 5:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Are you and an Inventor or Entrepreneur?

Both Inventors and Entrepreneurs have new ideas, some of them quite unique. Yet, both have different mindsets as to these ideas.

Have you watched the show “Shark Tank” where potential Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to the investors for possible funding? It is amazing to see many interesting ideas and inventions do not get funded because the person pitching the idea has not figured out how it could be commercially successful.

Therein lies the difference between Entrepreneurs and Inventors.

Entrepreneurs, the successful ones, know the importance of being able to build a business model around an idea and realizing the maximum value of that product/service. Generally they focus on that product/service before embarking on a new project.

Inventors, on the other hand, love to invent regardless of realizing value from their inventions. They keep on moving from one invention to another without thinking through the business aspects of their ideas. They are primarily driven by discovering new things and not money.

All Inventors cannot be successful Entrepreneurs. It is more important for such Inventors to turn over their inventions to business-oriented Entrepreneurs that can create a value for those ideas. Then the Inventors can continue their passion for inventing, hopefully funded by their previous successful inventions.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

Published in: on April 23, 2013 at 5:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Is Standing Still Good?

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

The good news is that Entrepreneurs do not have a problem of standing still. Rather, they are always on the move and wanting to grow – albeit too fast!

While the proverb emphasizes the point that one needs to keep on growing rather than standing still, Entrepreneurs sometimes need to stand still. Why and when is that appropriate?

Similar to a traveller stopping once in a while to get his/her bearings and ensuring they are headed in the right direction, Entrepreneurs need to do the same for their business. Instead of charging ahead with full steam all the time, stop, step back, and evaluate whether you are on the right path towards your Mission. Do you have the necessary infrastructure and leadership team to continue down the correct path (like a traveller assessing whether he/she has adequate supplies and fuel).

Make adjustments as necessary and then continue your efforts to grow. Standing still once in a while is good for you!

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com

 

 

 

 

Published in: on April 9, 2013 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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Giving Your Best

Leaders often encourage their followers “to give their best” to whatever they are doing. Entrepreneurs do the same when motivating employees towards fulfilling the Mission of the company.

In a team environment it is normal for all employees to contribute to fulfilling the objectives of the mission. However, is it always true for the leaders?

If Entrepreneurs expect the best from their employees, then they too should give their very best to the employees and the company. Do they? Leadership by example is not just a catchy phrase!

Entrepreneurs need to give their best to the organization to inspire their employees to do their very best. If Entrepreneurs show an attitude of “do what I say, not what I do,” their employees are not going to be motivated for the long haul.

Doing the right things for leaders means giving 100% or more to prove to the employees that they all are part of the same team and everyone needs to contribute their very best.

Ravi Patel

www.patelCFOservices.com