Welcome to the FREE "nano" mobile version of the Ultimate Online Business Planning Tool for New Product Development. The only Flight Simulator for your Startup or new project.

For the most comprehensive analysis, visit NPRPRO.COM and subscribe to the FULL Version which includes a single click Business Plan Generator !


While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained in this Site is from reliable sources, NPD Pro accepts no liability for any mistakes or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information.

All information in this Site is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.

In no circumstance will NPD Pro, its related partnerships or corporations, or the partners, agents or employees thereof be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in this Site or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

All information provided herein is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and legal impact can vary widely based on the specific facts involved.

Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, and the inherent hazards of electronic communication, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in the information contained in this Site and accordingly, the information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering accounting, tax, legal or other professional services.

As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors. Before any decision or action, you should consult a professional.
NOTES: This free mobile version cannot have its project uploaded nor downloaded and data is only stored in your browser's cache memory. There are only 8 abreviated modules of the available 80 in the full subscription version. Also, there are no print functions nor ability to generate a Business Plan.

 INSTRUCTIONS RE: Full Version of The Entrepreneur's Sandbox

Each page is either textual notes, a form and data module, or an interface to the server (such as the Project List page for uploads and downloads).

This application requires each form of each phase to have data entered and saved.
It's important to complete these phases in their order to minimize errors.

Once complete, return to the start and review and re-save any modules that might need to be modified and to allow that data to ripple through to final analysis. More detailed information is available in the online manual.

Important This application uses your browser's cache memory.

You should save your project data by uploading it to the NPDPRO server from the Project Archive & List page. Do NOT clear your browser's cache memory unless you've saved your work, else your active project data will be lost.

Clearing the browser memory may be required to utilize updated features and pages as upgrades are continually added. In the event the browser is cleared while logged in, your account linking is lost and will require you to Login again.

Phase 1
  • Project
    Enter all information regarding your project and business. This is used for both saving and retrieving projects

  • Evaluation
    Does your product idea "Fit" within the Market, the Company and Sales structure, the available skills, and the Target Customer? The metric provided will indicate if you need to do more homework.

  • Personal Assets
    If you intend to Self-Fund your project, you must first assess your resources.

  • Personal Liabilities
    Whether you're self-funding or not, you have personal bills to pay. Can you?

  • Funding
    Discover all the possible means of funding your project and assert them here. This is the initial investment required to start a project or business.

  • Concept & Plan
    All the questions that will need answers before you can create a business plan. This information will prefill the document, therefore, be direct to the point, honest, and brief.

Phase 2
Market Model
  • Market Research: Identifying the Market, define who you customers are. Define who your Competitors are and assert what their sales are. This is the first step to realizing the size of the market and how much you may be able to capture.

  • Market Analysis: Define the market size in dollars and what growth is occurring. Next, assume a reasonable share of market you feel is a target you can achieve. This sets an annual sales volume target which the business must support. Too big or too small can both be problems that need understanding.

  • Business Model: Set a Price of your product and this will reveal quantities needed by the annual sales you target. Understand that Retail Price is not your revenue per unit unless you are a Retailer. Your Sales Price becomes what is left after distribution costs and commissions.

  • Product Life: A product is born, sales grow, mature, then die away. Consider the life of Sales over time in your market space, what is typical and expected. This curve that will rise and fall helps define actual sales over time rather than a fixed static value assumed by the Market Analysis.

  • Requirements: Descriptions required by Services and Software projects, and Hardware products intended for medical or government markets. Text entries provided will be included in the Business Plan.

Company Model
  • Calendar: sets actual effective work hours. People are not machines. They require food, water, and use of the bathroom. They equire holidays and vacations, and sometimes they get ill and need to rest. otherwise, they can use time socializing or in training, or a myriad of other activities that interferre with intended schedules.

  • Overheads: various factors are defined that represent additional costs associated with various activities. Labor burdens are added factors attached to each hour of labor to represent the support that is provided to employed labor that is either Direct (that labor used in producing a product) or Indirect (the labor not associated to directly producing the product). Also, other factors of burden can be associated with purchased materials used in a product. Payroll has an additional burden that relates to taxes and benefits expense spent on each employee.

  • Payroll: A quantity of employees are hired for their skills to perform specialized tasks. Each employee is paid at a defined rate per hour. That information is defined on this page. Default rate values for these skills may be utilized which represent 2016 U.S. averages for each State as well as the country's average. A 15% factor can be applied to increase or decrease the rates.

  • Expenses page lists all the single annual purchases required to support the office activities, engineering development tasks, and manufacturing efforts.

  • Facility: Space to perform business tasks are defined. Assuming a standard leasing rate provides an ultimate cost for all the space used to contain manufacturing, inventory, sales and marketing, engineering and office staff.

  • Budgets are created to establish what monies are set aside annually for various activities and consumed items.

  • Operations page summarizes all general business costs and provides additional cost items either fixed in value or relating to a percentage of the sales revenue.

  • Staffing: The required headcount changes over time and this page summarizes the totals required for each skill over the 5 year period. Graphically, the total payroll and total headcount are depicted to reveal how each may increase or decrease over time.

Phase 3
Product, Maufacturing, and Development Models
  • Development: Summary of NRE (Non-Recurring Engineering) includes the totals from the 16 Tasks defining major activities in the design and development of the new project. All materials and labor for the new design is totaled here and used throughout the financial analysis as an initial cost prior to any sales revenue.

  • Manufacturing Activities and REC (Recurring tasks); The various processes in producing an item product are listed here. Each step measures the Minutes used by individual skills and any materials required. All these "raw" costs are totaled.

  • Procurement Summary: Time and Money associated with purchasing is summarized to depict typical expenditures that need to made on a regular basis. This is for reference only as real-time purchasing is often irregular due to many business priorities and differing payment terms between vendors.

  • Time and Motion Standards: Labor associated with material types is defined to allow an estimate of labor cost for a complete assembly. Each part has an estimated time to attach or insert or modify as needed by the final assembly. All the time is tallied and a labor time and cost can be derived.

  • BOM (Bill of Materials): Part Costs, quantities, and T&M Labor assignments are listed for each item required. Some items may have a tariff attached when imported. Any other receiving costs would be considered under the budgets, expenses, or other operational costs.

  • Tooling List: The procurement of tools, custom molds, and set-up costs for component parts are listed here. These are typically considered fixed expenses.

  • Services List: The procurement of external services, testing, and use of consultants are listed here. These are typically considered fixed expenses.

  • Industrialization: Product manufacturing summaries provide Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) which is used through the financial analysis which directly relate to the variable costs of unit sales.

  • Schedules for all activities: The development and manufacturing tasks are shown as well as overall project activities in the graphical form of Gantt charts or timelines. The "Total Schedule" page requires a Start Date and a Delay period representing the time required to establish funding the project. From this, all timelines can be associated with the calendar and End Dates can be determined.

  • Playgrounds; Development Play and Product Play are independent modules that permit experimentation to illustrate the effects of parameter variations on the development cost and gross earnings on the product sales. The Development Playground provides quick indication of investment required to create the product design. The Product Playground permits quick estimates to obtain Cost of Goods Sold. Both are possible here without detailing a company's overheads and operations model.

Development Tasks - NRE (Qty 16)
  • Preliminary design and administrative activities: Here, a conceptual design is fleshed out to provide a design direction. Typically, a technical "Requirement's Document" is drafted that lists all the needed elements of a design and, from such, one can better decide the activities and skills needed.

  • Electrical/Electronic design activities: I & II stages are available for preliminary and final design efforts. Assume that preliminary designs performed (I) then finalized designs with correction efforts made (II).

  • Mechanical design activities: I & II stages are available for preliminary and final design efforts. Assume that preliminary designs performed (I) then finalized designs with correction efforts made (II).

  • Software design activities: I & II stages are available for preliminary and final design efforts. Assume that preliminary designs performed (I) then finalized designs with correction efforts made (II).

  • Prototyping: I & II versions are available for preliminary and final design efforts. Engineering prototypes or "Brass boards" are common tasks to test and verify designs at early stages.

  • Verification Testing, a formal task of assuring the product performs as expected per the original requirements.

  • Validation and Certifications; many products cannot be released for sale without meeting agency approved criteria. Besides verifying performance, such issues as safety and electromagnetic compatibility may need to be tested by both the manufacturer as well as an external certified laboratory. Some countries do not permit sales without such certifications.

  • Alpha & Beta Preproduction builds: I & II versions are available for preliminary and final production review. Some of these may be sold or given to customers as part of Marketing and Sales efforts to establish product interest of fulfill customer contracts when customers are part of the development financing/funding.

  • Finalized Documentation; a tedious effort to assure all the required information is available for tooling and production.

  • Final Critical Review process is common practice in most engineering "phase-gate" programs. This "gate" is where a development effort is approved prior to releasing designs for production.

Phase 4
Sales Model
  • Sales Risks and Opportunities: new products may "cannibalize" sales of other products, especially older units. Those sales revenues are then lost. Other opportunities for improving revenue may be available as "coat-tail" sales such that an accessory for the new product can be sold.

  • Impact Study permits entries and summary all the possible errors in previous guess-work made regarding market size and share, sales pricing, and expenditures. Realizing that expectations may not be met is most important in mitigating risks in any investment.

  • Breakeven Analysis shows the required unit sales quantity to meet the fixed cost of operations. Some experimentation can be applied to better understanding the relationship between sales price and unit production.

  • Financial Summary of the project reviews best and worst case annual sales revenue over the 5 year period. The format reveals the cost breakdowns in Development and Manufacturing versus the Startup investment and cost of Operations. Graphically, best and Worst Case Sales and Earnings are displayed with rates of return (ROI).

Business Summary
  • Cashflow Analysis, A 5 year summary from annual revenue through earnings before taxes. Graphically, best and Worst Case Earnings are displayed.

  • Proforma Balance Sheet is formatted as the accounting standard. This permits additional entries to include uncollected receivables, miscellaneous assets and liabilities, and other expenses to depict higher accuracy in accounting.

  • Sustainable Growth Analysis shows whether your project has sufficient cash to meet anticipated sales and growth. The Blue line shows a cash line with reinvested earnings while the Green line shows cash without reinvestment. The Red line shows a cash line based on sales.

  • Financial Solver allows "What If" adjustments to sales and manufacturing and operations parameters to reveal if improvements in cash flow are possible.

Investment Summary
  • Valuation, discover the value of the business at various stages

  • Equity Tables, assign quantities of corporate stock to investors and employees and monitor the ownership percentages and dilution of the Founder's equity.

  • Money Phasing, shows schedule of expenses to realize the importance of the timing of when funding occurs.

NOTES: This free mobile version is limited to providing simple models of the Market and Sales potentials, Costs of Operations, Development, and manufacturing of Product, and a financial summary of Cashflow. The Equity module provides a simple valuation and stock dilution table when considering investor funding.

 INFORMATION RE: Full Version of The Entrepreneur's Sandbox

This NPD PRO application produces financial models of the Market, the Company, the Product, the Development, the Manufacturing, and the Sales. The many entry forms are grouped within 4 major phases that align with the 4 major stages of New Product Development with the addition of further analysis to permit reiteration:
  • #1 Concept    These first 2 stages are deemed as the "fuzzy front-end" as many
  • #2 Feasibility      questions are asked, but the answers are just best guesses.
  • #3 Development     The next 2 stages are more well defined and often fit within
  • #4 Industrialization      the disciplines of cost engineering and accounting.
The Goal should be to establish a business model and market requirements document (MRD) within the Feasibility stage such that it fully describes the product's specifications defined by market needs. This specification is then used to drive Development design efforts.

It's important to complete these phases in order to minimize errors. This is also
an iterative process, thus, returning to earlier phases to modify information is expected.
Each phase has a number of sheet forms that require data entry.
The combination of forms model major business activities.

Most sheets have buttons to Save, Recall, and Reset the form data.
Also, some sheets have a Default button to preload data that is common or average values commonly used in industry. Each sheet must be Saved to propagate its data throughout the system. A progress bar above indicates the completion level of saved pages and the accuracy of interaction between phases. Optimization occurs through iteration.

The following quick list shows, in order, what is within this application;

Phase 1
  • Welcome: includes disclaimer
  • Basic Instructions
  • Incorporate: Notes on forming a corporation
  • NPD Pro Notes: New Product Development
  • Important Notes and Links on Starting a Business or Project
  • Project: Formal declaration of Stakeholder
  • Concept Evaluation: Initial study of concept viability
  • Personal Assets: Review for self-funding stakeholders
  • Personal Liabilities: Review for self-funding stakeholders
  • Project List: a listing of archived projects for retrieval
  • Funding: A detailed list of resources to fund the project
  • Product Concept: Business planning details

Phase 2
Market Model
  • Market Research: Identifying the market sector
  • Market Analysis
  • Business Model: Pricing the product
  • Product Life Cycle
  • Product Requirements

Company Model
  • Calendar: sets actual effective work hours
  • Overheads: set factors in operations
  • Payroll: define labor rates and headcounts
  • Expenses
  • Facility: define working spaces
  • Budgets
  • Operations
  • Staffing: depicts the required headcounts

Phase 3
Product, Maufacturing, and Development Models
  • Development Summary of NRE (Non-Recurring Engineering)
  • Manufacturing Activities and REC (Recurring Engineering)
  • Procurement Summary: Time and Money associated with purchasing
  • Time and Motion Standards: Labor associated with material types
  • BOM (Bill of Materials) Costs and T&M Labor assignment
  • Tooling List: procurement of tools, custom molds, set-up costs...
  • Services List: procurement of external services, testing, consultants...
  • Industrialization: Facilities determination and Production Summaries
  • Schedules for all activites
  • Development Playground
  • Product Playground

Development Tasks - NRE (Qty 16)
  • Preliminary design and administrative activities
  • Electrical/Electronic design activities
  • Mechanical design activities
  • Software design activities
  • Prototyping
  • Verification Testing
  • Validation and Certifications
  • Alpha & Beta Preproduction builds
  • Finalized Documentation
  • Final Critical Review process

Phase 4
Sales Model
  • Sales Risks
  • Impact Study
  • Breakeven Analysis
  • Financial Summary of project

Business Summary
  • Cashflow Analysis
  • Proforma Balance Sheet
  • Sustainable Growth Analysis
  • Financial Solver

Equity & Funding
  • Valuation
  • Equity Tables
  • Money Phasing
  • Funding recap
  • Concept recap
  • Business Plan

Risks versus Rewards can be revealed as these forms are completed. In the final Phase, it becomes apparent that commitment to the project can be daunting, especially for the Entrepreneur, when cash flow is not growing or not keeping up with business growth. These are indicators of potential bankruptcy or need of external investors.
Sustainable Growth will dictate whether funding is sufficient for project to survive or persist.