Because having a business plan is a must in any business, I decided to interview a Business Plan specialist and my old friend Tyler Jensen. Please enjoy some of the insides on writing a business plan from an expert in this field.
Tyler Jensen is the founder of The Startup Garage whose mission is to turn brilliant ideas into successful businesses through expert business planning services. Tyler is also the founder of The New Wave Project, a personal internet incubator that is developing ideas into businesses. He is also the original founder of VAVi, a sport & social club which he grew to over 25,000 members in six years. VAVi was recognized as San Diego’s 30th fastest growing private company in 2006 by the San Diego Business Journal and 32nd fastest in 2007. Tyler sold the company for over 25X the capital investment.
Tyler, what type of businesses do you help to write a business plan?
I am an expert in 1 product, Business Plans, and offer it across many different types of customers. Our clients range in size from a single person service provider up to 100+ million dollar Health Care Companies and all sized in between. We also have an expertise across a range of different industries including: Technology, Retail, Manufacturing, Apparel, Personal Service, Restaurants, Education, Health Care, Hotels, Professional Service, Pet Services & Sports & Recreation to name a few.
Does a business plan have to be in place before a business finds a location or after?
Lots of time you need to begin the plan to even know what locations might be suitable. The research phase (first phase) of the business plan can bring to light facts and details that eliminate or highlight certain areas. I have had clients come to me with a location in mind only to find out after the research that it was not going to work.
In today’s tough financial environment what can a company do to raise money? What are some other options besides banks?
There are both Debt , Equity and Other options to raise money. For a start up business debt usually comes from banks, microloan programs, personal credit cards or friends and family. If you decide to pursue Equity there are friends and family, angel investors & venture capital firms. The type of equity investor you approach depends heavily on the amount of money you are in, the stage of the business you are at, the industry and the growth potential. There are also other methods of raising money including crowdfunding and grants. (Although grants are extremely rare for for-profit businesses and I usually recommend against pursuing this strategy). Despite the tough environment there are still ways to raise money if you have a good business that is also a good investment.
Because we concentrate on branding our client’s interiors I have to ask this one… Do you talk about the importance of branding in your business plan?
We lay out the foundational piece that serve as the catalyst for the brand in the business plan. We determine the name, tag line, core values, core purpose and target market in the business plan. These are all very important pieces of the brand that serve at the core of developing the rest of your brand collateral (website, business cards, flyers, and of course your space design.)
To learn more about writing your business plan or to esquire more information you can take a look at The StartUp Garage website. The StartUp Garage offers free samples of business plans on their website as well.
Learn more about 2011 design trends in Commercial Interior Design HERE.