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Episode 3: Better Business Plans

Air Date: May 13, 1998


Write great business plans... without an MBA


Design by Serena

Mark drops in on the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI), where it is another hectic day in the world of haute couture. Susan Langdon, the Executive Director of the TFI, is giving IBM's Tom Vassos a tour of the chaotic factory floor, and the discussion falls to the topic of business plans. Susan mentions that all the designers must have business plans before joining the TFI, but they must constantly update them in order to finance their upcoming collections. Tom offers a better way for the designers to update their old business plans as well as to create new ones: the Internet.

Creating a comprehensive business plan can be overwhelming to the new entrepreneur. This thick document would outline every aspect of your business, and would usually include the following elements:

Sound daunting? Fortunately, there is a plethora of free web content available to help you create great business plans. For example, Moneyhunter (www.moneyhunter.com/htm/btemp.htm) offers a business plan template that you can download, open up in your word processor, and fill-in-the-blanks with the details of your own small business. You can even use the Internet to find business consultants that will help you with the writing of your plan, or even hire someone to write the business plan for you. You can also network with other entrepreneurs like yourself on the myriad of discussion groups. And if your prefer to read about writing business plans from books, you can even browse through the dozens of online bookstores and libraries. To find them, all you have to do is use the marketing research tools mentioned in the "Market Research on the Internet" episode.

Once you have completed your business plan, you will find it much easier to find investors or sources of financing to get your small business of the ground. For example, a small company in Vancouver, requiring a bank loan of $70,000 for start-up capital, decided to use the resources on the Web to create a business plan. After creating an outstanding business plan using the Web, the bank told them that their plan would qualify them for a $1,000,000 loan. We hope you have as much success in your company!


Hot Links


Want to learn more about the topics covered this week? Then check out these great web sites and resources:


Free Business Plan Templates




Claims their business plan template has helped a quarter million entrepreneurs raise funds from banks and venture capital firms.



Free templates and other resources for entrepreneurs at their web site

The Big Idea


An interactive application that you can download from the Royal Bank web site that will help you write a business plan and create the forms you need to apply for a loan.

TD Bank


Free software for business plans and loan application

The Business Resource Center


Business and marketing plan templates available for downloading.

Diversified Acquisition Consulting


Free business plan template available in Microsoft Word format.

The Business Hotline Online


Has a shareware book on writing a business plan.

 Business Plan Master


Shareware software that can be downloaded for free.


Business Plan Creation Software


Aside from freeware and shareware, you can also purchase software to help you create your business plan. Among the software to choose from are:





Business Plan Pro



Maus MasterPlan



MacWorld Online


Reviews of two business plan software packages. One package is called Bizplan Builder 5.0 from a company called Jian, and the other package is called Business Plan Writer 6.0 from Graphite Software.




The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies


A book by Rhonda M. Abrams, contains a sample business plan, as well as planning, budgeting and forecasting worksheets. The ISBN number is 1-55571-194-4 (paperback) or 1-55571-197-9 (binder) and it's available at Amazon or you can get the book from PSI Research at 1-800-228-2275 (or fax your order to 1-503-476-1479.

Small Business: Entrepreneurship and Beyond


An outline of a book by Timothy S. Hatten, Mesa State College, CO

Preparing a Successful Business Plan


A book by Rodger D. Touchie, from Self Counsel Press, takes you through the paces of writing your own business plan.

Your Guide to Government of Canada Services and Support for Small Business


Available from the Government of Canada by telephone (613)947-7466


Resources for Entrepreneurs


Canada Youth Business Foundation


Offers mentoring, business support, and lending services to young entrepreneurs

 Canada/BC Business Service Centre


An online small business workshop with techniques for developing a business idea, starting a new venture, or improving your business

Tikkanen-Bradley Consulting Group

Links to several business planning resources on their web site

LHR & Associates


Consultants that offer services such as: Financial Analysis, Forecasting, Preparation of Offering Memoranda and Private Placement Memoranda, Assistance in Locating Venture Capital or Debt Valuations for Acquisitions or Sale of Company, and Business Plans Written or Critiqued."




Mark Schneider		CTV - Host of "Digital Desktop"
Tom Vassos		IBM e-business Advisor and Host of "This New SoHo"
Susan Langdon		Executive Director, Toronto Fashion Incubator


Production Credits


Ross Macintosh		Camera
Anthony Leong		Senior Web Editor

All episode summaries and supplemental information written by Anthony Leong, with material and assistance from Tom Vassos, his book Strategic Internet Marketing, and Mark Schneider.

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