I‘ve been helping entrepreneurs and business owners like you for more than 40 years — mostly from within our Business Power Tools software apps and templates, and thru my blogs and book, "Business Black Belt."   My “Hero’s Journey” started In the early ’80s, I was the electronics buyer and a copywriter for the Sharper Image catalog. Later, I also sold some really cool word-processors in Silicon Valley. After Macs and PCs became popular, I started my own business creating sales literature for tech companies. A friend had a deal going to sell his engineering software to Apple. They wanted to see his business plan to be sure his company would stay in business to provide future upgrades and support. At the time, I viewed a business plan as an elaborate brochure that sold his concept to people at all levels, and responsibilities with various perceptions, biases, and interests. (I learned that from selling word-processors.) We got the deal. Over the next year, people came to me with some brilliant ideas, but their plans weren’t getting funded. I helped them fill in the missing parts to succeed. Along the way, I saw that business plans have a fundamentally universal structure. Hmmm…    What if I took all the content I’d developed, redacted everything proprietary, but filled in the blanks with a variety of customizable multiple-choice options, and offered it as a software template that many people could use?    This became BizPlanBuilder, the first of its kind, and my new company took off!     Inspired to help others build businesses that would make our world a better place, we became our own Guinea pigs seeking to remove as many common mistakes and as much unnecessary BS as possible, and crafted tools for others building businesses to make our world a better place.    We followed-up with MarketingBuilder, which picked-up where BizPlanBuilder left off, then we went even further with PRBuilder which included sample press release templates… In another direction, we added EmployeeManualBuilder and SafetyPlanBuilder full of actual policies and procedures.     Altogether, we had 10 products in about 3,500 retail stores and built a $12 million company with 30 employees… (All that to say, I've been down the road you're on. I didn't just make this stuff up!)     Today, all of our products have been integrated into a streamlined and unified online toolbox/dashboard. And we’re the leader in business development software templates that help you build your business.     I also like dogs, kick-boxing, flying airplanes, writing, walking on the beach at sunset, candlelight dinners, and red wine... :-)

Components of a Business Plan (Part 3)

Written by Burke Franklin, founder and CEO, JIAN This is part 3 of 3.  If you missed parts 1 and 2, Part 1, where we talked about the executive summary or Part 2, where we talked about the market analysis and strategy. Let’s drive this puppy home. 11. Management Team– What’s a nice person like…

Components of a Business Plan (Part 2)

Written by Burke Franklin, Founder and CEO, JIAN We talked last week about the beginning sections of your business plan. If you haven’t read it yet, click here to catch up. This is part 2 of 3, so make sure to check back with us soon. 7. Company Overview– Give readers the basic information on…

Components of a Business Plan (Part 1)

Written by Burke Franklin, CEO and founder, JIAN “The plan is nothing. The planning is everything.”      – Dwight D. Eisenhower There may have been a day when people read business plans cover to cover. Not anymore. When they get close to giving you money, they might, but first you have to grab their interest and…

What Investors Want to Know… (Cont’d)

When you’re writing your business plan, you want to make sure to highlight what sets you apart from other businesses.  A good way to do this was put forward by Scott Miller, co-founder of Core Strategy Group, small business coach and co-author of the books ‘The Underdog Advantage’ and ‘Building Brandwidth.’  When writing your plan,…

What Investors Want to Know…

by Burke Franklin, Founder and CEO, Business Power Tools For a moment, put yourself in an investor’s position (actually, do this throughout the plan writing process). What would YOU want to know about a business before you invested in it? Think about investing money in a friend’s business to get the mental, physical, emotional and…