How I Got $100,000 in Financing
Subject: Business Plan, Software, Websites
A few years ago I was asked to develop a revenue model and business plan for a new concept a client had in mind. To be honest, I didn’t know where to start. I knew how to put the business together, but doing a business plan from scratch as we all know is mentally painful and time consuming. But I did find a great solution to my problem.
Business Plans: Finding The Right Tool Make the Job Easier
The thought of putting a business plan together is enough to scare if not stop an entrepreneur from going any further. If you’re like me, the thought of putting together cost, summaries, forecast, etc. is enough to make a person just want to push away from the table and say, “No mas!”
A client called me in to discuss a business concept he had in mind. As we discussed the idea it became apparent that he would need some type of funding to do the project. He then turned to me and asked me to put a business plan together. He then asked, “How long is it going to take you?” Before I could get a word out he says, “I like to have it by this time next week.”
Now, I did my best to remind him that this would require some market research, let alone, putting the costs together and then creating a business plan. As I tried to extend my timeline, I could see in his face that he wasn’t listening to anything I was saying.
“Well, we’ll see you next week to review the plan.” was his parting comment to me as he ushered me out the door.
The first thing I did was get in front of a computer and search for business plans for this particular market. I went into Google & Yahoo and typed in various search terms related to the subject but didn’t come up with much. One thing that kept appearing was a software package called Bplan Pro ($99). I ignored it at first as just another software package. But then something caught my eye, “Over 400 sample plans included.” STOP! I had to check it out so I clicked on the link to the business plan website by Palo Alto Software.
You can buy the plan on line and download it immediately. Which is what I did. I can only tell you the business plans were ‘mind-blowing’. I didn’t find what I exactly needed with one plan, so I used a combination of two plans to create my own.
The format and examples used to guide you through make virtually impossible for you not to be able to complete it. If you have the data already, you can start using it immediately
Where Do These Plans Come From?
I came to find out that each year or so, a contest is held to see who can submit the best business plan using the Bplan Pro software. And, only the best of the best are incorporated into the Bplan Pro software. Think about this for a moment, you have the best business plans, over 400, from different industries and market segments included in one software package. If you divide $99 by 400 plans, that comes to about 25 cents per plan…not bad!
Back to The Investor
I presented the plan a little over a week later. I was able to negotiate more time because I need to get more marketing information and costs to justify the plan. In the end, the plan was approved for $100,000 in initial funding to start the project.
I should point out something that really surprised me. I mentioned these were real plans submitted by real people. When I reviewed the two plans I used as guides for our own, I was taken aback by their ‘compeleteness’ and how current they were in terms of market data. I was able to use some of the information ALREADY in the plans.
Note: I said ‘I was able to use some…’ not all. My warning to you is to use the information in the plans as a guide. Do not ‘cut and paste’ your plan together assuming the information is valid. Verify.
Do You Need a Business Plan?
Not everyone who starts and runs a business begins with a business plan, but it certainly helps to have one. If you are seeking funding from a venture capitalist, you will certainly need a comprehensive business plan that is well thought out and contains sound business reasoning.
If you are approaching a banker for a loan for a start-up business, your loan officer may suggest a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, which will require a business plan. If you have an existing business and are approaching a bank for funds to expand the business, a business plan may not be required, but your application may be looked at more favorably if you have one.
Please feel free to share this with a friend or colleague.
Copyright © 2005 by Victor Gonzalez All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Gonzalez, firstname.lastname@example.org www.thelogicofsuccess.com
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