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online biz plan wizard and views
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[Marked as BAD IDEA]

Sorry, read annotation, especially WcW's criticism.

____ ORIGINAL IDEA _____

I know, I know. There are hundreds of DIY business plan companies, and "free online financial planning" websites. But none are like this one:


What's the most important thing about bizplans?
That they really work. You don't want to swindle someone into believing lies, because you'll pay for that in the long run!

So you want to get your business right. Right? BizplanWizard.org helps you get it right. Even after you finished the final draft, the wizard will show you how to continue refining it and getting people to ask you the hard questions.

When you are confident, so are your investors. ______

Here's how it works:

You build your basic business plan in a few steps, using hundreds of existing rules and templates so its tailored to your specific field.

You choose from several templates of the business plan format, and parts you wish to have in your plan. You can also choose from various looks for your final report.

You can also change the looks yourself, creating a new one, or modifying an existing one.

Your filling in and tailoring of your business plan, adds to the general bank of templates, without exposing your specific product or business or your plan.


Once you chose your field of business, you start with the most important part: the financials.

After filling in the expected input, you can easily play around with several possible versions, drafting the financial section. This helps you start evaluating the new business and seeing how you can get an acceptable ROI. (The wizard will assist you on this too).

You can choose to work top down or bottom up - setting the goals and then filling them in, or giving the known facts and then seeing the budget and results.

There are ready made background summaries for hundreds of fields of business, and you can easily choose or modify them or create your own.

The website will also provide as much information as possible on the world and local market in your field of business, along with information about possible competitors. The website will have tips and links to sources of information for a complete cover of the market and competition.

You will also have a good choice of marketing strategies and pre-evaluated marketing costs, benefits and challenges.


My question: What web technology should I (an experienced developer) use for rapid development, nice graphics and contemporary user experience, comfortable non-cluttered look and feel, and easy maintenance of this website, and who wants to join the team (currently no pay - but later on this will be a grand hit)?

pashute, Jul 21 2011


       The answer to your question depends on where you're intending to host your website.   

       At the top-end of the price-bracket, you can rent out a whole server (or build your own, and have leave it switched on and plugged into the internet) choose your own OS, and decide which web-server, and other supporting infrastructure you're going to deploy. You could write your own web-server in C to run on Unix, or you could adopt an existing one like Apache, with perhaps a JBOSS application engine running alongside, which would allow you to build your application in java. A MySQL database is usually the preferred persistance method, as till now, you'll not have to have spent any money on software (assuming Linux, Apache, JBOSS and MySQL) you'll have to configure all of these components to run together however, which can take a bit of fiddling about before you can start. Using pay-for software might mean a Windows environment running somer kind of ASP/MIIS (is it still called that?) combination and develop on that using VB-esque code - good for RAD, but expensive, and (there is at least the perception that it is) potentially riddled with security holes.   

       The next-best option, is for renting some space on a server that offers "CGI" - which is normally limited to running perl or php (or that's how it was 6 or so years ago, I'm not sure what the deal is these days) sometimes they'll give you access to a MySQL (or maybe SQLServer) database, but it will be managed centrally - potentially, you'll have to store your persistant data in text files that are referenced by php calls. It's a bit clunky, and you have to be careful about security permissions, but it'll probably work out. One alternative would be to find some php program that someone else has developed and use that, amending bits here and there to suit your requirements - but you'll have to be (or have access to) a reasonably acomplished php programmer to be able to do that.   

       The final option (simplifying greatly here) would be to write it all in javascript and store all your persistent data in the client's cookie-cache and hope it doesn't drive you insane.   

       Personally, I'd go for the Java-based, server-side application thing - but it depends on what your preferred languages are - and the specific bits of functionality you want your application/website to deliver. If it's a big repository of forms, then maybe you just need to have some nice way of searching/navigating those forms, which might mean you could use something far simpler.   

       For the actual webby part, you can't beat Textpad or vi. But you'll have to think carefully about which parts of the end application can use linked or imported files (css, javascript etc) to maintain a consistent look and feel.
zen_tom, Jul 21 2011

       Thanks zen-tom, but...   

       I said I'm an experienced developer (15 years, I wrote part of the Java core!! fluent in MS technologies, and less so with Apple, J2EE and LUMP) and know all the old technologies and even a bit of JQuery.   

       I'm asking about new RAD stuff out lately, for making a great website, with charts, views, rapid client side recalculations and simple server storage. To reduce the effort.   

       I'm not asking about the infrastructure at all. I suppose that it would be run in a web cloud once we seriously become world known. But first lets get it going.   

       I just edited the idea and refined it...
pashute, Jul 21 2011

       Ah, sorry. Grandmas, eggs and the impartation of techniques for the localised application of low-air pressure comes to mind...oops.
(You never know whether an experienced developer is one who specialises in thingummys or whatsits or one who knows a wide range of everything these days)
So, you mean like a web-IDE/CMS type thing?
zen_tom, Jul 21 2011

       I meant Coldbox, Zend... What's the reality of these stuff.   

       Is there anything in the MS Silverlight arena that will get me up and running at those speeds, and with that wide range of solutions/technologies.   

       Will these RAD environments give me nice formatted table views.   

       Will the customer be able to print out the report or turn it into a PDF / docx / ppsx presentation...
pashute, Jul 21 2011

       stop worrying about the website. start worrying about what actually makes a good business plan. every sector is different. a plan pitched to get a bank loan is going to be a different flavor from an angel investor plan, again different from a plan seeking active partners (....like this post....). Then realize that without some very high intensity human editing the logical qualifications of the plan will be entirely unjustified (ice cream to Inuit) ..... THEN realize that you are basically building a form that makes sure that the math adds up and shoehorns the financials into industry norms. THEN realize that the site is actually a cynical attempt to capitalize on the "live your dreams" enthusiasm of inexperienced shlubs for whom entrepreneurship is a pipedream cum nightmare that is going to eat their life savings and mortgage their family home. Then you can really rake in the cash.
WcW, Jul 21 2011

       WcW: Your post will be the opening page. No cash raking expected from inexperienced shlubs.   

       High intensity human editing is done by the biz plan builder. In each field we would send them to experts along with an NDA.   

       I'm talking about concentrating on the financials. Each sector and business field has its own hidden or known costs. So all we are doing is floating up all the elements the writer should consider.   

       I said it at the outset: The idea is to make a business plan THAT WILL WORK.   

       I'll start of course with ONE sector, and one type of business plan. (Planning an aquaponics project) You know what goes into it, and you'll know how much and when it pays back.   

       People will ask for other plans, and we'll advance. Its not rocket science, and experts in each field will scrutinize the results, so its practically fail safe. - As far as plans go.   

       I think I know whats wrong: The minute you say good "business plan" your talking about hype, like a good CV which is usually A bit of truth, Almost none of the truth, and anything but the truth.   

       If you came for that - your on the wrong website. If you came for an assistant in planning something real that you want happening, your on the right website.
pashute, Jul 21 2011

       expert advice is valuable and expensive. In my field a single start up consultation ranges anywhere from 300 to 3000 dollars depending on the scale, and the reputation of the consultant. No business plan is fail-safe. A good plan for today might be a sure fire looser by next quarter. Finally a plan must take into account the "boots on the ground", the competencies, resources, and conditions of that specific entrepreneur. Your selling the promise of success, not the reality.
WcW, Jul 21 2011

       OK, marked it "Bad Idea".
pashute, Jul 24 2011

       The idea is inspired by a real need to connect entrepreneurs and industry experts then make sure that everybody feels confident enough about the value delivered to be willing to pay you for the service.
WcW, Jul 25 2011


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