Monthly Archives: May 2015

Plan for Success

Margarett Waterbury
May 29, 2015 by

Still on the fence about whether a business plan is right for you? Some recent research at the University of Oregon might convince you otherwise. Check out this fascinating and comprehensive article on Some takeaways:

  • Businesses with plans grow, on average, 30% faster
  • 71% of fast-growing companies have plans Plans aren’t just for startups; established companies might actually have more to gain from planning
  • Businesses with a plan get funded far more frequently than those without
  • Entrepreneurs with a plan are more than 150% more likely to actually start their business
  • Having a plan decreases your risk of failure

Are you ready for that last push? Give us a call today!

Lessons from the Stardates of the Future Pt. 1

Pavel Rubin
May 29, 2015 by

A successful business requires a strong leader. Humanity has seen a variety of successful leaders throughout history; from businessmen to diplomats, from tyrants to emancipators. Amongst all of the leaders I can think of, generals and statesmen, admirals and chieftains, only one man stands out. A man too great for factual existed, a man from the future, a man of the stars. That man is Jean-Luc Picard.

Born in La Barre, France, on July 13, 2305, Jean-Luc Picard has been a prime example of impeccable leadership and a lifelong devotion to upholding morality, righteousness, and the prime directive. The uncharacteristically capable and absolute leadership Captain Picard displays through his voyages in space through the distant future is not just a model of excellence in leadership, but a general ideal for all human leaders to uphold. The actions and decisions taken by Captain Picard as a leader should serve as a guiding path for today’s aspiring business leader. This series will address lessons that could be learned from Jean-Luc Picard.

Part 1. Communication


In an article recently published by Forbes, titled “Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard”, Captain Picard is praised for his ability to speak to people in the language they understand. Forbes states:[1]

One of the key challenges to Captain Picard during his voyages was the problem of communication. Even in an era where universal translators could translate virtually every language imaginable, communication is more than just a matter of language. The different races that Picard encountered had their own cultures, customs and values. In order to work effectively with them, he mastered the ability to communicate with them on his own terms. When he was challenged by Klingons, he had no problem getting back in their faces and swearing at them. In Klingon culture, that’s how one earns respect. When he was confronted with the Sheliak, who refused to grant him more time to resettle colonists on a planet they wanted, he wrung concessions out of them through their hyper-detailed, legalistic manner of negotiation.

Captain Picard has a track record of successful interactions with a number of alien species throughout the galaxy. Many of those encounters could have easily turned hostile if it was not for Captain Picard’s tension diffusing communication skills. If you think of Jean-Luc Picard as a businessman, and the alien races he encounters as his clients, then you can see how Captain Picard established amiable and mutually agreeable client relations through open, honest, and respectful communication. Instead of allowing conflicts to boil, Captain Picard eliminates them before they even arise through his great tact and understanding of his client’s needs, wants, personalities, and cultural norms. Many profitable business deals and client relations have gone sour due to misunderstanding and disagreements that arose from improper communication. Follow Picard’s lead and attempt to study and understand your client. Learn to speak their language. Make it so.

1.Knapp, Alex. “Five Leadership Lessons From Jean-Luc Picard.” Forbes. March 2012. Source:

Font Refresh

Thomas Wilson
May 22, 2015 by

Rumors are swirling that Apple will unveil a new font, simply called San Francisco, to update their desktop and mobile platform operating system font. San Francisco has been seen as the operating system font on the recently released Apple Watch, and people speculated it was a sign of an upcoming brand change when first released. With the worldwide developers conference coming up in June, the rumors and opinions are being heard at a furious roar.

As a designer I am excited when I hear of a new font being developed for a major brand – not everyone noticed, but Apple just changed their system font from Lucida Grande to Helvetica Neue last year. Of course in this internet age of opinion and hyperbole, that change was decried and exalted much like with these rumors of San Francisco’s impeding roll out. I am a fan of the new font; it appears to be a combo of the classic Helvetica Neue and DIN – one of my favorite fonts.

I am also excited about the chance to try San Francisco out and use it in future projects. Of course it won’t work for every design but who knows, there may be the perfect project for the newly-conceived typeface. I am on the constant hunt for the perfect font from project to project, so San Francisco is at least one more option.

Whether you have a company identity already selected or no company identity at all, using the design services at MasterPlans will provide you with a professional look and feel to grab investors – let Miri know Thomas sent you!


Celebrating Client Success: A New Way to Care for Patients with Kidney Disease

Margarett Waterbury
May 13, 2015 by

The other day I spoke with a former MasterPlans client named Derrick Love-Jones. Derrick is a Nurse Practitioner and the Chief Executive Officer of Nephrology Rounding Solutions, a company that provides contracted Nurse Practitioners who specialize in onsite patient care at dialysis clinics, primary care offices, and patients’ homes.

He recently raised funding to finance a major expansion of his business: the launch of The Kidney House, a new primary care clinic dedicated to serving dialysis patients. In fact, his investors responded so favorably to his pitch that he ended up raising even more than he’d originally asked for.

We had the pleasure of helping Derrick with his investor plan. He agreed to talk to me about his successful fundraising experience, but our fascinating (and inspiring!) conversation ended up covering much broader ground – what inspired the launch of his business, how he views its purpose, and even what motivates him to persevere in the face of challenges and adversity.

Tell me about the origin of The Kidney House

One of my jobs as a charge nurse was to find a primary care doctor for my dialysis patients. And it was the hardest thing to do. I got a lot of “dialysis patients are difficult” from primary care practitioners. What really got me was when one doctor said to me “Derrick, you really need to give up on this idea of The Kidney House, because these patients are dying.” Many doctors feel that it’s too late for these people; they’re already at the end stage of life. Without dialysis, they would die in a week. To me, that was an eye opener.

And it’s true that many are dying. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on those folks. It’s not that doctors don’t care about these patients; it’s that they’re so overwhelmed. They’re not getting the reimbursements they need, health care is changing rapidly, it’s the perfect storm. But I’m going to battle that storm. There’s an old Jewish proverb that says “saving one life is like saving the world.” And I so believe that.

The Kidney House is my answer to the primary care provider gap. When my nurse practitioners are in front of those people, they no longer have to search for a PCP. Now, they can offer The Kidney House. And that’s what I love: knowing that I can send my patients somewhere that I feel good about.

How did your capital raise process go?

I had people interested in helping me out, but I hadn’t expanded because I didn’t have the funding to do it. You have to have money. I’ve had enough business experience that I know that you need a business plan. You cannot go to anyone for money – friend, family, a banker you’ve known for 20 years – unless you have some type of a business plan with understandable financial statements. I think I did my first business plan in the late 80’s, and I swore up and down that I’d never ever do it again. It was the most difficult, time-consuming, painstaking thing I have ever done in my life! And I consider myself a very astute person, I love to learn, I’m very disciplined coming from the military. And it was painful. I hated it. So I swore I’d never do it again.

I’m one of those people who does a lot of research. So a while ago I came across MasterPlans, and I read through your website, and I stored it in the back of my mind, knowing that me, I’m going to need a business plan again. Years later, here it came: a perfect opportunity for me to branch out on my own. I needed to put together something really nice to present this great idea, and MasterPlans was it.

I took the plan to the investors, and I pitched my whole idea of what I was doing and how I would tie in The Kidney House, and they were like “Wow Derrick, you have to do this now.” So they gave me more money than I expected. And now I’m in the middle of a remodeling project and hiring more people. It’s just so awesome. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.

What motivates you to do this difficult work?

When that doctor told me that dialysis patients don’t matter because they’re already at the end of their life, the machine is what’s keeping them alive, it just broke my heart. No one should have to be given up on. It totally changed the way I look at what I’m doing now. It’s no longer just a job for me; it’s a way for me to repair the world. My mom told me this, years ago as a kid: “Derrick, you’re here for more than just taking up space on this Earth. Before you’re born, before you can see, your spirit is standing before the Almighty and he gives you a mission to go down and repair the world.” She told me that one way we can do that is by taking care of our fellow man.

I truly have a passion about what I do. I have a passion about taking care of these patients. I will never forget it. And I tell my staff that, this is why we’re here. And it inspires them to take care of the patients the best they can.

Which Industry Delivers the Most E-2 Candidates?

William Dean
May 12, 2015 by

Ever wonder where most E-2 Immigration clients come from? For most immigration lawyers, the easy reply is probably “our Google AdWords account,” or “mostly Canada and Mexico.” Those are fitting answers, but as business plan writers, what interests us is industry. We dug through records on our past 100 E-2s and discovered some interesting commonalities:

Our last 100 E2 Visa Clients, Segmented by Industry

Our last 100 E2 Visa Clients, Segmented by Industry

Who knew that so many petitioners come here to open fashion boutiques or operate gas stations?

Whether your client’s buying an existing hotpot restaurant or launching their own digital media firm, we can write the filing-ready plan you need for the Embassy or USCIS in as little as 5 business days. Compliance is guaranteed. If you have a suitable case in the pipeline, let us know!

Creating Your Legacy

Thomas Wilson
May 4, 2015 by

Welcome to MasterPlansRecently, the creator of one of the most iconic signs of all time passed away – Betty Willis, who designed the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign. For this signage to become an icon there were a few factors at play. Location and timing certainly helped, but most important was that the design was never copyrighted.

If the locals of Vegas hadn’t started using the design on all sorts of merchandise the image might not have spread around the world. Not only is the image used to promote Las Vegas itself, but the design has been re-appropriated in other spots all around the world hoping to relive the magic. Obviously Betty may have missed out on vast royalties if she had copyrighted the image. Although, if she had copyrighted it, would the design have been as widely used as it is now? Probably not, but now she is credited and famous for the design. I hope she was able to parlay that into more than just fame – from what I read, it does sound like she had a long, successful career.

It reminds me of the one of Portland’s little known icons – the statue of Portlandia. The sculptor retains the copyright of the image of the statue for commercial use. Portlandia probably isn’t as widely known as a Portland icon as it would be if the city and companies were freely able to use it for marketing (it does occasionally pop up when the image is properly licensed). Instead the most iconic thing about Portland may be this rug.

When trying to make something iconic you never truly know what will catch on. Here at MasterPlans we provide premium design services for your business plan as well as logo design for your fledgling business to give you every opportunity to become the next icon.

Pacquiao, Mayweather, and Business Planning

Bryan Howe
May 2, 2015 by

You might not be a big boxing fan, but I’m willing to bet you know about tomorrow’s major fighting event. Manny Pacquiao, the 36-year old Filipino defending WBO Welterweight Championship, is facing Floyd Mayweather, undefeated in his professional career and well known as a multi-title winner and formidable fighter. On it’s face, the event packs a hefty punch. The Wall Street Journal anticipates that the fight will generate $400 Million in revenue. Tickets are selling for nearly $5,000 a seat.

It may seem silly to consider how your business can capitalize on an event like this, but if you operate a restaurant, bar, lounge, or any other business that broadcasts live sports, you should have a business plan in place for a blockbuster matchup like this. So what should a business plan for the Pacquiao and Mayweather fight consider?

Sports bars showing the Mayweather and Pacquiao fight would begin their business plan by making sure that their bar had the rights lined up in the first place to broadcast the big event. The big winners of a fight like this are the early movers. Of course, if a sports bar or restaurant has particularly high-margin products or menu options, it’s a good idea to offer discounts or promotions for that item the day of the fight. Whether Pacquiao wins or Mayweather remains undefeated, the owners of the business will consider the night a victory. Business planners need to also weigh their staffing needs so that when the bar or restaurant is at its busiest, everyone will still receive great service and enjoy the big fight.

When two giants collide in the arena like this, there can only be one winner and one loser. But if you plan your punches right, you can come out with a victory either way.

Follow Us on Twitter

You can find us at @ThePlanExperts
Like us on Facebook for free tools and articles. We have over 10,000 "likes"!