Friday, November 30, 2007

How to Choose Software for Your Company

I thought this was a excellent article about software for companies by Derek Both and I wanted to share it here, with you.
Because you need everything you can get your hands on to make your business a success, enterprise resourcing planning software may be helpful to you and your business. There is a type of software that you can use for almost everything; schedules, phone calls, purchase, invoice, shipping/receiving, employees, customer contact information, billing information and more.

You need to have easy access to all of this without downloading several programmes onto your computer which means that valuable space will not be taken up. Because the demand is different for every business your needs for a software may not be the same need of another. That is why you need to consider this software.

Because this software is great to provide all the above features you need software that will be personalised depending on your business. You don't want to waste your computer space on a program that you don't need. To make this software work for you, the business needs to be simplified and easy to maintain. When you use this software you can be sure that this software is right for you.

If you have more than one warehouse to control you may need to know the shipping, number of invoices, return stock, employees, trucks and other important features that make your job difficult when you need to call everyone and get the details.

How can enterprise resourcing planning software help your business? That is an easy question to answer. No one has the time to do all the personal details that it takes to keep track of everything. If we could find a system that could take care of that wouldn't it be more interesting to you to get the software and upgrade?

Enterprise resourcing planning software is one of the fewest software programmes that you can find to handle everything that you need. It would be nice if you had the time to sit around and call everyone in every different department and ask them about the information that you need to know about. That is why the software will do that for you. It doesn't make calls but it does work to duplicate all the information that is available.

Because enterprise resourcing planning software will work with any business, small or large you may want to go ahead and order it for all your business and home needs. There is no easier way to handle all your business information but thorough the enterprise resourcing planning software.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Real History of Thanksgiving

Years ago, this story was first shared by Rush on his radio show. I am reprinting it here, now, to share with all of you. It helps to know what we celebrate when we induslge in all those great and wonderful foods each year.

Rush: Now, the real story of Thanksgiving: "On August 1, 1620, the Mayflower set sail. It carried a total of 102 passengers, including forty Pilgrims led by William Bradford. On the journey, Bradford set up an agreement, a contract, that established just and equal laws for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. Where did the revolutionary ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact come from? From the Bible," and this is what's not taught. This is what's left out. "The Pilgrims were a people completely steeped in the lessons of the Old and New Testaments. They looked to the ancient Israelites for their example. And, because of the biblical precedents set forth in Scripture, they never doubted that their experiment would work. But this was no pleasure cruise, friends. The journey to the New World was a long and arduous one. And when the Pilgrims landed in New England in November, they found, according to Bradford's detailed journal, a cold, barren, desolate wilderness. There were no friends to greet them, he wrote. There were no houses to shelter them. There were no inns where they could refresh themselves. And the sacrifice they had made for freedom was just beginning. During the first winter, half the Pilgrims -- including Bradford's own wife -- died of either starvation, sickness, or exposure.

"When spring finally came, Indians taught the settlers how to plant corn, fish for cod and skin beavers for coats. Life improved for the Pilgrims, but they did not yet prosper! This is important to understand because this is where modern American history lessons often end. Thanksgiving is actually explained in some textbooks as a holiday for which the Pilgrims gave thanks to the Indians for saving their lives, rather than as a devout expression of gratitude grounded in the tradition of both the Old and New Testaments. Here is the part that has been omitted: The original contract the Pilgrims had entered into with their merchant-sponsors in London called for everything they produced to go into a common store, and each member of the community was entitled to one common share. All of the land they cleared and the houses they built belong to the community as well." They were collectivists! Now, "Bradford, who had become the new governor of the colony, recognized that this form of collectivism was as costly and destructive to the Pilgrims as that first harsh winter, which had taken so many lives.

"He decided to take bold action. Bradford assigned a plot of land to each family to work and manage, thus turning loose the power of the marketplace. ... Long before Karl Marx was even born, the Pilgrims had discovered and experimented with what could only be described as socialism. And what happened? It didn't work! Surprise, surprise, huh? What Bradford and his community found was that the most creative and industrious people had no incentive to work any harder than anyone else, unless they could utilize the power of personal motivation! But while most of the rest of the world has been experimenting with socialism for well over a hundred years -- trying to refine it, perfect it, and re-invent it -- the Pilgrims decided early on to scrap it permanently. What Bradford wrote about this social experiment should be in every schoolchild's history lesson," every kid gets. "If it were, we might prevent much needless suffering in the future." Here's what he wrote: "'The experience that we had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years...that by taking away property, and bringing community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing -- as if they were wiser than God,' Bradford wrote.

"'For this community [so far as it was] was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men's wives and children without any recompense...that was thought injustice.'" That was thought injustice. "Do you hear what he was saying, ladies and gentlemen? The Pilgrims found that people could not be expected to do their best work without incentive. So what did Bradford's community try next? They unharnessed the power of good old free enterprise by invoking the undergirding capitalistic principle of private property. Every family was assigned its own plot of land to work and permitted to market its own crops and products. And what was the result?" 'This had very good success,' wrote Bradford, "for it made all hands industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been." Bradford doesn't sound like much of a Clintonite, does he? Is it possible that supply-side economics could have existed before the 1980s? ... In no time, the Pilgrims found they had more food than they could eat themselves. ... So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Indians.

"The profits allowed them to pay off their debts to the merchants in London. And the success and prosperity of the Plymouth settlement attracted more Europeans and began what came to be known as the 'Great Puritan Migration.'" Now, aside from this program, have you heard this before? Is this "being taught to children -- and if not, why not? I mean, is there a more important lesson one could derive from the Pilgrim experience than this?" What if Bill and Hillary Clinton had been exposed to these lessons in school? Do you realize what we face in next year's election is the equivalent of people who want to set up these original collectivists communes that didn't work, with nobody having incentive to do anything except get on the government dole somehow because the people running the government want that kind of power. So the Pilgrims decided to thank God for all of their good fortune. And that's Thanksgiving. And read George Washington's first Thanksgiving address and count the number of times God is mentioned and how many times he's thanked. None of this is taught today. It should be. Have a happy Thanksgiving, folks. You deserve it. Do what you can to be happy, and especially do what you can to be thankful, because in this country you have more reasons than you've ever stopped to consider.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Out of the Banker's Mouth...

Part of the creation of QuickPlanner Plus came from the frustration with business planning not meeting the needs of the entrepreneur but the needs of the bankers. Well, this quote from the Head of Commercial & Business Banking, Ulster Bank, John McGrane, said:
The importance of entrepreneurs having a solid business plan cannot be underestimated. It must display a strategy for sustainable long-term growth, streamlined direction and most importantly must impress your bank manager.[emphasis added]

There it is, from the banker's mouth. I have been saying for years that business plans are good for those who need financing and they are designed by the bankers for the bankers. But a business plan that impresses the bankers, does not necessarily reflect the step by step progam you need as an entrepreneur.
I created QuickPlanner Plus as the easiest strategic business planning software on the market today because I used the system constantly and regularly to achieve success at my business or at my job. In those cases, I did not seek financing so I did not need a business plan, I simply needed a strategic step-by-step program. This is what QuickPlanner Plus is helping hundreds of entrepreneurs to accomplish. It truly is the key to business success. Sorry Mr. McGrane.

Sears Supports Our Troops... You Should Support Sears

Once again, Michael Genung has sent me something to share with you. This has been verfied on snopes....

From Michael:

Happy Thanksgiving~!~!~!
And THANK YOU & YOUR FAMILIES for what you've done and continue to do~!~!~!


AUTHOR: Unknown

Holiday/Christmas shopping has already started. I know I needed this reminder since Sears isn't always my first choice. Amazing when you think of how long the war has lasted and they haven't withdrawn from their commitment. Could we each buy at least one thing at Sears this year?

How does Sears treat its employees who are called up for military duty?

By law, they are required to hold their jobs open and available, but nothing more. Usually, people take a big pay cut and lose benefits as a result of being called up. Sears is voluntarily paying the difference in salaries and maintaining all benefits, including medical insurance and bonus programs, for all called up reservist employees for up to two years. I submit that Sears is an exemplary corporate citizen and should be recognized for its contribution. I suggest we all shop at Sears, and be sure to find a manager to tell them why we are there so the company gets the positive reinforcement it well deserves.

Pass it on. I Decided to check this before I sent it forward. So I sent the following e-mail to the Sears Customer Service Department: I received this e-mail
and I would like to know if it is true. If it is, the Internet may have just become one very good source of advertisement for your company. I know I would go out of my way to buy products from Sears instead of another store for a like item, even if it's cheaper at that store.

This is their answer to my e-mail:

Dear Customer:
Thank you for contacting Sears. The information is factual. We appreciate your positive feedback. Sears regards service to our country as one of greatest sacrifices our young men and women can make. We are happy to do our part to lessen the burden they bear at this time.
Bill Thorn
Sears Customer

Monday, November 19, 2007

Iraq is a Quagmire!

This is a well written article by Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
It's true: Iraq is a quagmire

But the real story is not something you have heard
We're floundering in a quagmire in Iraq. Our strategy is flawed, and it's too late to change it. Our resources have been squandered, our best people killed, we're hated by the natives and our reputation around the world is circling the drain. We must withdraw.

No, I'm not channeling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. I'm channeling Osama bin Laden, for whom the war in Iraq has been a catastrophe. Al-Qaida had little presence in Iraq during the regime of Saddam Hussein. But once he was toppled, al-Qaida's chieftains decided to make Iraq the central front in the global jihad against the Great Satan.

Read the rest of the story by clicking here.

This story is becoming, more and more, the norm rather than the exception. I found no less than four stories today along the same lines... talking about our continued success in Iraq.

Those who know me, know that I am not a big fan of the war, or of any war. As a member of the Navy Reserves, I have a duty to support and defend the constitution of the United States, and, so help me God, I will do so when called upon.

A Thankful American - Thoughts for Thanksgiving

My friend, Michael Genung is another prolific emailer. You can say he is of an older generation, but nevertheless, I have been urging him to turn his talents towards blogging.

Anyway... today I received this great article from him and I would like to share it with you.

A Thankful American
By Tom Purcell
I have more reason to celebrate Thanksgiving this year than ever before. I was born in America, after all -- I'm a winner of life's lottery. And I came into the world in 1962, a grand time to be born.

Sure, there was upheaval in America in the '60s. JFK was assassinated. America entered Vietnam. Martin Luther King was assassinated. America's social fabric appeared to be coming apart at the seams. But children were insulated from such things then. Though it was a difficult time to be an adult -- fathers carried the financial burden while mothers had limited opportunities outside of the home -- it was a great time to be a kid.

We were still innocent then. We didn't know or worry about the threats that today seem commonplace. We were free to roam and play and discover. My generation enjoyed the last great American childhood. It's true, too, that by the mid-'70s America's social fabric really was coming apart at the seams, as David Frum pointed out in his 2000 book "The '70s: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life -- For Better or Worse." Frum documented how the ideas that took root in the 1960s -- free love, broken marriages, illegitimacy, drug use and a breakdown in traditional social norms -- went mainstream in the '70s.

During the '70s, crime grew at alarming rates. The economy tanked. Interest rates soared. A president resigned. America lost faith in its government, its institutions, itself.

But better times were ahead. I was a freshman in college when President Reagan was shot. But the eternally optimistic fellow persevered. Many of his bold ideas persevered, too -- low taxes, deregulation, a strategy to end the Cold War. It was rocky going at first -- and there are always those who will dispute the success of his policies -- but Reagan reinvigorated American optimism. He helped unleash our creativity and productivity and our economic vitality has continued, uninterrupted for the most part, ever since.

It's a great irony that, as we head into the next presidential election, some candidates want to turn back the clocks to ideas that failed -- ever-bigger government, ever-less freedom, ever higher taxes.

It's even more ironic that potential leaders of the most prosperous nation in the history of mankind would propose such policies as much of the world is going the opposite direction.

According to, Russia's income-tax rate is a flat 13 percent. Slovakia ditched its top rate of 38 percent for a flat tax of 19 percent. Estonia has a flat tax of 22 percent, Poland's is 19 percent and Serbia's is 14 percent.

But I stray from my central point -- that I've got more to celebrate this Thanksgiving than ever before. Every year, I get a little wiser. I realize a little more how unlikely it was for the founders of any country to attempt an experiment as our Founders did. They risked all so that our government would be accountable to the common man and not the other way around.

They risked all for freedom -- MY freedom. It was through simple good luck that I was born in America rather than, say, Soviet Russia. The Russians tried an experiment, too -- one in which the government ran everything and the common man was accountable to it. That experiment resulted in the oppression and massacre of millions.

It failed miserably. Its legacy still troubles a proud people.

I'm thankful I was born at a great time and in a blessed place. And though we may slip up now and then, we've shown great capacity to correct ourselves. No sooner do we make a wrong turn than we find a way to set ourselves right.

"Our country is not where it is today on account of any one man," said Will Rogers. "It's here on account of the real common sense of the Big Normal Majority." I become more aware of this every year -- more aware of how incredible our blessings really are.

That's why I have more to celebrate this Thanksgiving than ever before.

Tom Purcell is a humor columnist nationally syndicated exclusively
Cagle Cartoons. For comments to Tom, please email him at
Cagle Cartoons Inc.
Newspaper Syndicate
Santa Barbara, CA

Thank you Tom. And thank you Michael for sharing this with all of us.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Plan for Profit in 2008 - Here’s an Easy 5 Step Method

This is a great blog I wanted to share with you by Kevin Stirtz the "Smart Marketing Guy" you can read more of his work by CLICKING HERE.

This time of year business owners, executives and consultants are (or should be) spending time looking ahead. We should be thinking what we want for our businesses in 2008.
But we all know many people fail to plan. There are as many reasons for this as there are (or used to be) hairs on my head. I used to think the biggest reason was time. Not anymore. I think the biggest reason people fail to plan is they’re not sure how.
Whatever you call it, strategic planning, business planning, year-end planning, it sounds important. It also sounds like a lot of work. It looms large as a big, complicated responsibility that a lot of people are not sure how to do.
So, to help you get started and have a successful planning session this year, here is an easy yet effective system you can use.
It’s focused on getting and keeping your customers. Some people might think this is too narrow. I think it’s perfect because if you’re focused on getting and keeping customers then everything else will fall into place. Your customers drive your business so they should also drive your planning.
1. Clarify your mission.
What does your business do for you (how does it make your life better)? What does it do for your customers (how does it help them get what they want)? What business are you in (product, service, industry or profession)? And finally, what are your measurable objectives for the next 12 months? (Revenue, net profit, growth?)
2. Identify your best market
Your best market is people who want what you do AND whom you can serve better than anyone else. It’s not enough to know who wants what you do. You need to focus on those you can serve best based on the resources and competitive advantages of your business. That enables you to serve them so well they come back and they tell others.
3. Create your message
How do you tell your market what you do for them? What can you say that they will want to listen to? Make it about them not you. Without a good clear message it will be much harder to attract enough customers to have a sustainable business.
4. Commit resources
Decide how much you will invest in helping your business meet the objective(s) in step #1. Measure this in time as well as money. Make it realistic but make it a stretch too. You don’t grow a business without making an investment.
5. Make it happen
Pick three ways you can deliver your message to your market based on the resources you’ve committed to investing. Then implement them religiously. Focus and concentrate your message on a group small enough so you can connect with them multiple times throughout the year. Track what you are doing and monitor the results. Build a process so you can see what actions (inputs) helps you achieve your objectives (outcomes).
Then follow Kevin’s Golden Rule: Do more of what works and less of what doesn't.

Feeling Suicidal?

Okay, I love my mom dearly, but she is sometimes a little too prolific in her forwarding of emails... but when I received this one from her... well judge for yourself.
I was feeling depressed last week, so I called the mental health help line.

Like all other call centers, it has been outsourced to a third-world location.

So, when I told the operator in Pakistan that I was feeling suicidal, he got very excited and wanted to know if I could drive a truck or fly a plane.

Is it just me, or does this seem wrong at so many levels? Does it make it worse if I laughed at it?

Friday, November 16, 2007

10 Rules for Writing Your Strategic Plan

Over the years, while perfecting my personal method of strategic planning, the method that became QuickPlanner Plus, I observed several rules that, when followed, achieved a better sense of success for me and those who followed them.
This information is excerpted from Bonus Report #1, which is available only to registered users QuickPlanner Plus.
But, in a truncated nutshell, I am sharing the first 5 of these rules here with you, today...
1. Define your Vision first. Yes, even for QuickPlanner Plus users, you must define your Vision
first. Not your objective or your mission or your strategy... no. What is your vision? When you close your eyes, or gaze up at the night starts, what do you see one year, two years, five years from now? When everything comes together for you, when your program is completed, what ideal world do you see?
This is your vision. Only when you have defined what you are wishing for, can you then define your objectives.
2. Objectives must be quantitative. Objectives must have quantitative values. It is great to say that you want to be the #1 Hot Dog Cart on 116th street, but that is not a true numerical
objective. So how do you define your objectives? Simple... just decide how MANY hot dogs you would have to sell to become the #1 Cart on 116th Street. That is your objective and it is much easier to measure and understand.
3. Share your objectives. Of any part of the plan, objectives are the easiest for others to relate to. Most companies see the mission statement or the vision as the catalyst for unity among the employees or the magic words that will create the "warm and fuzzy" among the VCs. But a mission statement cannot translate into dollars. Telling your employees that our goal is $50000 in sales in 3Q07 is much more motivational then just sharing the mission statement.
So share your objectives, early and often.
4. Keep the mission statement simple. Defining your mission statement is easy, if you followed rule number 1. What is a mission statement? It is a short term view of your vision. If you are a brand new company and your vision is "to be a global company with 20,000 employees serving 3,000,000 customers world-wide", your short term mission may be to "establish company
product and name as a reliable alternative to the competition with the best customer service".
See the difference? What is your purpose in the next 1, 3, 6, 12 month(s)? If your objectives are to sell 3000 widgets in 3 months. Then your mission may be "to guide customers through known and as yet unknown barriers to purchase widgets."
5. Keep it Simple Stupid! Yes, this rule works for strategic programs to. There is no need to pay
consultants hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend months and months to developing a short or long term plan. In reality, in this day and age of Fast Company
economics, plans must be living, breathing and flexible documents. Long term strategic planning is dead. Short term, simple visions, are what the future of planning is about.
By following these simple rules, your strategic plan will be well on its way to being a well defined plan for success.

Hacking the iPhone

Yes, friends, it continues. The Hacking of the iPhone. No, I do not have one, though I am looking forward to getting one when my current T-mobile contract runs out. Fast Company did a great article on what can be done with the iPhone and I am sure that Apple is diligently trying to fix the problem. But I just wanted to share it with you as my first entry on Matsonian's Rants.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Tim Ferriss and "The 4-Hour Work Week"

I wanted to take a moment and recognize the man who inspired me to create QuickPlanner Plus - Timothy Ferriss. His book, The 4-Hour Work Week (4HWW) was an interesting and eye-opening read.

Now, mind you, I am not the kind who is looking to live like the "new rich" and be able to travel the world and not worry about my companies, but I am intersted in creating automated income with online businesses so I can use my freed time to pursue my own personal passions which include the US Navy Reserve and Through the Mind, a non-profit I started that provides free mental health services to returning war veterans, helping veterans overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

So 4HWW was inspiring for me. I have always been an entrepreneur and while I was programming web-pages in pure HTML in 1995 before I found any WYSIWIGs to use, I can honestly say that I have never been on the cutting edge of the web revolution.
Most of my graphic design clients simply wanted a website for the digital brochure aspect, not the Web 2.0 possibilities. And I have never had the time to really research the web and see what great opportunities there are out there now for creating a successful business.

4HWW changed all that. It was like being a vegetarian and then getting your first taste of a ribeye from Ruths Chris Steak House. Your first thought is WOW - where in the #%$&! have I been?

QuickPlanner Plus is my first product since reading 4HWW and I am very thankful for your support. Since then I am working on two other concepts, one that is a supplement and another that recently launched a trial run called A neighborhood-based clothing company. Not an original idea, but I am filling a gap not seen in the higher-end product markets.

BTW, I will be posting my plans as prepared by QuickPlanner Plus in the User's Only area of in a week or so.

Strategic Planning and the Pacific Crest Trail

One of the reasons I have not actively been blogging here is that I have been focusing on the development and release of a new software called QuickPlanner Plus. An easy to use strategic planning software, QuickPlanner Plus is designed to take any goal and help you develope a step by step plan to achieve that goal.

As part of my overal marketing of QuickPlanner Plus, I am going to use it do strategize my Pacific Crest Trail preparation. I will post it post the resultant plan here and in the user's only area of QuickPlanner Plus when it is complete.

There is a great trend these days toward strategic planning for life and it is one that I must full embrace. As can be seen here by my lack of postings, if I do not have a plan in place, I tend to procrastinate and not get a thing done.
As one of my favorite adages says... "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail." and I do not intend to fail the PCT.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

¿Por qué no te callas? - "Shut Up" to Hugo Chavez from the King of Spain

Yes, this has nothing to do with QuickPlanner Plus, strategic planning or anything I am likely to write about here, or does it?

About 30 minutes ago I decided to add a "¿Por qué no te callas?" t-shirt to just to capitalize on the interest behind the King of Spain's recent remarks to Hugo Chavez.

And, knowing that this is a quick money maker with short lifespan, I could either just dive into it, or I could use QuickPlanner Plus and do it right. I decided on the latter, of course.

The result? After 10 minutes with QuickPlanner I created a plan, began the implementation and created a basic design to start selling online. ¿Por qué no te callas? - with an image of the King of Spain!

Mike Sweeney (Sweonardo da Vinci) and "Your Book of Poems"

This is not so much about the book, though I am going to get a copy and see if it helps me in my great quest to write for a living, I was much more intrigued by his "20 Year Hike" if anyone has more information about Mike Sweeney and his hiking prowess, please feel free to share...

Reposted here from the Amador County Ledger Dispatch - original posting HERE.

Sutter Creek resident Mike Sweeney just released his first book, "Your Book of Poems."

Many of the poems in the book were written during Sweeney's 20-year hike of the 2,650-mile Mexico to Canada, Pacific Crest Trail, which he completed in August.

"At first I just wanted to write a book of poetry on my hikes as I didn't seem to be getting around to writing the 'great American novel.' Eventually, however, I realized that maybe I could write a guide to overcoming writer's block, etc., by setting goals to help inspire some of my fellow baby boomers to get back to doing things rather than just being spectators."

"Your Book of Poems" is a guide to using goals, action plans and imagination to create a book in one year or less. It contains everything a person needs (including templates) to not only write a book, but to use the experience as a bridge to accomplishing additional goals in music, art, sports or whatever a person aspires to accomplish.

"People have so many talents that get lost in the world of adult responsibilities," Sweeney said. "In America, we are defined by our regular job. I happen to have the best job in the world , but as I get older, I realize that if I am going to accomplish things outside of it, I'd best get going. We have to make time for other challenges and get off the couch to accomplish them."

Sweeney has been the executive director of The Arc of Amador and Calaveras for the past 19 years.

"Your Book of Poems" is published by Infinity Publishing under Sweeney's pen name, Sweonardo da Vinci. It can be purchased locally at Bubble Gum Book Store and On Purpose in Sutter Creek and at Hein & Co. in Jackson. It is also available on the Web at or

Sweeney's first book signing is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Hein & Co.

For more information, call 267-5864 or e-mail

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Business Plans Suck!" or "How I Succeeded and my Business Plan Collected Dust"

Okay... I said it. Business plans Suck. Yes, not exactly an articulate expression of my views, but a concise one.

But let me be more precise. Do you really need a business plan? The process of developing a business plan is one of the most tedious tasks I have ever had the displeasure of particpating in. In building my first business, Matson Breakey Associates, a social marketing consulting firm, I reached a crossroad where a business loan would have helped me to expand.

Now, up until then, I did not have a business plan. I had a strategic plan in place for marketing and growth, but by every definition it did not qualify as a business plan.

Of course, the bankers wanted a business plan. They wanted numbers, long term analysis, projections, market segment analysis, competition analysis, and on and on and on.

Many websites will encourage you to develop a business plan as the first step in developing your business. But, if you are a creative type like me... that is the last thing you need to do.

Yes, I will say it again... developing a business plan is the last thing you need to do.

HOWEVER... developing a strategic plan is the FIRST thing you need to do!
What is the difference? A business plan can be defined as:
"A document prepared by a company's management, detailing the past, present, and future of the company, usually designed to attract capital investment."

Whereas a strategic plan can be defined as:
"Planning that represents what must be done by the company in order to achieve its long-term objectives and goals."

In my experience, after going through the tedious effort of creating a business plan and even a truncated one, and after the banker or investor had reviewed it, the plan immediately began collecting dust on the shelf and my previously created strategic plan was my tool for success.

So, once again, if you don't plan on going to a banker or looking for financing, don't bother with the business plan, just create your strategic plan.
Now, those of you who ARE going for financing... it can be very difficult to go from idea to business plan... use the strategic planning process as your intermediate step.

Good Planning!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Successful Release of QuickPlanner Plus Strategic Planning!


Here is our latest press release for QuickPlanner Plus! The initial success is very exciting!


QuickPlanner Plus Debuts with a Roar!
Simple Planning Wizard for Creative Types Finds Quick Following

Sacramento, CA -- QuickPlanner Plus, an extreme example of old-school wizard-based software, found its foothold today in the ever growing independent commercial and shareware software industry proving that the right combination of simplicity and pricing is appealing to the right consumer base.

"We are targeting the creative individual," says "I've found over the years that creative individuals are fabulous at having the idea, but not so good at the planning or implementation."

That's where QuickPlanner Plus comes in. According to the website,, the software guides the user through four easy steps in the planning process:

QuickPlanner Plus educates you in layman's terms about the planning process.
QuickPlanner Plus asks a series of questions to help you make decisions about each stage of the process.
Once you've finished all stages, QuickPlanner Plus kicks out your first draft of your new strategic, business, or other plan.
Successful implementation of your great plan.
And its not just for strategic planning. The software is so simple, you can literally plan anything with it. Your business, baby shower, gallery opening, hiking trip, family BBQ, study plan, career plan, and the list goes on and on.

And by simple, we mean simple. The software has no intuitiveness, so it requires you to skip through fields that are not being used to get to ones that are being used. "Our first goal," says Matson, "was to get this product out and make sure there is a need for it." Now that they have proven the need, the software will be receiving a full makeover with more intuitive functions. "Current users will always get free upgrades."

The website also has a very helpful users area, since the software just launched the forum is sparsely populated, but that is expected to change.

"We want the QuickPlanning Plus experience to be a shared one," says Matson, "so we created a forum where QPP users can upload their planning templates and share them with other users." While they don't expect proprietary business plans to be uploaded, they do expect other, more interesting plans to be placed. In fact, Matson promises that they will be posting the strategic plan that was created to launch QuickPlanner Plus, just so others could see how its done.

Initial estimates for downloads is "high" according to Matson. "We can't disclose actual numbers, but our sales are at least double what we expected and that is without having any affiliates in place."

With the establishment of hundreds of affiliates over the next couple weeks, QuickPlanner Plus should continue to roar.


The Care and Feeding of Your Bear Canister

I have not done much in the last couple months to continue my preparation. But now, in the middle of the Holiday season, when I am already at 260 lbs, I am getting my second, Mtn Dew, inspired wind to keep this blog going strong. My father forwarded this great article to me by Tom Reynolds and I would like to share it with you...

The Care and Feeding of Your Bear Canister Or Care for Your Canister and You'll Eat Better Than the Bears
by Tom Reynolds
Download Full Document HERE.

Using a Canister
Most weekend hikers rarely get more than 8-10 pounds of food, 6-8 days supply in a canister. However, it is possible to carry over 18 pounds of food, a 12-14 day supply totally within the canister. From Kennedy Meadows the Keasarge Pass trailhead (Onion Valley) is 140 miles ahead while the Vermillion Valley Resort (Lake Edison from Mono Creek) is about 230 miles. Cramming 18 pounds of food into a canister may, at first, seem impossible. However, following these instructions and a little planning and patience will accomplish the task.

Volume must be considered as well as weight. For example 1 ounce of regular rice makes 3 cooked cups while 1 ounce of minute rice makes 2 cups. In terms of weight they are equal because of the additional fuel required to cook regular rice. However, in terms of volume the regular rice is better.

Food Choices
Choose foods with a high weight/volume ratio:
• I prefer regular rice and cous-cous as carbohydrates over noodles, spaghetti and other pasta. They have a much higher weight/volume.
• I also prefer tortillas over bread. They have a much higher weight/volume.
• Pack foods that waste a minimum amount of space in the canister. One size tortilla fits perfectly. The other sizes waste space.
• Pack foods that are compressible, like powders as opposed to elbow macaroni.
• Choose foods with a minimum of water [Obviously, this doesn't apply in the San Felipe Hills.]
• For your chocolate fix choose baking a chocolate cake to a Hersey's bar.
• Used powdered refried beans, chili and/or black beans.
• Use dried mix powders for sauce and/or seasoning.
• Carry dried fruit and/or Jerky.
• Choose foods with a high calorie content.
• I prefer fat like peanut butter to sugar, protein or carbohydrate. It is double the calorie/gram.
• I prefer nuts as snacks to candy (sugar).
• Pack simple foods that can be combined into many different meals. My favorite is tortillas/rice and several bean powders. I could write a chapter on the number of meals that could be made with these staples.
• Pack in bulk, not by meal. Depending on a lot of things your appetite will vary. Cook each day to your appetite

Cooking Style
• Learn to bake in a BakePacker [4 oz.] or possibly an Outback Oven [I have not used one].
• This is the #1 volume saving tool I have found. You can turn low volume, lightweight powder into high volume, high weight foods simply and easily.
• Get a stove that simmers. For BakePacking or cooking rice-simmer for 20 minutes-you need control. I personally tossed my MSR Flame-thrower years ago [I know this is heresy] in favor of a simple iso-butane stove. For a hike on the JMT (200 miles) the total weight of stove and fuel will be lighter. On a thruhike, where fuel resupply is a problem, an iso-butabe stove may not be practical. Regardless of the stove you carry, make sure that you leave Kenndy Meadows with enough alcohol or other fuel to successfully cook foods that take longer to cook but require less volume to store.
• Carefully measure all food.
• Figure out exactly how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners you will need.

Opening Your Bear Canister
• Do not open the bear canister until you need to.
• Your canister should be closed (lid on) unless you are in arms’ reach of it.
• Your first day's food doesn't need to be in the canister. You are going to eat it before the bear comes [night]. If there is a bear box your first day you can carry 2 days food outside the canister. Once you open a properly packed canister you will NEVER get all that stuff back in. You need a BEFORE bear canister [is opened] salt supply and an AFTER canister [is opened] salt supply and on and on--get it?

RePacking Food
• Repack food so that all air can be eliminated.
• Repack food so that the package is flexible and will squeeze into any available space.
• Pack powders in sandwich size baggies --not ziplock. Pack about 1/2 full then carefully squeeze all air out. Twist the top several times to make a tight tail and a body with NO air. Put the tie-tie at the top of the twist, then untwist the tail and flatten out the bag. A relatively flat bag will waste almost no space while a tight round bundle will waste lots of space.
• Waste NO space. Peanut butter in a plastic jar [you know, good old Skippy, not that gourmet kind that rots] is a staple. However, there is lots of space on top, even in a new jar. Fill it full.
• Puncture air holes in tortillas wrappers and the like. This way you can force air out of the package when you compress.
• Store some stuff loosely. In small nooks and crannies toss some loose rice or peanuts.
• Once you open the canister and take some food out, they will pool and you can easily them for later use

Read the rest by downloading the document HERE.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Aligning Strategic Plans Goals & Objectives

Tonight I was surfing the web and ran across - a great resource. While perusing the site I of course focused in on Strategic Planning and found this post by tvmokoena:
I am currently dealing with a strategic planning in our organisation! My questiion is ? how can i ensure that our strategy is align with our organisational objectives and goals for organisational success.

I took a moment to respond with the following:
A good strategy starts with the definition of the objectives, then the definition of the mission. But do not mistake your departments objectives with those of your company. In a good strategic plan, the vision and the desired end product may be more representative of your company's objectives and goals. That is why you need to align it up and down and up again when you are writing it. This is the techniques used by the QuickPlanner Plus system at

It brought to attention a good point. When you are creating a strategic plan for your area of responsibility, you need to ensure that the defined objectives are YOUR defined objectives. You mission statement may be shared with the big bosses, but the objectives are YOUR objectives. PERIOD. As you use the QuickPlanning Plus methodology you will see how easy it is to align your plan up and down and up again to make sure your plan is fully refined and fully executionable.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Welcome to the QuickPlanner Plus family!


QPP is simply one of the simplest pieces of software to hit the market in years! Not on is it simple because of my limited programming skills, but it is simple in its incredible method of guiding you through the process of creating a successful plan.

Where else can you have a software that enables you to produce not only the most sophisticated strategic plan, but the simplest party plan?

It has been said by men (and women) wiser than I, that if you fail to plan, you will have planned to fail. That is such a poignent and true remark that I've adopted it as an adage for QuickPlanner Plus.

But remember, just because you bought the software, does not mean that you can avoid the planning process itself! QPP is not automatic - it requires your creative ideas and intelligent decision makings.

Of course, sometimes we get stuck and have "planner's block" so-to-speak. In cases like that, use our Users Forum to post your struggles and either me, my staff, or another QPP User will answer your question.

You can also use the form to post your own template, review other templates or make requests for updated features on QuickPlanning Plus!

Thank you again for being a part of the QuickPlanner Plus family!

Here's to planning & success!