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Your Guide to Preparing a Plan  

to Raise Money for 

Your Own Business


Revised 2020-2021 Edition


By: Iain Williamson








Your Guide to Preparing a Plan to Raise Money 

for Your Own Business


Revised 2020 - 2021 Edition




THIS UPDATED BOOK has been revised to take into account the disruptions caused by Covid-19.

It is a practical, step-by-step guide to preparing a business plan that 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!

This book 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.

This edition features a chapter on creating your business model and your value proposition. It 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.

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

There are sections to help you manage your time and projects. Learn how to prepare your advertising, marketing and Internet strategies. It covers premises and the advantages of being home-based.

This book also includes a sample plan to help you see how a 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 that could help you. You’ll 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.

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 TV’s Venture; TVO’s 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. Andrew’s, 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 2020-2021 Edition; 295 pages; Softcover; ISBN 978-1-55270-835-4; published in November 2020; Canadian $56.95. 


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You Have to Take Covid-19
into Account When Preparing Your Plan

Covid-19 Will Almost Certainly Cast a Shadow Over Your Business
The Importance of Your Plan
The Approach Taken in this Book

Your Business Plan is Essential

How Many Businesses Have a Plan?
Length of the Plan
The Plan as a Financing Document

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

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

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

The Legal Structure of Your Business

Why is Your Deal Structure So Important?
Sole Proprietorships
Limited Liability Partnerships
Joint Venture (or Undeclared Partnership)
Incorporated Companies
Professional Corporations
Federally Incorporated Company
The Legal Structure for Independent Contractors
Name Search
What is Your Basic Financial Aim?

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 Marketing Plan
Your Marketing Plan is an Essential Component of Your Business Plan
What Marketing Encompasses
Methods of Distribution
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Packaging and Merchandising
“Gut Feel” Marketing
The Importance of a Market Survey
The Challenge of Market Surveys for New Technology
How to Conduct Your Market Survey
What Should Your Marketing Survey Tell You?
What is Database Marketing?
Ranking Your Customers Using the RFM Method
The Basics of Telephone Marketing
Preparations for Telemarketing
The Outbound Call Centre

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

Your Advertising Plan

What Advertising Encompasses
When You Have Your Own Website, the World is Your Oyster
The Internet Brings it All Together from an Advertising Perspective!
Advertising and Lead Generation
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
Does Your Product or Service Appeal to the Broad Market or Only to Segments?
Hispanic, French-Speaking and Ethnic Markets
Co-op Advertising
Creating Your Message
Try to Be Different
Delivering Your Message
Try to Create a Sense of Urgency
In the Creative Process, Make Sure You Achieve Your Objectives
Selecting Your Media
The "Freebies"
Newspapers: Regional vs. National
Trade Journals and Professional Magazines
Don't Forget the Classifieds
Magazines from Street Dispensers
Measuring Readership
Positioning and "Out of the Ordinary"
Direct Mail Advertising
Use Direct Mail to Generate Sales Leads
Use Direct Mail to Increase Retail Store Traffic
Use Direct Mail to Raise Money for Charities
Use Direct Mail to Reward Customer Loyalty
Use Direct Mail to Let Customers Try a Product or Service
Direct Mail for One-on-One Advertising
Direct Mail Response Can Be Measured
Direct Mail Gets Attention
Cost Effectiveness of Direct Mail in Advertising
Discount Rates for Bulk Mailings
Your Internal Mailing List
Direct Mail List Brokers
Get Direct Mail Names from Directories
The Basic Ingredients of the Mailing Piece
Using Your Word Processing Mail Merge Feature
How Long Should Your Letter Be?
Legal Considerations Regarding Copyright
The Best Time to Mail
Unaddressed Bulk Mail
Advertising in Professional Directories
Advertising in Trade Directories
Billboard Advertising
Transit Advertising
Advertising on Vehicles
In-Store Signage
Exterior Store Signage
Premiums and Incentives
Advertising From the Air
The Challenge of Measuring Exposure
Participating in Trade Shows
Exhibiting in Fairs
Selling at Flea Markets
Crunch the Numbers!
Advertising on Radio
Advertising on Television
Measuring the Number of Radio Listeners or TV Viewers
What Do We Mean by Fax Broadcasting?
Suggestions to Make Your Fax Broadcasting More Successful
How to Fax Broadcast
The Do-Not-Call List
The Concept of Lifetime Value of a Customer
Cost of the Mailing Piece Using Addressed Bulk Mail
Test Your Mailing Piece
Is There Enough Money to be Made with Direct Mailings?
Analyzing Direct Mail Response
Frequency When Using Print and Broadcast Media
The Costs of Broadcast and Print Media Advertising
Comparisons Using Cost Per Thousand
The Role of the Advertising Agent
Advertising Standards
Laws Covering Advertising
Privacy Concerns
Canada’s Anti-Spam Laws (CASL)
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
Who can Store Your Content for You?

Media as a Delivery System

Market Segmentation for Online and Offline Advertising
Support Your Web Advertising with Offline Advertising

Your Social Media Plan
Prepare 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 on Social Media
Watch Out on Paid Advertising!
Don’t Treat All Social Media as the Same
Web Blogs
Don’t Forget to Analyse Your Social Media Results
Is Social Media Worth the Time?
The Big Shift to Mobile
Creating and Incorporating Videos
Legal Aspects of Social Media

Your Human Resource Plan

Human Resources
Determine How Many Employees You Really 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
Minimum Wage in Other Provinces & Territories
Overtime Pay
Hiring Canadian Workers
Hiring Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW)
Pay Equity
Personal Information Protection
Industrial Accident Prevention Association (IAPA)
Ontario: Workplace Safety and Insurance
Workplace Safety and Insurance in the Other Provinces and Territories
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?
Types of ESOPs
Performance Bonuses
Your Human Resource Plan

Your Professional Advisors:
Your Plan to Keep Your Costs Down

Professional Advisors
Accountants and Bean Counters

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
The Team Approach
Effexis Software: Achieve Planner
Don’t Fall Into the Parkinson’s Law Trap
Get on Top of Your Projects!
Microsoft Project
Milestones Professional
Milestones Simplicity

Your Location Plan: Premises

Home-based Businesses are Popular
Home-Based Businesses are Survivors
How Legal is it to Work Out of Your Home or Apartment?
Tax Advantages
Save on Commuting Time
Commercial Space
Bricks-and-Mortar Retail Space
Watch Out for the Lease Renewal Trap!
Locating in a Mall
Find Yourself a Good Lawyer
Bonded Warehousing

CHAPTER 17    Build Your Business Model
It’s Like Putting a Jig Saw Puzzle Together
Definition of a Business Model
Value Proposition

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

Business Plan for
a Service Company

A Company in the Service Industry
Advertising and Sales Lead Generation
After-Market and Competition
Human Resources
Quality Control
Investment Criteria

CHAPTER 20  Business Plan for a Retailer
Business Plan for a Retail Operation
Warranties and Returned Goods
Competition and Customer Loyalty
Human Resources
Inventory and Delivery Lead Times
Theft and Shrinkage
The Balance of Information in Your Financial Section
Use Computers to Help You!

Business Plan for
a Construction Company

Format of the Plan
Labour and 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

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
FastFlick: Corel Photo Slideshow

In-Person Presentations Post-Covid
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 a Backup
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

Your Plan Should be a
Dynamic Document

Monitoring and Altering Your Strategic Objectives

CHAPTER 27    Business Planning
Software to Help You

Business Planning and Analysis Software

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
Final Observations on the Impact of Covid-19









Copyright: 2020 Productive Publications