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Recent Articles Published by Bplans

funding

Get in on the revolution in venture funding

The social web is drastically changing the way young companies get noticed, and getting noticed by the right person or network can mean investment, growth, and ultimately business success. If you’re not keeping up to date on innovative new ways to find funding for your business, including crowd sourcing and  Internet-based campaigns, you’re missing golden... Read more »

managing

Granola Business Keeps on Growing

Two years ago we introduced our readers to Business Plan Pro user Sarah Lanphier of Nuts About Granola. She was a young entrepreneur who turned a one-time fundraiser into a successful business. Today, the small business Sarah started with her mother, Gayle, is growing beyond what anyone, except maybe Sarah, might have imagined. In the... Read more »

planning

The Process of Planning

When is a plan not a plan? When it’s a tool. Perhaps the most important factor in achieving your desired result and turning your plan into a management tool is regularly reviewing the plan. In the final video of Tim Berry’s video series on how to write a successful business plan, he talks about the... Read more »

planning

Crafting and Developing Your Business Plan

We’re continuing the series from Tim Berry on how to write a successful business plan. Yesterday we learned the basics and how to get going, today Tim talks you through narrowing your focus and strategy. I’ve learned a lot from Tim over the years, and this quote from him is something I’ve found myself passing... Read more »

planning

Creating a Successful Business Plan

Business planning is about determining your business future. Where do you want your business to go? Where should it be in three years? What are the steps to get there? Wouldn’t it be great if you had someone who could help you through the hard parts of business planning? Maybe give you a guiding hand... Read more »

managing

Parking Space or Small Business?

I read this story on Huffington Post about Charles Mysak and his curbside bookselling business. The video embedded with the article is from a student filmmaker who was fulfilling a documentary assignment for class so you need to keep that in mind when watching it. (Also an advisory for some salty language here and there!)... Read more »

managing

PR/Media Exposure Campaigns: How Long Should They Be?

When it comes to generating publicity/media exposure for a product or service, trying to determine the amount of time it might take to launch and maintain a successful media exposure campaign is a hard nut to crack. What is the optimal length of a campaign and how much effort will it take to get the... Read more »

managing

Small Business Story – Gooden Sweet Treats

It was a pleasure to meet Sean on a sunny May morning in Austin while I was there for an event. Gooden Sweet turns out to be a great example of how a business can be built around meaning and purpose, and making the world better in a small but specific way. It starts as... Read more »

funding

Business Plan Review: Share the Air

A few weeks ago a co-worker sent me an instant message: “You’ve got to watch this business plan pitch. It’s crazy!” Of course I clicked and watched it. It only takes a few minutes before the “disbelief” starts. I’ve seen professionals shun slick PowerPoint slides to use handwritten or even marked up on whiteboard slides... Read more »

funding

New SBA lending program promising approval in minutes

The Small Business Administration has announced an all new “Small Loan Advantage and Community Advantage Loan Initiatives”  program. From the SBA.gov website: “SBA is committed to expanding access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs in under-served communities so that we can drive economic growth and job creation.” The new initiatives promise a smaller application... Read more »

The Lies You’ve Been Told About Business Planning

The 3rd annual  Global Entrepreneurship Week at UnleashingIdeas.org is ending today. Palo Alto Software was pleased to participate once again in this event. As in years past, we added to the conversation about entrepreneurship by offering some one-on-one time with our President and founder, Tim Berry. On Wednesday, Tim spent an hour going over the... Read more »

managing

Define Facebook Success

“We’re going on Facebook!” “Great! What will we do there?” “We’ll be on Facebook!” “Umm, ok, yes, but what will we DO there?” “Do?” “Yes, do? What are our goals? What will success look like?” “…” Sound familiar? Everyone’s excited about social media, but in order to make it work for your business, you need... Read more »

managing

Facebook for Small Business

Starbucks is often touted as a Facebook success story. Well, Starbucks is pretty much a business success story, but that doesn’t mean everyone can, or should, emulate them. Alex Wheeler, Starbucks’ Director of Digital Strategy, explains their Facebook success as the result of creating a relationship with their customers as fans, through brand stories and... Read more »

managing

Startup lessons from The Social Network movie

David Fincher’s new film, The Social Network, could be subtitled “The Unauthorized Biography of a Startup.” Based on the book ‘The Accidental Billionaires’ by Ben Mezrich, The Social Network tells the story of Facebook’s founding and rise to fame through the lens of the lawsuits that arose around it almost from the beginning. While critics... Read more »

funding

Revenue revolution

Have a great idea for something people want, but not sure how to make money from it? Consider the following business models: Freemium If what you’ve got is really great, give it away. No, seriously. Let them have a taste, build a relationship with them, and only then offer an upgraded paid experience. Maybe the... Read more »

managing

Business models that build loyalty

It’s a lot more expensive to get new customers than to keep the ones you have, so why not take advantage of that? Business models that create brand loyalty or have high switching costs help you keep the customers you get. Bait and Hook Ever noticed that you spend far more on razor blades than... Read more »

managing

Four people who care about your business model

So, maybe you’ve got some nifty new idea for generating value for your customers, or your company. Why bother writing it down, outlining it in detail, or even trying to explain it? 1. Your investors and lenders If you’re asking for money, you’d better be able to show how it will be used, how it... Read more »

managing

He’s Not Dreaming, He’s Succeeding

Darshaun McAway is a young man with big ideas. He was in his early 20s when he made a choice that takes many people decades more to make, and he’s been building a successful business based on that choice for the last six years. “I was extremely tired of working for other people, and having... Read more »

managing

3 Reasons to Update Your Logo

Every year, several significant brands spend thousands of dollars on redesigning their logos. I’m reminded of this when I go to the grocery store and can’t find my favorite cereal because they’ve changed the packaging again. So, why risk losing the brand recognition you’ve worked so hard to build? 1. Logo is visually outdated In... Read more »

managing

How to Master Referral Marketing

According to Duct Tape Marketing author John Jantsch, glitzy advertising and elaborate marketing campaigns don’t drive business anymore. In his new book, The Referal Engine, Jantsch offers practical new ways to harness the power of referrals, which he says are the new, best way to market your business. The book is being released today, and... Read more »