Yampa Valley SCORE offers business plan development contest
June 16, 2012
Steamboat Springs — In an effort to stimulate entrepreneurship in the Yampa Valley, Yampa Valley SCORE — with the help the Bogue Enterprise Center at Colorado Mountain College and the city of Steamboat Springs — is offering a maximum prize of $2,500 to business startup owners who develop the best business plan.
And there's more: The winner will be offered free space in Bogue Hall on the CMC campus and have the opportunity to meet with a venture capitalist.
CMC's Randy Rudasics, who manages the enterprise center, said that a formal business plan is the foundation to a successful new business and that not everyone who sets out to start a new business takes the time and energy to create the all-essential plan.
"A good business plan is based on valid, reasonable assumptions" that take into account such variables as the cost of professional advice from lawyers and accountants to the cost of business space as well as projected revenues that are based on a thorough market study, he said.
In addition to a conceptual description of the business and some technical analysis of how the balance sheet someday will look, a business plan should define a problem that the business will solve, he added.
Using a sports analogy, he said it's essentially the game plan for the business.
"Without a business plan, they're taking on more risk than they need to take," Rudasics said.
Entrants will have until Nov. 1 to submit their new business plans and will be expected to present the plans to a small group of highly experienced business professionals within two weeks of that date. It could be thought of as an installment in a reality television show. In the meantime, prospective entrants will get schooled during a pair of seminars Wednesday and Sept. 26.
Scoring of this competition will be based 50 percent on the written plan and 50 percent on the live presentation, Rudasics said.
The competition is open to anyone with concrete dreams of starting a business as well as current CMC students taking a course from Rudasics.
Rudasics said local businesses that have undertaken business plans with the help of SCORE and CMC include The Drunken Onion Get and Go Kitchen, Sober Guys, Custom Color Autobody, Excel Gymnastics, Event Medical Solutions, Tenth Street Barber Shop, Hog Island Boat Works and the Grocery Company of Steamboat, among others.
Ebin Latrimurti, of Event Medical Solutions, said he did extensive research on the SCORE website about how to develop a business plan. Event Medical is a 1-year-old company formed by specialists in emergency medicine based in Steamboat Springs, including paramedics and an emergency room physician. Their business plan involves contracting with organizers of outdoor adventure sports events, bike races and even large social gatherings to provide first responder care.
Latrimurti said that when he met with local SCORE volunteer Roger Good, he was reassured to receive affirmation that he and his colleagues were on solid footing with their business plan.
"When I sat down with him, it really added value to our business plan because he validated what we were trying to do," Latrimurti said. "Our business plan worked out to be a good starting point for our business, and we've come pretty close to sticking with it. It laid down a foundation for our business."