Business Strategist who started his first business when he was 14. Devesh has started & run many (Web, Education, Beauty & Wellness, Fashion, Retail, Consulting) businesses since then. Devesh has an MBA, worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies & now he helps entrepreneurs grow and scale their businesses.
I have written 400+ business plan in last several years as that is what I do for a living. The approach I have used and recommend for writing a business plan is what I call "Two Sentence Business Plan" and the idea is to be very objective and concise while writing and following a standard framework of answering the what, why, how, when, who, where, of each idea/element and including an action step to it. This will declutter your head, get your ideas and strategy on paper, and guide you in making well informed decisions as well.
The framework is a simple one pager you can see at http://twosentencebusinessplan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/BusinessModel06.pdf however, you can go as complicated as you like by further diving deeper into the granular details that matter most to your business.
I'd happy to help you with details specific to you and your business, over a call, if you need. Cheers!
I come across such requests a lot and I'm always surprised that how people don't realize that we as service providers, coaches, consultants, invest a lot of time and money to acquire the knowledge (reading books, attending conferences, taking training, creating free content like blogs and reports etc all) that they just valued as a cup of coffee. Anyways, in the day and age of information being the king yet being pretty vulnerable for the abundance of me-too gurus, this is a challenge we all are facing. I actually named my 1-hr sessions "I need coffee".
I deal such requests with a simple reply asking them to either send me their questions and I'd consider writing a blog post to help everyone that may have such question, OR sign up for my biweekly free group conference call where they can ask me a question and I'd answer live though in a group and time limited format OR if they want 1-on-1 help then booking a call via Clarity (before Clarity I asked them to book a minimum of 1 hr session with me).
So far this has helped me out a lot in weeding out people who have no sincere intentions to ever pay or respect the time and are just wasting both mine and their own time. Also, those who took time to submit questions or sign up for the conference call are pretty qualified and filtered leads that I follow up with.
I second Tom's response above and recommend that you find a technical co-founder (this is something you can do with a deck and interest based sign ups) and build a MVP (minimum viable product) by bootstrapping and then raise the capital. This would test your idea at no external risk. I've been where you're at and successfully navigated my way around. I've personally raised Family & Friends money several times and will tell you that it's your relationship and reputation that's riding on that investment so be very careful with that raise and setting expectations.
I did sense that you're not confident about your idea's success or at least you didm;t sound like when you said - "Since I've been down that road before I know it might be easier to raise now, with a much lower valuation of course, than later, when the product's ready and then I'll be expected to show traction before raising." Well yes, so are you not sure that when the product is ready there wouldn't be enough users/ traction? And if not, what's the point of developing something you're not confident about? Also, 20K will only go so far so you will have to raise several rounds even after the product is developed with original 20K and the same question of traction will be raised anyhow.
Happy to help with ideas on bootstrapping, finding co-founders, outsourcing the development, or any follow up questions you may have, etc over a call.
Ask is important. Always reach out to people who you believe could be great mentors to you and be specific in your ask for example, don't just ask "please be my Mentor" be more specific then that as to what help you are looking for, expectations, time commitments etc.
There are specific organizations who you can reach out for a Mentor match as well, for example, if you're a young entrepreneur in Canada, you could reach out to CYBF Canadian Youth Business Foundation www.cybf.ca or in US you could go for SCORE http://www.score.org/mentors and many more.
Hi there, great question and one that gets asked around a lot. From 2009 till end of 2012 I wrote extensively about this and interviewed several dozens of people from single moms to busy middle aged executives and from high school drop outs to PhDs, who have made this employee to entrepreneur transition. 2013 I got distracted and couldn't do much writing & interviewing but in 2014 I already have over a dozen entrepreneurs interviewed and we will be featuring from March on. Check out - www.BreakingThe9to5Jail.com
My best tip for transition having gone through it myself is - be prepared for a lot of unlearning and relearning. What we do and how things work in a corporate or a freelance setting is totally different from what you'll be doing and how everything works in a startup. There's no more "that's the way it's always been done" or a structure/system and you have to figure out almost everything from scratch. Feel free to use this tip or reach out for a comment/tip specific to your article's angle.
I believe you can build several products around that niche and sell, like ebooks, accountability programs, coaching etc and use the psychological aspect as the axis around which you create the content to promote those products... so may be a blog which consistently educates and inspires on such topics but also has some info products and coaching etc for those who need more support. Otherwise building a membership site only on the content is a bit tough now a days because some super good quality content is available on almost any topic for free or almost free.
On that note, I used to blog on somewhat related topic almost daily and have not done so for over a year and still get a few sales every week on the book I have on that blog. If you'd like to chat more about how I built it and market it on a shoestring budget, I'd be happy to help.