Custom Business Plans
The best way to build something
is to start with a plan.
Would you build a house without a blueprint? And make it up as you go along, hoping it will all work out?
Over the last 20 years I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to launch a successful business, and what investors look for in a startup.
In my experience, most founders don’t devote enough attention to creating a business plan that will set them up for success.
They launch their business, hit the ground running and before they know it they’re fighting fires without a working extinguisher, reacting to the nonstop, day-to-day challenges of running their business. There’s little or no time to step back, look at the big picture and think strategically.
Immersed in the daily pressures, they don’t have time to stop and ask themselves:
- Is this business model working?
- Am I selling what people really want?
- Am I attracting enough customers? And turning them into repeat customers?
They don’t have time for those questions because they didn’t do their homework. In other words, they didn’t take the time to think things through ahead of time. And so they struggle. Or worse yet, they become one of the 50% whose business fails within five years (or 70% within 10 years)1.
You, on the other hand, want to prevent mistakes and make smart decisions so that you’re one of the successful 30%.
“We couldn’t figure out why VC’s weren’t understanding our business model. Diane helped us refine it so that now we thoroughly understand our business — and it shows in our business plan.”
A business plan is your chance
to think ahead.
Once your business opens, you’ll inevitably shift into “firefighter mode,” but you’ll be ahead of the game because you’re prepared.
That said, when it comes to writing an effective plan, there are a lot of parts you need to get right. Most entrepreneurs find it difficult to do on their own because they don’t have the experience that comes from writing scores of business plans year after year.
But you can always lean on the expertise of someone else to help you do it right, and prevent the mistakes that happen when you open your doors unprepared.
I can craft the plan you need to get your business started on the right foot.
As part of my process, I take on several roles: trusted advisor, business coach, devil’s advocate and cheerleader… but my most important role is as your toughest critic (you’ll thank me later).
Our work together is personal and collaborative — since I don’t use a “canned” approach, my work is always tailored to your specific business. Our conversations work as a mind-meld of sorts, so that I’m able to understand your vision and what’s important to you. From there I’ll know what needs to happen to get you where you want to go.
“The business plan process helped us to fully understand our business/brand/products in a way that we didn’t when we started. Diane takes the time to really think about the problems you might not think of yourself, and helps you resolve them ahead of time.”
What it’s like working with me.
Clients know they can come to me any time, with any question, in any circumstance. When you work with me, you’ll have my decades of experience at your complete disposal.
- Listening. To everything. I don’t write your plan without understanding everything you’re thinking, considering and dreaming about.
- Organizing what you need into a step-by-step action plan.
- Synthesizing (my particular strength) the connections I see between thoughts and ideas that may, at first glance, seem unrelated. This is how I find the hidden opportunities and strategies for you that others may not notice.
- Creative problem solving to help you navigate any roadblocks or obstacles you encounter.
I absolutely love my work.
“Diane made the business plan process easy and fun without losing any attention to detail. She helped us think outside the box, and worked to help build not just a business plan, but a company that we are proud of. Not coming from a business background, it was really helpful having her guidance and perspective.”
Who do I work with?
I’m what they call “industry agnostic.”
Because of the breadth of my experience (plus dual talents as wordsmith and number cruncher), I’m able to work with any type of business in any kind of industry, and have done so for over 20 years — from scientists to creatives to moms to movie producers to inventors as well as bankers, lawyers, engineers… you name it.
I’ve worked with startups of all sizes too. Some were designed to remain small, while others laid the groundwork for growth. Some chose to bootstrap, while others secured outside investors. Still others opted for bank loans or more creative financing options.
Never started a business before? I also work with those who are new to building a business. Rest assured, there are no “stupid questions” in my world. I’ll meet you where you are — from absolute beginner to serial entrepreneur — and help you move forward with confidence.
And yes, I also work with international clients. Even though I’m based in the United States, my clients don’t have to be. Thanks to modern technology I work with entrepreneurs all over the world.
Your business plan benefits will include:
Your compelling story.
Facts tell, but it’s the stories that sell. Your narrative will tell a compelling story that clearly explains the market opportunity, your offerings and why customers will buy what you’re selling.
Your roadmap to profitability.
Your operating blueprint.
Your business plan will serve as your baseline, your reality check. It will be your North Star when it comes to what helps your bottom line (and what doesn’t). You will be able to refer back to the work we do together again and again or your business grows and evolves.
By working with me, when things change (as they naturally do) you will be ready to adapt quickly and take advantage of opportunities because you’ll be prepared as a result of the work we do together.
To get an exact quote on a plan for your business, let’s talk so I can find out more about your specific business concept.
If you’ve got a tight budget, check out Distilling Your Dream, my step-by-step Business Plan Kit (with templates!) — affordably priced at $199.
If you’re interested in learning more, let’s talk.
For more details about getting a custom-crafted business plan, let’s have a conversation over the phone (or video) at your convenience.
Talk to you soon,
P.S. If you’re outside the US, you can email me for more options that work with your time zone :-)