I am mentoring small businesses and I am amazed at the ideas I read from the entrepreneurs I have the pleasure of meeting.
Unfortunately, not many have well laid out business plans and most use the Internet for planning.
A big percentage of the documents they use from the Internet are impressive, but what they do not understand is that one cannot use a business plan tailored for another region of the world to fully execute his specific business.
Business concepts are similar universally, but execution and sustainability differ depending on one’s environment and market.
The business plans I have read display glorified projections and their market analysis clearly depicts great profit.
In short, one look at a business plan will tell you that some issues have yet to be thought out clearly. For example, competition, risk, challenges and so forth.
Before embarking on your venture, draft at least three business plans.
This plan is the truest of them all. I refer to it as the
If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve spent a lot of time trying different things to make your online business come together. There are countless methods of conducting a viable marketing career, but there are also as many ways to destroy one as well.
In any endeavor, there are costs. You need to weigh the costs before even getting started. Oh, you know about up front capital, advertising costs, webhosting monthly rental fees, and the like, but. . .
The costs that many entrepreneurs aren’t thinking about right off is the price of your reputation, your intergrity, and your name!
Whenever you put your name on something, you’re staking your reputation on the product and how others view your sales pitch about it. The best way to ruin your business and any future business you might come up with, is to make false claims about it, or use deceptive methods to get people to read what you have to say.
One example that comes to mind is the over use of the “Re:” in your email subject heading. I know who I write to, and I know what I write to others about.
1. Don’t Spend Too Much Time Planning
When you are entering a new market, you won’t know the hidden problems and challenges you will face. You won’t understand those problems until you make a few mistakes. And you won’t solve them and go on to making success of your new business of your are capable of direction quickly.
Most successful new businesses – about 90 per cent of them – end up following practices that are different than anticipate. That’s why it doesn’t pay to spend too much time and money on planning. Do some research. Figure out the big action plans and give yourself a bail-out option. Then go for it. He who can adapt, wins.
2. Don’t spend too much money
The vast majority of business start-ups that succeed do so on a limited budget, and without the benefit of venture capital funding.
People involved in businesses that have limited funds must think harder, work harder and, most importantly, sell harder. Their primary initial effort is to bring in the cash. And that’s how it should be.
There is only one thing that will surely stop any business in its
Please raise your hand if you’ve ever been frustrated about what to put in a business plan? What will convince an investor to give you money? We’ve all been there. And it seems like the answer keeps changing depending on who you talk to.
The problem, or rather the truth, is that there is no “one fit all” solution. So the bad news is: even a step by step guide to writing a business plan won’t really make your plan “good”. The good news is, you really don’t need a step by step guide to make your plan compelling enough to close investment.
There are many different formats and there really isn’t a “universal” length for a perfect business plan. Depending on your product or industry, it can range anywhere between 10-100, and sometimes more, pages.
The question you should ask yourself is: what stage is my company at? If you are already generating revenue and are looking for a second or third round of financing to expand, the business plan can get much more elaborate and detailed, especially on the financial analysis and projections side of things.
But if you are just starting
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he’s taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.
But what steps do you take to protect yourself and your livelihood?
Too many business owners spend all their time worrying about their customers’ security without thinking of their own, even though small companies must often deal with customer fraud, non-paying clients, and more.
Just as you’ve taken steps to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their buying experience, so should you feel comfortable and secure by taking a few precautions of your own.
1. Get Everything in Writing
Written contracts are not just for helping customers understand what they can expect to receive for their money, they are about laying down
Are Office Supply Super Stores Killing Your Business?
Have you ever noticed how convenient those giant office super stores are? I mean we all use them. They’re on every corner out here in the suburbs of Boston. It’s Officethis or Officethat or something like Paperclips, you know, all the major players. Well, I’ve recently realized that over the past 10 years of prosperity that my small business has been paying a huge premium for this convenience. In the past several months, as a result of the recent economic downturn in our local economy, I have been doing everything I can to plug the holes in our spending and trying to “trim the fat” so to speak. Fortunately this is something that myself, my competition and other local business owners are not familiar with. We have all prospered and have rarely, if ever, worried about money.
One evening I was shopping with my family at Wal-Mart loading up on family stuff and I couldn’t help but notice that the same 100ct (or very similar) manila folders that I paid nearly $7.00 for several hours earlier at Officethat were available at Wal-Mart at an everyday low price of
I was floored! I couldn’t believe what they were saying! But there they sat — three of the biggest film stars of our age — telling the world they had issues with confidence. I was watching an interview where Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne Moore were talking with Oprah Winfrey. Their conversation gave me a lot to think about in regard to small business success.
It started with Meryl making a comment about a movie she’d starred in. Her joke was about the fact that she actually quit the movie before it began filming and then ended up following through with her commitment after all. At this point, Nicole and Julianne chimed in. “I do the same thing!” was the cry. As I watched these three huge film stars go back and forth with their issues of insecurity, it dawned on me that I had something in common with these movie icons.
As a small business owner, I constantly question myself. I wonder if I have the imagination, the talent, the skills, or the drive to make it online. Yes, I’m earning a full-time living on the Web. I’ve done so for quite some time
You probably know that there is more to starting a business than you initially thought. There are so many pieces to put together, coordinate and do before starting a business. Many entrepreneurs are either overloaded with information or confused as to where to start from!
A business plan is a formal document that put these ideas together in a logical sequence. Just like a blue print is necessary for building a house, a business is the THE first step in starting a business. It is a realistic and a workable plan that outlines various aspects of business including industry performance, market statistics, and financial summary and so on.
Alan Lakein once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Many entrepreneurs write business plans only when they seek financing or start-up capital for their business. I have always felt that a business plan is an essential document to any business whether or not it is seeking capital. Yes, investors and bankers need a business plan to understand your plan, but more important than that is you being sure as to what
Start thinking about buying an established business if you want to avoid the immense risks involved in starting one. Not everyone wants to start a business from scratch, and buying a business with the infrastructure in place lets you focus on building it up, as opposed to getting a new business off the ground. This is not to say that it’s easy to buy an existing business; it’s a fairly complicated process throughout which you need to know exactly what you’re doing.
First off, decide that you do want to buy before you begin your research. This way you will look at options more carefully. A particular business may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but if you’re sure that you do want to buy, then you won’t brush it off immediately, without first considering how you might grow with it. Vested Business Broker’s deals with a wide range of businesses and will surely help you make up your mind quickly.
Talk to the people in your life who are likely to be affected by the venture. Let them know the hours that you are likely to have to work and the risks involved. You
Make Sure You Have A Business Plan
The first point to keep in mind about business plans is… have a business plan! This may seem obvious but is overlooked. Many people start businesses without a plan; sometimes it can come from sheer bravado, thinking “I don’t need a plan”, or alternatively you might hear “It’s all inside my head, that’s my business plan”. The reality is no matter how much you work with things in your head, no matter how confident you may be and how much you think you already have a great vision for your business, there are so many great reasons why you should get it down on paper.
Most of all if you are seeking funding for your business, it will be absolutely crucial to go along and show someone an actual plan, because there will be very few people who will loan you money on the basis of what’s just in your head. So it’s pivotal to have a plan and be committed to preparing that document. If you are someone who shies away from planning, or you don’t like writing or preparing documents, nevertheless you are going to have to