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Day: April 10, 2019

Business Plan Introduction – Hooking the Reader

The introduction of your business plan, consisting of the cover sheet, executive summary, and company overview, must go beyond communicating about the business plan and concepts to hook the reader on the plan, much like an introduction to any article or novel. However, a business plan's introduction does this both by saying nothing that reads as illogical or incorrect to funders as well as appealing to what they are interested in: maximizing their upside potential and minimizing their downside risk.

Cover Sheet

The cover sheet serves a very functional purpose, allowing funders to find your plan in a stack of many on their desk. The cover sheet should be visible through a transparent cover to allow this. It identifies the plan with the business name and logo, date of the plan, and your contact information. The cover sheet is at its best when it does nothing to show that you are unprofessional. Distracting and cute colors, titles and fonts should be avoided for this reason. The cover sheet should be attractive, clean, and formal, letting readers know you are a serious businessperson.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is like the inside flap of a novel … if the inside flap were to give away the entire story including its ending. This section is a condensed version of the plan, hitting the high points of what the company is, what the research on the market says, and what your marketing, operations, management, and financial plans are. Each piece should seem to fit together, even if deeper statements of how they do fit together are deferred to the body of the plan itself. Funders will look for the major features that they feel minimize the risk of funding your plan (a proven track record for either the business or its founders, qualified management, knowledge of the industry, customers, and competitors, and financial projections that are not overly optimistic). To illustrate the potential return, the summary should mention the size of the market and the need in the market that creates the business opportunity.

Company Overview

The company overview to follow goes into further detail about the basics of what the business is. This includes the story of how the founders started the business and why, the products or services to be offered, and the steps that have been taken so far. Funders would prefer businesses with some track record of success, but at the minimum want to see that the founders have taken as many steps as possible to know that the business is feasible from a financial and market perspective. They will want to see that sweat equity has already been put into the business planning, even if cash investments have been minimal so far. For example, incorporating the business is a relatively low cost step which the founders can take on their own to show they are serious. …

Redefining the Meaning of Success

For the longest time, I always thought that success in life meant financial success. I mean, most of us would love to live in a huge home located on a sunny beach and do not have to worry about finding enough money to just to pay the bills each month. I soon realized that that fame and fortune does not dissolve away the problems associated with a troubled life. With suicides and drug problems associated with some high-profile people, I had to rethink my former notice of what success exactly is. This fact was further brought to light by a client of mine who was a self-made millionaire at a very young age and had a tremendous amount of success in business, but as I soon found out, his personal life was littered with drugs, adultery , and alcohol.

So I began to think, "Well, maybe money has nothing to do with success." This idea lead me to an old gentleman named Carlos, who in his 60s, was a happy and friendly person, but also very poor by most standards. Carlos had a large family and was the proud grandfather of six beautiful grandschildren. Carlos unfortunately passed away a year after I had met him and despite he lead a happy life, I could not help but feel a sense of loss for his family who now struggled to make ends meet. Although Carlos led a happy life, the absence of money in his life brought a level of stress and pain to his final legacy and for his family. I determined that the feeling of happiness alone, just like money, was not enough to qualify as being successful in life.

So what is success then if it is either feeling happy, nor wealth alone? I had to discover for myself that success involves not only completing the things that you plan on doing in life, but also planning on completing the things in life that are important to your values ​​as a person. These values ​​are made up of:

o Physical health

o Professional growth and development

o Spiritual growth

o Financial security

o Happiness

o Personal development

o Relationship maintenance

o Love and romance

I have found that success does not require vast wealth, nor does it require you to have a fitness model body. Success in life, means that you have achieved your own optimal balance between all of the above-stated components. In this model of success, one can not focus on just making money because it would cause the other components to significantly drop. This model of success means that the person does not focus solely on money, but instead shares a more bountiful marriage, or establishes better relationships and leaves this world a happy person.

So as a Personal Development Coach, I recommend that you should assess where you are at current with respect to the above-stated components of your legacy. It's natural that some might be higher or lower than others. It becomes your …