Business Plans

Crafted so you can create a business built for profitability and growth — and get funded.

Terri Graham

Cuvée Lounge

“Diane’s business plan secured us a $100,000 business loan within 48 hours.

Our plan gave us credibility with our investors and enabled us to then secure $1 million. There is no question we couldn’t have done it without her.”

Max Robbins

Bona Fide Beverage

“The business plan process helped us fully understand our business, brand, and products in a way that we didn’t when we started.

Diane is able to point out the problems you might not think of yourself, and helps you resolve them ahead of time.

She truly provides a unique perspective and expertise to any project. I’m confident we’re on the road to success.”

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Big ideas are flowing, you’re bursting with excitement, and ready to jump in and start taking action.

Cue the late-night Google rabbit hole…

I see it all the time… founders spending their precious time and startup capital on things the internet tells them they should be doing.

Things like…

  • Building a website
  • Designing a logo
  • Getting your social media up and running

I get it. It’s easy (and a lot more enjoyable) to focus on the “fun stuff.” The problem is, most new entrepreneurs wind up neglecting or avoiding the one thing that will have the most bearing on whether their doors will still be open a few years from now: creating a detailed, well-thought-out plan.

You wouldn’t even think of building a house without a blueprint. Yet, the vast majority of entrepreneurs don’t take the time to map out their own business blueprint, even though it’s essential to building a solid foundation.

If you build it plan it, they will come.

Before I share my process for crafting business plans, let’s talk about whether you really need one.

A business plan will benefit you if…


You’re expecting to raise funds from investors, banks, or friends and family.


You can’t afford to wait 5-10 years to replace your income and start making a profit.


You know you have a great idea, but you haven’t quite nailed down the details (like monthly cash flow or your core customer).

If any of these apply to you… you’re in the right place.

Robert Luiten

Zenergy Biofuels

“Diane helped us explain our complex business in a way that investors could understand.

She was great at turning the ideas we had into a concept that we could sell.”

George Mallett


“We couldn’t figure out why VC’s weren’t understanding our business.

Diane helped us refine our business model so that now we thoroughly understand our business — and it shows.”

There are two ways to work with me
to create your business plan.

I. Custom Business Plan

Through a series of one-on-one sessions, I’ll work side by side with you (virtually) to create your custom business plan. By the end of our time together, you’ll have a custom, investor-attracting business plan, but truth be told, you’ll also get so much more — you get one-on-one strategic advice that becomes your personal startup bootcamp. As part of my process I take on several roles: trusted advisor, business coach, devil’s advocate, and cheerleader.

2. The DIY Business Plan Kit

A limited budget doesn’t have to mean a limited plan. I’ve distilled my methods and decades of experience into an all-in-one, downloadable toolkit that gives you everything you need to write your business plan from start to finish — without having to spend thousands of dollars or spend countless hours struggling to string together sketchy freebies you found on the internet. This is the exact system I use with my private clients, at a more affordable price.

The Startup Distillery Process

As an admirer of fine whisky, I’ve noticed that writing business plans and distilling whisky work in much the same way — a distiller cooks the ingredients until the best parts rise to the top. The better the ingredients, the better the finished product. Distilling is the essence of what I do with my clients.

Phase 1: The Words (your compelling story)

Facts tell, but it’s stories that sell. During this phase, we’ll craft a strong, compelling story that explains your concept and clearly spells out the whatshows and whys behind it — not only the market opportunity, but why customers will buy what you’re selling.

I’ll walk you through this process step by step using our ongoing conversations as a mind-meld of sorts. That way, I’m able to guide you not only on what elements you need to think about, but how to think about them.

Through this process you’ll learn how to talk about your business in a way that makes investors say, “Where do I sign up?”

Phase 2: The Numbers (your roadmap to profitability)

If the words are the story explaining your concept, the numbers are there to support your story. We’ll dive deep into the nuts-and-bolts of your financial projections in simple, easy-to-understand language (I promise!). Together, we’ll prepare realistic projections that will serve as your budgeting and benchmarking tools… and demonstrate that your concept works financially and can develop into a business built for profitability and growth.

Phase 3: The Finish

By the time we’re finished, you will have a compelling, persuasive business plan. You’ll know your business inside and out because we’ve addressed the thorniest, most challenging issues, as well as the mundane. Your business plan will serve as your North Star — your foundation for growth — when it comes to what helps your bottom line and what doesn’t. And when things change (as they naturally do), you’ll be ready to adapt quickly and take advantage of opportunities as a result of the work we do together.

Alexa Bancel

B. Wise Rehabilitation

“Not coming from a business background, it was really helpful having Diane’s guidance and outside perspective.

She made the business plan process easy and fun without losing any attention to detail.

Diane helped us think outside the box, and worked to help us build a company that we’re proud of.”

“Diane knows her stuff! We wanted an unbiased guide through the business planning process, and she helped us think through the details in every aspect of our business.

Our meetings always ended with clearly defined homework to keep the process moving.”

Done right, an effective business plan is much more than a document you share with potential investors.

A well-crafted business plan will also help you…

  • Create a bulletproof pitch deck.
  • Develop persuasive messaging for your elevator pitch, website, social media, and sales & marketing.
  • Secure credit from suppliers.
  • Think through key elements of your business before money and customer satisfaction are on the line.
  • Get laser-focused on your target customers’ needs and the problem(s) you’re solving for them.
  • Think proactively instead of falling into “firefighter mode,” reacting to the nonstop, day-to-day challenges of running your business.

So... What's the investment?

Here’s what’s included:

  • Private one-on-one strategy calls with me. When you work with me you get more than a business plan; you get one-on-one strategic advice that becomes your personal startup bootcamp. As part of my process I take on several roles: trusted advisor, business coach, devil’s advocate, and cheerleader. That’s why every custom business plan includes unlimited calls, so you always have support and a sounding board when you need it.
  • Custom Business Plan that includes your compelling Narrative, Financial Projections, and Executive Summary. You’ll be ready — and excited! — to hit the ground running as you begin building your business, pitching investors and bringing your dream to life.
  • Unlimited access to me. We’ll work together closely so I can really get to know you and your business — and I’ll be there with you every step of the way. Clients know they can come to me any time, with any question, in any circumstance. You’ll have my decades of experience at your complete disposal.

It’s like insurance that you’re doing it right.

A custom business plan is not only a risk reduction strategy —  it’s the smartest up-front investment you can make. One that gives you the clarity and guidance you need to fast-track success, so you’re more likely to get funded, less likely to fail, and become profitable sooner.

So you’re probably wondering, okay, Diane… what is the investment?

Working directly with me to develop your custom-crafted business plan is a personalized, one-on-one experience. This 5-figure investment starts at $15,000 and includes unlimited access to my expert consulting brain so we can set you up for success.

To get an exact quote on a custom plan for your startup, let’s talk so I can find out more about your big vision.

Three ways to get in touch.

You can get started by requesting a totally free “let’s see if we’re a good fit” call below.

(773) 871-0110

(it’s free!)

Need a business plan on a budget?

Then you need Distilling Your Dream, my step-by-step Business Plan Kit. Affordably priced at $299, with 1 hour of personal consulting included (until my calendar gets unsustainably booked-up) — a $250 value.

Everything you need to write your business plan, from start to finish.

Distilling Your Dream DIY Business Plan Kit cover

Shows you how to write a compelling business plan for any industry.

Walk you through every step of the words and the numbers, one step at a time.

Easy-to-use so you can build a strong narrative, realistic financial projections, and a persuasive executive summary.

Let’s do this.

It’s time for the rubber to hit the road.

Book a call

(it's free)

You Are Welcome Here. Startup Distillery is and always will be committed to creating a welcoming, safe, inclusive environment for colleagues, partners and any entrepreneur who wants to turn their dream into reality.