Find People -> Hard

The Ten Second Business Plan

By: Don Doman

Quite a few years ago I needed a used pickup truck . . . well, I wanted one anyway. The need wasnt urgent and I wasnt searching daily for one, but periodically I would drive past the used car lots and see what was available. Then I found one. It was a few years old, in good condition, and the price was right.

Now, finding a truck and buying a truck are two different things. I knew I could buy the truck, but I what I really needed was to justify the purchase to myself and my to wife. I thought about it. Within ten seconds I came up with a business and marketing plan . . . for my wife.

My wife had just quit a job that she liked, but where she was vastly underpaid. She was looking for another job. She had a friend in similar circumstances: both young housewives and mothers looking for spending cash. I bought the truck and drove home. As I was driving I tweaked the plan a little bit and prepared my presentation.

I walked into the house and told me wife, Ive got a business for you. She just looked at me. I said, You know how hard it is to find people to clean out stuff left behind in our home rentals? She nodded. Well, I said, You can form your own business to remove trash and help people get debris out of their yards. You can go partners with your friend. All you need is a truck, and Ill buy that. You pay for the gas, any dump fees (which you can charge to the client), and the advertising in the community classified newspapers. You can name your company Lump It and Dump It. Your slogan can be You Call, We Haul. And you two can probably split $25.00 to $30.00 an hour (you can see this was quite a few years ago). Itll give you some exercise, some money AND you can almost choose your hours.

My wife recognized the opportunity and immediately called her friend, who accepted the proposal. We went and picked up the truck.

They placed ads in the small local papers and began making money almost from day one. Eventually, competition did them in, but for over a year they had a business that made them spending cash. My wife made more than twice what she had been getting, and her friend made much more than she had been receiving for baby-sitting, her previous money source.

Now, your business is probably more complicated than Lump It and Dump It, and its going to take more than ten seconds to make out your complete business and marketing plan, but if you cant write down your core information in a little over ten seconds you have a problem.

There are basically four major aspects of the ten-second business and marketing plan:

1) What product or service you are offering?
2) How it is going to help people?
3) What are you going to call your business?
4) How are you are going to reach your customers?

After youve got those four questions answered, you can branch out to more heavy duty planning, but if you cant answer those questions quickly and explain them to anyone with seconds, you better take more time and examine your business so you can do it.

Author Don Doman: Don is a published author of books for small business, corporate video producer, and owner of Ideas and Training (, which provides business training products. Don also owns Human Resources Radio (, which provides business training programs and previews 24-hours a day.

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