Business Plan And Start Up Newsletter
September 17, 2004
Written by Shaunta Pleasant
President, TL Manage Inc.
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Gathering Information For Your Plan
Anguilla As Metaphor
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Of The Day
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Gathering Information For Your Plan
Palo Alto Software, Inc.
A common problem people encounter when writing their business plan is finding
information about their business industry and competitive companies.
Fortunately, in recent years the Internet has made information gathering simple
and easy, but sometimes the best information is found much closer to home, with
real people, in real time.
Always take a look at other businesses similar to your own, as a very good
first step. If you're looking at starting a new business, you may well be
starting one similar to one you already know. If you're doing a plan for an
existing business, you are even more likely to know the business well. Even so,
you can still learn a lot by looking at other similar businesses.
- Look at existing, similar businesses.
- If you are planning a retail shoe store, for example, spend some time
looking at existing retail shoe store businesses. Park across the street and
count the customers that go into the store. Note how long they stay inside,
and how many come out with boxes that look like purchased shoes. You can
probably even count how many pairs of shoes each customer buys. Browse the
store and look at prices. Look at several stores, including the discount shoe
stores and department store shoe departments.
- Find a similar business in another place.
- Find a similar business far enough away that you won't compete. For the
shoe store example, you would identify shoe stores in similar towns in other
states. Call the owner, explain your purpose truthfully, and ask about the
- Scan local newspapers for people selling a similar business.
- Contact the broker and ask for as much information as possible. If you are
thinking of creating a shoe store and you find one for sale, you should
consider yourself a prospective buyer. Maybe buying the existing store is the
best thing. Even if you don't buy, the information you gain will be very
valuable. Why is the owner selling? Is there something wrong with the
business? You can probably get detailed financial information.
- Always shop the competition.
- If you're in the restaurant business, patronize your competition once a
month, rotating through different restaurants. If you own a shoe store, shop
your competition once a month, and visit different stores.
It takes a little hard work but by using the Internet and doing some research
at local businesses, you should be able to gather all the information necessary
for your business plan.
Business planning resources
Anguilla As Metaphor
By Ken Evoy
Now... let's get back to "Anguilla as metaphor" -- it's a
powerful metaphor, just begging YOU to use it to drive your
sales volumes up, up, up...
1) Every body of knowledge is "an island." Mark Liron is
an expert in the "island of XP." Elad Shippony masters the
"island of children's birthday parties." Others know a lot
about RC cars. And on it goes.
Whatever YOU know about, apply C-T-P (and then "M")...
If you do, pretty soon you end up like these success stories
who are all experts on their islands...
2) My daughter, Nori, followed CTPM. Now, thanks to her
SBI! site, she's a mini-celebrity in Anguilla.
Restaurant owners refuse payment. Her favorite clothing
store gives her clothes! She was interviewed by the big
local TV talk show. Tourists point at her. One even asked
for her autograph! I was amazed... she was shy, but you
could also tell she was secretly pleased.
Yes, I'm bragging a touch...
But think about this. Isn't this what Marc Liron does with
his site? Or what Marney Makridakis does with her site,
ArtellaWordsAndArt.com? It's all about becoming a celebrity
on your own island... your island of knowledge.
3) Do CTPM and you will have successfully built your...
"Brand of One."
Remember, *YOU* have no brand. Amazon has a brand. Google
has a brand. YOU must build one. And there is only one way
to build your "Brand of One."
THAT is what builds the core for a long-term, ever-growing
business with sustainable profits and true equity.
4) In your "REAL world physical island" that I'll call your
neighborhood, you have a baker, barber, tailer and grocer.
Each builds a relationship with you through a pleasant
"hello," by providing good value, and with a parting smile
and good wishes for you to "have a good day."
It's called building a relationship with your customer.
PREselling is the online version of relationship-building.
Nori, Marc, Jim and Fiona, and Dr. Burch all build
relationships by PREselling. Did you know that Dr. Burch's
new patients will travel 50 kilometers to see him? Before
his site, all his patients came from within a 10 km radius.
Jim and Fiona (rent-a-villa-in-tuscany.com) snail-mailed me,
just this week, with a wonderful article, a huge spread in
Scotland's Daily Record newspaper. Jim and Fiona were very
kind to mention SBI!, but frankly SBI! was just the needed
catalyst. *THEY* are the ones who used it to change their
lives. They no longer work in the old-world textile
industry dependent on others in cold, cloudy Scotland. No,
they now live the new-world Internet life, one that THEY NOW
own, in sunny Tuscany, Italy.
(Jim and Fiona, watch out for the Evoy family vacation!)
THAT is the power of PREselling.
People WANT to do business with you.
Go to it. The world is your oyster, just waiting for you
to capitalize upon "your Anguilla."
And THAT, my partner-in-sales, is exactly what your audience
needs to hear and understand. THEY really can succeed.
How To Write A Business Plan Made Easy is an E Book That will help
you Write A Business Plan.
Just like the title implies, it makes writing a business plan Easy…
Your business plan can help you with lending institutions.
They help you organize your business structure and your business activities.
Have you noticed that when you write a plan for just about anything. That it
makes completing that task that much easier…
out more... If you were thinking about writing a business plan.
Thought Of The Day
Nothing in this world can
take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common
than unsuccessful people with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius
is almost a proverb.
Education will not;
the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
~Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), 30th U.S. president~
P.S. See you next issue. :-)
All the best,