Free downloadable one-page business plan template

By Samantha Garner | October 12, 2019

free business plan template

A business plan is the design and construction plan for a great small business. If you wanted to build a house, you wouldn’t walk over to an empty lot and just start nailing boards together. You’d follow a blueprint that tells everyone what the finished product should look like and how to build the home. Essentially, a business plan serves the same purpose.

What does a business plan contain?

A business plan contains sections such as: Marketing Plan, Startup Expenses and Capitalization, Management and Organization, Products and Services, and Operational Plan.

A business plan is usually developed around the answers to three common questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How are we going to get there?

And is usually written for one or more of these five reasons:

  • To test the feasibility of your business idea and work out any bugs on paper first.
  • To develop strategies ahead of time for marketing, finance, operation and human resources, instead of when you’re in the fast-paced start-up stage.
  • To get funding, such as a bank loan.
  • To attract investors.
  • To have a roadmap to follow for at least the first year in business.

Download our free business plan template

A great deal of time and effort should be spent planning before your new company’s products and services ever reach the market. You need a good foundation and planning before you invest all your time and money.

To get started, check out our free One-Page Business Plan – happy planning!

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How can you find a great location for your business?

By Samantha Garner | October 5, 2019

small-business-locationFinding the best location for your small business is a very important task, and there are a lot of things that go into it. From accessibility, to nearby competition, to parking, and more – your location can and will impact your daily business life.

Free downloadable location checklist

To help you organize your search and narrow it down to the best options, we’ve created two free guides: The Location Checklist and the Location Analysis Grid. You can use these two free PDF documents to help you track location questions such as:

  • Does the location’s layout fit my requirements?
  • How much will it cost, and how long will it take, to get my internet and phone up and running?
  • What will my insurance cost at this type of location?
  • What lifestyle factors, schools, and community activities are present?
  • Later on, will this location be able to accommodate growth of my business?

These questions just scratch the surface of what goes into choosing the best location. Download our free Location Checklist and Location Analysis Grid for an organized, prioritized location search for your small business.

Have fun!

 

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Creativity and entrepreneurship

By Samantha Garner | September 28, 2019

Creativity and entrepreneurship

When you think of creativity, do you think of artists or musicians or writers?

It’s true that people following artistic pursuits are creative – but every entrepreneur can be creative too!

Creativity and entrepreneurship

At GoForth, we define creativity as the ability to view the world in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated things, and to find solutions.

Creativity can be expressed as combining ideas or concepts to discover unique or new connections. It means merging previously discrete ideas, concepts or forms of thought, and coming up with something new.

Why is creativity important for entrepreneurs?

Let’s look at a couple of entrepreneurs who used creativity to change the world as they knew it.

In 1941 engineer George de Mestral returned from a hunting trip with his dog. He noticed the burrs that kept sticking to his clothes and his dog’s fur. Like a good engineer, he examined these burrs under a microscope. When he saw the hundreds of “hooks” that caught on anything with a loop, such as animal fur, he became inspired. He saw the possibility of binding two materials reversibly in a simple fashion. Velcro was born from the application of this concept in a new way.

In 1974, Art Fry was in church when he came up with the perfect use for a friend’s new adhesive. Fry sang in his church choir, using slips of paper to mark the pages of his hymnal. But when the book was opened these bookmarks often moved around or slipped out. One day, it occurred to him that his friend’s adhesive could be a great bookmark. If it could be coated on paper, it could hold a piece of paper in place without damaging the surface. And Post-It Notes were born!

Both inventors in these examples merged previously distinct forms to create a new combinations which had tremendous commercial application — they used their creativity to see everyday things in new and useful ways. 

Want to learn how to be more creative? Check out our blog post with ways to kick-start creativity.

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Small business blog posts we liked this week

By Samantha Garner | September 21, 2019

Whether you’re considering a new retail space or brushing up on your presentation skills, here are some small business articles we’ve enjoyed this week. Let us know if you’ve read anything good lately!

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The different types of small business insurance

By Samantha Garner | September 14, 2019

business trends

Do you have insurance for your small business? If not, we strongly recommend that you do. After all, you don’t want all your hard work to be ruined by fire, theft, or other types of risk.

So what type of insurance does your small business need? Here are three basic kinds of insurance that we believe every business needs to have:

  • Fire Insurance — This covers for any damage caused by fires. You should also look at coverage for storms, smoke damage, floods or any other disasters.
  • Theft Insurance/Burglary Protection — No matter what type of business it is that you run, you need to cover yourself from theft.
  • Liability Insurance — Should be obtained to cover your business for any type of injury sustained by anyone while on your premises.

Once you’ve got those bases covered, you may want to investigate other types of insurance for companies in more specific industries or situations. Review these carefully, and identify which could possibly be a concern for your business:

  • General Liability Insurance — Covers your business’ assets if your company is sued due to injury or property damage.
  • Professional Liability Insurance — Important for those providing a service like consulting or coaching.
  • Product Liability Coverage — Important if you’re starting a food-related business.
  • Health Insurance — May be necessary if you’re not covered by a spouse’s plan.
  • Surety Insurance — Provides surety companies with 100% reinsurance capacity.
  • Fidelity Insurance — Protects from loss of securities, money or inventory resulting from crime.
  • Dishonesty Insurance — This will cover thefts that might occur by employees of your business. You should discuss insurance requirements for your business with a qualified and experienced insurance agent.
  • Crime Insurance — Covers money losses due to counterfeit money orders or paper currency, credit card fraud, forgery or employee breach of trust.
  • Business Interruption or Loss of Income Insurance — Protects you from any losses due to a temporary interruption or shutdown of the business.
  • Business Travel Insurance — Can cover medical expenses during travel, trip interruption/after departure insurance, flight and travel accident insurance, as well as baggage and personal effects insurance.
  • Business Premises Insurance — Covers for damage from a variety of causes to your business premises.
  • Credit Insurance/Accounts Receivable Insurance — Protects against the non-payment of outstanding accounts receivable balances, and losses from currency inconvertibility or transfer risk.
  • Business-use Vehicle Insurance — Covers motor vehicle accidents involving any company vehicles.
  • Disability or Accident and Sickness Insurance — Covers disability, accidents or sicknesses of company employees or owners.
  • Workers’ Compensation — Required if you have employees or contracted workers.
  • Key Person Insurance — Required if there’s a key person or people within your business. The insurance is used to help cover the replacement of knowledge and expertise of the key person/people in the event of death. This allows the company to keep running and avoid dissolution.
  • Partnership Insurance — Required in the case of a partnership to protect partners from the demise of another partner.
  • Identity Theft — In order to protect yourself and your business from identity theft.
  • E-commerce Fraud — Necessary for companies that do business online. Includes protection over spammers, websites being hacked and online service functionality.

With these types of business insurance, you can rest easier knowing that you’ll be protected!

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