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The modern business plan is a dramatically distilled version of those from five or 10 years ago. " Guillebeau offers a template for a one-page business plan at 100The best ones today address market opportunities and how the venture will pursue them, in a few well-written paragraphs. Chris Guillebeau, author of The 0 , stresses clarity and focus over heft and thoroughness. Related: Chris Guillebeau and the 0 Startup For entrepreneurs who never had a business plan, the new scaled-back approach can provide ease of entry.
Less than a month into her mentoring role, Williams realized her sister was not the only woman who could benefit from this kind of training.
The two discussed turning their life-skills idea into a TV show and other entertainment spinoffs.
The sisters' company, Red & Black Productions, ultimately got off the ground when they self-published a book, The book was launched at Neiman Marcus, which led to a speaking engagement.
It was there that a member of the audience asked, "Why aren't the lessons in your book being taught in our schools? She realized she had been so focused on pursuing a TV deal, as outlined in her business plan, that she had ignored opportunities to leverage her content in other ways.
Excited about the prospects, Williams spent the next year writing a business plan.
Entertainment bigwigs in Los Angeles and New York were encouraging, so she thought she was on the right track.
The plan was successful and landed him the 0,000 he had hoped to raise for the startup.
But in retrospect, he wonders if his time could have been better spent.
"I think a small-business plan should focus on a few simple, essential things," he says. Cynde Margritz, CEO of Peak Neurofitness in Arlington, Va., started her company in 2006 without a written plan; connections at NASA led to immediate customers for her cognitive brain training and neurofeedback services. Growth was steady, but in hindsight Margritz believes the company may have missed opportunities for funding because she had no documents to show potential investors.
Now, as Peak Neurofitness looks to expand into new markets, she thinks the time is right to write a plan."We realize we have some missing pieces in our business and want to develop a plan to address those weaknesses and pursue new opportunities," she says.