USING THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE RIGHT JOB MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
OpsTools can help individual or group investors by pre-vetting startups before you schedule a pitch so you don't waste time, plus we can help the startups you work with refine their profitability plans.
Tools for you and your investment group:
Tools for the entrepreneurs you work with:
For our economic development partners that use the OpsIntake services we have developed an information gathering and scoring system that catalogs the required & relevant information needed for you to determine if a company meets your criteria to be considered for funding. Comprised of more than 60 questions covering all aspects of the business OpsIntake can save you one to two meetings per applicant where you would gather and analyse similar information. By using our system to gather and report this data you can stay focused on deal already in the pipeline and review new applicants as you time allows and meet with the ones that show the most promise when you want to.
Based on criteria your provide we include a numeric scoring scale and per-applicant score to help them evaluate a applicant readiness to move forward in their process of deciding which businesses their organization works with. The online intake process is self paced and applicant can start & stop as their schedule allows
For our economic development partners that use our applicant intake services we have developed a scoring system that evaluates multiple elements of the data gathered in stage 1 of the 60+ question ProGen applicant intake process.
Based on internal & external criteria we provide our EDO partners with a numeric scoring scale and per-applicant score to help them evaluate a applicant readiness to move forward in their process of deciding which businesses their organization works with. The online intake process is self paced and applicant can start & stop as their schedule allows
Consulting services are available with the Applicant Intake system, only at EDO request.
For our economic development partners that use our scenario driven evaluation service we have developed a scoring system that evaluates the proposed plans and changes to plans submitted by applicants as they use our tools to respond to a series of realistic scenarios.
You will receive a numeric scoring scale, the applicants score and the raw data provided by each applicant so you can also see how business owners to adjust their business operations to stay on track with your goals, such as job creation, job retention and paying reasonable wages.
Consulting services are available with the Progressive Scenario system, only at EDO request.
If you want to invite economic developers, lenders and investors to review your OpsPlan without having to fill out an application then you want to be on the OpsList. With your consent, we will make your plan available to be reviewed by the funding sources we work with an if they like what they see than can contact you and discuss what they have to offer at what terms. Whether you are actively or passively looking for additional sources of capital, the OpsList is an easy and affordable way to get visibility without wasting time pitching people who aren't interested.
For situations when you need someone to double check your thinking or walk through the step-by-step of your plan with you and point out things you may have missed, or assumed incorrectly we offer business planning consulting support; either from the management team of OpsTools or from an experienced consultant in our network, based as close to you as possible. If you know you are missing something in part of your plan but cant seem to figure it out, many times the best way to get past it is to get a fresh set of eyes on the problem and have someone listen to the way you are approaching the situation so they can help you consider alternative options. If you don't have some like that to talk to and offer insight, we are glad to help.
This tool combines a numeric and visual guide that tells you how near or far your operational output is from a set of goals you setup (or that an investor may have set for you to reach) with a group of custom operations calculators that make it easy to put in real costs and percentages from your business and calculate what changes need to be made across multiple areas of your business to produce the desired results.
If your business has 'hard' targets to achieve at certain times, such as those set with conditional funding, forgivable loans or incentive programs this tool will help you map out the best combination of operational tweaks to make to hit quarterly & annual goals. Or, if you have ever just wanted to immediately see how much closer an operational change, such as opening or closing on weekends, or changing suppliers, or giving a volume price break, would get you towards a revenue, profit, or expense management goal then this tool will make your life easier.
The OpsPlanner breaks out the easily forgotten details of key variables so they can be factored into the larger costs that founders & CEOs are looking at in building their operational and financial plan. If a minor change occurs, (like a change in the cost of packing materials) that one factor can be changed in a few seconds and the impact on total costs of that operation are reflected immediately. This tool is built to get into more detail than most businesses may want, but that all businesses benefit from. No need to be a math pro, just answer the questions and fill in the blanks and the tools calculate your COGS, Inbound shipping, Staffing & wages, Bulk pricing, Individual pricing, Sales capacity, Best schedule, Entree cost, Drink costs, Owners pay, and more. Plus 50+ expense categories so you know where every dollar gets spent.
The OpsProjector is a data tool that uses hundreds of client-specific data elements to create proforma financials that directly reflect the operations plan that was created in the OpsPlanner tool.
These proformas can be evaluated inside of the OpsTools suite or they can be printed for use in a traditional business plan or investor packet. Unlike point-in-time proformas, when evaluated in the OpsTools system the OpsProjector can produce financials that show economic developers, lenders & investors the operational changes a business will make as it grows and the financial outputs those changes will produce so reviewers know why and how growth happens. Showing why and how immediately changes a lender or investors impression of your business and separates your company from those that hope to grow but don't show how.
Having taught many individuals & groups to use the Business Model Canvas* and judged competitions on it's use I have more than a little experience with the tool; and I'm a fan. It does a great job at what it is designed for; rapid conceptualization of business models, and quickly identifying their strengths and weaknesses.
However, because many entrepreneurs are highly product-focused and must learn to become value-proposition-focused I found myself repeatedly answering questions about ways to more quickly get to the place where the BMC can be used to plan a change of course in an existing business, or validate if a proposed plan was financially feasible. I developed a companion tool based on those questions and conversations that lets an entrepreneur quickly explore the financial viability of their business model once their canvas is complete.
If you find yourself thinking that the BMC process seems too nebulous or you are asking yourself how you know the plan will work in real life, try incorporating the OpsCanvas. It makes it easier to monetize your canvas and see if it produces the cost structure and revenue streams you need to support the relationships and channels that let you deliver value to your customer segments.
If you find the entrepreneurs you work grumbling that the process seems to nebulous for their thinking or saying things like "how do I know this will work in real life?" try incorporating the OpsCanvas. The OpsCanvas r is also a great follow up exercise to test the operational viability of a BMC for entrepreneurs who dont have good grasp of how much things cost or how much a customer segment will pay.
*Business Model Canvas is a registered trademark of ALEXANDER OSTERWALDER
OpsTools is not affiliated with or endorsed by ALEXANDER OSTERWALDER