By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island’s entrepreneurs were in good – and robust – company Wednesday night, as the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition 2012 co-hosted a workshop at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
One of many free events RIBPC holds leading up to the May announcement at the RIBX business expo of the competition’s winners, the seminar on “How to Write a Business Plan” attracted 80 people from all walks of life linked only by the entrepreneurial urge. Previous workshops have included the Elevator Pitch Contest, held in December, and well as a seminar on how to develop financial projections. RIBPC will present “How to Present a Business Plan” on March 15.
Peter Lowy of Business Communication Strategies in Brookline, Mass., is part of the RIBPC team. “It’s interesting that this workshop draws a broad cross section of people and they are all very focused,” he said. “I know that similar workshops like this are held in cities throughout the Northeast and Canada, but they don’t draw as much as we do [in Providence].
The workshop – which was open to anyone wanting to attend – was taught by George Simmons of Derby Management of Boston. “Our company advises entrepreneurs to put together business plans, sales plans and seek funding. For Providence to get this many people in the room tonight, they must be doing something right.”
Simmons taught the basics required by any business plan but also used his personal experience to better assist entrepreneurs in impressing potential investors. He stressed the need for doing the difficult groundwork, including pertinent research and customer validation. Future forecasts should be accurate and meaningful. Data should be relevant but not overwhelming.