Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Business Plan Questions I've Been Asked, part 1 0

I moderate the "Ask the Experts" function at www.bplans.com. I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve always been tempted to share some of the more bizarre, funny, and maybe even interesting questions.

Before I go on, one word of warning: I don’t mean to make fun of anybody working in a second language.  I was an expat living in Mexico and dealing with Spanish for 9 years, I really don’t mean to make fun of people just not speaking or writing English well, and I won’t, unless it’s by accident.

For example, the following is a question I received today:

"I and My sister wants obtain a loan from bank,we are planing to work from home and we need to produce a plan to summit to the bank.Pls help us out."

I hope that’s a second-language problem, and that the person asking that question isn’t writing in native English.  If they are in their second language, I say good for them, they made themselves understood. I just hope they aren’t going to write that plan in English.

Then there’s the following question, which is word for word what I received in email:

"What business should I start?  Will I be successful?  How much will it cost?"

How would you answer that one.

And another whole category of favorites that come straight from the essay questions in the take-home test, or maybe the homework, of students.  For example:

"Is starting you own business better than buying a business to own and operate? Why and why not? Name at least 3 advantages of each, and explain in detail."

Yeah, right.  Sure, I’ll do your homework for you.

So I’ve decided to start collecting.  This is my first installment.