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... :-)

Business planning: Tips for Writing a Mission Statement for your Business Plan

A while back I was shopping for a new car. In the show room one dealer had a plaque over their door that read,”Our mission is to become the most profitable [brand] dealer in Northern California.”  Uh oh! What does that tell you? ( I wonder if they are charging too much.)  That ‘mission statement’…

Business Planning: Adding more products and services to your business plan?

Quite frequently, BizPlanBuilder users will write-in to ask how they can add more products, more profit centers, or more SKUs to their business plan. It seems to be very exciting to think you can dazzle an investor or lender with lots of products. Actually, the opposite maybe true. BizPlanBuilder includes enough space to add up…

Your business plan presentation to investors

Much has been said and written about investor presentations. The “PowerPoint presentation” may seem like the all-important (and sometimes, harrowing) opportunity to make your pitch for capital, but it shouldn’t be a surprise introduction for investors. Investors will often request a copy of your PowerPoint deck prior to meeting with you. Send it to them.…

Business Planning – Sequencing your presentation for capital

Building a business requires more than just an idea and a plan. For a moment (and you may need to refer to this moment often), put yourself in an investor’s position… What would YOU want to know about a business before you invested in it? We often recommend investing an amount of money in a…

The Academy Awards – World-class expressions of appreciation… and attraction

(Keep reading and I will teach you a secret to success by reversing the Do, Have, Be cycle) Academy Award® winners are people at the top of their game — receiving an award for being the best. I couldn’t help but notice that these were indeed world-class expressions of appreciation. Some seemed surprised and unprepared,…