The founder likes public speaking, and particularly likes his hands-on seminar-and-software combinations that develop business planning by providing not just the know-how, but the tools as well, to help people in business plan better.
He's done a lot of it. He's given full-day business planning seminars in the U.S., Mexico, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico. He's also done them at SBDC sites in four states, and at business schools including University of Oregon, Harvard, and UC Berkeley.
We won't use seminars to sell software. We hate the use of seminars as thinly-disguised sales pitches. Instead, we insist on bundling the software into the seminar so we can focus on the real task at hand, the tools provided, and how to get the most out of them. If we don't have time for the full hands-on treatment, or the event calls for a more general discussion of business planning, I'll still take the date but the discussion will be more general. We won't include product details or a sales pitch.
We can't teach business planning in a one-day seminar. We can, however, achieve basic familiarity with the process and the tools. We can also break down the fear. Sometimes the hardest thing about a business plan is getting started.
As participants walk out of one of these sessions, they walk out armed with not just the desire to follow up and make it work for their business, but also the tools to make it happen.
The software used in these seminars is very high quality and professional business and marketing planning software, each the market leader in its category: Business Plan Pro, Marketing Plan Pro, and Web Strategy Pro.
Business plan seminars run from free seminars intended to sell products or services to high-end seminars sponsored by the American Management Association and similar organizations. We don't feel that the market is well covered.
For a broader view of competition, we look at both other seminars and other competing offerings of similar tools and know-how:
Our main sales literature is the website at www.[omitted].com. Sales literature is obsolete for our purposes, we use the website to explain and back up.
Seminars presentations will only be given by true experts, either John Doe himself or substitutes with proven track record, academic background, and practical business experience. They must be good speakers and good seminar leaders. We cannot afford to have anything but the best.
Seminars should always be delivered with projection of presentation materials through a projector. Seminars more than three hours should always be delivered with at least one computer per every three participants, so they can follow along with the software.
We cannot afford to compromise quality with second-rate delivery. Always the best equipment, always well prepared, well rested, and well delivered. This is vital.
Laptop and projection are absolutely essential. We'll upgrade the technology as better becomes available. For now at least that's enough to guarantee a minimum level.
We will remain aware of new technologies that might lead to new services, such as the online seminar or video/CD seminar, that can be packaged and made available to our clients.