#simple business plan
8 Simple Business Plan Templates for Entrepreneurs
Writing a business plan is an important step in the startup process. It helps you and your partners decide if you will work well together, teaches you about the marketplace, and lets you brainstorm business and product goals. But because of all the effort and detail involved, many entrepreneurs dread the thought of sitting down and creating this critical but time-consuming document.
While business plans can be frustrating if you re writing one from scratch, there are plenty of online templates available to take some of the pain out of the process. Small business owners can benefit from simple, easy-to-follow business-plan tools so they can spend less time writing and more time launching.
Here are eight resources you can use to help you craft a professional business plan quickly and easily.
You ve heard about those entrepreneurs who started off by jotting down their ideas on a napkin at a bar, caf or restaurant. $100 Startup s One-Page Business Plan is a little like that, but more organized. Designed for entrepreneurs who are itching to get started, this simple business-plan template asks a handful of questions that you can easily answer in one or two sentences. It covers everything from what you sell and who will buy it to how you will get paid, hustle to find customers, foresee challenges and overcome the obstacles all in a single page. [Writing a Business Plan? Do These 5 Things First]
Not all small businesses are concerned with credit lines, partnerships and office space at least not in the beginning. So why should their initial business plans include these things? Copyblogger s Remarkably Simple Business Plan doesn t. Instead, it offers a business-plan template fit for the real would-be entrepreneur s world. Whereas most business-plan templates assume all businesses are uniform, Copyblogger s Remarkably Simple Business Plan was created to get to what entrepreneurs really need to know to start a business: the ins and outs of the product or service, how customers will find the business and how the business will make money. Simply copy and paste the template of the Remarkably Simple Business Plan, created by Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Copyblogger Media, and you re good to go.
Founded in 2011, Enloop is regarded as an innovative player in the business-plan-creation industry. Like many others, the service uses an online interface to help automate your business plan s creation. To get started, users enter basic information about their businesses, including product details. Then, Enloop s software uses metrics to help predict the financial performance of the company in comparison with others in the sector. According to CEO Cynthia McCahon, the goal of the company is to help entrepreneurs make better-informed decisions. Users can get started on Enloop for free; more advanced paid options are also available.
LivePlan is a relatively new entrant to the online business-tools market that helps you every step of the way, from the planning stages through your launch. Like other services, LivePlan allows business owners to craft perfectly formatted plans. From there, users can create the presentation necessary to pitch their business ideas to would-be investors. Once off the ground, businesses can track revenue and expenses against forecasts, and multiple users within a company can work through the LivePlan interface. Pricing starts at less than $12 a month.
The One Page Business Plan Company
Created by The One Page Business Plan Company. this simple business template covers only the key areas entrepreneurs need to address to start a business: their vision for the company, mission for why the business exists, objectives for setting out goals, strategies to make the business successful and action plans indicating what work needs to be done. Unlike complicated business plans, boring blocks of text are not required bullet points will do.
Are you the visual type? Look no further than Angela Bowman s One-Page Visual Business Plan. Based on the principles of the Business Generation Model Strategyzer app, Bowman s One-Page Visual Business Plan uses sticky notes to help you creatively craft an out-of-the-box business plan. To create a One-Page Visual Business Plan, start by separating a single page into different sections or columns, such as company information and customer segments. Write down your ideas or responses on a sticky note, and then stick it on the corresponding section. You can also color-code the sticky notes for better organization. Then, if your plans change, you can easily remove a note, move it around or add new ones to better fit the direction in which your business is headed.
SBA Build Your Business Plan Tool
The fact that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an online tool to help users craft business plans will come as no surprise to anyone who has investigated the SBA s offerings before. The agency has a wealth of free planning, financing and consulting tools and resources, both online and through available consultants. The SBA s online tool for business-plan creation allows a user to enter information on a Web interface that is tied to that user s account. The administration says this is intended to be a live plan that can be referred to and changed as the company s plans progress. The SBA encourages entrepreneurs to use their generated plans to discuss their company s prospects with SBA advisers like those available through SCORE and the Small Business Development Center. The SBA s tool is available online at no cost.
Greg Go, co-founder of online finance community Wise Bread, is a big believer that entrepreneurs who are just starting out don t need lengthy business plans. What they actually need, he said, is an internal working plan to get started. The internal working plan consists of four simple questions that make up the simple business plan: What is your product or service? Who are your customers? When will things get done? When are bills due, and when do you get paid? To guide entrepreneurs in completing their four-question business plan, Go provides a simplified way of answering each question in his blog post on the subject.
Updated on May 1, 2015. Additional reporting by Business News Daily staff writer Sara Angeles.
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#business ideas for women
Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs on How to Find Your Business Idea
Credit: Dragon Images/Shutterstock
Women may have once been pigeonholed into certain professions, but no longer are they simply expected to do gender-specific jobs. Female professionals are taking control of their careers in a way that works best for them, including when and how they start their own businesses.
Everyone has to start a business that s meaningful to them; I think it s an old model to tell [women] to go into a specific field, said Carin Rockind. a happiness and life purpose expert. I think that s got us to where we are today. What you re passionate about is way more important. Women need to tap into what they re good at and what makes them feel great.
American Express OPEN s 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report found that 11.3 million U.S. businesses are currently owned by women, and an average of 1,072 new female-owned companies are being started every day. This number is growing five times faster than the national average for all businesses, meaning more women than ever are taking the leap into entrepreneurship. [See Related Story:Money and Connections Still Hurdles for Women Entrepreneurs]
As to what kinds of businesses a female entrepreneur should start, businesswomen agree that the sky is the limit.
I don t think there are any guidelines to the type of companies women should begin, said Cologne Trude, co-founder and creative director of Show Me Your Mumu. a boho-chic clothing line. Women s strengths are so diverse that opportunities are endless.
I think women should get excited about what excites them, added Melinda Emerson. an author and business coach known as SmallBizLady on Twitter. There aren t [enough] women-centric businesses out there.
Where to start
Emerson suggests starting a business you know something about. When you re ready to begin the business you re most passionate about, consider your limitations.
I have seen people quit really good jobs to start businesses they hate, Emerson said. There are fantasies of grandeur about running a business. It s really hard out there.
If you have no savings, no money and bad credit, you should not start a business, Emerson said. She suggests saving 20 to 40 percent per paycheck before you quit your job to begin your business.
Most important, Emerson emphasized the importance of doing your research. Make sure you know who your paying customer is.
You always have to check and make sure your business model makes sense in an industry that s growing and not sinking, Emerson said. It needs to be relevant three to five years from now. You don t want [technological advances] taking your business.
As you get your business off the ground, surround yourself with people who will help you succeed, whether it s through support or lending a hand to get the business started, said Cammy Miller, co-founder and creative director of Show Me Your Mumu.
Being a leader doesn t mean you have all of the answers and the more open you are to learning from everyone around you, the more you can grow in your role, Miller said.
One of the things that s been harder for me to learn is to bring other people with you, happiness expert Rockind added. It s very lonely to have your own business. There are so many important skills, and you can t be good at everything. ItꞋs OK to ask for help and collaborate with other people.
Love what you do
Building a business from the ground up is challenging no matter how you look at it. But, ultimately, you should love what you do.
I always encourage female entrepreneurs to be strong and work hard at what they love. Starting and running a business is by no means easy, and there are going to be a lot of hardships and emotional setbacks, Trude said. As a female, running Mumu has been very stressful and emotional at times, but every tear has been worth it and I am stronger because of it.
If Rockind had to go back in time to give herself advice, it would be to just do it.
You have to put yourself out there, she said. Believe in yourself and your purpose.
Shannon Gausepohl graduated from Rowan University in 2012 with a degree in journalism. She has worked at a newspaper and in the public relations field, and is currently a staff writer at Business News Daily. Shannon is a zealous bookworm, has her blue belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and loves her Blue Heeler mix, Tucker.
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#green business ideas
10 Green Business Ideas for Eco-Minded Entrepreneurs
Are you considering to start your own business but are concerned about the impact it will have on the environment? Green businesses are ecofriendly, and they go beyond the regulations to show their commitment to sustainable development. You do not need any particularly brilliant new idea. What is more, most of the green businesses are alternatives of the standard businesses, but with a nature-conscious management and production processes. Check out the following green business ideas.
1. Green Business Ideas Organic farming
While businesses are going green, so are their customers. Everyone nowadays is switching to healthier lifestyle choices, and this particularly concerns the food they consume. The effect of this is that organically grown vegetables and fruits are highly sought, and this trend is sure to continue in the future. The market for these products is very developed, so you will have no trouble finding buyers. What do you need to start this business? A piece of land and love for outdoor work.
2. Organic menu restaurant
If you do not want your hands to get dirty, but still wish to take your piece of the pie in the ongoing healthy-eating trend, why not be on the other side of the transaction? Open a restaurant that would serve only organic meals, made from organic ingredients that you would be buying from organic farmers.
3. Green construction
Become a green contractor. Green construction simply means construction with eco-friendly materials and incorporation of energy saving systems, such as solar heating.
4. Recycling pickup
Recycling is also very popular these days. But no matter how determined people are to recycle, there is always the problem of what to do with bulk trash, like computers and house appliances, once you no longer need them. If you want to start a recycling pickup service, take a page out of the book of Sydney s rubbish removal services. for e-waste. It is a very lucrative business, yet in deficit.
5. Green developer
Develop applications that will help people help the earth. These can be simple guides to local green stores, or complex energy consumption calculators.
6. Green consulting
If you are familiar with green technologies and standards, you can easily become a consultant to other businesses on ecological issues. Help other people start a green business, or turn their current business into a more environmentally friendly one. This consulting can involve anything from efficient energy consumption to sustainable production. Get certified to gain more credibility among customers.
Furniture upcycling has quite a hipster vibe. Take any piece of old, unused furniture and repurpose it in an unusual and preferably unexpected way. All you need is some tools and a few original ideas. Once you clear your attic and basement of all the unused furniture, you will find that flea markets are a great place to find new ‘raw materials’.
8. Green blogs
If you like writing, and like to work from home, start a blog. But not just any kind of blog. Start a green blog that will promote green activities.
9. Bicycle business
Bicycles are the most eco-friendly means of transport there is. They emit no gas into the atmosphere and so do not pollute the air. Buying and reselling bicycles has become a huge part of the green revolution. Consider participating in it. You can also open a small local bicycle café where you will sell drinks, while you are repairing your customers’ bicycles. Take tourists to bicycle sightseeing tours of your town, or your neighbourhood.
Start a cleaning services company which will use your own natural house cleaning products. Make more money by selling these products to households and other cleaning service companies.
What green business do you see yourself managing?
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Florida Business News
Hours after Hurricane Hermine hit parts of Florida, Governor Rick Scott warned residents to stay safe from debris and help avoid the spread of the Zika virus.
The bulk of Florida workers, 65 percent, make below the state average annual salary of just over $39,000.
Efforts to shrink state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. continue, even though the state-run “insurer of last resort” is about one-third as large as it was in 2012.
A UCF College of Medicine cancer researcher has discovered a way to kill spreading breast cancer cells.
GE Transportation acquired ShipXpress, a Neptune Beach-based supply chain technology company.
#business ideas for kids
14 Fun Business Ideas for Kids and Teens to Encourage Entrepreneurship
Should you encourage your children to start a business? Are there good business ideas for teens and kids? With police routinely shutting down kids lemonade stands for being unlicensed businesses, you might wonder if they should just put their entrepreneurial urges on hold until they get older.
But there are good reasons to let young people make some money on their own, and to let them start early. Billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett says :
There was a study many years ago questioning how to predict business success later in life. The answer to the study wasthe age you started your first business impacted how successful you were later in life.Teaching kids sound financial habits at an early age gives all kids the opportunity to be successful when they are an adult. [emphasis added]
Buffett s own childhood was full of investments and businesses. At age 11, he bought his first stock. By the age of 14, he used $1,200 he earned from paper routes to purchase 40 acres of land, which he then leased out to farmers. In high school, he and a friend bought a used pinball machine for $25 and set it up in a barber shop. They later put machines in other locations and eventually sold the business.
Of course, your child doesn t have to be the next Warren Buffett to benefit from a small venture or two. Here are some of the best business ideas for kids.
1. Dog Walking
Busy people need help keeping their dogs fit, and this is a job most kids can handle and enjoy. Dog walkers charge either for a set fee or an hourly rate, and the kids can even expand their business to include dog washing and pet sitting .
Kids can approach neighbors to offer their services (you may want to tag along if they’re young) or advertise their business online. Care.comsays their dog walkers average almost $10 per hour, and it s free to open a basic account. Care.com’s policy for teens requires adult-supervised accounts (parents receive email notifications of all activity), and the kids have to be at least 14 to sign up.
Many kids are more Internet savvy than their parents, so it makes sense to consider online businesses, including various types of websites. It costs very little to register a domain name and buy web hosting, and by relying on easy advertising revenue (like Google AdSense), kids don t even have to sell anything.
For example, Forbes reports that Ashley Qualls started Whateverlife.com at age 14 as a personal portfolio with pictures and graphics she created. Later, she added tutorials on creating graphics and other content for teens. Before long she needed a dedicated server, and she added Google AdSense to the site to monetize the traffic.
Now, her website brings in as much as $70,000 a month, according to Fast Company. Qualls bought a $250,000 home with her profits while still a teenager, and turned down a $1.5 million offer for her business.
3. Paper Routes
Paper routes helped Warren Buffett get his start in business, and although most newspapers now rely on adults with cars for delivery, there are still a few places where kids deliver papers on foot or by bicycle. In Carroll, Iowa, for example, The Daily Times Herald still has 80% of its papers delivered by kids aged 9 to 17, according to NPR .
One of the best things about modern paper delivery is that the kids no longer have to knock on doors to collect for subscriptions that s all done by credit card billing.
4. Crafts and Jewelry
If your kids are creatively inclined, they can make crafts and jewelry to sell online. There s no need to set up a website for this. Platforms like Etsy provide a great way to keep it simple. Vendors pay 20 cents to list a product and then a commission of 3.5% on each sale. The policy for kids is that the Etsy Shop must be managed by a parent or legal guardian.
How much could your child earn on Etsy? By the time he was 11 years old, Mo Bridges had brought in more than $30,000 selling bow ties through his Etsy shop.
Other Businesses for Kids
Don t underestimate the potential for big success from small starts. Fraser Doherty started making and selling jam from home at age 14 and before long had over $1 million in annual sales. At age 10, Juliette Brindak drew pictures of Cool Girls, and, at age 16, used those characters to launch a social networking site called Miss O and Friends . The site is valued at $15 million today.
The types of businesses started by some kids might surprise you too. Who would have thought that BizChair.com. started by Sean Belnicks at age 14, would be selling $24 million in office chairs by the time its founder was 20? Or that 17-year-old Nick D’Aloisio would sell his news-aggregator app, called Summly, for $30 million?
Any kind of business activity teaches kids valuable lessons. As a child, Tyler Dikman had lemonade stands, mowed lawns and did magic shows. He parlayed that business experience into launching CoolTronics. a comprehensive computer sales and service solution, when he was just 15. The company went on to make millions of dollars.
What else can kids or teens do to make money? Here are a few more possibilities:
- Help companies with social media marketing
- Help seniors set up and use computers
- Wash cars
- Do garden maintenance
- Have garage sales
- Make greeting cards
- Recycle soda cans
- Tutor younger kids
- Shovel snow
Your Turn: Do you encourage your children s entrepreneurial plans? What good business ideas could you add to the list?
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History s 10 greatest entrepreneurs
By Philipp Harper
Special to msnbc.com
How many entrepreneurs have there been in the history of the world? Millions, certainly, probably even billions. These are the men and women who take capital — their own or somebody else’s — and use it to beget more capital. Some fail, some succeed, some excel.
With so many candidates to choose from, any list of the 10 greatest entrepreneurs of all time will necessarily be somewhat arbitrary. It will also be top-heavy with Americans, just as a list of great chefs would be disproportionately French or of great eccentrics dominated by the British.
Business is what America does. If that sounds chauvinistic, get over it.
Here, without further ado but with tongue occasionally in cheek, are history’s 10 greatest entrepreneurs.
1.King Croesus. A pick by our veterans committee, Croesus, who ruled the Asia Minor kingdom of Lydia in the sixth century B.C. is owed a huge debt of gratitude for minting the world’s first coinage, thereby creating in a single stroke the lifeblood of every business: liquidity and cash flow. Moreover, his opulent lifestyle has given entrepreneurs throughout history something to shoot for. Is there a greater distinction for the commercially inclined than to be deemed “as rich as Croesus”?
2.Pope Sixtus IV. Sixtus gets the nod for realizing that the “wages of sin” meant more than unpleasant repercussions. There was money to be made in damnation, and Sixtus mined it by opening up a new market — the dead — for the indulgences the church had been selling for years. Relatives of the deceased quickly filled the Vatican’s coffers with payments intended to lessen the time their loved ones spent in purgatory. In 1478 Sixtus “grew his market” by authorizing the Spanish Inquisition, which swelled purgatory’s ranks by 100,000 souls in 15 years. He also was the first pope to license brothels.
3.Benjamin Franklin. In a real sense, Franklin was America’s first entrepreneur. Unlike other of the Founding Fathers — the hypermoral Washington, the prodigiously intellectual Jefferson — whose virtues and attainments are seen today as anachronisms, Franklin truly was a model of what many of us would become. Beneath the statesman’s mantle resided a popular author, a printer, an inventor (the lightning rod, bifocals) and a very savvy businessman who knew how to commercialize the fruits of his fertile mind.
4. P.T. Barnum. Americans have always loved a good scam and Phineas Taylor Barnum took the art to new heights. He played on our fascination with the bizarre and freakish with sideshow acts ranging from the midget Tom Thumb to Jumbo the giant elephant. In between was a host of more dubious curiosities. He created the Barnum and Bailey Circus as a showcase for all this wonderment, and dubbed it “the Greatest Show on Earth.” Along the way he invented modern advertising and became rich. For the record, he never said “There’s a sucker born every five minutes,” but he left behind plenty of other bon mots. Among them: “Every crowd has a silver lining.”
5.Thomas Edison. What do you say about the man who gave the world the electric light, the phonograph, talking motion pictures and more than 1,300 other patented inventions? That he was the world’s greatest inventor, certainly. But he was also able to exploit the profit potential in his creations, an entrepreneurial bent that asserted itself when Edison was a teen-ager, printing a newspaper in the baggage car of a rolling train and then selling copies to passengers. His impact on the way people live was and is pervasive. As a combination of inventive genius and entrepreneurial flair, he stands alone.
6.Henry Ford. Ford also fundamentally changed human lifestyles by making available a vehicle, the Model T, that vastly extended people’s range of movement. The automobile would allow America’s masses to fulfill their Manifest Destiny to populate every corner of the continent. But his more profound impact was on industry. The moving assembly line he designed to build his cars was the signal breakthrough of the Industrial Age. Appropriately, Ford earned the seed capital for his enterprise by working as an engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit.
7.Benjamin Siegel. Known as “Bugsy” to his friends, Siegel was a notorious mobster with a touch of the visionary. Legend has it that he single-handedly invented Las Vegas, and that’s a stretch. But he was the first to see what the town could become: a lush oasis of pleasure where gambling was just one of the attractions. He also proved adept at attracting other people’s money to build his iconic resort, The Flamingo. Trouble was, some of those other people belonged to an outfit called Murder Inc. and Siegel was gunned down in 1947 amid rumors he had stolen from his partners. But give the devil his due: Before there was the Bellagio, there was Bugsy.
8.Ray Kroc. Nothing says entrepreneur like persistence, and nothings says persistence like Ray Kroc, the kitchen wares salesman who in 1954, at age 52 and in poor health, had his imagination hijacked by a family-run restaurant in the desert outside Los Angeles. Once he had bought out the McDonald brothers, Kroc proceeded to take their concept of a limited menu, fast service and low prices and expand it nationally, in the process creating the fast-food industry and dramatically affecting America’s lifestyle and, sadly, collective health.
9.H. Ross Perot. Within every entrepreneur lurks a touch of the cowboy, and there’s no better example of the strain than Perot, the diminutive Texan who has become best known in recent years as a political gadfly. Before that, though, he was all business, using a $1,000 loan from his wife in 1962 to launch Electronic Data Systems. Perot’s winning idea was that large corporations and organizations needed data-processing help if they were to take full advantage of computer technology. When in the mid-’60s he won contracts with two new federal health-care programs — Medicare and Medicaid — EDS was off and running and Perot was on his way to being one of America’s richest citizens.
10.Jobs & Wozniak. Apple Computer’s two Steves weren’t the first Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to launch a billion-dollar business from a Palo Alto garage — Hewlett and Packard were there before them — but they were the first to democratize computing by creating a machine whose use was so wonderfully intuitive that even technophobes embraced it. Combine the elegance of Wozniak’s operating system design with Jobs’ marketing savvy (remember Apple’s “1984” ad?) and the result was a true phenomenon. Yes, the Apple was eclipsed by the PC, but only after Microsoft (behind the vision of two other notable entrepreneurs, Bill Gates and Paul Allen) developed Windows to ape its rival’s ease of use.
Philipp Harper is a freelance journalist living in south Georgia.
#dallas business journal
Dallas Business Journal
Founded in 1977, Dallas Business Journal is the leading source for local business news, research, and events in the DFW area.
In addition to our weekly print publication, we also offer a digital edition, the annual Book of Lists, free Daily Email Update and other industry specific newsletters, and networking and awards events including the Best Places to Work, 40 Under Forty, Best Real Estate Deals, and Women in Business.
We are a division of American City Business Journals, the country s largest publisher of business publications. It is owned by Advance Publications, a private publishing company that also owns Condé Nast magazines and Newhouse Newspapers.
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