We shared insider advice on LivePlan and gave tips to create a winning business plan for both investors in general, and for the LivePlan $10,000 Boost. Many participants brought excellent questions!
If you missed the webinar, you can access a full-length recording below. If you just want to read the questions–from other small business owners and entrepreneurs like yourself–you’re in luck! We’ve compiled six of the best right here for you.
Q: Hi, I am currently developing a Christian Youth Development Agency and I am using LivePlan to accomplish this. I have seen various youth services sample plans on Bplans.com, but are there any examples through LivePlan that I can research?
A: Under the “Nonprofit” section of the LivePlan sample plan library, you should be able to find several sample plans that are similar to what you’re looking for. LivePlan comes with over 550 sample plans from all industries–you can look at them for inspiration or even edit them with your own information.
Be aware, however–not everyone can find a plan that matches his or her business exactly. In reality, the only plan that will really work for you will be one that you develop yourself. Even if the products described in the sample plan aren’t the same as yours, you’ll still see examples of similar market analysis, product or service descriptions that are close, and even financial structures that you can adapt to fit your plan. You can gain a lot of ground this way, even though the business plan isn’t for a business exactly like yours. Remember, your business is unique to you – so make sure your business plan reflects that uniqueness in every section of your plan.
Q: Could you explain how to enter your labor costs into LivePlan if you have a service company?
A: In a service-related business you could enter your direct labor costs as either a “Cost of Sale” (in the sales forecast table) or as a “Payroll Expense” (in the personnel table). Just don’t enter it in both places or it will be double counted.
Q: Do you have to be a corporation to enter the Boost contest?
A: The $10k winner could be an incorporated entity or an individual. Any legal US resident who submits a full plan, per the guidelines, is eligible.
Q: How do you estimate recurring monthly expenses when you are still in the planning stage of your new business?
A: That’s a good question and one that can take a while to answer. In short, there’s a lot of research that goes into forecasting sales and expenses for a business that is in planning stages. Frequently, the owner will have prior experience in the industry and can base their estimates off of that experience. If you don’t already have prior experience, however, research needs to be done. This can be market research (surveys, focus groups, etc) and industry statistics, or it can be simply talking to business managers and owners already in the market.
Q: My business is consulting and I want to know if LivePlan is right for me. Is LivePlan good for a service-oriented business?
A: Absolutely. LivePlan is highly customizable, and can be used for both products and services. No matter what kind of business you’re in – you NEED A PLAN! And it’s best to create a plan that you keep alive, and adjust as you grow.
Q: How do I register for affiliate benefits from Liveplan?
A: You can start by checking out www.liveplan.com/affiliates and signing up there.