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  1. #1
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    Default Writing business plans and networking

    So, as an entrepreneur with 40k of debt, I am no longer scared of debt as I know what it means to live this lifestyle.

    Donald trump was once 800,000 in debt and he fought his way out of it.

    As such, one of the things I feel is necessary to escape the feelings of hopelessness, is to be able to write a good business plan, where you can be completely broke, but still offer an impenetrable theoretical system that someone is willing to invest in.

    Does anyone here know of any good books on this topic, or know any successful entrepreneurs who be willing to talk to me about this? I'm trying to network and meet more folks who are into this stuff.

    Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

  2. #2

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    I am somewhat new to this, but what I was told is that Business Plans are more for ourselves, but that a great summary/elevator pitch/10-slide deck is what needs to be put together.
    The book, "To Sell Is Human" was recommended to me.

    If there is an Angel investor community near where you live, sometimes just going and pitching to them making the "ask" that you are looking for advice/mentorship rather than money can work. My friend and I are currently at this stage, finding mentors.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  3. #3
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    When I came into the family business (at the time a taxi firm), one of my fathers ventures had backfired due to business misconduct of a business partner causing the banks to pull out and leave us with 1,5 million euro in debt. For about four years, we (me,, my father and my brother) worked our asses off starting with crappy old taxi's, just trying to reach every customer we could, taking any work we could find and did everything in our power to handle that work and to always deliver on the product every single time, this was a time were 90 hour work weeks were common. The continuous rise in customers due to proper customer service and clear communications meant that in just four years, we found ourselves to be a healthy company without debt and a lot of customers (2 million revenue a year)

    Unfortunately shortly after that there was a major shift in the market we were in and competition flared to impossible heights and this was also the time that people stopped looking at quality and became tunnelviewed by prices alone. Bad service from competitors however did not mean that customers came back to us, and we weren't willing to sell our services for prices we could not garantue quality with. So that meant that the market we were in mostly just collapsed, and the work that still remained (to this day) is done so extremely cheaply with crappy service. So in the same year (2006), we opened up other avenues for the company and started investing in two other markets. We now own two healthy branches and rolled through the crisis with little trouble, looking towards a bright future.

    Moral of the story. Don't get too stuck on business plans and start to make things happen.

    Know where and how to reach customers, grab and steal them from whereever you can.

    Random general example. Don't think an email or a phonecall is going to cut it. Get out there and leave an impression. Leave the impression that you and your product is the best there is.

    One example (if the product you sell is a service), when I devised how we would enter the 'touringcar'(travel busses) market, we bought just one and I photographed it in many places and photoshopped it together making it look like we had six instead and just went around to any and every secretary for business's I could find. Sending out emails, phonecalls, personal visists. At the same time making a very good looking and professional website and just making it look like we had hundreds of years of experience with busses. (although the family company is from 1887, this was the first time we ever went into this particular market) anyway, we got a lot of work right from the start, so much so that we had to work with competitors to get all the work that came our way done and had to outsource quite a lot of work in the beginning. Don't be afraid to do so. Don't say to a customer that you can't deliver because you're not available when they need you. Take the work and get someone else to do it. Make it happen. Sometimes you can earn a bit just from being the middle man, sometimes it may cost you money, but the point is that you, your company, needs to be in the mind of the customer as the one to go to to get things done.

    I also found that when you sell a product, don't go around selling it as 'a new' product, being new and innovative sounds pretty cool but it doesn't sell, go around selling it as 'THE' product, as something that is already established, wether that's true or not. Make them believe!
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  4. #4
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    The Details are important.

    Real business gets done face to face, work on your people/conversation skills.

    Have a plan for how (or whether) you want to expand should your new venture succeed (most do not, so don't beat yourself up if this time it doesn't work out).

    Find an untapped new market or an untapped section of an existing market, that is unless you plan on doing something better or more efficiently than its already done.

    Know your customers. Have a very clear idea of who you are selling to, why they would want to buy what you are selling, and how you are going to produce something they want. Most importantly, be ready to explain in detail why your service or product satisfies a customer need that is unmet by market competitors.

    As a new venture you are agile in ways that extant businesses are not. Find ways to use this to your advantage against existing competitors.

    Good people are hard to find, but worth the hunt. Don't settle for people who aren't up to par, or who don't vibe well with you. Having a congenial work environment benefits everyone and increases productivity.

    Get acquainted with all the legal hurtles involved in starting a new venture. Hopefully you are friends with a lawyer who can point you in the right direction.

    As important is having someone to handle the books, accounting and finances.

    Be ready to sell your passion to those you want to have working with and for you, and to those you want to buy your product.

  5. #5
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    I would also recommend finding someone who's recently started their first business and make friends/pick their brains.

  6. #6
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    What kind of advice are you looking for? Financial details / bookkeeping, or more general? (I guess the latter's been covered by the above posts)
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    What kind of advice are you looking for? Financial details / bookkeeping, or more general? (I guess the latter's been covered by the above posts)
    how do I write an attractive business plan to heighten my chances of investors lending me money?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azure Flame View Post
    how do I write an attractive business plan to heighten my chances of investors lending me money?
    You probably have more experience actually doing this than me. Pretty much all the pitches to investors I have done have been "mock" or "practice".
    But this article is in line with all the advice I get: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/58946

    "say who you are;
    describe the salient features of your business plan;
    and get your listener excited about what you do, so that they want to hear more details.
    "

    Here is another article, that is also in line with the advice I get: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/38290

    This is for actually writing a business plan.

    However, around here, it seems like investors would much prefer getting an overview from the business team, and grilling that team on the business details the investors find relevant, than to actually read a business plan themselves. That's what I meant when I said the business plan is more for you, the entrepreneur, than for investors.

    I have been watching this video (from Wharton Business School):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6EjBwrdHgE


    I am thinking of getting his book.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    You probably have more experience actually doing this than me. Pretty much all the pitches to investors I have done have been "mock" or "practice".
    But this article is in line with all the advice I get: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/58946

    "say who you are;
    describe the salient features of your business plan;
    and get your listener excited about what you do, so that they want to hear more details.
    "

    Here is another article, that is also in line with the advice I get: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/38290

    This is for actually writing a business plan.

    However, around here, it seems like investors would much prefer getting an overview from the business team, and grilling that team on the business details the investors find relevant, than to actually read a business plan themselves. That's what I meant when I said the business plan is more for you, the entrepreneur, than for investors.

    I have been watching this video (from Wharton Business School):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6EjBwrdHgE


    I am thinking of getting his book.
    oo good shit!

  10. #10
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    40k debt? Damn. Dat lack of sp instinct. Donald trump was born rich not the best person to model yourself after. Look for better models if you can so you are not doing stuff completely blind. I gave you some advice on your channel before to do long term stuff that wasn't too you intensive. Let me know if you want to bounce ideas off me. I'm good with the strategy, tactics, ideas.

    Books: 48 laws of power, the 50th law, the art of war, 4 hour work week, all tony Robbins stuff

    As for the business plan I don't know I don't do that shit. Good ideas should stand on their own.

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