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About Dave Lavinsky

As President of Growthink, Dave Lavinsky has helped the company become one of the premier business plan development firms. Since its inception, Growthink has developed over 200 business plans. Growthink clients have collectively raised over $750 million in financing, launched numerous new product and service lines and gained competitive advantage and market share. Growthink has become the firm of choice for venture capital firms, angel investors, corporations and entrepreneurs in the know. For more information please visit http://www.growthink.com.
Incorporating Investor Feedback into Your Business Plan

Investors, like the rest of us, have different tastes. One investor may love a concept and/or business plan while the next may hate both. It is important to understand this as business plans are working documents and are always undergoing iterations.

Realism vs. Optimism in the Business Plan

The most important function of a business plan is to create interest among investors so that they write a check. In achieving this goal, business plan writers are often challenged by determining the proper level of optimism in their plan. That is, they must create a compelling story to investors while maintaining credibility.

Developing Realistic Financial Assumptions in Your Business Plan

Many investors skip straight to the financial section of the business plan. It is critical that the assumptions and projections in this section be realistic.

How to Size an Emerging Market in Your Business Plan

In developing their business plans, companies of all sizes face the challenge of determining the size of their markets.

Alternative Venture Finance: Federal Grants and Loans

While most companies seeking venture capital initially think about angel investors and venture capitalists, a large alternative source of financing is federal grants and loans.

Documenting Partnerships in Your Business Plan

Forging partnerships to improve market penetration has become commonplace, particularly for “new economy” businesses. And, most companies proudly mention their many partnerships in their business plans.

Raising Capital for Your Business How Long Does it Take?

Most companies vastly underestimate the time commitment necessary to successfully complete a financing.

Effectively Completing the Operations Plan Section of Your Business Plan

The Operations Plan is a critical component of any business plan as it presents the Company’s action plan for executing its vision.

The Marketing Plan and the Four Ps

The Marketing Plan section of the business plan demonstrates how a company will penetrate the market with its products and services. The Marketing Plan should include “the four P’s” – Product, Promotions, Price, and Place.

Documenting the Exit Strategy in Your Business Plan

All investors greatly desire and are motivated by a clear picture of a company’s exit strategy, or the timing and method through which they can “cash in” on their investment.

In Business Planning, Competition is Good
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When developing the competition section of your business plan, companies must define competition correctly, select the appropriate competitors to analyze, and explain its competitive advantages.

How to Use Graphs and Charts in Your Business Plan

Many people ask how many graphs or charts they should have in their business plans. As with most other business planning questions, the answer is “it depends.” This article discusses the key factors influencing the number of graphs and charts to include in your business plan.

Describing Intellectual Property in Your Business Plan

Most companies that are worthy of raising venture capital have proprietary Intellectual Property (IP). In fact, the quality of the IP and the management team are often the two most important aspects of a venture capitalist’s investment decision.

Two Types of Business Plan Executive Summaries

Companies seeking capital often ask how long the Executive Summary of their business plan should be. The answer depends upon the use of the summary, mainly determining if 1) it precedes the full business plan, or 2) it will be used as a stand-alone document.

The Ideal Length of Your Business Plan

How long should a business plan be? A business plan needs to be whatever length is required to excite the investor, prove that management truly understands the market, and detail the execution strategy.

Angel Investors: Who They Are & When Are They Appropriate

Angel investors are individuals who invest in emerging business ventures. Angels typically provide both capital and know-how to companies who are in either their start-up or expansion phases. To reflect the increased risk of investing in such firms, angels seek a higher rate of return versus traditional public stock investments.

Analyzing Customers in Your Business Plan

The Customer Analysis section of the business plan assesses the customer segments that the company serves.

Business Planning for College Students and First-Time Entrepreneurs

More and more students, both in undergraduate and graduate institutions, are deciding to launch their own ventures upon graduation rather than taking the traditional route of working for another firm. Likewise, more and more individuals are leaving their jobs to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams.

The Case for Overture to Enter the Mass Contextual Advertising Market

Contextual Advertising is, by definition, text-based advertising. As opposed to search engine results which show up when a user types in a specific request, contextual ads appear alongside text on all websites that opt to show them.

What to do When AdSense Serves the Wrong Ads

The most common frustrations among AdSense publishers are 1) Google serving inappropriate ads on their web pages, 2) low click-through rates and 3) low payouts per click.

Maximizing AdSense Revenues via Up-Selling

If you go into any Blockbuster Video store, you quickly notice the company’s use of a classic marketing technique – up-selling correlated products.