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Your Guide to Preparing a Plan  

to Raise Money for 

Your Own Business


Revised 2018-2019 Edition


By: Iain Williamson









THIS REVISED AND COMPLETELY UPDATED BOOK is a practical, step-by-step guide to preparing a business plan you can use to raise financing. It shows you how to address the concerns of investors or lenders. A good plan will not guarantee financing, however, it is an essential first step in the search. Without it, you will not stand a chance!

A new chapter has been added on creating your business model and value proposition. This edition also shows you the importance of social media in growing your business. It recommends that you create your own website and use it in conjunction with your plan to attract potential lenders or investors. It also suggests using photos and short videos to augment your written plan.

It covers points you will need to consider before starting your plan. It includes chapters on strategic planning and the importance of using spreadsheets in your planning process.

The chapter on preparing your human resource plan covers government regulations relating to employees. It also looks at the effectiveness of employee ownership plans. A chapter has been added on using professional advisors and how to keep costs down.

There are chapters to help you manage your time and projects. Learn how to prepare your advertising, marketing and Internet strategies. This book covers premises and the advantages of being home-based. It looks at the merits of equipment leasing as a method of off-balance sheet financing.

This book also includes a sample plan to help you see how your plan should be structured.

When you have finished your plan, you will get tips on how to print it and prepare a PDF version that you can send as an email attachment. Learn about some presentation software packages that could help you. Youíll find a chapter on how to speak in public to groups of potential investors. Finally, read reviews on software packages that you can use to prepare your own plan from scratch.

Author, Iain Williamson, is an entrepreneur, business consultant and seminar leader. His views have appeared in many newspaper articles. He has also been the guest speaker on a CBC Radio phone-in show on starting a business in a recession. In addition, he has appeared on television shows such as: CBC TVís Venture; TVOís MoneysWorth, and Canada Tonight of BCTV and CHCH Television.

Iain spent five years as a financial analyst and knows what makes business tick. For fourteen years he operated his own businesses in importing, high technology and manufacturing. He now operates Entrepreneurial Business Consultants of Canada and also owns a book publishing business. He holds degrees from Oxford University and from St. Andrewís, Scotland.

Iain has prepared business plans for many clients and writes from firsthand experience which he shares with you. This book contains a wealth of knowledge accumulated over many years.


Your Guide to Preparing a Plan to Raise Money for Your Own Business: 2018-2019 Edition by Iain Williamson, 290 pages, softcover, ISBN 978-1-55270-797-5; ISSN 1191-0496; published in August 2018; Canadian $56.95.  


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CHAPTER 1 Introduction
A Confession
The Importance of Your Plan
The Approach Taken in this Book

CHAPTER 2 Your Business Plan is Essential
How Many Businesses Have a Plan?
Length of the Plan
The Plan as a Financing Document

CHAPTER 3 Your Strategic Plan
The Importance of Having a Strategy
Your Time Horizon
Are You Going to be Defensive or Offensive?
Are Your Strategic Objectives Realistic?
The Perils of Concentrating on Market Share
The Peril of Having Too Many Objectives

CHAPTER 4 Use Spreadsheets To Find Out How Much Money You Really Need
Why are Spreadsheets so Important?
What are Spreadsheets?
Corel Quattro Pro
Microsoft Excel
OpenOffice Calc
Use Spreadsheets to Prepare Cash Flow Projections to Calculate Your Needs
The Importance of Knowing What You Need
Observations on Start-up Capital Needs

CHAPTER 5 Your Choice: Debt or Equity?
Debt or Equity?
Can Your Business Raise Debt?
The Liquidity Ratio
Quick Ratio
Debt-to-Equity Ratio
Ability to Service Debt
Outside Forces

CHAPTER 6 The Legal Structure Of Your Business
Why is Your Deal Structure So Important?
Legal Structure
Sole Proprietorships
Limited Liability Partnerships
Tax Aspects of Limited Partnerships
Joint Venture (or Undeclared Partnership)
Incorporated Companies
Professional Corporations
Name Search
Federally Incorporated Company
What is Your Basic Financial Aim?
Form of the Investment

CHAPTER 7 Form of the Investment
If You Have Incorporated, You Have to Decide on the Form of the Investment
Common Stock
Preferred Shares
Rights and Warrants
Loans, Debentures and Bonds
The Loan Guarantee
Revenue Participating Certificates
Royalty/Dividend on Preferred Convertible Stock

CHAPTER 8 Your Advertising and Marketing Plans
The "Blur" Between Marketing and Advertising
What Marketing Encompasses
What Advertising Encompasses
The Amount of Money Spent on Advertising
Why Spend the Money?
The Advertising Market is Not Homogeneous
"Hooks" for the Business Market
"Hooks" for the Consumer Market
Testimonials, Endorsements, Logos and Trademarks
Creating Your Message
Try to Be Different
Delivering Your Message
Create a Sense of Urgency and Make a Call to Action
In the Creative Process, Make Sure You Achieve Your Objectives
Selecting Your Media

CHAPTER 9 Your Online Marketing Plan
The Current State of Retail E-Commerce in the United States
The Status of Canadian E-Commerce
The Status of European B2C E-Commerce
The Role of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Trading Partners
Adopting EDI
Value-Added Networks (VANs) & Value-Added Services
What is "E-Tailing?"
Traditional Brick and Mortar Retailing vs. E-Tailing
The Role of Disintermediation
The Disintermediation Balancing Act
The Importance of Considering the Implications of the Internet Before Approaching Investors

CHAPTER 10 Plan Your Web Presence and e-Commerce Strategy
When You Have Your Own Website, the World is Your Oyster
The Internet Brings it All Together from an Advertising Perspective!
Search Engines
The Search Engines Which Dominate the Market
Create Your Own Website
Register Your Domain Name
Establish Your Presence on the Internet Before You Start Presenting Your Plan
Web Hosting
Web Design Software
What is E-Commerce?
Your Shopping Cart
Your Checkout
Your Methods of Receiving Payment
Payment Gateways
Offer Alternative Ways for Your Customers to Order and Pay
How to Create Order Forms for Download from Your Website
International Transactions
Security of Transactions
Main Types of E-Commerce Software
The Plug-ins
Stand-alone E-commerce Software
Other Shopping Cart Software Programs
Hosted E-commerce Solutions
Sponsored Search & Paid Placement Pay-per-Click (PPC) Advertising plus Auction Networks
Cost-per-Order (CPO) & Return on Advertising Spending (ROAS)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Links to Other Sites
Promote your Site with Web Rings
Banner Ads
Pop-Up Ads
Add Sizzle to Your Website: Add a Video
Editing Your Video Content
Streaming Video
Progressive Download
Who are the Major Players?

CHAPTER 11 Plan Offline Advertising to Support Your Online Advertising
Media as a Delivery System
Market Segmentation for Online and Offline Advertising
Yuppies, Guppies, Boomers and "Geners"
Hispanic, French-Speaking and Ethnic Markets
Co-op Advertising
Support Your Web Advertising with Offline Advertising
The Concept of Lifetime Value of a Customer
Analyzing Direct Mail Response
Analyzing Broadcast and Print Media Response
Internet Push Technology Capitalizes on the Lifetime Value of Customers
Analyzing Your Response Rates
Cost of the Mailing Piece Using Addressed Bulk Mail
The Costs of Broadcast and Print Media Advertising
Testing Your Mailing Piece
Is There Enough Money to be Made with Direct Mailings?
Frequency When Using Print and Broadcast Media
Comparisons Using Cost Per Thousand
Setting Up Your Media Schedule
The Role of the Advertising Agent

CHAPTER 12 Your Social Media Plan
Your Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
The Huge Surge in the Use of Social Media
How Can You Use Social Media in Your Business?
Caveat: Social Media is "Social" not "Business Media"
Social Media as the Great Equalizer
The Cost
Paid Advertising
Watch Out on Paid Advertising
Don't Treat All Social Media as Being the Same
Web Blogs
Is Social Media Worth The Time?
The Big Shift to Mobile
Don't Forget to Analyse Your Results
Your Social Media Plan

CHAPTER 13 Employees, Government Regulations & Your Human Resource Plan
Determine How Many People You Will Need to Hire
Job Descriptions Form the Basis for Job Specifications
It May Sound Crazy but Prepare Your Own Job Description!
Prepare Job Descriptions For All Your Employees
Salaries and Hidden Costs
Canada Payroll Account Number
Payroll Deductions in All Provinces
Private Worker Health Insurance Plans
Ontario Minimum Wage
Alberta Minimum Wage
B.C. Minimum Wage
Other Provinces & Territories Minimum Wage
Overtime Pay
Hiring Canadian Workers
Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW)
Pay Equity
Personal Information Protection
Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA)
Workplace Safety and Insurance
Termination or Severance
Record of Employment (ROE)
The Balancing Act of Paying to Hire the Best Talent and Trying to Keep Wage Costs as Low as Possible
Third Party Liability
Honesty Bonds or Fidelity Bonds
Intellectual Property and Non-competition Agreements
Employment Contracts
Are Employee Share Ownership Plans a Dream?
How Can ESOPs Help?
Types of ESOPs
Performance Bonuses
Your Human Resource Plan
Use Family Members Where Possible
Factory Automation
3D Printing

CHAPTER 14 Your Professional Advisors: How to Keep Your Costs Down
Professional Advisors
Accountants and Bean Counters

CHAPTER 15 Your Time Management and Project Management Plans
It's Time to Organize Your Priorities!
Prioritize Your "To-Do" Lists
Shoot the Closest Alligators!
Then, Shoot the Alligators Blocking Your Way to the Exit!
Finally, if you Have the Time, Shoot the Alligators Basking in the Sun!
How to Structure Your Day
How to Structure Your Week
How to Structure Your Month
Make Sure You Put Aside Time to Plan
Don't Forget Your H&R List
The Blessings and the Curses of email and the Phone
The Blessings and the Curses of Meetings and Committees
Microsoft Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail
Microsoft Outlook
WordPerfect Mail
Handling Snail Mail
Handling Faxes
Snappy Fax
WinFax Pro
Your Top Priority is to Make Sure Everything is Working
Set up a Spreadsheet Featuring Blocks of Time
Divide Each Week and Each Month into Blocks of Time
The Wall Planner vs. a Spreadsheet
Effexis Software: Achieve Planner
Don't Fall Into the Parkinson's Law Trap
The Team Approach
Get on Top of Your Projects!
Microsoft Project
Milestones Professional
Milestones Simplicity

CHAPTER 16 Premises and Equipment
Home-Based Businesses are Survivors
How Legal is it to Work Out of Your Home or Apartment?
Tax Advantages
Save on Commuting Time
Retail Space or Manufacturing Premises
Equipment and Other Fixed Costs

CHAPTER 17 Build Your Business Model
It's Like Putting a Jig Saw Puzzle Together
Setting Your Strategic Objectives
Are Your Strategic Objectives Realistic?
The Peril of Too Many Objectives
Definition of a Business Model
Value Proposition

CHAPTER 18 Business Plan for a Manufacturer
Structure of a Plan for a Manufacturer
Title Page
Executive Summary
Table of Contents
The Company
The Product
The Market
Manufacturing & Operations
Financial Information
Investment Criteria
Strategic Plan & Timetable
Analysis of Financial Projections
Projected Return on Investment
Economic Benefits

CHAPTER 19 Business Plan for a Service Company
A Company in the Service Industry
Advertising and Sales Lead Generation
After-Market & Competition
Human Resources
Quality Control
Investment Criteria

CHAPTER 20 Business Plan for a Retailer
Business Plan for a Retail Operation
Warranties & Returned Goods
Competition & Customer Loyalty
Human Resources
Theft & Shrinkage
The Balance

CHAPTER 21 Business Plan for a Construction Company
Format of the Plan
Labour & Sub-Trades
Economic Considerations

CHAPTER 22 Example of a Business Plan
Some Comments About the Example
Some Final Comments on the Plan

CHAPTER 23 How to Approach Investors or Lenders With Your Plan
What is the Investor or Lender Looking for in Your Plan?
The Question of Confidentiality
Preparing Your Plan for Photocopying
Tableau Desktop
Printing Your Business Plan
Preparing a Digital (PDF) Version of Your Plan
Portable Document Format (PDF)
Adobe Acrobat
ABBYY PDF Transformer
Some Big Advantages of Using PDF Documents
Your First Presentations to Potential Investors
Allow for Modifications

CHAPTER 24 Software to Improve Presentations of Your Plan
Add the Professional Touch
Microsoft PowerPoint
Using Microsoft PowerPoint in a Brainstorming Session
Harvard Graphics Pro Presentations Version 3.0
Apache OpenOffice Impress
ProShow Producer
PhotoDex ProShow Gold
Corel Photo Slideshow

CHAPTER 25 In-Person Presentations to Groups of Potential Investors
Successful Group Presentations
If You're Terrified of Speaking in Public, You're not Alone!
A Lot May Rest on Your Performance
The King's Speech
The Need for Exactitude
The Podium
Your Script
Use Your Script as Back Up
Cue Cards
After Being Introduced
"Eye Contact"
Avoid Gymnastics!
The Magic of the Pause
Your Body Language
Got a Frog in Your Throat?
The Panel Discussion
Watch the Clock!
The Elevator Pitch
The Perils of Being the Last Speaker
The Q&A
The Pre-Prepared Press Release
The First Step to Making a Successful Presentation
The Second Step to Making a Successful Presentation
Practice Will Make You Perfect

CHAPTER 26 Your Plan Should be a Dynamic Document
Monitoring and Altering Your Strategic Objectives

CHAPTER 27 Business and Analysis Software to Help You
Software to Help You
Business Planning and Analysis Software

CHAPTER 28 Self- Financing and Financing From the Public & Private Sectors
Self-Financing and Preparations
Ways to Raise Venture Capital
Ways to Raise Debt Financing for Your Business
Ways to Finance Your Business By Giving Up Some of Your Ownership
Government Financing
Export Financing
Further Information









Copyright 2018 Productive Publications