Thank you for contacting me about your Business.
By reading this page, you will already be starting the process, and the process is what develops the ideal solutions - no matter what we end up doing.
I use the Business Plan Worksheet for business plans and other reasons.
If you really know your business, the business plan worksheet is easy - however - many realize they do not completely know the business - and it's more difficult to determine the proper course of action.
basic concept is to be sure we build on a very firm foundation, the 'soil
is tested and stable', and everything we build on this foundation won't
So let's get started:
Think of me as a good doctor who cares and is trying to assess what the real issues are, and help make the best diagnosis - without rushing to judgment, or prescribing the 'wrong pill'. In the end, no 'medication' may be needed.
Once I am able to understand your unique situation, I help inspire and develop solutions that best suit your needs, and meet your goals and objectives.
The Business Plan Worksheet is the initial 'Patient Interview'.
am well known for talking clients out of spending money more often than talking
them into it. I
encourage exploration and inspire discovery to help arrive at best
If you have any questions at any time, please ask.
Thanks very much. ~ Rob.
may wish to see my systematic approach to problem solving >>
Links that may be of interest later on:
Please bookmark this page in your 'Favorites' since it is not linked from the Cummings Design web Site.
The Business Plan worksheet helps me understand your
business and will help you too. It works for Business Plans and for
Marketing Plans (since a Marketing Plan is normally part of a Business
Plan). It also covers other aspects like trademarks and other intellectual
The Business Plan Worksheet looks at everything, though if this is not being done for investors or funding, you can skip the financial questions - if you wish.
I am confident you will very much appreciate the Business Plan Worksheet as you realize how much it helped us:
How to Write a Winning Business Plan - from Entrepreneur Magazine
How to Write a Business Plan - from the US SBA
You may understand the concepts and are not seeking funding, though for all, reading the above helps - either as a refresher, or as an educational tool.
Some business plans are for those seeking business loans, yet the very same concepts and level of detail applies if we are creating a business plan as your blueprint for success (without the need for funding).
I am well-known for talking people out of loans and out of spending money where there is any smarter alternative - and often there is.
the Business Plan Worksheet, why we do things this way, and why this
process is so important to future success.
In the end, after I review it and we work with it and think things through, we may discover that what you thought you wanted and needed was not what you needed - and more often than not, this saves money, time, and avoids risk.
am a serious thinker, and this is not Business Plan Pro software.
If your goal is not a formal business plan yet a blueprint for success, we stop with the worksheet - and use what we learn in the worksheet to develop an action plan.
Fill out the Business Plan Worksheet as completely as you can.
If this is not for a Business Plan seeking funding, you may skip over all of the financial questions, though some you may still wish to address.
This is the way to be sure you're doing things right.
Deceptively simple at first, this same approach works for every size and for every type of company.
This exercise will hurt your brain, then you'll feel better. No pain, no gain.
about 9 out of 10 new business failing. Yours will not be a failure if
you think everything through before you even open your doors.
It takes some patience, time, analysis, reflection, research, and lots of thought.
the plan taking time, then, with a great plan, the 'building' going
relatively quickly, and probably at less cost.
serious contemplation, questioning, and discussion, still others
realized they did not need the sales force or office or warehouse they
envisioned - and just needed 1/10th the money they thought they would
require for the same outcome.
Discussion of the 'blueprint' or plan doesn't quickly translate to 'building' - and some rush off, build on a weak foundation. Unless very lucky, years later they still see no results - or discover a serious oversight.
I want to put you and your associates in the mind to be inspired.
has said this gave them a headache at first, then they felt a lot better, then
they were truly inspired, and then, since the entire plan and strategy
was so well conceived, it worked!
blueprints take far more upfront time than shoddy plans, yet, done
properly, the plan is 'right' from the start - and years later.
a quick story - one of my favorites - take two.
really spent some time and thought about it - on many levels.
Based on a solid foundation and approach, Tinker went on to promote the take two concept with the catchy slogan 'plop, plop, fizz, fizz oh what a relief it is'.
Finally, Tinker promoted Alka-Seltzer® as a solution for many other ailments other than headaches - like hangovers or indigestion.
That's the type of thinking I want us to do. The best business or marketing plan is based on great concepts and strategies. While catchy slogans help, the best plans are based on true competitive strategy and brilliant ideas.
Brilliance sometimes comes to mind immediately, but more often than not, takes serious time, thought, and consideration. Businesses fail for many reasons, and we're going to try to avoid failure in every possible aspect. - from the products and services, to the marketing, to the partnership agreements, logistics, and more.
The Alka-Seltzer® story is why we're doing this Business Plan Worksheet.
we consider and decide now, the better.
The Business Plan worksheet can be a little frustrating, but it is extremely thorough. It will cause you (and me) to think about many aspects you (and me) might otherwise overlook - and it's best to think about everything.
The first questions are relatively easy and deceptively simple, however, once you get to the other questions, you will likely wish to change (or refine) your answers to the early questions. This is fine and part of the process.
Simply fill out the Business Plan worksheet as best you can.
this is for a formal Business Plan for investors or partners:
of your Business Plan as a case before a judge, and make the strongest
case possible - without a great deal of hype.
Often overlooked, if this is going to be some form of partnership, you likely wish to see this page about partners, and the "Perfect Partners' article.
Even if you are not seeking investors, bankers, or partners:
your business plan, you are essentially making a case for your business,
almost like a legal defense.
this is for a Marketing Plan:
Regardless of the objective of this Business Plan Worksheet, or Business Plan strategy, our overall goal is to assure the success of your business or concept by thinking everything through very carefully.
3: Fill out the Business Plan Worksheet
Step 4: I analyze and review the worksheet
will then do an initial review of your Business Plan Worksheet and hopefully begin to help
you make it a reality.
initial impressions and questions are very likely to be the same concerns, questions,
objections, and other issues that you'll face from others that you present
your business plan to in the future.
"My partners and I like the no nonsense way you approach your job and you brought up points that we would have never thought to address."
...we then continue to send this Business Plan Worksheet back and forth - me commenting and then you commenting - differentiated by comment color. My comments are usually in red while yours are in blue.
The process works almost like a face-to-face discussion, however, everything is documented and everything is primarily done via email. This makes it easy to see progress, and review and revisit things we've discussed.
Step 5: Refinement and final decision-making
When we feel we have:
I then distill everything we have discussed and agreed upon into a single formal Business Plan document that becomes the first draft. I then send this first draft to you to review. You comment, and, based on your comments and possibly some of my additional thoughts, I develop a second draft.
I do not do the financials. These are handled by your CPA or one we choose.
this is not for a formal business plan, and instead to create a blueprint
for work to come...
In other words, if you have all the answers and everything considered, and all I need to do is edit that information and write up a Business Plan based directly upon that information, the process goes faster than if that is not the case.
Other things to know... and the big questions:
The most frequently asked questions and answers are:
Q: How long will it take?
Q: When will it be complete?
Q: Will this hurt my brain to think this
Please see more Frequently Asked Questions about Business Plans >>
This is an engaging process that will hurt your brain and inspire you.
I take a genuine interest in your success.
I believe in being candid and
honest, yet always polite. Still, sometimes I can be overly candid, and
then I get fired, though I don't mind since I feel I've honestly done my
Even if we are simply
naming and branding, it's all better with a solid plan.
To keep my rates affordable and reduce paperwork clients 'retain and book me' by purchasing hours (or packages) in advance. See how payment works now >>
you have seen the Cummings Design Site, you likely
have an idea of what I do - though you still may be a bit fuzzy about
everything I do since I cover a lot.
The basic idea is that I do not jump to conclusions, do not pour the concrete for the foundation before we know the ground is stable and tested, and make sure that we not only distill your concept to its very essence, but also present it in a way that anyone will understand it, and embrace it.
Plus, if not for investors or partners, yet as a blueprint for success along with risk reduction, once we begin to build anything we determine we need in this Business Plan exercise (and often we'll find less is ultimately needed), we'll know we're building on extremely firm ground - with the smartest strategy in all respects.
you decide not to continue with me, you may still use the Business Plan
worksheet, however... the
only thing I ask is that you do not distribute or copy the business
plan work sheet I sent you to others since it is my own.
If your questions are still not answered, please contact Rob.
I look forward to hearing from you! ~ rob.