DIY Tools for Start Ups


Basic Business Plan Template

Depending on your goals and whether you plan on securing investment capital, Business Plans don’t have to be complicated. Here’s a 1 page plan template that will get you started and is a quick summary sheet for many larger plans.

Emergent 1 Page Business Plan
Brand Platform Template

Brand Platform Template

Some believe that Brand Development is just for Marketing! We believe your brand is the essence, the soul of a company and without it — it’s like living without air or ground to walk on!

Your Brand = Your Vision + Your Purpose!  We believe the most successful companies have a clear vision and purpose – one that is strongly held by employees and easily understood by customers. The stronger your brand is expressed internally and externally, the more energy and enthusiasm your team will feel, and the more customers will be attracted to your brand.

Emergent Brand Pyramid v4

This template can quickly clarify and define your WHY? (reason for being) and serve as the foundation of EVERYTHING you do! The best scenario is to collaborate with your management team or company leaders, get buy in on all levels, and express the brand in all areas of the company including: Strategy, Values, HR/Org Development, Operations, Customer UX, Communications, and Marketing Outreach. A brand that is formed in collaboration with a management team generally has a stronger expression throughout the organization, sets the mark for attracting the ‘right’ employees, and has comes across more authentic to customers.

If you need help facilitating your team, ideas for internal applications, or turning your brand into a rockin’ customer acquisition campaign, give us a call!

Good Luck!

12 Essential Business Building Blocks

12 Essential Elements for Business Development

Starting a new business can be thrilling and daunting at the same time – adrenaline fueled late nights, long hours, and multiple high priorities needing your attention at once.  The following 12 essentials framework can help you organize your business development and address the essentials to help you AND your business thrive.

12 Essential Building blocks_web_web

The 12 elements are divided into four distinct optimization categories:

1. Foundation

  • Business Core Values: What do you stand for? What’s important to you? What drives your passion to do this business? This clarity is the essence of your brand and fuel for lasting endurance.  This is also the base of authenticity, feeds your brand positioning, distinction, and attracts qualified employees and customers.
  • Business Vision and Intention: What’s your vision? How does your business make the world a better place?  What is your intention for yourself, team and customers? What beliefs propel your business vs. hold it back. These are important to surface in order to mitigate possible future roadblocks to your success.
  • Human Resources, Leadership: This is one of the most critical elements of your business and one that gets overlooked.  Lay out an organization chart, outlining critical roles and responsibilities – understand who you have on your team vs. open roles needed to be filled.  What is your leadership style, values and desired tone of your culture? The “personality” of your company is determined by the values of its leaders, translates to external and internal brand elements, and can influence the resonance of your Marketing.  Your answers to these questions are the ‘real sauce’ – the stuff that creates authentic communication to customers and employees alike.


2. Operation

  • Sales Strategy, Revenue Model, Financials: Determine your product and service offering and the revenue model associated with the transaction of what you ‘sell.’  Understand your expense lines, both start up and   reoccurring costs. Create financial projections that show both anticipated income and expenses. Hire a bookkeeper to manage financials and a CFO consultant to review your revenue model.
  • Operations & Logistics: What is your process for delivering your service? What procedures are important to support both the present day customer satisfaction and continued expansion and growth. Make sure all leaders have a stake in this, your entire organization is on board, and your process is align with your vision and values.
  • Teamwork & Collaboration: It’s critical that all team members have skin in the game or stake in your company’s success – this can be done with verbal agreements or financial investments. Assure your team works in harmony, holds your company’s values, and fosters collaboration and communication as your operation expands.  One important habit to help form collaboration is to begin every meeting with 5 minutes of gratitude or positive recognition for the things that are going RIGHT! This breeds more of the same, can completely change the course of the meeting, and influence the level of commitment and productivity.
  • Customer Service and Experience: People engage and buy from brands who’s product they value and offers an ‘experience’ they enjoy.  People won’t always remember what you do, but they WILL remember how you made them FEEL!  Define the ‘take-away’ you want people to have — this is your VIRUAL marketing and word-of-mouth as people love to share great experiences. Work all of this into your company’s process and procedures, service protocol/standards, and employee recognition programs.


3. Positioning

  • Brand Positioning: When people think about solving their problems, do they think about you? How are you better than competition? What distinct value can you own?  How does your product enhance what consumers already do, make things easier, or provide a better way to do the things we already do.
  • Customer Identification & Relevance: Create a target audience profile with attributes to really understand your buyer’s motivation outside your direct exchange. Take an interest and really care about WHO they are as PEOPLE as this will translate to authentic and meaningful exchanges and built loyalty. This insight will inform how to position your product and service to improve adoption rates and quick conversions. Focus Groups, 3rd party research, and profiles are good resources to start with.
  • Product and Service Distinction: What makes your brand and your products or services different and better than those of your competitors? Why should people care?  Demonstrate product functions and distinctions through photographs, don’t just tell. People will believe what they SEE over what they HEAR.


4. Growth

  • Communication Strategy and Key Messages:  Part of your Brand Strategy and Platform must include a playbook of communication, key messages, the elevator pitch that all employees say, no matter the stakeholder. This document serves as your communication bible and informs everything from HR to Marketing to Press Releases. Establish scripts and communication guidelines for employee, team and stakeholder exchanges.
  • Marketing Strategy & Outreach: What impact is your marketing making in the environment. Are you resonating with your target audience? What channels are important to reach them and once deployed, is it performing? Create a website that reflects your brand essence, product distinctions and profiles your passion for doing what you do. Define channels, both digital and tradition, that reach your target, generate awareness and convert interest into paying customers.

We know from experience, that weaknesses in any one of these can ruin an otherwise great company. We know also that companies who excel in each of the 12 elements rise to the top. It’s not revolutionary, and it’s not rocket science — It’s just good, practical business sense.

Let us know if you need any help jumpstarting any of these areas or an extra push to hurdle a roadblock to success. We are happy to help!

Media Kit Basics

Media Kit Essentials

You don't have to be a media relations expert to get press, you just have to be prepared.

The media kit's job is to provider journalists with all the important information to properly report on your story after you've successfully captured their attention.

The following tool kit to your do-it-yourself media kit solution. The good news is, this kit has multiple uses and can be a valuable asset as a start up.

First, go to FLAX or an stationery supply store and buy nice folders. Print out your name/logo on nice paper, glue it on the front and bam!…You have a Press Kit Folder. Most of what you distribute will be digital, however these are nice to hand out when meeting with a journalist or other stakeholder in person.


Media Kit in 4 Easy Steps:

  • Company Sell-Sheet or Fact-Sheet
  • Media Advisory (Just the basics)
  • Founders Bios and Photos
  • Logos and Product Images


1) Company Fact Sheet:

  • Year your company was founded
  • Who the founders are (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook links)
  • Where it was founded
  • Where it currently operates
  • How many employees it has
  • Other notable team members, board members, advisors
  • Names of prominent clients
  • Principal investors (if already public)
  • Fundraising statistics (if already public)
  • Revenue statistics (if already public)
  • Growth statistics (if already public)
  • Major products/services, including breakdown of features
  • How much those products/services cost
  • When those products/services were launched
  • Where those products are made (if applicable)
  • What platforms/stores products are available on
  • Overarching market or industry statistics


2) Media Advisory

A media advisory is a simple, straight forward, just the facts version of a press release. It is a one-pager outlining the major points an editor or journalist needs to know about your business with background information on your company and it's founders. Be sure to clearly articulate the problem your company is solving and a strong position why your company has a unique handle on solving it. Bonus points if you tie this into the founder's passion or background. Highlight distinct features of your product, why they are distinct from competition and why we all can't live without your company and it's service offerings. Include insights on the larger industry landscape that paves the way for your solution, indicate milestones achieved to date and developments you have on the horizon. Include any specific dates or product launch timing that is appropriate.

3) Founders Bios and Photos

We know it's not your favorite thing, but now it the time to invest in a photo session –get founder headshots plus team leaders shots in action. While journalist won't be interested in publishing them, your bios and photos provide needed context and helps them frame up what makes your team valuable. Sometimes a founder story, founding team story can be more compelling than the product and can have equal impact on a reader's interest in the company or product.

4) Logos and Product Images

Important to include your company logo(s) and product photos in action. Images should be feature with variable backgrounds and orientations to provide publication options on featuring your images and increasing your footprint of coverage. Product photos should show features and user experience since ultimately getting coverage is about acquiring customers. You are providing convenience to the publication, yet ultimately speaking directly to the reader and potential customer.

Final Suggestions….

The easier you make a journalist life, by being organized, informed, available and responsive — the better your chances for coverage. Provide your images and this entire media kit up front in digital form (print if requested) so they have all they need to pull together a great story.

Good Luck! and let us know if you have questions or need help!


A FREE start-up tool kit ideal for new companies or existing ones who wish to invigorate their business.

Let’s talk about mobilizing growth in your organization!