Need a little help?

Hi, I’m Diane. I help entrepreneurs like you launch successful businesses and, when needed, secure funding.

Sometimes you’re not sure what to do… or how to do it. Other times you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck.

And more often than not, you’re simply not 100% sure what you should be focusing on right NOW.

Part of the fun (and also one of the challenges) of building a business is that there’s no one to give you a handy list of steps that tell you exactly what to do and when.

For more than 20 years I’ve been helping businesses of all kinds — across the US and around the globe — get it right from the get-go.

And I’d love to help you, too :-)

“Diane is a brilliant consultant. I hired her when my business faced some very tough challenges, and she really exceeded my expectations. I highly recommend her for anyone needing guidance around business strategy, financials or pitch decks.”

Chris Campbell


There are two ways to work with me.

I work with clients in two primary ways.

The first is working together on the goals and challenges you’re facing with your business (or idea). Consulting services include operating blueprints (aka roadmaps), financial projections, growth strategy, pitches and support.

The second is writing a custom business plan that’s designed to start your business on the right foot and make decision-making easier going forward — thanks to a solid foundation and operating blueprint.

Here’s more about what each of them looks like.

One-on-one guidance for your unique business

When it comes to starting or growing a business, sometimes you get stuck. Or overwhelmed. Or you just need someone to brainstorm with or show you how. Maybe you simply need someone to explain things in plain English.

I differentiate my work with a hands-on collaborative approach. I don’t just tell you what to do. I guide. I explain. I advise.

Whatever you’re working towards, I break things down into manageable steps, explaining each one along the way. As part of this process I take on several roles, including sounding board, reality check, devil’s advocate and cheerleader. Issues you’d rather not face? We’ll confront them together.

Our conversations serve as a mind-meld of sorts, allowing me to get to know you, your business, your goals and your challenges. This enables me to give you the solutions and answers that work best for you.

To learn more about working with me one-on-one, click here.

Custom-crafted business plans

Let’s face it, business plans are hard to write on your own — agonizing, even. Aside from the huge time suck, there are so many parts you need to get right, and it’s not always easy to know what is right.

That’s where I come in.

I differentiate my work using a collaborative approach, combining your vision with my expertise and experience. To build a plan that works in the real world, I don’t do it for you, I do it with you, getting to know your business as if it’s my own.

I come armed with a broad background in finance, retail, manufacturing and operations — as well as a Wharton degree and an exacting eye for detail. This allows me to develop an expert-level aptitude for any industry’s financial and operational nuances.

As I get to know your business, I’ll point out weak assumptions, gaps and potential obstacles… and then we’ll work together to resolve them.

Through this collaborative process, you get more than a business plan — you get one-on-one strategic advice that becomes your very own personal startup bootcamp. I guide. I explain. I critique. And I advise you on what helps your bottom line (and what doesn’t).

By the time we’re through, you’ll have a deeper, more complete understanding of your business, your customers and how to avoid the classic and not-so-classic pitfalls.

A successful business plan — the kind that leads to a growing business — isn’t easy to write on your own.

Working together, we can distill your vision into a dynamic plan that will attract investors (if needed), serve as the roadmap you need to build your business with confidence and last but not least, set the stage for your future success.

To learn more about getting a custom business plan, click here.

“Diane helped us explain our complex business in a way that investors could understand. She was simply great at turning the ideas we had into a concept that we could sell.”

Robert Luiten

Zenergy Biofuels

Diane Tarshis, expert startup advisor.

It’s easy to get in touch.

If you’d like to learn more about working with me as your advisor or getting a custom business plan, let’s talk!

You can call me directly at (773) 871-0110 or click here to book a time using my online calendar. I’ll get to know you and your business (or idea), and talk to you about how I can help.

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 :-)

From My Clients

“Diane provides exceptional business guidance. She led us through the startup process, asking tough questions and getting us to focus on important issues we’d either missed or were avoiding.

Her business experience combined with her critical thinking is invaluable. So stop the Googling and endless search.  Call Diane. She really knows her stuff.”

Dick Burkett

Karas Hotels and Resorts

Diane took an overwhelming project and made it straightforward and manageable. She really helped me to focus.”

Fred Alsen

fma Interior Design

“As an independent artist, I’d been focusing solely on commercial commissions, but wanted to expand my offerings and diversify my sources of income.

Diane helped me organize and vet my business ideas, prioritize them, and break them down into actionable steps.

Our work together helped me to transition from seeing myself as a freelancer to a business owner.”

Reina Takahashi



I’m just a phone call away.


Chicago, Illinois