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According to a competitor, “Most so-called ‘business plan consultants’ simply take what you say and put it on paper.” Pacific Human Capital does not and will not do that. We will help you identify your strengths, including some we are certain you never knew you had, and help you understand the business environment in which you will succeed. We will work with you to create the most viable strategy for success, which we then communicate in a peerless business plan. You will be able to use the plan to guide your business, secure meetings with investors, and raise capital or sell your company for a nice profit.
- Get it Right the First Time: When you are asking for money, you only have one shot at making the best impression.
- Save Time: Save hundreds of hours. Your time is better spent building your company, developing your products and services, and building your customer base. You hire an attorney and an accountant because you are neither one of them. You should hire a business plan consultant for the same reason.
- Save Money: You could pay more, or less. But some businesses pay for their plan several times over when it proves ineffective because the consultant “didn’t get it” and neither did funders. Why not get it right the first time and save money?
- Work with Experts: You will be working with a top-level fundraiser who has obtained over $300 million in government and private funding for many different projects and businesses in Canada and the United States, or a hand-picked, trained, equally qualified consultant with equally strong funding results. We also have experts in market research, financial planning, government regulations, and individual manufacturing/regulatory industries in cross-border environments.
- One Consultant: Some firms assign a “team” of consultants to your business. That means you’re paying to get multiple consultants up to speed. This approach is costly and inefficient, and makes it difficult to ensure that all materials have the same “voice” and consistency. You will work with one person at all times.
- Fully Customized: Some firms charge low fees because they have an assembly-line, cookie-cutter approach to crank out business plans. Your business plan will be written exclusively for you.
- Ongoing Support: We don’t stop when the business plan is done. We will continue to assist you to help you implement it as well.
- Speaks Your Language: Being a Harvard, Wharton or Yale MBA doesn’t necessarily translate into the “real world” and real people. We “get you,” and know how to translate your business know-how, talents and skills into the language that funders will understand.
- Modern Plan Approach: Some business plans offered for samples on the internet, or through planning software, are two to three times the length any funder will read. They have the “ask” buried in the middle, and contain lots of unnecessary information. Sometimes the terminology is decades out of date.The shorter the plan, the better, no matter how complex or in-depth your business is.*
- Appearance Counts: We look good. So will your plan.
- We understand: We have successful experience helping Women, Minorities, Immigrant (Visa), Under-served, Non-traditional, Young, and Encore Entrepreneurs. We have worked with Rural, Green, LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), Hybrid, Destination and Urban Core businesses.
*A writer we recently worked with wrote a 3,000 word article. He needed a 500 word article for his task. We advised him on specific steps to cut the article down to 500 words. He was unable to follow any of the steps. So, even when he had detailed, step by step instructions, it was too difficult. He was not an experienced writer! This does not mean he was not a good writer, and did not have worthwhile information to convey. He simply lacked the experience to undertake all the steps.
Also . . .
Yes, it’s personal: Your business is “your baby.” Chances are, you are too close to your ideas and business to see the exact right presentation you should make. Have you struggled to write an “Executive Summary”? How about “History of the Business”? Your own biography?
We’ve been there. We can help pick the things that the people who will give you money will respond to, and want to see.
Yes, that’s just a random picture of some favorite fireworks. Let’s get something started!
Brock Blake, founder of Lendio, has a great article in Forbes about why entrepreneurs under age 25 are able to be successful. Brock thinks along similar lines to me. Lendio offers a $2,500 scholarship to student entrepreneurs who are in college. The funds are intended to allow the student to get a business started without having to worry about having a part-time job and college and starting the business all at once.
Brock’s reasons for the success of young entrepreneurs fit in two simple categories: first, they have “nothing to lose,” in that they don’t have big bills, own homes, or have other responsibilities that would make them more cautious and less eager to take the risks that result in major business success. Second, Brock says that 20-somethings haven’t acquired the habits of a lifetime that will also instill caution or cause more traditional ways of thinking that also don’t spell big business or entrepreneurial success. He lists five examples of some of the top entrepreneurs of our time, and their ages when they founded their companies:
- Founders of Google: Sergey Brin (25) & Larry Page(25)
- Founders of Apple: Steve Jobs (21) & Steve Wozniak (26)
- Founders of Microsoft: Bill Gates (20) & Paul Allen (22)
- Founder of Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg (20)
- Founder of Wal-Mart: Sam Walton (26)
Here’s a list of the top 50 young entrepreneurs from “Retire at 21.” This list is a little older, dated 2009.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is so astonishingly rich he was able to lose $1 billion in a day on the Facebook IPO, and he has a movie all about him. He also just got married.
I had to go all the way down to # 27 to find an African-American young ultra-successful entrepreneur, Jermaine Griggs, founder of Hear and Play. At #29 on the list is Ashley Qualls, founder of Whatever Life. At #36 is Mario Lavandiera, otherwise known as Perez Hilton.
By the way, if you like the crazy, creative t-shirt designs you can buy on Threadless, founder Jake Nickell has made $50 million from helping people to put their artwork out to the public.
So, what is Hear and Play, founded by Jermaine Griggs? Learning how to play piano by ear!
What is Whatever Life, founded by Ashley Qualls? First, she was only 14 when she started the site. Second, it’s a creator for MySpace layouts. It’s still operating, too (November, 2012).
Here’s another one: GoldieBlox, the engineering toy for girls. This company is founded by my niece Debra Sterling.
I hope you ordered one of the toys! Debbie’s Kickstarter campaign exceeded its goal in only three days, and made almost $100,000 more than its initial goal of $150,000. GoldieBlox is set to launch at the New York Toy Fair in February, 2013.
Debbie invested her life savings in starting the company. She invented the toy, and she was lucky, in that she had a fantastic team of creative people to work with her in getting the concept off the ground, including her ultra-creative husband Beau Lewis, and many other friends who put in sweat equity long before people started signing up on Kickstarter and taking orders.
What is awesome about GoldieBlox? (Besides “everything”?)
- Unique approach to getting girls interested in engineering concepts
- Kid-tested toy
- Economic and real-world benefit – so far, only 10% of engineers are female. The more female engineers there are, as Debbie points out, the more benefit there will be to our world. They will literally help to build a new world for all of us.
- Made for girls, by a girl.
But let’s say you have a different concept. You don’t have to change the world one toy at a time. You can do a lot of things.
I know from talking with students, including one already-successful young entrepreneur, that being a young entrepreneur has its own special challenges. One of the biggest challenges is:
- Being taken seriously
One young entrepreneur I know pays an older, experienced attorney to go to every business meeting with him. He found that people wouldn’t listen to him at all if he was by himself. With the older, experienced person along, he suddenly found doors opening and opportunities emerging.
The same factors that go into the older, “encore” entrepreneurs achieving success also apply to young entrepreneurs. They need to learn to play to their strengths, and know when it’s best to team up with someone else. They need to correctly judge where they will most profitably spend their time, and when it’s a good idea to hire others or leverage support. Young entrepreneurs may be excellent at presenting the upside of their business concept or product. Often, they are incredibly effective at showing enthusiasm and presenting potential success.
The other side, particularly working with lenders or investors with many questions . . . not so much.
This is where a professional business plan comes in. The plan needs to show the potential for success, and correctly executed, will give the young entrepreneur a road map for success. The plan will also present potential downsides and worst-case scenarios. It will also provide a framework for investors and lenders to understand their role and the benefits they will receive.
Just as with older or encore entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs would be better-served by engaging business planning services than by trying to do it all on their own. They will also benefit from an outside perspective on their ideas. If they choose to work with Pacific Human Capital, they’ll find total support for their concepts and abilities, and will get the products they need to make their business a reality.
Contact us, if you’re a young entrepreneur, or you are working with or helping a young entrepreneur in the start-up or expansion stages.