All posts by Alicia Luebben

MasterPlans & IBISWorld Research

Alicia Luebben
April 11, 2016 by

Here at MasterPlans, we do extensive research for a plethora of industries using IBISWorld; “Our Industry Research Reports are a powerful business tool that provide strategic insight and analysis on more than 1,000 US industries. Extensive, objective and easy to digest, IBISWorld research offers the very latest content on every US industry to help you make better decisions, faster”. IBISWorld helps us generate strategic insight about your industry including; market research, relevant business information, market conditions, forecasting, competitor activity, industry risk and more.

Since I am getting married next month, I figured ‘Wedding Services in the US’ would be a fun industry to do a little more research on. With just a quick overview, I can see that the supply chain consists of; consumer spending, marriage rate, population etc as its key economic drivers. There are also many supply industries (and products) like florists, beauty, baked goods, photography etc. The Wedding Services has no major players, meaning the market is not saturated or monopolized by one company and concentration in this industry is low.

At a glance, we can see that Wedding Services is a 59.2 billion dollar industry, expecting a 2.2% growth from 2015-2020. Due to an improvement in our economy and unemployment rate, the industry is slowly back on the rise. Wedding Services is a mature industry, and will continue to be significant for Americans.

This is just a quick look at the extensive information we can find for your new business and its industry. Our writers spend hours researching the information you need for you and your business plan to be successful!

IBISWorld US – Industry, Company and Business Research Reports and Information

See more examples here.

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Welcome to Oregon

Alicia Luebben
March 1, 2016 by

Here at MasterPlans, many people call us to get more information about what we do and how we execute our business plans. One question many people ask us is ‘where are you located?’ Well, we dwell in Portland, Oregon, USA! Many of our clients are spread not only across country, but all over the world. I would like to showcase parts of the glorious pacific wonderland we live in. I am amazed by the magical state of Oregon, and I would like to share it with you all from time to time.

Today, I would like to mention the beautiful Columbia River Gorge that offers countless hikes in Oregon and Washington including the famous Multnomah Falls Hike. There are waterfalls, trees and various wildlife aplenty. I try to hike as often as I can since hiking is not only great exercise, but it also improves mental health. Not to mention, I live in a pletheria of hiking opportunities.

Here are a few of my favorite hikes;

On the Washington side of the gorge is a difficult and rewarding hike up Dog Mountain. Spring brings an abundance of beautiful wildflowers along the trail and summit, making it a favorite hike for many. With a climb of nearly 3000 ft, the hike is strenuous, but all the more worthwhile once you reach the top to see the breathtaking view.

Angel’s Rest, on the Oregon side of the gorge near Corbett, OR, is an easier hike with a beautiful view at the summit. I enjoy taking my dog Oliver, pictured below, on this hike since I do not need to worry about too many steep drop offs. Angel’s Rest is a good hike to gain the endurance for the more difficult hikes in the gorge.

Lastly, I’d like to show you all Horsetail Falls. This is the easiest hike on the list that offers stunning views of Horsetail Falls and Ponytail Falls. TLC may have said “don’t go chasing waterfalls”, but I would have to disagree. The sound of the water whilst among nature truly is serenity.

If any readers happen to be in Oregon anytime, I would recommend a day in the gorge on one of these, or one of these other hikes, to experience it yourself! See you on the trails.

Dog Mountain

]10 Dog Mountain

Angel's Rest

Angel’s Rest

Horsetail Falls

Horsetail Falls

Our Move to Virtualization

Alicia Luebben
February 26, 2016 by

Alicia and Jessica in the new office.

Our switch to virtualization has begun. We have packed up our former office in the Lovejoy building and have started on working mostly from our homes. We decided to keep a home base for those who would like options on where to work, and agreed on a semi-private community space at Centrl Office. We shall see how this transition turns out! We’re digging it so far.

Has anyone worked from home, or switched to a virtualized set up? How has it worked out for you?

Facebook’s Walls

Alicia Luebben
February 25, 2016 by

Once upon a time, a social media manager named Alicia, was hired at a business plans company called MasterPlans. They needed her help to improve their social media presence, and for her to take the journey to get into the magical land of Facebook. Facebook has been locked for years, and there was no way inside. They had their defenses up, and their gates were closed. Alicia knew she had to find a way in, but how? After countless emails and grueling hours of searching for an entrance, Alicia found a glimmer of hope! She could peer inside the walls of Facebook, but still could not reach the inner walls. Then, a support group appeared and offered to grant Alicia access into the mighty Facebook Kingdom-but it came with a price. Alicia had to deliver a notarized statement from her boss to the glorious Facebook Queen. Alicia gathered her resources and set foot to the legendary notary.

After a long, and righteous journey, Alicia returned with the notarized documents. Alicia swiftly handed the documents to the support group. After some deliberation, the Facebook Queen began to unlock their walls! With stars in her eyes, and a grin on her face, to her amazement, the Queen had opened the doors and let Alicia inside! What a day, indeed! She thanked the Queen and her staff, and went along her merry way.

Alicia mother Lori, in Boulder, CO. Photo Credit: Alicia Luebben

]1 Alicia’s mother Lori, in Boulder, CO. Circa 2014.
Photo Credit: Alicia Luebben

Summary of points from the CCC Conference Talk

Alicia Luebben
February 17, 2016 by

One of our Project Managers, Paul Hightower, spoke on the board at the Cannabis Collaborative Conference a couple of weeks ago. ICYMI, here are the highlights of his speech:

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As a company of business planning experts, it should come as no surprise that we often counsel client to, well, plan. While important for everyone seeking to start or expand their business, planning could not possibly be more important for those looking to claw their way into the cannabis industry. For now the pie is getting bigger at a staggering rate and this is good for everyone, but already regulations and licensing laws are coming down in a dizzying array of forms.

At its infancy, this industry handsomely rewarded the first movers, those who had the panache and foresight to jump into things with little more than a good idea and a bit of cash. Now, it’s increasingly more difficult for someone to hang their shingle out and call themselves a canna-business. It has become increasingly apparent that there are growing numbers of preconditions (both explicit and implicit) that stand between you and your dream of owning a successful company in the cannabis industry. The licensing requirements that are coming down in states open to cannabis are setting the hard and fast rules you need to abide by and checkboxes which you must check before you serve your first customer or client. These requirements are time-consuming, not necessarily intuitive to understand, and at the end of the day can cost you large sums if you’re not ready.

Enter your plan. By taking the time to educate yourself on what needs to happen and mapping a timeline for major milestones, you can prepare for the task at hand without making yourself crazy or running through that vital capital allocated for start up.

Plans take any number of forms, but the most important part of any plan is the actual process you work through while building it. This forces you to understand not only your own business but the landscape in which you will operate and the players you’re going to either be working with or competing against. To make this a quicker process and to build the best plan possible, recruit a professional with the right experience and resources to lighten the burden a bit and save you from common missteps. Anyone you work with should not only offer you a great final product, but should also have the resources to help you educate yourself and at the end of the say save you time and money for the long road.

Paul Hightower

Reflecting on “Further Proof Facebook isn’t a Marketing Strategy”

Alicia Luebben
February 15, 2016 by

Back in November of 2008, one of our writers mentioned that ‘Facebook is not a marketing strategy’. The digital world, and how businesses are marketing themselves, has fully evolved, and this claim may now be invalid. According to Business2Community, “Of the 7.2 billion people on earth, 3 billion have Internet access; 2.1 billion are active on social media; and 1.7 billion use social networks from a mobile device (LinkHumans)”.

Of course, Facebook alone should not be a sole marketing strategy; but rather included into a social media category of your businesses entire marketing plan. Including social media outlets like; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest can organically improve your ranking on search engines like Google and Bing. By posting and reposting relevant content onto your social media channels, your business will likely receive more exposure and reach from your potential audience.

This does not mean you need a large budget for your social media marketing. Small businesses can get by with little to no spending on Facebook and Twitter ads and still get their brand’s message out there. Just a few hours a week posting engaging content on social media may not increase your ROI, but can casually spread the word about your business. ““Engagement” (such as likes, shares, etc.) is considered the most important metric for evaluating social media marketing success, with 80% of marketers identifying it as one of the top three metrics. Audience size (61%) and website traffic (56%) round out the top three” (SimplyMeasured)”.


How does your small business utilize social media? What positive impacts (if any) has it had?

Read more about Social Media Marketing Stats and Facts here

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