Your Startup Guru

Launch and Grow Your Business


business plan

Your Startup Guru Client – KiloNiner


KiloNiner is a fantastic company that specializes in military inspired vests and harnesses for xxsmall to medium sized dogs in addition to other accessories.

Your Startup Guru created a business plan which allowed them to secure funding to increase their inventory and expand their operations.

Bike shop Business Plan

Your Startup Guru helped the good folks at Ride On! Bike Co-Op with their business plan to present to investors.

Ride On! is a full-service bicycle shop and cooperative located in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.  Their goal is to introduce the cycling community to youth and other participants in and around Leimert Park.  They hope to teach a rewarding activity and lifestyle that is not readily accessible to the local community.   In addition to bicycle products and services, they offer free bike clinics to members and non-members of the cooperative.

Contact us today for help with your bike shop business plan.

Industrial Machine Servicer – Business Plan

Industrial Machine Servicer - Business Plan - titanium coating services

Titanium Coating Services is an industrial machine servicer in need of a business plan for their PVD operations. PVD (physical vapor deposition) which is a method used to deposit thin films of a material onto various surfaces.  PVD coating is used in machine components to reduce wear and friction on equipment.

We created a business plan complete with 5-year financial projections that were used to attract investment capital for Titanium Coating Services.

Contact us for help with your industrial/manufacturing business plan.

Cannabis Business Plan

Cannabis business plan client Latinos For Cannabis Tapas & Buds event

Latinos for Cannabis came to Your Startup Guru for help with their cannabis business plan.  The funding request would be used for growth, operational overhead, and raising awareness.

About Latinos for Cannabis

Latinos for Cannabis is a community-based organization that is committed to raising awareness of the social, economic, and medicinal benefits that Cannabis has to offer.

The goal of Latinos for Cannabis is economic, social, & political empowerment by demanding racial equity and accessibility to the cannabis industry.  As such, we offer three major service categories:

  • Civic Engagement & Education
    • Engage voters, public officials & community influencers – Organizing community town halls; lobbying and advocacy work to build community awareness.  Promote social responsibility through public education about medicine, nutrition, and the movement.
  • Industry Access
    • Promote growth & accessibility – Access to capital and business infrastructure support for new and existing industry members.  We will offer training and resources on how to start/operate a business.  Provide information on regulations, access to licenses, entry into the industry, market, and jobs through industry workshops.
  • Reparation & Social Justice
    • Maintain a level of accountability to Latino communities – We will monitor tax revenue of cannabis initiatives such as Prop. 64 and use grant capital to provide job training, record expungement, penalty reduction, drug treatment, and education, as well as immigration training and workshops to educate our community on the law and their rights.

Launch and Grow Your Business

Contact us for your cannabis business plan today.

Business PLAN vs. Business MODEL

Control Leave Mark Production Planning Marker Hand
Image courtesy of Max Pixel

Sometimes my clients ask for a business plan but aren’t yet seeking funding or aren’t beyond the ideation/conceptualization stage.  This is where a business model is helpful.

“I have an idea for a product/service.  How do I monetize?”

At this stage, you don’t need to exactly know the details of marketing strategy, distribution channels, location, etc. unless it is crucial to your business model.

At the ideation/conceptualization stage, you need to know who your market (i.e. customers) is, growth rate of the industry, who your competitors are, the major costs to bring your product/service to market, and any other major hurdles (e.g. regulatory) that might be a barrier to entry.  Business models are 30,000 foot views for seeing how the business will run: who the customers are, selling price of the product/service, who the competitors are, etc.

Business plans go further into depth than business models by including details of the operation, marketing, product/service, financial projections, investment ask, and other pertinent information specific to the industry/sector that your company will occupy.  A business plan can then be presented to investors and lenders to raise capital to launch the business.

Also, a business model should not be confused with revenue model.  Revenue model is a piece of the business model.  In other words, how the company generates revenue:  production, subscription, advertising, commission, etc.

No matter where you are at the business development process, contact us to help map out the strategy for your business launch.

Another happy client: Urban Innovation Group


Urban Innovation Group is a Californian development company that focuses on redevelopment and revitalization projections in under-developed neighborhoods.

I completed several business plans and financial analyses for their many projects that were used to attract syndicate investors.

Another happy client: BizBoards


Atlanta based, BizBoards improves the online marketplace for these key business activities by creating a simple affordable one-stop-shop.  As of now, customers are paying large fees to use an unattractive interface to find/advertise work, investments, business sales, and partnerships.  BizBoards streamlines this once difficult process with a sleek, effective, and powerful solution.

I prepared a business plan and pitch deck that allowed them to secure financing and attract team members for their launch.

The Lean Startup


Last week a client asked me about the Lean Startup. As a small independent baker, the Learn Startup methodology didn’t really meet his needs. Actually for many small businesses, they’re already utilizing some of the Lean Startup’s principles: split testing (e.g. which new cupcake idea is selling better), pivoting (e.g. advertise better selling new cupcake), build-measure-learn (e.g. ask customers what they like about each cupcake, why, etc. then adjust the recipe if needed).

The Learn Startup is more applicable to large/new & complex products and/or services. When you have hundreds of ideas, tweaks, iterations, it can very easy to get caught-up in the labyrinth of product/service development. Essentially, it comes down to starting with a minimum viable product (MVP), have users play around with it, gather data on (i.e. with actionable metrics, interviews, use studies, etc.), decide on which steps to go next. This measured, calculated, and insightful process prevents over-developed products/services that do not necessarily have a market/meed a need.

As mentioned, the Learn Startup method might not be useful for all entrepreneurs but if you are in the processes of developing a large/complex product or even a brand new/novel product, it might be worth your time to check out this book and install some informational gathering and pivoting processes to make sure that it closely meets a market need.

Another happy client: BizBoards

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BizBoards is a revolutionary way to sell your business, seek investment, and recruit talent.

I was happy to prepare a business plan and pitch deck for this exciting new company.

Sport Chalet is closing

Vestis Retail Group, the parent company of sports equipment and apparel stores Sport Chalet, Eastern Mountain Sports, and  Bob’s Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today.

I don’t have the financials for Bob’s Stores or Eastern Mountain Sports, but if the numbers for them looks like that of Sport Chalet, it looks like it’s another victim of passing trends and Amazon.  I wrote about the bankruptcy of Quiksilver and how it can save itself, and about Amazon‘s effect on Walmart.

sport chalet

Mountain sports presents another challenge above its sea-level cousin, surfing.  It costs a LOT more money to go skiing.  Skis, jacket, goggles, beanies, gas, food, etc.  The list goes on and on.  With the slow economic recovery putting Vestis’s holdings on a slower expansion pace, downsizing and keeping only strategic stores in wealthier markets would have slowed the cash flow hemorrhage.  Another factor unique to snow sports is the abnormally warm winters with little snowfall.  This climate factor greatly hurt sales.

Who knows what the boardroom meetings were like when CEO Mark Walsh, CFO Susan Riley, and others were meeting; nonetheless they should’ve listened to the decision-maker that had a closer eye on industry, market, and environmental trends.

In every business plan, I include industry and market analysis that covers the trends, threats, and emerging opportunities for every business.

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