An outline guide for new business concept identification and the preparation of initial business concept plans


Eugene B. Lieb

Customer Decision Support, Inc.

©Copyright Custom Decision Support, Inc. (1991, 1997)

November 1997


This workbook is a part of a larger venture planning development program. Its primary objective is to assist in the development of new business without large development staffs. The tools consist of a series of workbooks which provide check lists of key issues during the development of most business concepts. We believe that the process of venture development is an active one. Most activities should be dedicated to "hands on work" with the product, the process, and the potential customers. We hope that these tools will act to focus activities on "what must be done." The process of developing businesses is operationally active. It is insufficient to merely study the opportunity, the opportunity must be made to happen. The purpose of this workbook series is designed to enable the business developer, innovator, intrapreneur in making things happen. They are intended as tools to help plan action and communicate the logic behind that action. We intend that this workbook and all others in the series will be "evergreen". New versions of the workbooks are expected to be published periodically, reflecting constructive comments by users. This workbook reflects the efforts of many individuals who have provided ideas and comments. The philosophy expressed in this workbook reflects that of the authors and not of the organizations or corporations involved.


This is a New Venture Workbook. It is designed as a tool for defining venture ideas as legitimate business concepts. It is also a screening device. Not all good ideas are definable in business terms or as Business Concepts. Until certain informational elements are developed and set down, the good idea is just that. The Workbook is designed to be used by an individual or a small team, who have other responsibilities.

We have come to recognize that many good Ideas, which might have become successful ventures, have gone undefined and undeveloped. There has been a perception that only big ticket "Ideas to Ventures", controlled by large organizations, would be of interest. In addition, "user-friendly" systems have not been available to individuals with candidate ideas.

It is not expected that you will have immediate answers to all the questions in this workbook. Developing adequate information is part of the definitional process. There are some minimum requirements for getting started, however. These match the sections of this workbook and provide a beginning business concept.

At a minimum, you must:

      I. Basically define the Business.

      II. Basically define the Business Stake.

      III. Outline the Critical Issues as you know them.

      IV. Set down an Action Plan, based on the Critical Issues, with timing and responsibilities noted.

The Workbook asks you to refine the information in these four sections and improve your Business Concept Definition. With this done, you will be ready to proceed to the Analysis Step of this process.

Good luck. It is not supposed to be easy.

Business Plan Development Process

   Marketing & Sales Plan   
  Product Offering & Quality Information Plan  
Business ConceptsTurning Ideas into Business ConceptsOperations Development Competitive & Strategic PlanBusiness Plan GuideVentures
 New Venture EvaluationVenture Analysis Product Position, Promotion & Distribution Plan  
   Operations & Quality Plan