How can I tell if I have a good business idea?

Here are four ways to make a quick first-pass evaluation ...

What should I include in a business plan?

A typical "first round" investor-grade business plan is usually about 20 - 25 pages plus separate appendices. There are many possible outlines for a business plan ... the following is a recommended guideline. Remember, the purpose of a business plan is to mitigate risk ... you are selling your concept here and need to show the reader that you know your stuff! Here's an outline for a business plan ...

How can I protect my intellectual property (IP) when it is in the public domain?

The three basic methods are patents, trademarks, and copyrights ...

What is an income statement?

An Income Statement (also called a Profit and Loss Statement) is a financial statement that shows a company's business results for a specific period of time (usually monthly, quarterly, and/or annually) ... it specifically shows revenue, earnings, expenses, costs, and taxes.

Here's a simplified outline for creating an income statement ...

How can we find the "right" opportunity for a new business venture?

The "right" opportunity for a new business venture basically depends on three factors ...

Is the opportunity itself attractive? Is the problem solvable, important, timely, in a favorable context, and potentially profitable?

Is your team really interested in this opportunity, passionate and committed? Do you all like  the challenge? Do you all like doing what the tasks it will take to be successful, particularly the mundane?

Does your team have the skills needed to translate the opportunity to a successful business venture?

If you answered "yes" to all three above, you're off to a good start!

What are some key teamwork skills?

As logical as these tips from Wikipedia may seem, it's amazing how many teams seem to go out of their way to avoid them ...

What are critical tasks for innovators and entrepreneurs?

Here's a good list from Rita Gunther McGrath and Ian MacMillan ...

How can I succeed in a new business venture?

Here are ten tips from Abhijeet Mukherjee ...

How can I write a vision statement for my venture?

A good vision statement should clearly outline where your venture is going in the next five years or so ...

How can I evaluate a potential business venture opportunity?

Try answering the following questions ... any doubt, think it out!
  1. Is the venture team really interested in this opportunity? 
  2. Does the venture team have the passion and commitment to create and operate a successful venture with this opportunity?
  3. Does the team have the experience, knowledge, and expertise to transform this opportunity into a viable business venture?
  4. Can the venture team attract the necessary resources (human, technological, financial, physical) needed for to successfully launch and operate this venture?
  5. Can this opportunity lead to a significant value proposition for the prospective customers? 
  6. Will these potential customers buy a significant amount of products and/or services this venture will produce?
  7. Will the products and services from this venture have a significant competitive advantage or differentiation? 
  8. Are these advantages proprietary, and can they be protected?
  9. Can this venture produce and deliver the products and services with a sustainable profit?
  10. Is the expected return on investment for this venture consistent with the risks involved?