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Category: Business Plans

Stick with Your Concept but Do Your Homework

November 19, 2015 by Jimmy Lewin

Do Your Business Plan Research

A local restaurant owner stopped by the office last week. He has operated a neighborhood sushi restaurant for 5 years and decided that it is time to open a second location. We assumed that he meant that it was time to open a second location of his current concept but we were wrong. He wants to open a new concept. He mentioned that he was aware of a troubled restaurant in a good location and thought that he could buy the restaurant and then re-open in that space. He came [Read More]

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Your Business Model is the Foundation of Your Business Plan

September 24, 2015 by Shyam Jha

Business Model Foundation Business Plan

The report of the death of the business plan has been an exaggeration, to paraphrase Mark Twain. Yet, we often read opinions in popular business press that the business plan is no longer relevant. All you need is a business model, we are told by business gurus. While there is no consensus on the definition of a business model, most people use it as shorthand for the revenue model of a business; i.e. how does it make money. A business plan, on the other hand, must not only explain a [Read More]

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Is Your Concept Feasible?

January 9, 2015 by Akira Hirai

Test the feasibility of your concept

The start of a new year brings thoughts of new beginnings. For some of us, that might mean thoughts of turning our ideas into businesses. We’ve all had “Eureka!” moments when we come up with bright ideas for that proverbial better mousetrap. If only we could build it, the world would surely beat a path to our door to buy it. A sure thing! In reality, new businesses are never sure things. In fact, most business ventures fail. And that usually means entrepreneurs go through tremendous hardship with little to [Read More]

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Execution Makes a Good Restaurant (and its Business Plan) Great

October 27, 2014 by Jimmy Lewin

restaurant business planning

At Cayenne Consulting we’ve written dozens and dozens of business plans and created an equal number of financial forecasts for our restaurant and hospitality clients. For the most part, we can proudly claim that our clients love our work and, equally as important, our clients’ lenders and investors love our work as well. This success has caused us to sit back and wonder if there is really a differentiating factor between the way we develop business plans for this sector and the way other plans are written. In speaking with [Read More]

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Price Your Product to Capture the Value You Create

May 14, 2014 by Shyam Jha

value based pricing

Are you leaving money on the table by pricing products based on costs? According to Wharton marketing professors Jagmohan Raju and John Zhang, most companies either price their products and services based on their costs, or their competitors. They fail to capture the value they create for their customers. When asked how they set their prices, many executives throw their hands up the air and say, we don’t set the prices, markets do. They are wrong. Markets don’t set prices; marketers do. In their book titled Smart Pricing, Raju and [Read More]

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The Fallacy of First Mover Advantage

February 18, 2014 by Shyam Jha

The Fallacy of First Mover Advantage

“No one remembers the second man on the moon,” goes the marketing adage. “Or second to market.” Fans of Buzz Aldrin may disagree, but the fact remains that Neil Armstrong is the name that first comes to mind when thinking about the conquest of the moon. Being first to market is a much-hyped strategic advantage. Indeed, there are several cases of first mover advantage holders who created a new market space with a new product or service, and continued to dominate that segment. Think Ford in automobiles, Gillette in shaving, [Read More]

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The Business Plan as Guiding Light, Messenger, and Living Document

February 4, 2014 by Joan Morgen

The business plan as guiding light and messenger

You’ve developed a product, and have determined that there is a real market for it. That’s an important first step. Now, how are you going to move your product from the drawing board to the consumer? Like embarking on any other major change in life, you need a plan. Whether you’re a start-up or an established organization going through transition or transformation, the importance of a solid business plan cannot be overstated. The process of creating a business starts by formulating a five year business plan. Determining who you should [Read More]

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Financing Your Growth

December 20, 2013 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

financing your growth

Believe it or not, this post was inspired by a print advertisement for by BMO Harris Bank in a recent issue of Inc. Magazine. The ad was about “The Five Keys to Financing Growth.” It is an ad designed to promote the Bank’s small business banking products. The ad begins: “Every company should have a strategy in place to finance growth from day one, with at least a rough outline of how you intend to do that included in your business plan.” BMO quotes Patricia G. Greene, the Paul T. Babson Chair [Read More]

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What Not to Say to Investors

December 4, 2013 by Akira Hirai

What Not to Say to Investors

The world is full of advice for what to say and how to pitch to investors, but what about what not to say? Rookie entrepreneurs are often far too eager to try to impress investors, and end up saying things that set off alarm bells. Over the course of my consulting career, I’ve written a lot of successful business plans and spoken with countless entrepreneurs. After listening to so many pitches, I have identified some phrases you should never use with investors, either in conversation or in writing: “All we [Read More]

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The Management Bio: It’s All About You

April 16, 2013 by Jimmy Lewin and Akira Hirai

Management Bio All About You

Virtually every document we write requires a strong personal biography of each member of the client’s management team. The reason is that investors, bankers, and other interested stakeholders usually believe that the strength of the team is the most important factor in predicting the success of an enterprise. Yes, even more important than product or market. “A great team can fix a mediocre idea, but a mediocre team can’t execute a great idea,” as the saying goes. Not surprisingly, it is very difficult to write someone else’s bio simply because [Read More]

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