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This business plan is a generic model suitable for all types of businesses. However, you should modify it to suit your particular circumstances.

“Ultimate Business Planner” is a Windows based software tool that significantly eases the burden of writing a formal business plan. It guides you through each business-planning step quickly and easily.

“Ultimate Business Planner” is a Windows based software tool that significantly eases the burden of writing a formal business plan. It guides you through each business-planning step quickly and easily.

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Though my wholesale building supply business is profitable, I can’t help feeling we’re not operating up to our potential. As the company’s leader, what can I do to give us the needed push?

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Kid's Kingdom in Business Thanks to SCORE

Kid's Kingdom in business twelve years thanks to business planning assistance from SCORE

Ed and Debbie Sullivan have been operating Kid's Kingdom, a pre-school day care center, for 10 years. Debbie held a management position with a major oil company for many years. As she traveled around the country in her corporate job, she dreamed of someday operating her own daycare center. While working in the corporate world, Debbie's love for children drove her to make time to work part time at day care centers. She also was a licensed foster care parent. 

In December 1996, fate played a helping hand in allowing Debbie's dream to become a reality. A serious auto accident kept her at home for months. Debbie had plenty of time to develop her plan. She called the Small Business Administration seeking assistance and was introduced to Jerry Moran, a SCORE counselor who helped Debbie and her husband Ed develop a business plan and the financial statements she would need to seek financing for her business. SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business, a resource partner of the SBA, is a non-profit organization of volunteers with extensive business experience. These volunteers give their time to assist entrepreneurs who want to start or expand a small business. 

After weeks of writing and re-writing, Debbie and Ed approached First Bank and Trust Company, now The Washington Trust Company. With their SBA-guaranteed loan, Kid's Kingdom opened its doors for the first time in late 1997. The loan was used to purchase and make needed renovations to a former restaurant building on Puritan Avenue in Cranston. Debbie said being able to pay off their loan early was a big accomplishment that resulted in better cash flow in their business. 

"If it wasn't for the Small Business Administration and SCORE, we would not be where we are today," Debbie said. 

Debbie and Ed immediately began the application process to become a fully licensed pre-school and daycare facility. 

Kid's Kingdom started with one child and one teacher. From those humble beginnings, the staff has grown to 12 and there are nearly 70 children enrolled in the infant, pre-school, full time day care, and after school programs. Nearly all of the children enrolled in the center's program are referred by parents who have children enrolled at Kid's Kingdom. 

Debbie said she includes families in as many activities as possible and will do anything to accommodate parents. Kid's Kingdom has hosted Easter egg hunts, Thanksgiving feasts, Valentine's Day dances, Breakfast with Santa, and other activities to bring families together. 

To accommodate the growing enrollment, Kid's Kingdom expanded to the second floor of the building six years ago. Four years ago, at considerable cost, the Sullivans added an outdoor playground that was placed on poured in rubber for added safety. They plan to add the rubberized surface in the toddler's playground within the year. 

The state approved the addition of an infant program two years ago, which required hiring a full time nurse to be on duty every day. 

Debbie said there is a definite need for this type of service since many moms go back to work while their children are infants and are in need of quality day care. Kid's Kingdom now accepts children at four months of age and they can remain enrolled at the facility through age 12. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE: Counselors to America's Small Business presented the 2008 Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence to Deborah and Edward Sullivan, owners of Kid's Kingdom in Cranston. 

Owner/Founder
Ed and Debbie Sullivan
My Location
Cranston RI
United States

All entrepreneurs should write a business plan, but if you are trying to raise investment
capital, a written plan that conveys your vision to potential investors is a must.

The truth is that many successful businesses were started without business plans. While that may be fine for the likes of a few people, it’s generally not a good idea. If you're going to start a business, the smartest approach is to write a business plan.

The Business Plan

A business plan provides you with a comprehensive, detailed overview of all the aspects of your business. This overview is the skeleton of your business—the underlying structure that provides the basis of your entire operation. Prepared in advance, a business plan allows you to review the pros and cons of your proposed business before you make a financial and emotional commitment to it.

There are three reasons to create a written business plan:

LJN Sculpture

Ever wonder what a difference one decision can make? Just ask Larry Nowlan.

Owner/Founder
Larry Nowlan
My Location
Windsor VT
United States
Year Company Formed
1998
My Successes

In 1993, the Philadelphia native attended an exhibit of the sculptor Auguste Rodin and immediately became interested in art. He began taking night classes in sculpting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, then moved on to the New York Academy of Art’s Graduate School of Figurative Art. 

While still a student, Larry was invited to serve as Artist in Residence at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, in Cornish, NH, home of one of America’s greatest sculptors. Over the years, he earned several high-profile commissions, including three eight-foot bronze statues that are part of the National Wildland Firefighters Monument at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, and a statue of Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramden character at the Port Authority Terminal in Manhattan. 

A gallery adjacent to his Vermont studio provided a venue for customers to view and purchase Larry’s art. But being a retailer conflicted with his artistic pursuits. “I figured there had to be a way to market my work that would allow me to spend my time sculpting rather than walking people through a gallery,” he explains.

Larry was selected to create two major sculptures as part of the renovation of the University of Iowa’s 70,000-seat Kinnick Stadium. The project includes a 15-foot likeness of Nile Kinnick, Iowa’s only Heisman Trophy winner, and a 14-foot-wide bas-relief of Kinnick and other team members taken from a game sports photo. 

The Kinnick Stadium commission promises to provide Larry with some valuable exposure as well. The University of Iowa plans to film the creation of the Kinnick statues from Larry’s studio work to the scheduled installation and dedication in 2006. Larry will also create bronze desktop replicas for major donors.

What's Great About My Mentor?

Fred worked with Larry on different marketing strategies, including direct mail and a several improvements to his Web site. Fred has also mentored Larry on various business issues, enabling him to maximize his time as both artist and business owner.

“Two years of the job security is rare for a sculptor,” Larry says. “Fred helped with my proposal package, including scheduling and insurance options, to make sure I didn’t overlook anything.”

Fred also helped Larry save some valuable time on what will be a very demanding project schedule. “The university told me that the contract might be ready to sign when I arrived for the announcement ceremony,” Larry recalls. “However, I wanted to go over it with Fred and my attorney before signing. Fred suggested that they send the contract template ahead without the fee schedule so we could review it in advance. That proved to be a great idea; otherwise, the project might have been pushed back by a month.”

And though the Kinnick Stadium project will keep Larry busy, he will continue calling on his SCORE mentor for help and advice. “Sculpting is a unique profession, and I think Fred enjoys the challenge of working with something that’s different,” Larry says. “I’m glad he finds it as intriguing as I do because he is a very thorough, very supportive person to work with. He brings a sense of security to situations that otherwise could be haphazard.”

How SCORE Helped

In 2002, a friend suggested that Larry to contact the local chapter of SCORE. That led to his first meeting with mentor Fred Thomas, and what Larry considers, “one of the better choices I’ve made in my life.”

Please go to our Official Silicon Valley SCORE website at www.svscore.org

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