Does earning a living give you time to do any living? Then you can determine where you get the biggest bang for your marketing buck. You ll also have to have a financial structure, including payables-and-receivables systems and financing, that will keep you from running out of cash even once. Outsourcing is a key strategy for startups.

Packaging is an important part of your product

Ross Winans, of Philadelphia, secured a business that netted him $100,000 a year simply through his politeness to two Russian agents, to whom others in the same trade had accorded scant courtesy. Conversely, high-priced products may appeal to many markets for their better-quality, high-end value. It's found at the bottom of your balance sheet or financial statement. Business plans have a lot of elements in common, such as cash-flow projections and marketing plans.

Location commonly determines success or failure

If they don't get the training and tools they need, they won't accept responsibility for the quality and productivity of the work they do and won't grow into productive team players. So any plan you show to a potential ally will stress this aspect of your operation. It also includes showing others the skills and behaviors needed to carry out tasks or behave in a certain way, so that another person can then do it for themselves without you. Historically, however, this theory has happily been proven untrue, as the advance in the standard of living among the working class during the past century testifies.

Do you learn from your mistakes?

A caricature of some political person or situation is always taking. Venture capitalists both lend to and make equity investments in young companies. For a few dollars you can get an equipment, and in a few days' practice you can acquire enough of the art for your purpose. More than a few small-business owners and entrepreneurial cheerleaders would have you believe that every employee would be happy and financially better off running his own small business.

Send trade magazines and business articles

. Make your cost estimate more than a 'guesstimate.' Make each estimate an exact prediction of what it will take to produce every product, perform every service, or sell every product you offer. But one can endure stress for only so long before performance declines and exhaustion is reached. So, how do you get people to follow your orders?

Opening and closing procedures for the Operations Department

Customers who are looking at your business plan are probably doing so because they contemplate building a long-term relationship with you. Funny as it may sound, let it be known that you will take all necessary steps to protect your business, your products, and yourself from litigation. You must carry your business in your brain. Do you get stuck using the same suppliers, vendors, and subcontractors because you don't have enough time to find new or better ones?