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Anyone know of free resources for sample business plans

seamus80seamus80 subscriber Posts: 1
edited January 2008 in Business Planning
I`m in the process of drafting a business plan and I am wondering if anyone is aware of good resources for samples.  I am aware of the usual sites on the net, but none seem to provide a business plan geared toward a "subscription web site service" or "site membership" model.  Any ideas?


  • RicWillmotRicWillmot subscriber Posts: 14
    On my website www.ExecutiveWisdom.com on the "Useful Resources" page.

    Business Plan Template

    EWCG Client Profile Assessment

    Management Ratio Analysis Tool

    All good things come in three`s! And they are free for you to use.
    With regards to your specific requirements: that is exactly why you DON`T want a template already geared towards those specifics.
    Use your own initiative and intellect to create the strategy that is unique to you, your service, and your market. If you use a boilerplate that someone else has created, where is the uniqueness? The reason you are an entrepreneur is that you are innovative, smart and a risk-taker. Why then have an homogenous strategy?
    RicWillmot1/9/2008 5:33 PM
  • crazydiamondcrazydiamond subscriber Posts: 1
    I`m in the process of drafting a business plan and I am wondering if anyone is aware of good resources for samples.  I am aware of the usual sites on the net, but none seem to provide a business plan geared toward a "subscription web site service" or "site membership" model.  Any ideas?

    Seamus, you mention that you are drafting a business plan, but for what purpose? Are you seeking financing, doing a feasibility, planning a start-up rollout, brainstorming competitive questions, organizing market research . . .? Who is the audience for the plan, and what are the objectives for the communication? Is it primarily internal, or is it external? What is the time window to have it done - tomorrow, or by next month? How much time are you interested in investing, and what do you want to come out with after the effort? How much research have you done on critical parts of the plan?
    You mention on your profile that you are an attorney, and I`d assume that you are reasonably comfortable with words ... but, depending on your purpose, words are really a small matter in a business plan.
    Thinking back to my IP courses, you may have a valuable idea here. While there are various sites around dealing with invention and such, the actual mechanics of IP and protection is  kinda opaque to a lot of entrepreneurs.
  • seamus80seamus80 subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you for the assistance.  I completely agree as far as innovation; however, I would like to get an idea of numbers that others have used in the past and an idea of risk factors.  I do not intend on using samples as boilerplate.
  • crazydiamondcrazydiamond subscriber Posts: 1
    Gonna make a few assumptions here - the purpose is primarily internal, you are not overly concerned with presentation material at the moment, and this is somewhat geared to feasibility and assessing if  you can develop a competitive advantage that is sustainable.
    There are no sample business plans (meaning text) that will speak to your issue. This is a quantification of risk study (risk factors), and a marketing analysis (subscription/membership). Having started a site subscription service myself, I can tell you what worked for me.
    Risk factors : cannot be established until the market side is drafted;
        Develop a series of client test cases that detail key characteristics;
                 what demographic are they (usual age, gender, education)
                 what sector are they involved in
                 what is their need
        Measure `em
                 how many (estimate using geographic, degrees penetration, census)
                          you might find the Education stats on degrees awarded helpful (IP)
                          also check with universities, many now have IP spin-off offices that have some data
                 what value can you deliver to each of these cases
                          part education, part informal advice, part retained services, part research?
        Rank `em
            now focus on the top 3 or 4 test cases
            go back to  their needs and brainstorm competitive advantage
                 specialized expertise in specific fields (bio-tech, hard eng, industry, copywrite)
                 network opportunities (combining IP assets can be really strong)
                 service design (feature set in the service)
                 can you plug-in to potential users (licensing opportunities for clients)
           Price `em
                what percentage of the value delivered can you charge
                what payment structures can you offer
        Add in potential first mover and reputation, credibility advantages
    Now : Can you protect these assets
        How long until your competitive assets are duplicated, and at what cost?
        Are there other larger non-web competitors that could enter quickly
        Are there any other barriers that you can erect
        Can you price as a barrier?
        Can you use web site as a loss leader to a practice off-web, or on-web, but off-main-site
    Only then are you in a position to assess risk factors, and these might include :
        Likelihood that someone else exists (determine) or enters the field as web participant
        Inability to communicate to market (cost of developing communication leads)
        Potential that a government service will enter the field, diminishing site value
        Liability protection (should be reasonably addressable in TOS)
        Risk that staffing becomes a problem (availability, training)
        Security against hacking (several countries are not WIPO friendly, and are technically capable - are you going to be a target)
        Assuming that you will service foreign clients (you sure should given the value of US patent registration) how will you handle Fx risk exposures
    that should get you started . . .
    Here`s the thing. Risk probability is only the first step - the second is impact. This is generally handled on a weighted risk basis - probability x dollar impact. This is a what-if analysis. The only way to do a what-if analysis is by using a simulation model. You have no way of assessing the range of risk without a model, because factors overlap. You are likely to find that certain risks become irrelevant because their impact is very small, or can be mitigated by defensive policy.
    There are no published risk factors for this stuff. The only place you might look to for guidance on some of these factors is by finding publicly traded companies in the same general field, accessing their filings on Edgar (best would be a recent prospectus) and reading the risk factors presented therein. Consider accessing publicly traded publication companies, and see what they say on on-line content, piracy, hacking. Look for other professional services - engineering practices perhaps. Also if you were interested in bio-tech, find 3 companies doing bio-tech and check them out. They are still unlikely to actually quantify those risks for you, but it might give some indication of the potential, and at least they will give you a research base to defend your construction.
    As to the subscription/membership issue - review marketing material on magazine subscription take-up to get some preliminary factors on penetration, market size, and ratio of communication to subscription base, what the fall-off rate is and so on. If the publication takes advertisement, you may find additional data in library advertising resources.
    Remember that an on-line service has a different profile than a print magazine. The demographic is different, some material has a longer life-span on-line, and delivery peaks will be an issue.
    This is probably not what you were hoping for, but a good idea needs its own investment - there is no publicly available material in a business plan sample or template that is likely to meet your needs. This is a process, and the design of your business will change as you investigate these issues (tweak this, defensive that, new feature is the other). Even someone else`s business plan in your exact business will not meet your needs (assuming you could somehow get your hands on it).
  • daleyfla99daleyfla99 subscriber Posts: 1
    The SBA business plan and related information is great.  Also find out if there is a SCORE chapter near you, they are usually great for free advice from people who have been there and done that.
    Keep the end view in mind when writing the plan like Mike suggests.  Also plan an exit strategy!
  • KevDevKevDev subscriber Posts: 5 Member
    Well, it isn`t quite free, but Business Plans That Work by Joan Gillman may be what you are looking for. If memory serves, one of the example plans included is for a web-based business (but not for your specific niche).
    You also might check out your nearest SBDC.
    Good luck!
  • GrillCharmerGrillCharmer subscriber Posts: 7
    I LOVE the SCORE template!  That`s what I used.
  • seamus80seamus80 subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you all for your input; I will follow through in your suggestions. 
    By the way, to be specific, I am currently developing a subscription-based web service to assist innovative companies in dealing with certain patent issues uniquely faster and more accurately than with current tools.  I am applying patent-pending search technology to allow searchers to find potential infringement issues, conduct patent invalidation and locate potential infringers at a substantially faster rate and more accurately.  I have conducted these type of functions for several years and have developed several prototypes, which tend to show even greater success than I had originally hoped.  Unfortunately, I do not have a business background; however, I am seeking partnership. 
    Thanks again for your help.
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