Posts in Business Plan

Great Ideas for 2018 – A Resolution Revolution

December 19th, 2017 Posted by Behavior, Blog Post, Business Plan, Entrepreneur, Goal, Inspiration, Strategic Planning 0 thoughts on “Great Ideas for 2018 – A Resolution Revolution”

Let’s make 2018 the year of the resolution revolution. No more empty promises that fizzle out within the first 2 to 6 weeks. Let’s get serious this time.

An article at The Balance entitled Top New Year’s Resolutions for Business Success has some easy, actionable ideas that we really like a lot, particularly:

  • Make business planning a weekly event
  • Set realistic goals
  • Join a new business organization or networking group
  • Give something back to your community

Of course we like them because they are essentially some of the basic premises on which Plan Canvas is built. Let’s take a look at them a little more closely.

Resolution 1 – Business planning as a weekly event

Honestly, as much as we love business planning, doing it weekly may be a bit of an over-reach. But there are some things relative to the business plan that really should be done weekly. Namely:

  • Review progress against both the strategic and the business plan on a weekly basis. Note, some objectives may only require monthly or quarterly progress checks.
  • Review progress against assigned action items, internal initiatives, and client projects.

Whatever you do, do not write a business plan that is never referred to, tracked against, or updated. Otherwise, you are missing out on the primary benefits of strategically managing a plan – greater results.

Resolution 2 – Set realistic goals

Again, if we are being completely honest, we are OK with setting goals that might seem a little “out there.” Goals should be big, lofty things. Add a dose of reality but think and dream big when setting goals.

Now objectives are another story. Objectives let you know how you are progressing toward goals. One objective may support many goals and one goal is likely to be supported by many objectives. By nature, objectives should be realistic.

In fact that is one of 5 characteristics of a well defined SMART objective:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Achievable
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time-bound

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Resolution 3 – Join a new business organization or networking group

There are two primary types of groups we highly encourage you to join. One is a business networking group. The other is a peer mastermind group.

Networking groups are focused on growing your business through referrals. In these types of groups you get to know others on a more personal level, building relationships to the point that you mutually, genuinely refer each others’ business, products or services to others – key because it is also your reputation on the line when you refer others to people in your own network.

Peer mastermind groups, are not networking groups at all. They are work groups designed to help members resolve business and personal issues that affect the business. A well run mastermind group “rolls up the sleeves and gets to work.” It is not about socializing over cocktails and business referrals.

Resolution 4 – Give something back to your community

We saved the best for last. Giving back through your business is called “Corporate Social Responsibility” or CSR. Formally defining a CSR program for your business, no matter what size, actually increases your odds of success.

We call it setting value-based goals as opposed to profit-driven goals. When you focus CSR goals, then employee goals, then customer goals, your profit goals will naturally follow and you will feel much more fulfilled.

Resolution 5 – Be intentional in 2018

The year 2018. Here it comes. What will you do? Will you wait and see what happens, or will you intentionally lay out a plan and go after it?

What is SEM – Strategic Execution Management?

December 12th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business is ART, Business Plan, Objective, Strategic Planning, Strategy, Vision 1 thought on “What is SEM – Strategic Execution Management?”

As we prepared to launch Plan Canvas, a bootstrapped passion project led by subject matter and technical experts, none of who had a clue about marketing and public relations, we began thinking about how to truly position ourselves in the market.

Plan Canvas’ origins are in the book Business is ART (Articulate, Revise, Track), which makes it clear that there is a distinction between strategic planning and strategic management.

See related post 2 Main Phases of Business – Planning it and Running it.

How to differentiate

So, from the start, Plan Canvas has never been about “develop a one-and-done business plan” even though the prevailing sentiment erroneously assumes that is exactly all a business plan is – one-and-done. Instead, Plan Canvas has always been about executing to and revising the plan as you move along. That is where the real benefit of planning is realized.

So rather than being a simpler business planning tool in a saturated market, we knew we had to position ourselves differently because we are genuinely different.

As an unknown startup with limited means to reach large numbers of potential customers, we were excited (and somewhat shocked) to accept an invitation to meet with representatives from technology research firm Gartner, who had come across Plan Canvas through our humble and limited content marketing efforts.

Should Gartner decide at some point to review Plan Canvas in greater detail, it would be a tremendous honor because Gartner is a major influencer.

A Eureka Moment

In the meantime, they provided us with the perfect answer to our question – how do we position ourselves in the market?

The answer is that Plan Canvas fits into an emerging market of Strategic Execution Management, or SEM, tools. At a very high level you can think of SEM as the bringing together of business/strategic planning and project portfolio management (PPM) – with a focus on communication and the achievement of measurable results.

From Gartner’s perspective, SEM tools support the process of ART-ful strategy execution in several ways, including, but not limited to:

  • Visualizing the organization’s strategies, goals, missions, objectives, plans, projects, etc – Articulate
  • Prioritizing any continuing, upcoming and in-flight investments relative to strategies – Articulate, Revise
  • Continuous planning and project investments – Articulate, Revise
  • Capturing actual metrics – Track

Plan Canvas does this and more, including the additional elements of Gartner’s definition of SEM.

We’re getting there

And so we carry on with our journey to put Plan Canvas in the hands of those who stand to benefit from its use – but now with a renewed sense of who we truly are.

Step 1: Build and validate the product – CHECK!

Step 2: Determine the market position – CHECK!

Step 3: Determine appropriate market messaging and introductions to influencers – WORKING ON IT!

2 Main Phases of Business – Planning It and Running It

December 5th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business Plan, Objective, Strategic Planning, Strategy, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “2 Main Phases of Business – Planning It and Running It”

There are two major phases to starting and maintaining any business or organization: planning it and running it. We refer to this as strategic planning and strategic management, and actually break things down a little further.

Strategic Planning is the formal development of plans (vision, goals, objectives, initiatives and action items). It includes:

  • Analysis & Assessment
  • Strategy Formulation & Documentation

Strategic Management is the on-going running of the business based on those plans. It includes:

  • Strategic Execution
  • Sustainment Management

“Planning” Isn’t “Set It and Forget It”

A common mistake made by entrepreneurs, owners and leaders is that planning is a one-time event, relatively unrelated to running the business. The American Management Association (AMA) reports that more than 60% of strategies are not implemented. That is particularly a disturbing stat when you consider a 2015 survey by Wells Fargo that found an even greater percentage of small businesses never develop strategies in the first place.

Meanwhile, a report by Cognizant states that organizations that don’t focus on strategic execution “are at risk of wasting 14 times more money” than those who put an emphasis on strategic execution.

An Unofficial Recognition

The Plan Canvas team recently spoke with representatives from the technology research firm Gartner, who informally stated that they see Plan Canvas as a Strategic Execution Management software (SEM).

This was music to our ears because since its inception, that is how we have viewed Plan Canvas. Yes, you can produce strategic plans, business plans, and personal plans from Plan Canvas, but, more importantly, you can strategically manage with it.

In fact, of the 8 major characteristics of an SEM solution, as defined by Gartner, Plan Canvas at least touches on all of them – some more deeply than others, but all are addressed.

This is a very important distinction for both the Plan Canvas team and the Plan Canvas user.

Contact us for a free 30-day trial of Plan Canvas.

We cover all phases

See a list of Plan Canvas features and an 8-minute demo

Learn more…

A Damn Fine Design Studio

November 15th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business is ART, Business Plan, Inspiration, Subscriber of the Month 0 thoughts on “A Damn Fine Design Studio”

Our featured subscriber of the month is FRW Studios and its founders/owners Julie and Lance White.

As their tagline states, FRW is “a damn fine design studio” based out of Dana Point, CA. FRW offers efficient, creative, lasting solutions for all of one’s marketing and advertising needs. Their primary customer is marketing departments that want to save costs on extra employees.

Julie and Lance have years of experience in the services that FRW provides, but FRW is itself a start-up, less than a year old. And although Plan Canvas is less than 3 months old, Lance is not new to the processes and templates of the Plan Canvas software.

Before launching FRW Studios with his wife, Julie, Lance managed an automobile dealership. When the automaker demanded a business plan or risk losing the dealership, Lance employed the practices defined in Business is ART, the book by Plan Canvas founder Jon Umstead upon which the software is built.

The automaker accepted the resulting plan, and within the first month of executing to it, Lance’s team met its monthly targets for the first time in over a year.

“When he told me that,” reflected Jon, “I said it was merely a coincidence. You don’t typically see results that fast.”

But Lance disagreed, saying it was absolutely no coincidence at all. He said the difference was that, with the plan, he and his team were better focused on what they had to achieve.

Want to try Plan Canvas but think you may need the assistance of a consultant?

We have you covered.

Sometimes you just need a little help or a little push to get started. We have an option for a minimal engagement with a consultant to help you do just that.

Learn More…

And that’s the real value of a plan

Lance could have simply developed a plan to satisfy the automaker, then throw the plan away, as is often the case – use the plan to satisfy the wants/needs of some third-party, for whatever purpose, then discard it. But he gained even more value out of it by managing the plan well after the automaker was satisfied with the sheer existence of one.

Having had that positive experience, when the time came to define their new business, FRW Studios, Lance and Julie became early adopters of Plan Canvas, first as beta test users, and now as users of the production software.

“Right away we were able to see what was going to be the most important aspects of our design firm”

According to Lance, “Right away we were able to see what was going to be the most important aspects of our design firm in order to succeed. As a living document, our business plan has changed, but we’re focusing on the right aspects of our business.“

Julie and Lance feel that a major difference between how things are now, using the tool, versus how they would have been had they not used it, is in measuring and seeing success.

“It feels so good to be farther along than the original goals in our mind, plus we were able to see certain positions we planned to hire weren’t needed quite yet.”

These are real, measurable outcomes.

The future is bright

In three years, Julie and Lance see FRW Studios as one of Orange County California’s highest-rated design firms, with their current clients not just still with them, but true advocates for FRW.

Julie and Lance are passionate about FRW Studios. It is their startup baby – they birthed together- and it is named after their children, Frances and Reagan White (FRW).

Lance says, “My wife and I started our firm for their future. And when you love your work like we do, it passes off to your personal life.”

We hope Plan Canvas is along for every step of the ride and are proud to be associated with Julie, Lance and FRW Studios – a damn fine design studio and a damn fine couple of entrepreneurs.

Please click here for a list of some of the features and a demo of Plan Canvas.

When Should You Plan to Access Capital?

July 24th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business Plan 0 thoughts on “When Should You Plan to Access Capital?”

access to capitalSometimes, you need access to capital – a cash infusion to make your dream a reality. Hard work isn’t always enough. Don’t let that prospect scare you because there are options. It is up to you how well you prepare for them.

Micah Dickson, Small Business Community Lender with Fifth Third Bank was a recent guest on the Business is ART podcast entitled “Access to Capital.” We talked about a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to seeking funding for your business or startup.

Some of the highlights from that episode are summarized here. You can listen to the show in its entirety on iTunes, through the TrueChat app or at the Business is ART page on the TrueChat website.

What are some capital funding options?

There are a variety of sources to which you might turn for a cash infusion, including:

  • Your bank account, retirement account, and other assets
  • Your friends and family

If you are like many entrepreneurs and business owners, you will likely exhaust those options first. But then what? Again there are multiple options, including:

  • Crowd Funding
  • Crowd Lending
  • Commercial/Small Business Loan
  • Private Equity Investor (PE)
  • Venture Capital Investor (VC)

Crowd Funding and Crowd lending can be very effective. Within the parameters of the Crowd Funding or Lending service provider, you can define what donors and lenders receive in exchange for providing you with cash.

But just like selling your products, there is a huge marketing and PR game you have to play in order to attract people and entice them to give, which can be a downside.

What is the least expensive kind of traditional external capital?

Of the three traditional forms of external funding (bank loan, PE and VC), the loan is the least expensive option.

Some may mistakenly believe that PE and VC options represent “free money.” Not true. VC and PE options may very well be the best options for you and your business, but they come at a price.

Typically, that price comes in two forms: control and ownership. When a VC or a PE gets involved, they typically will take some control of the business direction. They are investing in you as well as the business, so they aren’t likely to take total control, but they will at least influence direction. That theoretically is a good thing, unless you insist on total control.

The PE and VC also take some percentage of ownership, so you will no longer own the entire business. They are going to want their money back, plus a significant chunk of cash on top. That may come from selling the business, selling their share of the business, or receiving significant portions of the revenue or profits generated from the business. At the end of the day, this can be very expensive to you.

The bank, on the other hand, wants one thing: to be paid back with interest. That’s it. You maintain 100% of ownership and control.

The downside is that there may be more hurdles to accessing capital through a bank because a bank wants to be very sure it is going to get its money back. The bank wants as close to a sure thing as possible, so it is going to scrutinize more deeply and look for more existing capital and assets from your business and from you personally.

A PE or VC, on the other hand, is placing more of a bet. They know not all of their bets will pay off, which is a primary reason they demand so much more in terms of control, equity, and payback.

When should you start planning to access external capital?

Before you need it.

Assume that at some point you will need access to capital, even if you never will or think you never will. Then prepare for it by doing the following:

  • Take care of your personal credit – it will matter
  • Prepare and maintain a business plan – it will be required
  • Create a team of trusted advisors, then seek their on-going advice – accountant/financial advisor, attorney, insurance agent, business consultant/coach, advisory board

If you do these things, not only will your business run more smoothly and successfully, you will be better prepared – by far – should the time come to seek a cash infusion.

Did the Plan Fail, or Did You Fail Your People?

June 29th, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business Plan, Leadership 0 thoughts on “Did the Plan Fail, or Did You Fail Your People?”

Photo courtesy

You have great people. You have a great product and service. You have a plan, and, man, is it a good one.

And then…crickets! Nothing. Nada. Zilch. What happened? It could be any number of things.

One of them could be you, or more specifically, your leadership. Did you fail your people?

An unscientific experiment

I once conducted an unscientific experiment in a LinkedIn group for leaders. I made it clear, up-front, that in a hypothetical situation, assume that the hypothetical plan was brilliant, but the results were below expectations. I then asked how to influence and improve the team’s behavior in order to get the desired results.

Most of the respondents started with something like, “Obviously the plan was not brilliant…” then went on to talk about how to develop a brilliant plan. Some kindly offered their services to help me get my plan in order – for a fee.

Only one respondent, who identified himself as a retired military general, understood the true question and answered accordingly.

Again, there are many variables, but, often, what it comes down to is leadership.

It’s still a good read

A few years ago I read a book entitled Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud. The very first chapter is called “The People are the Plan.” It’s a simple concept. A lot of leaders say it (or something like it). A lot of them don’t mean it (or know what it means).

As Dr. Cloud states, there is rarely, if ever, one “right” way to do something. There are usually several “right” ways to do something. Several ways that will/can work, and as the leader, the job is to own the vision, set the path, and get the job done “through people doing what it takes to make it happen.” Whichever “right” way you have selected.

3 pillars of behavior management

We  often talk about how the consumers of today don’t just want a great product or service, they want a great experience. The same is true of employees. If they have a great employment experience, the plan is much more likely to succeed.

In my book, Business is ART, I define 3 areas a leader should focus on in order to drive the kind of team behaviors necessary for accomplishing the goals and objectives set out in the plan. I call these the 3 pillars of behavior management and they are as follows:

  1. Desire – What does the employee or team member desire?
  2. Emotion – What gets the employee or team member to feel a positive emotion about whatever it is you hope to accomplish?
  3. Knowledge – What does the employee or team member know (about the goals, objectives, themselves, other team members…and the leader)

Focus on these 3 pillars ==> Create a great experience ==> Improve the odds of success

Modern Business Failure Part 2 –

May 2nd, 2017 Posted by Blog Post, Business is ART, Business Plan, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Modern Business Failure Part 2 –”
Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

“Failure” is an ugly word. Some say there is no such thing as long as you are learning and applying that knowledge to your next attempt. Let’s just assume for a moment that failure is real, and is indeed an option.

As an entrepreneur, failure is something you’ll have to come to terms with. You will have failures as you try to build a business.

Even as you succeed, the possibility for failure is always there. In fact, sometimes a surge of success can actually end in failure.

A few weeks ago, we talked about once successful businesses that slowly died out and shut down altogether. Today, we’re going to focus on one specific company that fell almost as quickly as it rose.

The Brief Success of is often the poster child of the dot-com bubble burst – and with good reason. They received huge amounts of capital investment before actually achieving anything, they became a nationally known brand through a wildly successful marketing campaign, and then they imploded almost immediately after.

Looks good….wait a minute

Before things came to a terrible end, however, it looked as though they might be the last big internet company to come out of the 90’s. Like so many early internet companies, their concept was simple: sell pet food, supplies, and accessories online. The pet supply industry was valued at $23 billion at the time, and little to none of that was being moved through the internet.

With such a simple, powerful domain, success seemed all but guaranteed. Especially once their advertising kicked in. The sock puppet mascot became a nationally recognized icon almost immediately.

Whether you loved him or hated him, you knew him. After all, he appeared on Good Morning America, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, a Super Bowl Commercial, and as a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the span of months.

All this marketing was funded by venture capital money, as well as Amazon, who bought half of the company’s shares very early on. While Amazon wasn’t quite what is today in the late 90’s, it was still a pretty big deal.

When went public, it closed at an $82 million IPO. Soon, they were employing 320 people.

So what happened? was all basic idea and no actual execution, research, or planning. The company started when a Harvard business student convinced the guy who owned the domain to use it for selling pet supplies.

That was the entire vision, and it was enough to convince investors to buy in.

Before they had any plans on how to scale to being a nationwide distributor, had embarked on an $11 million marketing campaign. Trouble was, they were losing money on every sale they made, even before advertising was taken into account.

A lot of issues stemmed from the fact that they did almost zero market research beforehand, so they had no idea what consumers’ spending habits would be. It turned out, many people weren’t ready to buy pet supplies online, and those who were bought small quantities of simple products with poor profit margins.

These types of orders actually hurt’s finances.

They attempted to incentivize additional purchases by offering things like free shipping, but as you may know, pet food isn’t known for being light weight. Their expenses increased.

Meanwhile, they were investing heavy amounts of money in expanding infrastructure, servers, engineers, and more to handle their growth and expansion. This was before pre-built ecommerce solutions existed. There was no cloud computing. Software hadn’t been designed to connect websites with warehouse inventory.

They had to try and do it all themselves, which led to additional errors, delays, and worst of all, further loses. was this hugely recognized brand that no one actually used.

Realizing they weren’t going to be able to make it work, made one of their smarter decisions and liquidated their assets. This happened less than 300 days after going public.

While a fair share of money was lost, it’s worth noting that did get some money back to their investors after their liquidation. PetSmart bought their domain (and they still have it), while a car financing company bought the sock puppet mascot for $125,000. Yep, that actually happened.

What Business Owners Can Learn from This

While is often used as a cautionary tale about investing in unproven startups, I think there’s a more important lesson here. Simply put, they didn’t plan. They didn’t strategize. They didn’t research.

They tried to skip over the first, and arguably most crucial part of starting a business, and it ended up being their death sentence. A business needs more than a hot idea and some money.

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Business Planning is Over My Head – Or is It?

March 31st, 2017 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Entrepreneur 0 thoughts on “Business Planning is Over My Head – Or is It?”
This post was provided by guest blogger, Lindsey Evans, of 16th Floor Media. Find Lindsey on Facebook @16thFloor

Lindsey Evans – 16th Floor Media

When Jon told me that he was creating a business planning software, I have to admit I was skeptical. I’ve tried business planning before and it’s over my head.

I work in creative services and the mention of math in any form tends to turn me away. However, I agreed to try the Beta test version of Plan Canvas, the business planning tool based on Jon’s book, Business is ART. I am extremely glad that I did.

It all becomes clear with planning

I have been a solopreneur for a year and a half since I left my salary position. My goal for about 6 months was to hire an additional worker to take away my day-to-day workload and focus on the larger tasks. In the limited amount of time I’ve been able to dedicate to Plan Canvas in the last 2 months, it became apparent my hiring decision couldn’t wait.
Once I saw the numbers in black and white it jumped right out at me, ” What are you waiting for?”
I can proudly say I have added to my team! Not only is my workload lessened, but my client base has expanded!

Do it

I would recommend Plan Canvas to any business owner who thinks they “don’t need to formally plan anything.” Jon has thought two steps ahead with this software.
The beta test team is currently working with over 35 businesses and entrepreneurs across all types of industries! Start-ups and existing businesses, first-time business owners and seasoned pros – all part of the beta test!

Without hundreds of templates, it works for any type of business

Exactly what types of industries and professionals are currently using Plan Canvas?

Take a look!

  • eMail Marketing Consultant
  • Web Design
  • Architecture
  • Executive Coaching
  • Software / Consulting
  • Graphic Design Consultant
  • Graphic Design Consultant
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Property Management Consulting
  • Restoration
  • Startup Coach
  • Non-Profit Exec Director
  • Leadership Consulting
  • Web Design
  • Business Consultant
  • Craft Beer
  • Insurance Agent
  • Video Marketing
  • Painter (exterior/interior)
  • Chiropractor
  • Graphic Design
  • Entrepreneur – Restaurant Owner
  • CPA
  • Coffee Shop Owner
  • Retail Buyer
  • Baker
  • Blogger
  • College Professor
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Startup entrepreneur / former banker
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Advisor
  • Baked Goods & Specialty Candy
  • University Entrepreneur Club Leader
  • Computer Services

If it works for me, it will work for anyone. Go to the Plan Canvas Facebook page to keep up with how the beta is going and more.


Starting a Business – It’s Kind of Like Writing a Book

February 22nd, 2017 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan 0 thoughts on “Starting a Business – It’s Kind of Like Writing a Book”

Drawing a blank

Depending on what survey you follow, 80-90% of Americans say they’d like to write a book someday. That’s not to say they will. Most won’t even start one. Why?

Because writing a book is hard. Trust me, I’ve done it. It takes considerable time and commitment and there’s no guarantee for success should you finish it.

(see Urbana Citizen Article Growing ‘Business is ART’ Brand)

In many ways, it’s not so different from starting a business (something I’m also familiar with). Much like book writing, many people want to start their own business – over half of the US population, in fact. And just like with book writing, most of those people won’t try.

“Where do I even begin?” they think.

Whether you’re starting a business or writing a book, it starts with the same thing:

An Idea

Many people simply like the idea of creating something. The trouble is, they don’t have a viable idea to work off of. You can’t create a book or a business without some sort of concept or starting point.

If you want to write a story, this idea could be a single scene that you can build off of. Did you know that James Cameron created the Terminator franchise after having a nightmare of a metal skull surrounded by fire?

For a business, it could start with simply fulfilling a need in your own life. Airbnb was started because the founder was struggling to pay his housing bills, so he began renting out part of his home.

Both of these simple ideas went on to make billions of dollars.

Of course, this is just step one. Once you have an idea, you can start planning things out.

The Outline

Even if a would-be writer gets around to writing a book, there’s a good chance they won’t finish. They get a few pages in. Maybe a few chapters. And then they get stuck. They’re lost, with no visible way of continuing their story.

Or they simply lose their passion. And then, everything falls apart.

The same is true for people who start a business. They have their idea, they get a name, they get things rolling, and then it all unravels. There’s a key element missing here.

A Plan

Whether you’re starting a business or writing a book, you need a plan. Book writers will create an outline. They may even map out key characters and write backstories for them. This gives you a plan to follow and helps you realize parts that don’t work in your initial idea.

A business plan does the same thing. It turns your initial spark of inspiration into a workable process. It gives you an end goal to work towards.

Some writers may succeed without an outline. And some businesses might squeeze by without a formal plan. But the majority don’t. Increase your chances of success. Have a plan.

Revisions. Revisions. Revisions.

Once you’ve finished writing your book, you might feel like the battle is over. You’re wrong. Now begins the revision process. It’s time to comb through and delete as much as you can. Any part of the story that’s not working, any word that’s unnecessary, any typo that you’ve made, all of it needs to go.

If it’s not necessary in the grand picture, cut it out.

The same goes for your business. You may have big dreams and grand plans for your business. But to get things going, you’ll want to trim that down to the most basic, workable form. A minimum viable product, as it’s called.

This is your starting point.

The Launch

For both books and businesses, the launch is a big deal. You want as much momentum as possible. You need to make noise. After all, there’s a lot of competition out there. Finding your audience won’t be easy.

Work your connections. Promote yourself. Reach out to whoever will listen. Network. And don’t stop.

Now, this is the part where the book and the business get different. If you’ve put a book out there, it’s set in stone. You can’t revise and tweak and adjust as you learn from the market around you. For your business, however, the revisions continue.

You’re on a path of constant improvement.

Whether you’re just in the idea stage or your business is already out there and operating, I’d love to help you on your path. From simple business tips for success to full strategic planning, this website and my book Business is ART has the tools you need.

Learn more here.

Let’s Start a Movement in Business Success

January 17th, 2017 Posted by Business is ART, Business Plan, Strategy 0 thoughts on “Let’s Start a Movement in Business Success”

Business SuccessLet’s start a movement toward business success. Here is your opportunity to help yourself while helping others.

When I sat down to write Business is ART, the outline wasn’t even complete when it became clear it looked a lot like the high level requirements for a software.

As discussed in the January 5, 2017 blog post My Why – What’s Yours, my mission is to help others be successful. Doing the stuff Business is ART recommends can as much as double your odds of business success, so getting it right was priority number 1.

And it had to be simple.

The goal of Business is ART

The goal of Business is ART is to share lessons learned, particularly from my experience growing a business by more than 300%, and the process defined/followed that emerged from that experience – with a few after-the-fact tweaks.

But more than a story, it aims to leave readers with processes, suggestions and templates that can help them to feel less overwhelmed while increasing their odds of success.

What is ART?

“ART” is an acronym for “Articulate, Revise, and Track.” The book encourages the reader to articulate what it is they want, how they define success, and the actions they will take to achieve it. It encourages the reader to revise plans and actions along the way, adjusting for realities as or before they occur. Finally, it encourages the reader to track progress along the way, not the least of which is to provide better direction for making revisions.

But I don’t wanna!!! (Said with a whiney voice)

Doing this stuff is a little like going to the gym and eating a healthy diet. We know it’s good for us. We know we will feel better when we do it. We know if we do it we stand a better chance of living a longer, happier life.

But boy, oh boy. That couch sure looks good – and wouldn’t a pizza taste great right now?

So the challenge with Business is ART was to write it in a way that is interesting and enjoyable to the reader. It isn’t a rah-rah “be the best you that you know you are, you know?” kind of book that sells millions and fires people up about self-improvement – for a moment. It’s designed to be a learning tool, teaching readers something they can actually use to help themselves – for a lifetime.

We’re making it even easier for you

Since the book was written, a small team of us have been working on developing a software that allows the user to easily follow the Business is ART process. We are calling it “Plan Canvas”.

It has been an interesting journey and quite a challenge to remain focused on simplicity. We often catch ourselves saying, “You know what would be cool?” then stepping back, reminding ourselves that while whatever bell or whistle we just discussed would indeed be cool, it would also be unnecessary and potentially cumbersome.

As we’ve shown prototypes to industry experts, a common question begins with “Can it [fill in the blank]?”

Sometimes the answer is “Yes.” Sometimes “No, but it should/will.” Sometimes “No, and it never will.”

Often the suggestions are great and we work to implement them. But just as often, the suggestions are great and we have no intention of implementing them because they would move us toward a tool that, in trying to be everything to everyone, becomes burdensome and usable to few.

Test it before you let it go

We have now reached the point at which we have a small, controlled beta test user group – actual business owners – testing the tool and building their own plans within it. This is really where the rubber meets the road, as they say. This will be our first good indication as to whether we are on the right path or wasting our time.

Once this initial beta is complete, we will begin a second round of beta testing, beginning March 15, 2017, with a larger test group.

You are invited to join the movement

We are actively looking for participants in Beta Test 2.0 and can think of no one better than YOU to be a part of it. Please contact me through the CONTACT page, type “Plan Canvas Beta Test” in the subject line and we will get you signed up.

Join us. Improve your own odds of success while helping design a tool that many others can use to increase their odds of success. Let’s start a movement – together!

Plan Canvas is a community and a powerful software for improving your odds of business success and personal fulfillment.

© SeaSeven LLC 2017.
Developed with FRW Studios.