I have tried to go at it alone for my first business and had to close it because I had such a hard time with the financing, and other points. With this second business, I really don`t want to do it alone. I would love to find a business partner who could write the award planning plan, and share the responsiblilites. I have a list of venture captial firms to approach (17 pages worth), but I am completley stuck on the business plan and I can`t hire anyone, as I don`t have that kind of funding, so a business partner with execellent credit, some solid experience who could turn the plan into something awesome to present to Venture Capitalists would be of great help for me. If anyone at SUN is interested in partnering, let me know.
I can surely understand why you want a partner, Kat. I`m on my 4th venture with the other 3 either failing or not performing as I would`ve liked, but let me say that your concern shouldn`t be "not to fail", it should be on learning from those mistakes that cause the failure. There is a difference between looking for a team member and looking for a crutch. As an entrepreneur your job is to know "a little" about "a lot" ... in each area of your business. The Business Plan is a reflection & the marketing of that knowledge. So before that plan is drafted, your knowledge has to be there. This is probably why you`re stuck. It`ll take some work but you can do this!
Forget about the BP right now and start off with these:
1. What are the "core pieces" of your business? How much $$ do you need to build the "core pieces" to: give $$ to the customers in the form of the product/service; and to get $$ from the customers as a "thank you" (This is Cash Flow).
2. How much $$ do you need to run the "core" business for a year or two (without extra stuff like your salary), if you never make any revenue. This includes contracted specialists & professionals.
Let me remind you that other people will fund this venture, so don`t short-change your throught process or your business with "this is all I can afford".
3. Exactly, what is the problem you intend to solve? Who has this problem? What do they look like? Where do they live? How many are there? Has anyone, or is anyone already providing a solution for this problem? Is there something they aren`t doing that you can do? What can you do better? How do you intend to let everyone know that you exist and are ready to solve the problem? How much will it cost to let them know this each year?
These questions should help you start brainstorm on the infrastructure of the company and its business. Most sections of the Business Plan are derived from these questions. Remember, you are to know a litte about a lot.
entrepreneur.com (elements of business plan)
score.org (retired entrepreneurs, professionals, executives as advisors)
Finally, investors earn a living by making money with their money, while business owners earn a living by making money with other people`s money & time. When investors fund a business, they mainly care about "security of investment", "profit on investment" and "exit of investment". They find their "security" in you, your management team, your knowledge of your market, your planned use of their money. They find their "profit" in your income statements, balance sheets, cash flow projections, and financial ratios. They find their "exits" in your Plan, your ownership agreement, and again your financials...they exit if the investment makes money, if the investment folds, or if for some reason they just have to leave the investment.
"Business is a game, so keep playing until you win!"