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New or Tradition Business Plan

ElementalUnityElementalUnity subscriber Posts: 3
edited June 2009 in Business Planning
Well I am in the process of making a business plan for my first offline venture, and am kinda stuck in information overload.  I was moving along great, when I got stuck on my market research.  How do you describe in your business plan that your market/demographics will change daily?
And well I think I am doing my whole business plan all wrong.  I have been making my business plan like Pitch Then Plan but now that I did a little more research it seems almost everyone that gives you examples have a more traditional business plan.  Which one would be better?


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    profitizerprofitizer subscriber Posts: 16 Bronze Level Member
    First let me start off by saying that I`m glad you`re seeking out opinions and doing your research up-front as many folks tend to either skip this step entirely or they create a plan that has no chance of succeeding and they don`t know it.
    One point I`d like to begin with is, although traditional business plans have a whole lot of merit, they alone by global standards can`t work as a singular model whether for offline or online ventures.  One of the main reasons is that traditional business development discussions typically do not consider the global component especially for offline ventures.
    For example, Mom-and-Pop stores in and of themselves are having problems when they don`t offer enough to compete with other local establishments.  Many try adding the state lottery and even that wasn`t enough.  Before the state lottery, they used the selling of cigarettes, beer and wine.  Times have changed in this regard whereby some who are a bit more creative added the Web component to generate additional income for their `real world` business establishment. This offline business now has the online component for market expansion.
    Traditional business development resources (printed info, etc.) nor most business support consultants presents going global as a true growth option for offline businesses. And when it is suggested that an offline business get a website, it is usually for the purpose of providing general information and therefore `lacks` the business automation and expansion requirements for growth that a website can also provide.
    To get back to your situation, even though you`re developing an offline venture, at some point, local folks will turn to the Web to either find your phone number, get more information about your business, find out if you have some type of customer support, a return or refund policy, communicate via E-mail for feedback, etc. and may have these questions at 3 a.m. in the morning while planning their schedule for the upcoming day. If you don`t have the Web or global component, you are probably missing out on potential growth opportunities which also comes from the feedback piece.
    So the bottom line is, you need to use a bit of both concepts as the newer philosophy of 21st century business development must use 20th century concepts.
    For the market research piece, consider structuring it based on 20th century principles to a point, but then create its infrastructure to work well in both the `real world` and `virtual world` through an integration process between the two.  Because ultimately, the real data that you gather (need) will have to come from both worlds.  Plus, what`s nice about the data existing within the `virtual` world is that its collection activity is essentially `automated` especially when it`s gathering process is designed properly.
    If you try to exclude either `world`, your business will undoubtedly suffer as a result.
    Good Luck!profitizer6/15/2009 3:11 PM
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    nevadasculnevadascul subscriber Posts: 3 Member
    If you are seeking funding, many companies you will be contacting are looking for a traditional business plan.  This would make the traditional business plan a better investment of your time.
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    robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Unless you intend to approach the Columbus Chamber of Commerce (who created the Pitch then Plan concept) I would suggest that you go through the steps to develop a "traditional" business plan.
    It`s the process that yields the real value and once you have it - you can prepare a "pitch" fairly easily.
    If you want to discuss your specific plan (in confidence) send me a PM or contact me directly.
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    StevenSStevenS subscriber Posts: 1
    There was a lot of great advice posted here. The only thing I would add is make it your plan. It seems like you`re trying to fit your unique plan into all of these traditional boxes. I`ve seen lots of business plans and by far the best ones are the ones where the author used their own creativity and experience to get across an idea. 
    All these plans that you are reading and learning about are most likely good ideas. But one size does not fit all. Mix and match, change it up, use what works and toss what doesn`t. There`s three keys to a successful business plan 1. does it communicate what you`re trying to say 2. does it convey passion, profit and success and 3. does it get funded.If you have those three keys in your business plan you it will be successful. It doesn`t matter if you`re using one style or another as long as you are communicating effectively. Look in that direction and you will be ok.I hope this helps.stevens6/15/2009 1:40 PM
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    ElementalUnityElementalUnity subscriber Posts: 3
    Wow there is lots of great information here guys.  So I will reply to all here...
    profit - this is going to be 100% an offline business.  Granted there will be some online marketing, but the I will not sell anything online at the moment, maybe later after I get branded maybe some merchandise but not the official product.
    nevada and robert - thanks for your input.  I will be going for funding probably, not completely positive, since I still haven`t asked anyone close to me to invest in it.  And I really want this to look good and probably will need help with my business plan.
    Joseph - I really like what you you have to say in your article, I will look at your website in more depth later tonight.  But I am interested in more of what you have to say.
    stevens- I will try to make it more personal but the fact remains I have no experience in this department, so I am a little scared to not do something or do something wrong.
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    robertjrobertj subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    I just wanted to add this thought:
    Business plans don`t get the funding - but they can prevent it.
    Capital sources invest in people, so even an excellent business plan won`t (by itself) get investors. robertj2009-6-16 11:14:28
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    ElementalUnityElementalUnity subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks Robert I will keep that in mind.  I really believe that in the line of work I am thinking of, that I can really sell this product.  I have all the experience needed, well not all of it... not the business side of it.  But that is why I intend to have a business partner.
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