Tag Archives: business plan

How Not To Write a Business Plan – Part 2

Pavel Rubin
December 17, 2014 by

The internet is over-saturated with unprofessional, often ridiculous self-help guides on how to write a business plan. These guides often understate the hard work and know-how that goes into writing a professional business plan. Online guides detract from the cumbersome detailed financial analysis, expert market research, and high quality analytic business writing that together combine to create a highly professional, organized, and detailed business plan.

I have decided to counter some of these guides with a so called guide of my own. I present to you…

How Not To Write a Business Plan – Part 2

4) You may face competition, but all competitors are puny pawns when compared to your magnitude and grandeur. Make sure that your competitor analysis fully reflects this fact.

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5) Using unique marketing techniques will make you stand apart from the competition. Make sure you think of some really original ones for your plan.

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6) The Management Summary section of the plan is crucial to establishing the qualifications and expertise of the management team. Don’t be afraid to embellish a little in order to impress potential investors.

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There you go! Now you can go ahead and not write a business plan the right way! You can always try using the various online guides to write a business plan, or you can contact MasterPlans, the Business Plan Experts for a perfect, professional business plan.

How Not To Write a Business Plan – Part 1

Pavel Rubin
December 10, 2014 by

The internet is over-saturated with unprofessional, often ridiculous self-help guides on how to write a business plan. These guides often understate the hard work and know-how that goes into writing a professional business plan. Online guides detract from the cumbersome detailed financial analysis, expert market research, and high quality analytic business writing that together combine to create a highly professional, organized, and detailed business plan.

I have decided to counter some of these guides with a so called guide of my own. I present to you…

How Not To Write A Business Plan – Part 1

1) The Executive Summary is the outline of your business plan, therefore, make sure to always keep it in outline form.

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2) The business description is…well… a description. Make sure that your business description is extra descriptive.

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3) The more people that you market to, the better, therefore, try to maximize your market as much as you can.

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Stay tuned for Part 2!

Technical Writing and Business Plan Writing – Bridging the Gap

Pavel Rubin
November 26, 2014 by

The U.S. Department of Labor states that “Technical writers, also called technical communicators, prepare instruction manuals, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily.” [1] As a trained Technical Writer, I find myself constantly trying to bridge the gap between my trained profession and my occupation as a Business Plan writer and editor.

Technical Writing is an up and coming profession, with a projected 15% growth over the next 10 years. [2] People usually associate technical writing with, well, technical industries such as engineering and computer science. In reality, Technical Writing is a diverse profession that encompasses many facets of professional writing, all of which are extremely beneficial to Business Plan writing.

After all, does a business plan not communicate complex information? Is it not, in a sense, a set of expertly arranged instructions, goals, ideas, and visions? Does a business plan not take a highly complex idea and relay it in simple, understandable, and concise terms? Does a business plan not require precision, expert editing to truly shine?

I would argue that, at the end of the day, Technical Writing and Business Plan writing are one and the same. I would encourage more Technical Writers to consider a career in Business Plan writing, as both fields rise to prominence. I, myself, am happy to be what I would call a Technical Business Plan Writer and Editor. Now how’s that for a title?

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The graph shows the similarities between what a Technical Writer does and what a Business Plan Writer does. Per example, the instruction manuals produced by a Technical Writer are similar to the explanation of the business process, objectives, milestones, and needs that a Business Plan Writer communicates.

1.United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Technical Writers. Source: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/technical-writers.htm 2.Ibid

Cheese-covered sharks!

Mindy Moreland
November 24, 2014 by

Nothing makes us happier than the news that our clients are living their dreams and finding success with their businesses. So when we learned that local Portland business and MasterPlans client Heidi Ho Organics recently secured $125,000 in funding on ABC’s Shark Tank, we were thrilled. So thrilled, in fact, that we cracked open some chips and a jar of Heidi Ho’s delicious Creamy Chia Cheeze in our breakroom to celebrate. As you can see, it didn’t last long …


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We met Chef Heidi Lovig and her business partner Lyssa Story in 2010, when their business was just four months old. They already had a great product, but were producing their plant-based vegan “cheezes” from a home kitchen. Our Senior Project Manager, Marisa Marconi, worked closely with Heidi and Lyssa, who she describes as “super nice and very passionate about their business.” Together, we developed Heidi Ho Organics’ first formal business plan, which helped secure the funding needed to lease space in a commercial kitchen.

We were delighted when Heidi and Lyssa returned to MasterPlans in 2012 to update their original business plan in preparation for a new development phase. The business was growing steadily, and it was time to move out of the shared commercial kitchen and into a dedicated production facility. We were once again impressed by Heidi and Lyssa’s dedication, organization, and long-range planning, and helped them transform their start-up business plan into a late-stage growth-focused document.

Over the past two years, we’ve proudly watched Heidi Ho Organics grow, from their placement on Whole Foods shelves to their products’ inclusion on the menus of restaurants across our fair city (including Bridgeport Brewing, Masterplans’ next-door neighbor). We’re huge fans of both their business success and their delicious cheezes, and we hope wholeheartedly that their Shark Tank success means great things ahead.


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Congratulations, Heidi Ho!

“Has this ever happened to you?”

Mindy Moreland
October 28, 2014 by

Late-night TV’s gift (or curse)

Are infomercial scripts—in verse.
On cable screens, in black and white
Poor miserable souls get nothing right.

The problem’s clear! To crack an egg
Or pour a drink, or sock a leg
Is near impossible for us all.
But never fear, dear viewers. Call

This toll-free number to receive
Our magic product. You’ll believe
You too can clean, or grill, or grip
At only the cost to handle and ship.

A business plan, though far less twee
Can take a lesson from “As Seen On TV.”

Yours too should show the present situation
(Perhaps without Gilbert Gottfried’s narration).

State the problem you will solve
And how the market will evolve
Once your new business hits its stride
And garners clients from far and wide.

If this sounds daunting, do not fret.

We’re here to help! We’ll help you set
Down that core problem and its key.*
Don’t wait! Call now! The number’s free!

*And we promise not to do it in couplets.

The Power of Infographics

Thomas Wilson
October 9, 2014 by

While consuming media, sometimes I can pull something interesting even if I am not connecting to the material as a whole. One of those instances was “The Other Guys,” a film I didn’t really enjoy, but I did find the credits fascinating and continue to think about them to this day. The credits are used to really hammer home the plot of a comedy film where the plot is secondary to the humorous interactions of the cast and wacky situations they find themselves in. I felt like I got some vegetables after a day of eating Halloween candy – not in a bad way either, it was something I needed. This is the power of infographics.

Using infographics can help simplify complex ideas and give a quick visual punch to mundane stats. When you upgrade to a PMP (Premium MasterPlan) Business Plan at MasterPlans some infographics* can be adjusted to match the look and feel of your plan to add greater impact to your business idea.

*Source files such as EXCEL, PDF, PSD, or Illustrator are required

Shopping for your image

Thomas Wilson
September 4, 2014 by

Business plan written and logo designed – now all you need is the right photography to help sell your idea. But where to begin? There are 3 realistic avenues, each with their pros & cons:

  1. Custom photography
  2. Use a stock image house
  3. Take your own photos

It isn’t like the “olden days” when you HAD to hire a photographer for every image, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for professional photography. Hire a pro and you’ll get exactly what you need, but it could easily be the most expensive option.

Stock photography websites are a great option if you’re on a budget, but perusing the thousands upon thousands of photos they host can be time consuming. Worse, you’re likely to find yourself settling for images that are “close enough” instead of the perfect pictures you had in your head. You also run another risk this way: discovering later that your selected photos are being used by the competition… or that “your” ideal picture/graphic/model becomes better recognized as the face of an entirely different company in an entirely different industry, which can cause major brand confusion*. Also, tread carefully: buying stock photography is not the same as copying images found on Google or Bing – just because it’s on the web doesn’t mean it is legal to use.

Now that everyone has a camera on their phone it can be really tempting to call ourselves photographers. While this is the most cost-effective option, photography is a profession for a reason – resolution, composition, and other technical aspects that make a photo feel legitimate may be lost on the layman photographer. Then again, you might have an untapped talent just waiting to get out­ – but are you ready for the world to judge your photography?

**Which reminds me of the episode of Friends where Joey models for an ad campaign but doesn’t know quite how he was going to be used… Now imagine if that image was at a stock photo house and being used by numerous companies? More comedy.*

We’ve Got Your Golden Ticket

Mindy Moreland
September 2, 2014 by

Here at MasterPlans we work with entrepreneurs of all sorts, from first-time business owners to experienced international development experts. Every new business is unique, but after 11 years, we’ve developed six standard business plan formats that cover 95% of our clients’ needs.

In a nutshell (or candy wrapper, as the case may be), here’s an overview of the business plan types we focus on, and the type of situation in which each might be used:

Bank funding plan: “Wonka Corner Chocolate Shop needs $5,000 from Dahl Savings and Loan to purchase inventory (chocolate, gold foil, everlasting gobstoppers) and rent a storefront location.”

Investor funding plan: “Wonka Chocolate Workshop needs $50,000 from private investors to move from a small factory into a larger factory and purchase a crazy-looking boat.”

Venture capital funding plan: “Wonka Laboratories needs $1.5 million from venture capitalists to fund research and development of three-course-dinner-flavored chewing gum and purchase transmogrification insurance.”

Foreign worker visa plan: “Wonka Enterprises of London, England, is investing $500,000 to establish subsidiary firm Wonka Enterprises of London, Kentucky, and is sending skilled executive Mr. Charles Bucket to set up and run the U.S. operation.”

Foreign entrepreneur visa plan: “Mr. Grandpa Joe Bucket, a citizen of the United Kingdom, is investing $10,000 to open and operate Bucket’s Chocolate-Covered Bacon Food Truck in Paris, Texas.”

Foreign investor visa plan: “Ms. R. Oompa-Loompa, a citizen of Loompaland, is investing $1 million in Bucket’s Chocolate-Covered Bacon Restaurant and Gift Emporium in Moscow, Idaho.”

As for that other 5% of clients, we’re also delighted and well-equipped to help with special projects and unusual requests (but that’s another blog post entirely). Call us today to get started on your funding or visa business plan. Our experience is the Golden Ticket you need to get your dreams off the ground.