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How does one create a business plan?Startups 101: How to Create a Business PlanThe first thing you need to do is create an executive summary and a mission statement. After that, you need to study your market, compare yourself to your competition, create a share structure, outline financials, and fill out the rest of the pertinent data like the other people suggest.Below is an example of the last executive summary and mission statement that I created for a company I was planning to launch earlier this year.Since I own the company, wrote this from scratch, and decided that I will not be launching this product, I decided to share. (Yes, it is heavily focused on marketing, but that's my primary expertise, if I'm even somewhat good at it... Who in the world knows...)I worked with a Product CEO and operated as the COO at this company and recruited a highly talented team, however the Product CEO decided to part ways so we scrapped the business.Also, you may not want to make a public benefit company unless you already have investors you can turn to for sure who don't care what kind of business you own. If you are seeking to raise money from venture capital, then it is highly unlikely that they will invest into your model. 1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARYCompany Name | Tagline | An American Public Benefit Company Founded in February of 2013, (“SE”) features contemporary women’s fashions specializing in comfort, fit and sexiness, established by a diverse group of individuals, led by the C.E.O. Ms. Lee. SE holds idealistic aspirations of giving back to the underprivileged, creates American Jobs and gives back to the community, while keeping the clientele engaged through social interactions SE provides: • A Philanthropic Vision. • Patriotism. • Quality Clothing. • Best Styles for women of the 21st Century. • Quality Content. • An Interactive Community. SE’s innovative design and marketing team constructs visionary product campaigns and strategies, designed to push SE to the forefront of the industry. Derived from the fictional character, Sophia Serrano, from the film Open Your Eyes, SE’s inspiration is characterized by Sophia’s radiant qualities of being: positive, down-to earth, original, mysterious, sexy, and guileless in a perfect world. Sophia is the “ideal” woman because not only is she divine in nature, she is able to cope through the greatest obstacles that obstruct her from her path. Simultaneously, Sophia is so unique, she makes a man follow her into the afterlife of his dreams. Not only did she (tagline) in the real world, she left him in need of her in the afterlife. SE wants other fashion brands and the world to know that everyone in this world matters, no matter your race, ethnicity, financial background or country of origin. SE empowers people to make a difference by: • Helping the Underprivileged Children of America. • Creating American Jobs. • Providing a more Eco-Friendly environment. All of SE’s products are made in the United States, providing more opportunities to influence economic growth. SE ensures no usable fabric goes to waste by collecting all the scraps of fabrics and donating the items to (charity), with the sole intent to create exclusive items, blankets, or articles of clothing for the less fortunate. In addition, SE donates 10% of all sales to (charity) , to help feed, clothe, and provide shelter for the less fortunate.SE plans to take a creative approach to branding and marketing the company. Not only will SE use traditional methods of marketing, such as mailing clothes to celebrities, look books to bloggers and editors, buying editorial spots, sponsoring events, and advertising online, SE will take grass root efforts to the next level in attracting hits to the website, along with social media to keep the clientele engaged. Sending celebrities, fashion editors and bloggers free gifts never guarantees the promotion of an item, so SE has decided to implement a revenue sharing program with its clothing. Each individual influencer will have a personalized URL to direct their clients to SE’s website. Each purchase made within thirty days by the referral of an “influencer” will generate an earnings check of $25 to the referrer. Checks will be cut once the accumulated balance signNowes $300, or can be exchanged to store credit. SE will seek out make up artists, photographers, stylists, and other professionals within the fashion industry to provide an opportunity to earn an extra source of income through its revenue sharing program. SE will also provide clothing to stylists, to have featured in editorial along with video content. SE’s grassroots efforts will take place in the form of carefully selected event sponsorships. Through event sponsorships, models will be showcased wearing the SE product through a trade booth. SE will take pictures of celebrities who try on the products and feature blog posts through social media efforts of the celebrities, while distributing the highly sought out images to fashion bloggers. SE will then pass out $10 SE Clothing Branded Gift Cards to people who fit the role of the target consumer of the brand at the event. Initially, 50,000 gift cards will be made for distribution within the first year, of which we expect at least 25,000 to visit the website URL. SE will implement a referral based program, where if a friend is referred to purchase an item through the SE website through their email or social media link within 30 days, the customer will have the choice to have one of the following occur: • $25 will be credited to the referrer’s account for Future Purchases. • $25 will be donated to the referrer’s Charity of Choice. The referee will also receive $10 credited off their first purchase. Studies indicate that 1 out of every 3 customers will refer their friends to a site that they trust and enjoy. SE will partner with publishers and affiliates such as Google Affiliate, Commission Junction, Avantlink, Affiliate Window, Webgains, Pepperjam, Integrate, Etc. to allow professionals to earn a profit by referring their clientele to purchase items from SE. In order to create better organic SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results to guide more online traffic to the website, SE will carry lines of both popular name brand and up-and-coming American Made products by other designers, such as Nasty Gal, Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Armani, Etc. In order to acquire the product necessary, SE will create a strategic partnership with its manufacturer to sell their excess inventory. Once new customers visit the SE site, they will be given an opportunity to register on the site to claim their $10 credit. Through registration, information such as the customer’s name, email address, phone number, address, and social media profiles will be gathered. Once the customer registers, they will be able to access the site. A welcome email will be sent to the customer within one day, welcoming them to the site. Within 5-7 business days, a letter stating SE’s appreciation of the customer with an outline of the brand’s philanthropic vision will be physically mailed to the customer on company letterhead and hand signed by the C.E.O., Ms. Lee. The customer will then be emailed, informing them that their gift card will expire in 30 days, 3 weeks, 15 days, 7 days, 3 days, 2 days, and a final offer email. This cycle will repeat for another 30 days for a total of 60 days, which will trigger a sense of urgency within purchasing an item within the allotted timeframe. SE will engage with customers by providing the first few sentences of educational content through email, while providing links to the blogging section of the website to read the full article, along with social media efforts on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, DeviantART, Tumblr, Google+, Polyvore, Wanelo, Quora, Lyst, Etc. to build trust with the clientele, and keep them engaged with the brand. SE will track user activity through analytic services provided by Kissmetrics to measure which campaigns work best, to better understand our audience. SE will influence increases in transaction sizes by donating one item to charity for every $300 spent in a single transaction. Not only would revenues increase, the philanthropic vision would accelerate to creating a bigger influence to society, which in turn will create a better image for the brand. SE will have a section on the site where users can upload images of their new purchases, how they pair their outfits, provide feedback to others, and like other consumer’s styles, creating an engaged society of buyers who become advocates and prosumers of the brand. SE will begin sales on the retail website, then slowly trickle into many online boutique stores, physical boutique stores, then into major department stores. Since bulk purchases from vendors decrease manufacturing costs, the business model is extremely scalable. As SE becomes a more established brand, price increases will be implemented in 10% increments per season, increasing profit margins while manufacturing costs decrease. SE will create separate databases for consumers who have at least purchased one item and another database for loyal consumers. In regard to the database of consumers who have purchased, collateral material providing a promo code for a promotional discount will physically be mailed to the clients two weeks prior to an anniversary or holiday sale, to provide exclusive access to the promotion. SE will randomly select users from the loyal consumer database to provide a free gift with purchase, expedited or free shipping, and various other promotional tools to reward brand loyalty. Once SE establishes a loyal client base, verticals will be integrated one product at a time in minimal quantities, initially to test the market to see how well the product does. Verticals will range from products such as cosmetics, shoes, handbags, hats, stockings, scarves, jewelry, and other womenswear based products. Led by C.E.O. Ms. Lee, SE has hand selected a managerial team of 8 creative unique individuals to grasp a portion of the $500+ billion dollar market by creating quality content, negotiating with vendors, managing finances, and laying out the long term growth of the company, all while creating beautiful product. 10 years from now, in the year 2023, SE plans to be acquired by LVMH, PPR, Richemont, Valentino Fashion Group, The Aeffe Group, Puig, Diesel, Phillips-Van Huesen, Hermes, Liz Claiborne, Inditex, The Arcadia Group, or Aurora Fashion for a strike price of $300 million. SE is currently seeking seed financing in the amount of $275,000 to be used to cover manufacturing, marketing, legal and operational expenses to establish the brand. MISSION STATEMENTUnited together, SE’s commitments to society are as follows:#1. To Mother Earth:We vow to make sure that no usable fabric is wasted. All usable scrap material will be recycled into specialty items, blankets or created into articles of clothing for the less fortunate.#2. To Our Nation:We vow to Shop American. We vow to only manufacture our product in America. We are creating American jobs and doing our part in rebuilding the American economy.#3. To Our World:We vow to take a stance against child labor. We take a stance against the Chinese sweatshops with hazardous work conditions.#4. To The Less Fortunate:We vow to provide food, clothing, and shelter for children who are unable to take care of themselves, especially the ones right here at home.#5. To Our Customers:We vow to make sure you feel beautiful and (tagline). We vow to create the sexiest, most reliable products made from the best material we can find. We will provide the best fit possible. We will listen to your opinions and make decisions based off of your feedback. Your voice will be heard. #6. To Our Design PartnersWe vow to provide our client base accessibility to your designs to increase your exposure in the market place. Whether you are a small designer who is just beginning or an established brand, there is a place here for you to showcase your items, as long as the product is manufactured here in America.#7. To Our Employees: We vow to bring the jobs back home and provide fair wages. We vow to provide a fun and friendly stress-free work environment.#8. To Our Shareholders:We vow to provide you a seat on our board. We vow to listen to your expertise. We vow to provide returns in a timely manner. We vow to fulfill your philanthropic vision.Oh, it might be in your best interest to include a mind map as well.The first five pages should include the following information:BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PLAN MARCH 2013 ****** CONFIDENTIALITY & DISCLOSURE NOTICE ****** IMPORTANT: This document is for information purposes only and sent at your request and is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act 18 U.S.C. 2510‐2521. This is neither a solicitation of investment nor an offer to sell and/or buy securities. This communication may contain non‐public, private, confidential or legally privileged information and documents intended for the sole use of the designated recipient(s). The unlawful interception, use or disclosure of such information is strictly prohibited under the applicable laws of the U.S.A. and the State of Nevada. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by persons/entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this document and / or a transmission of this document in error, delete any electronic copies of this document and / or return this document to (Name, Address) CONFIDENTIALITY & DISCLOSURE NOTICE IMPORTANT: This document is for information purposes only and sent at your request and is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521. This is neither a solicitation of investment nor an offer to sell and/or buy securities. This communication may contain non-public, private, confidential or legally privileged information and documents intended for the sole use of the designated recipient(s). The unlawful interception, use or disclosure of such information is strictly prohibited under the applicable laws of the U.S.A. and the State of California. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon this information by persons/entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited. If you received this document and / or a transmission of this document in error, delete any electronic copies of this document and / or return this document to (Name, Address) CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT The undersigned reader acknowledges that the information provided within this Business Development Plan (“BDP”) is confidential; therefore, reader agrees not to disclose it without the express written permission of SE. It is acknowledged by reader that information to be furnished in this BDP is in all respects confidential in nature, other than information which is in the public domain through other means and that any disclosure or use of same by reader, may cause serious harm or damage to SE and other sources identified herein. The information, estimates and projections contained herein have been prepared by SE in good faith and on a basis believed to be reasonable; such estimates and projections involve signNow elements of subjective judgment and analysis. No representation or warranty, expressed or implied, can be made as to the accuracy or completeness of such information, and nothing contained in this BDP is, or shall be relied upon as, a promise or representation as to the past or the future. This BDP is submitted in connection with the evaluation of a potential transaction and may not be reproduced or used, in whole or in part, for any other purpose. Upon request, this document is to be immediately returned SE,. ___________________ Signature ___________________ Name (typed or printed) ___________________ Date This is a Business Development Plan. It does not imply an offering of securitiesFORWARD LOOKING STATEMENT This document may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including, but not limited to, statements as to future operating results and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. We use words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, the negative of these terms and similar expressions to identify forward looking statements. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by those projected in the forward-looking statements for any reason. References herein to “the Company,” “we,” “our,” “us” and similar words or phrases are references to SE, and/or its subsidiaries, unless the context otherwise requires. CONTACT INFORMATION Inquiries may be directed to the appropriate party below:Leonard Kim COO SEAddress:Phone: Fax: Email:The Table of contents should include the following information that no one, aside from analysts read:TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY1.1 OBJECTIVES1.2 MISSION1.3 KEYS TO SUCCESS 2.0 COMPANY SUMMARY2.1 CAPITALIZATION SUMMARY2.2 COMPANY LOCATIONS AND FACILITIES.3.0 PRODUCTS AND SERVICES3.1 THE SE TECHNOLOGY3.2 COMPETITIVE COMPARISON3.3 MARKETING MATERIAL3.4 TECHNOLOGY FULFILLMENT3.5 FUTURE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES4.0 MARKET ANALYSIS SUMMARY 4.1 MARKET SEGMENTATION 4.2 TARGET MARKET SEGMENT STRATEGY4.2.1 MARKET NEEDS4.2.2 MARKET TRENDS 4.2.3 MARKET GROWTH4.3 SERVICE BUSINESS ANALYSIS 4.3.1 BUSINESS PARTICIPANTS 4.3.2 DISTRIBUTING A PRODUCT 4.3.3 MAIN COMPETITORS 5.0 WEB PLAN SUMMARY5.1 WEBSITE MARKETING STRATEGY5.2 DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS6.0 STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION SUMMARY6.1 SWOT ANALYSIS 6.1.1 STRENGTHS6.1.2 WEAKNESSES 6.1.3 OPPORTUNITIES6.1.4 THREATS6.2 STRATEGY PYRAMID 6.3 VALUE PROPOSITION6.4 COMPETITIVE EDGE 6.5 MARKETING STRATEGY SUMMARY6.5.1 POSITIONING STATEMENT 6.5.2 PRICING STRATEGY6.6 SALES STRATEGY 6.6.1 SALES FORECAST 6.7 MILESTONES7.0 MANAGEMENT SUMMARY 7.1 ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE 7.2 MANAGEMENT TEAM 7.3 MANAGEMENT TEAM GAPS 7.4 PERSONNEL PLAN 8.0 FINANCIAL PLAN8.1 START-UP FUNDING 8.2 KEY FINANCIAL INDICATORS8.3 BREAK-EVEN ANALYSIS 8.4 PROJECTED PROFIT AND LOSS 8.5 PROJECTED CASH FLOW 8.6 PROJECTED BALANCE SHEET 8.7 BUSINESS RATIOS 8.8 THE INVESTMENT OFFERING8.9 VALUATION8.10 USE OF FUNDS9.0 APPENDICESTABLE: SALES FORECAST TABLE: PROFIT AND LOSS TABLE: PROFIT AND LOSS TABLE: CASH FLOWTABLE: CASH FLOWTABLE: BALANCE SHEETIf you're using a business plan to try to attain a loan for a small business... I took a different business plan for a nightlife company, brought a cofounder with a 680 credit score, and went to Long Beach SBDC and they helped me get approved for a loan from a credit union for $30,000 two years ago. The whole process took less than a week, since we already had our business plan finished prior to showing up. We ended up not taking the loan because our programmer ran off with the money we had paid him prior without delivering our technology.There are Small Business Development Centers, sponsored by the Small Business Association, all across the United States that will help you make a business plan for free, read it, and even shop it out for business loans.If you're using a business plan to attain financing from an Angel Investor or VC, then all that matters is your executive summary and your slideshow. I mean, you still need the other data filled in, but these are the only two areas of which they put their main focus on. However, a lot of investors use two financial analysts to carefully go over every detail within a business plan prior to investing their own cash. So, the fine details are pretty important regardless of what anyone else says. Also, if you need to know how to split equity with your startup, read more here: How much equity do you give early employees when the company is bootstrapped?Read more at my blog: Startups 101: How to Create a Business Plan
How do I get in touch with investors/funds with just an idea and no product?Most angel and VC funders need to see a couple of things before they will fund.1st A great team. If you are unable to code, I highly suggest going to things like Start-up weekend or networking with CTOs and discussing your idea and looking for a possible to a co-founder (or two). Funders rarely fund 1-person teams or teams that have redundancy.2nd Angels and VCs need to see that you have skin in the game and have invested your own money. Additionally, if you come from a relatively good financial background they also expect to see friends and family money. So once you have put together your team, look to bringing in the F&F money that would allow you to develop a prototype. To do this you might need to bootstrap. (Work from home or coworking spaces, defer salary, go to pitch competition, etc) No shame in that game. Then test that prototype with actual paying customers.3rd Once you get solid data on how your product is performing start doing your HW on which Angels to approach. (I personally suggest you prioritize angels over VCs in the early funding rounds) Use Gust, AngleList and LinkedIn to do that. You need to know if these angels have funded projects in your space and if they write checks. Not all angels are proactive in funding and no angel likes to have their time wasted because a startup couldn't be bothered to do due diligence on them.4th put together a strategy on how to approach the angels. Cold calling or emailing them out of the blue rarely works. Instead go to a talk they are hosting, or do some link analysis and find out who you know that they know too (this is perfect LinkedIn info) and request a warm introduction. This next bit is a tad controversia, but if you are using someone to get warm introductions then reward them. If it is a one-off take them out to dinner or give them a nice bottle of wine. If they are repeatedly doing this, consider asking them to serve as an advisor and give them sweat equity in your firm. Then once you have all that in place, and your numbers are solid and you know them inside and out pitch, pitch, pitch.Anyway, good luck!
Is there an organisation or company that can fund lucrative business plans?Raising Funds for your Business/Idea has different names, purposes and approach for different stages of your business. But in general, one rule apply to all of them.Gain (in this case equity) is directly proportional to Risk.Ideation Stage- This is when you just had an Idea / Thought about the business opportunity (Market need Vs Your solution). Usually, Except for you, no one else would believe that your idea is as big as you think and this stage is the most riskiest proposition for any one to invest. That is the reason why, mostly people take a leap of faith and invest their own money into their own ideas or get a co-founder who is equally excited about the idea and make them a partner of 50% (Terms of the deal depends on each individual case). Initial Capital - Mostly from self funds, Loans from Friends and Family.Start-Up stage- Ideally at this stage, you would have developed a business plan, put a structure to carry out your business. Got the initial team (at least a team of 2 co-founders), some market research to back up the Idea and MVP or Some advancements on the product. This is when an Angel investor can come into play. Here again, your product is not yet proven, so, the risk is still high. Hence, the Angel investor might just give you enough money for your product to take off from the ground, to develop enough resources for your budding start up and may take up to 30% of the share.(Terms of the deal depends on each individual case). Seed Fund/ Risk Capital- Mostly from Angel InvestorsGrowth Phase- Once you have a market accept your product/ service, got the traction going for your business, you would want to expand for new markets or scale up to new heights. This is when you would need substantial resources to grow. And execution becomes the name of the game. At this stage, Risk is more manageable/ predictable as you would have already developed key matrices to control the business model. And venture capital or PE Funds will come into play to bet on your promising venture. They might lap up equity from 10 to 50% in various rounds of financing. (Terms of the deal depends on each individual case). Venture Capital- Venture Capital Firms, PPMaturity Stage- Once you develop a sustainable and organised business, develop a resource pool that can handle the business weather, Sky would be the limit for value creation. By then most of the new opportunities that the business want to take can be funded by Public at large.IPO- Public offering, Financing etc;So, at every phase there is a specific objective that a Venture or Investor seeks from their engagement. It is important for both the parties to respect the Risk-Return relationship at every phase. As you are saying that the company is not yet registered, my advice, would be to get it under some sort of legal framework (Ideally Pvt Ltd Company) before you seek funding as it would safeguard everyone's interest.
On the venture and angel funding site 'Angel List', how wise is it to lay out the business plan/technical details of your start up?You know the feeling when you see a trailer to a movie, it ends and you want to go to watch the whole movie right away? Searching for the date it comes out in the cinema and buying a ticket if it’s already out? When you get curious, the trailer hooked you.All you want is to make a perfect trailer, get people curious about what you do, to start a conversation. That’s your goal- get them interested enough to start a conversation, wanting to know more.You do not, and I repeat, do not put your secret sauce publicly out there. ( not behind the scene on how your tech works), Like a chef, give me a taste (of what your technology does), don’t name me the ingredients ( publicly on the web). Later on, if someone invests in you, of course, they will look into your kitchen to see if you are the chef who can actually cook all the promises.With that being said, you get people curious and hooked, not only with a good story but with hard facts, tell me what’s the problem, how big of a pain and for whom, how do you bring value to the customer and how do you keep value for yourself, show me the impact of using your solution ( tech) for the customer you are serving, argue why is your team the best one to solve this problem etc.P.S Choose wisely your investors, especially the first ones, go after smart money, not just any money
What forms should I fill out to start a business?From a legal business entity standpoint, one does not normally have to file any forms with the state the business is located in to be considered a sole proprietor (SP). However, this highly unadvisable since a SP provides no liability protection.The most popular, and most advisable business entities are a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and a Corporation. These entities are state created entities meaning that you must file the necessary signNowwork in the state where you will have the business headquarters. The state’s secretary of state’s office will have all the necessary documents, forms, and rules needed to create the entity of your choice. You will also have to pay a filing fee.It is important that you further discuss the issue with experienced counsel as they will be able to help you decide which entity is best for you, and help you with the filing.
What are the required forms to fill out when starting a business?It depends on where you're based: not only do different countries have different signNowwork, but so do different states, counties and even cities. There are some places where you can start a new business without filling out any signNowwork (although you'll likely have to deal with tax forms and the like after you've been in business for a while.There are some common forms that you should check on whether you need for your area:Business licenseProfessional license — In addition to a license for operating a business, certain professions are licensed.DBA / Doing business as — If you're doing business under a name other than your own, such as a company name, you may need to file a DBA.Incorporation or organizational documents — Depending on how you organize your business, you may need to file signNowwork to incorporate.Tax registration — You will usually need to register with your local state if you're collecting sales tax. You will also probably need to complete signNowwork to get a taxpayer identification number or an equivalent for your business.Employee forms — If you have employees, there can be quite a bit of signNowwork, including their tax signNowwork and any appropriate registration.These really are just a starting point. One of the best things you can do is find a local accountant or other professional to advise you on what you need.
What is the exact requirement to receive funding for a start-up venture with only a solid business plan?Thanks for A2A Jeff Perry! Step one is validating if that idea is worth executing i.e. if it solves a problem, feasibility, people want it and are ready to pay for it etc. Step two is figuring out what all you need to make this idea a business. Once you know what you need (money, skills, team, IP etc etc) it is easier for you to strategize how to get what you need. For example, approach and steps to get to end result would be entirely different if you need a co-founder/partner to code with/for you versus if you need to find a person to loan &/or invest money for the business. If money is what you're after, then there are perhaps a dozen ways to skin the cat too - loan, family friend investors, crowdfunding, presages, private investors, angels, VCs etc. Step three is planning your execution and step four is executing what you planned. I suggest start with reading a few good startup/business books like Lean Startup, Rework, Zero to One and The EMyth.
How do I fund my startup?When you have a great business idea, funding is nearly always the sticking point. It’s a great idea, after all, but how can you raise the money to get it started?If you have a tech-based idea, you may have an easier time attracting attention from venture capitalists or angel investors, but as more companies work that angle, finding an investor is harder than ever. So how can you get your business off the ground?1. Friends and FamilyBorrowing money from friends and family is a classic way to start a business. While it may be harder to convince investors or banks of the quality of your idea, your family and friends often believe in your dream.They may be more willing to help fund your company. If you do go to friends and family for loans, it’s a good idea to make sure that each of you gets sound legal advice, especially if you are taking the money as a loan.The downside? Borrowing money is a quick way to lose friends and sour family relationships. Be careful if you decide to proceed this way.2. Small Business LoansSome banks specifically offer loans to small businesses, but banks historically are careful about giving money to small companies. It can be difficult to qualify. There are alternative lending companies, however, who may be better equipped to help you get your business off the ground.The downside? Some of those alternative lending companies are predatory. Make sure you know who you’re borrowing from before you sign on the dotted line.3. Trade Equity or ServicesLooking to get some web design done? See if you can barter with your neighbor who does some freelancing on the side. Perhaps you’ll help him with some marketing advice down the road. In virtually every city, there are communities of fledgling business owners who can work together.The downside? Trading services or equity can be an awful way to make a living, and so not everyone is willing to do it. Don’t be offended if your Number One choice says no way.4. BootstrappingOne of the most common ways to get a business up and running is through “bootstrapping.” Basically, you use your own funds to run your business. This money may come from personal savings, low or no interest credit cards, or mortgages and lines of credit on your home. Getting a free credit report cardwill help you assess where you financially stand. Knowing this will help you figure out the interest rate you will get on loans, which can give you access to affordable credit.The downside? If your business doesn’t succeed, you may have a substantial amount of debt that you now need to manage.5. Incubator or AcceleratorBusiness accelerators and incubatorshave sprung up all across the country, particularly near colleges with a strong business program. These spaces are part communal workspace and part mentorship development centers. Young businesses can get a great start here while partnering with some amazing people.The downside? They are often focused on tech-heavy businesses, so you might struggle to find one that works for your company.6. CrowdfundingIf you have a sexy idea and you’re great at social media, crowdfunding might be an option. When websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo first started, there were a number of businesses that had great success pulling together funding through their signNow.The downside? Lots of companies aim for crowdfunding, so you have to generate a lot of buzz to make it through the overall signal noise. It’s also very possible to overextend yourself and frustrate backers, which can lead to a great deal of animosity before your company is even really off the ground.7. Small Business GrantsThe Small Business Administration as well as other organizations sometimes offer grants to small businesses that are run by women, minorities, or veterans. If you fit into one of these categories, it’s worth speaking to your local SBA chapter, or Chamber of Commerce, to see if there’s local grant money that you may be able to apply for.The downside? Check carefully to make sure you won’t need to pay the money back, or agree to certain conditions down the road. Not all grants have stipulations, but it’s good to know what you’re agreeing to before you accept the funds.8. Local ContestsLet’s face it; unless you have an incredible idea and a strong business history, you’re probably not going to make it onto Shark Tank. Many local COCs and SBAs have decided, however, to run local Shark Tank style competitions. Since these are more locally focused, often requiring that a business operates in a particular area in order to enter, they may be less competitive.They are also a great way to practice your pitch for other investors. Generally, you won’t lose anything but time for trying. And even if you’re not the number one choice, you may spread awareness of your business.The downside? You could invest a lot of time into your business plan and investor presentation, but not be chosen for one of the prizes. That work will probably benefit your business, however, so it’s hard to really count this as a downside.9. Keep Your Day JobThis is the suggestion no one likes.If you currently have a job that is meeting your expenses and letting you live a relatively comfortable lifestyle, don’t be in such a hurry to quit your job and follow your business dreams. Spend some time getting the business off the ground and building through the early, difficult phases with the solidity of your 9-5 job paying your bills.This lets you build your business with fewer compromises, and lets you stay true to your vision without needing to give in to financial pressure. You can also get a great experience from your day job to help you run your company down the road.The downside? It is possible that you’ll miss opportunities by focusing on your day job and running your company as a side business. You might also be unable to devote the necessary time and energy to really engage with the project and get it off the ground.Source:-Startup Grind | Global Community for Entrepreneurs | Startup Grind
Where do I start to develop a website that fills out an existing PDF form based on what is entered into the text boxes?I think the easiest way to do it is to upload the form to your storage on your server and then put the link to it on your web page. Then have tour viewers send the form back to you after they have completed filling it out.
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How do you write a proposal?Start with a firm introduction. This should start out with a hook. ... State the problem. After the introduction, you'll get into the body, the meat of your work. ... Propose solutions. ... Include a schedule and budget. ... Wrap up with a conclusion. ... Edit your work. ... Proofread your work.
How do I write a personal business plan?Start with a simple brainstorming list. ... Prioritize objectives. ... Be specific. ... Set challenges but be realistic. ... Set deadlines. ... Share the plan.
How do I write a simple business plan?Keep your writing simple and straightforward. ... Write the company description and describe your service or product. ... Present your market research and outline your marketing plan. ... Discuss contingencies. ... Provide information about the key people in your business.
How do I write a simple business plan for a small business?Research, research, research. ... Determine the purpose of your plan. ... Create a company profile. ... Document all aspects of your business. ... Have a strategic marketing plan in place. ... 6. Make it adaptable based on your audience. ... Explain why you care.
What should a simple business plan include?A standard business plan consists of a single document divided into several sections including a description of the organization, the market research, competitive analysis, sales strategies, capital and labor requirements, and financial data.