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 naked business
• Having a video on your home page can be an innovative point of difference in your industry and show you as superior to your competitors. It may be a short sweet explanation of your product, a call to action such as why they should make an appointment or answer a commonly asked question.
• It is important to have a picture of the business owner to build trust. This is also very important if you are targeting women as women psychology is they like to see who they are dealing with.
• Your website should reflect who you are targeting.
• Show testimonials on your website with pictures and name and where they are from. Visitors may recognise some of them.
• Check your website does display well on most browsers and smart device platforms.
• Check the performance of your website regularly, just as you do your profit and loss statement.
• Have a website update or overhaul at least every two years. Your business will change and keep your website in fashion.
• Have a blog on your
Advertising your small business is an important part of any growth strategy. But many business owners become disillusioned with its effectiveness, and question the investment when there are so many other more immediate expenses.
But often this is not an issue with advertising per se, but how it is implemented. The classic problems are:
1. Stopping too soon. People are exposed to so many advertising messages that you need to make sure they see it many times over for it to stick in their mind. This is just human nature – the more familiar we are with something the more we remember it. The rule of thumb is that you should run a campaign for a minimum of 3 to 6 months.
2. Weak creative. You have a couple of seconds, if you are lucky, to catch the eye. Your adverts need to bold, simple, and direct. Classic mistakes, and the lessons that can be learned, are:
– trying to put in too much information: stick to the core message
– fussy typefaces: keep
Business plans are for those who plan to go in to business or are in a business already. Starting a new business also needs planning, time management, scheduling and organizing to make it a success. Business plans are made so that there is some direction to your work and you don’t go “off track”; get bogged down with details that can wait etc.
A business plan gives you a plan of action that you can use to meet your requirements. Creating a business plan involves a lot of points that must be factored in. There are some things that are common to almost all business plans like projecting cash flow, marketing plans etc. But each business is different and so is each business plan. What suits one may not suit the other. There is no master plan that one can use. A good business plan is like a good outfit that highlights your best features.
Before you create a business plan you have to plan the plan. The plan has to take in to account your goals and objectives, where you want to be, say, 3 years from now, what steps have you thought of to
It is really a good time to have your own business. Emerging marketplaces with a rich growth potential, a steady economy and an improved consumer spending have set the groundwork for a prosperous future for small-sized businesses within America.
It has been witnessed that the SBA loans are granted frequently; now along with the low interest rates and the Baby Boomers inching toward their retiring age, it is a pretty good time to realize your long-cherished dreams of entrepreneurship. These factors combine together to form a really excellent atmosphere for entrepreneurs who are looking forward to living their dreams of owing small-sized businesses.
Buying or acquiring or merging with a business is a crucial life decision that should be done only after performing extensive research works and after considering all the internal and external business factors. However, whenever a business is being bought, the most important part is to pick an industry; this point will become ever more important if an entrepreneur is making this decision. For this reason, here is the low-down on the top industry that has displayed remarkable potential as well as stability for investing money and for embarking on the eventful journey
If you don’t know where you are going (i.e. have a roadmap), then how do you expect to get there? Running, expanding or starting a business without a business plan is like trying to drive from New York to Chicago for the first time without a roadmap or MapQuest! Planning gives you a path to follow, otherwise, you are just guessing. In running or starting a business, the learning curve is short before you run out of resources and are forced to close. Therefore, a business plan helps you set up a sound framework, model and system ahead of time, as well as, address potential problems and threats, so that you can capably run a business. If you don’t have a system in place to deal with problems and you don’t have a sound strategic plan in place, you will find yourself needlessly sidetracked by working “in” the business instead of “on” the business.
A Business Plan will save you a lot of time and money. Careful planning ahead of time will help you wisely budget your resources and significantly minimize the time you spend assessing threats, problems, obstacles and opportunities.
A business plan actually creates
Individuals who desire to purchase an established small business must be well prepared before the search process begins. Well managed, profitable and successful businesses are in short supply and very high demand. Business owners and business brokers alike have little patience and interest in wasting their valuable time with buyers who have not taken the appropriate steps to demonstrate that they are fully prepared to acquire a business.
How does a buyer define themselves as being a “serious” candidate and not a casual, curious, tire kicker? The goal of this article is to outline the steps that a business buyer should take in advance so that they can stand out and be recognized as a serious and credible buyer?
Let’s start with a few examples demonstrating who is NOT a serious candidate.
- I want to buy a small business in the area but am not sure what type yet. Can you send me information on three of the businesses you have listed for sale – the industrial manufacturing business, the durable medical equipment company, and the online retailer?
- I am still working at my current job but am contemplating leaving the firm and purchase
In the recent economic slowdown it can sometimes feel like a crowbar is required to pry money from investors to help you grow your aspiring business. But during times when capital is tight, it’s time to get creative. Companies that focus on systematically meeting their short-term goals typically discover that they also achieve long-term business success, with or without the benefit of outside investment.
So how do you quickly mobilize your current resources, capital and team to realize your goals and targets? Prepare a plan of attack – more commonly referred to as a business plan. But cast aside any worries you have about preparing a thick tome with fancy verbiage and financial projections. The business plan to achieve your short-term objectives is not graded by weight or page length, but instead by the quality and clarity of the strategies you commit to paper.
In this case, we recommend you prepare a business plan that fits onto the back of a regular sized envelope.
You may have returned to the previous sentence for a moment and asked, “An envelope? How can I prepare a business plan on the back of an envelope?” It’s a great
If you’re stuck wondering how to be a successful small business owner, know this: running a small business often simply means making good use of successful small business ideas. Successful small business owners face many ups and downs throughout their work. They know that small business ideas cannot turn out successful unless they use the proper approach and strategies.
If you want to be one of the few successful small business owners, remember that having a good strategy is crucial. Without the right strategy and a proper approach, you are not likely to achieve your goal.
Some small business owners manage to overcome their everyday challenges, while others seem to give up after a while. So, let’s find out what successful small business owners do differently from the unsuccessful ones. Let’s turn their experience into your success through your small business ideas.
1. MAKE ANNUAL REVISIONS OF YOUR BUSINESS PLAN AND BUDGET
Every business goes through changes every now and then, including your small business. For this reason, your business plan and budget should be somewhat flexible to bear such changes along with your business goals. Without revising your business plan and budget, you
Let’s start with the definition. When the term “big data” is used, what does it really mean? Jon Miller, co-founder and CEO of Marketo, calls big data a catch-all term for very large and complex data sets that exceed the processing capabilities of the typical available computer software. In general, big data refers to the compilation of everything that takes place over the internet: transcripts from Twitter comments or call center conversations, online videos, podcast uploads and visits, webinar broadcasts, all blog postings, all website visits, all credit card transactions, all ATM activity, all online purchases, online advertisements, music downloads and photo uploads.
As regards marketing, big data refers to all information that details retail sales, online sales, market share, website visits, blog and newsletter reads from your website, responses to online customer surveys, online responses to special offers and online advertising, plus all marketplace and industry data about global, national and regional business conditions.
Whatever you need to know about your customers, the industry and the business conditions in which you operate is buried within big data. But in the avalanche of information, deciding which data to access and deciding how to interpret it is
“Maybe the start line was supposed to be your finish line. Don’t be afraid to walk backwards.” Author:Tablo
Normally whenever we think of taking on a project, we lay out the plan and define the tasks necessary to accomplish the goal. Consider something as basic as building a house. The builder and the buyer agree on the basics – number and size of bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen layout – the eventual “footprint” of the house. It then becomes the responsibility of the architect to develop blueprints which will be submitted to the town or local authority for approval. Once approved, the builder will assign a project manager to move through the steps to completion.
Here’s where small business marketing works best, when the parties work in reverse order. The client (the internal marketing manager or the external business decision maker) needs to embrace the idea of where they want to end up. And unlike the house building example, there are many different choices to define success.
For example, success could simply be defined as a growth in revenue from an existing run-rate to a run-rate with a higher number. For example, lets say the business has been growing
Whether you are looking to do a mail out, a telemarketing campaign or wanting to reach prospects by email, direct marketing is an effective and affordable way to reach out to potential customers.
The lists you use will determine the success of your direct marketing campaign. Determining who to target the list is a crucial process and establishing your criteria will help you get the best results.
You may want to find a list of consumers or businesses who have purchased products or services similar to yours, or who fall into the demographic profile or income range you are trying to reach.
With thousands of direct marketing lists to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. Evaluating list suppliers and finding the right direct marketing lists for your particular campaign can be over whelming.
A direct marketing list broker represents all available lists in the direct marketing industry. they will help you find the best list by understanding your target market. The brokers serve as your guide, providing list recommendations for your marketing efforts.
If possible, look for a list broker who has experience working with clients who target the same
Will the postcard marketing work?
This is quite an inevitable question in this digital era.
With postal and printing rates soaring, you may wonder if it is worth to invest and focus on.
Well… custom postcard printing adds a personal touch and takes a different line to connect with your customers.
With a reliable source of mailing addresses, direct mail marketing can help you connect with people who are really interested in your business, products, and services.
Are you wondering how?
Well… then read on. In this article, we are going to tell you how custom postcard printing can help you connect with your customers and grow your business.
Advertising through direct mail (envelopes) poses some unusual problems such as the receiver may not open the envelope and throw it in the dustbin.
But, when you send a postcard, the receiver may just flip the card out of reflex out of curiosity to see the contents. It means the receiver also glances through the message printed on.
Makes Direct Contact with the Customers
Customers’ value personalized communication. Postcards helps you reach audience directly and give
Most of the people like reading print materials. According to a recent research report, people remember more when they read in print, especially those colorful and attractive pictures. So, if you want to attract some new customers by introducing your product, offer or announcement, go for the printed banners and signs. When it comes to providing essential information regarding a specific product or a group of products, business brochure is the right option.
In exhibitions and trade shows, various companies present their brochure to the visitors for identifying the brand, product and message. It can be called as the first impression on a customer.
This material is a brilliant option for initial client meeting and networking. In comparison to other printed materials used in promotional activities of a company, brochure needs a different approach while designing and printing.
The brochure provides an in-depth view of products & services and creates a chance of being read by the target audience. So, it should not be as disposable as a leaflet. If you want to get an attractive design, contact an online printing company that provides material, design and printing services.
Coaching is now considered essential as a development tool in business. It’s not yet as common as in sport, but is increasingly popular. This is because it’s an effective way of managing and developing people and delivers positive results.
Essential skill for line managers
According to the latest CIPD Annual Survey* into learning and development:
“Coaching and mentoring are common – three-quarters of organisations currently offer coaching or mentoring and an additional 13% plan to offer it in the next year. Most expect to increase their use.”
Of the companies surveyed nearly 9 in 10 are using or about to use coaching in some way. In-house development programmes and coaching by line managers or peers remain the most popular development methods and one of the most effective.
Companies invested in training managers in basic coaching skills and many want to use this as a means of changing the culture to more of a learning culture. With a few years’ experience of line manager coaching, companies are now much clearer on what they can expect from this form of on-the-job development. The focus is on performance development.
The ability to use coaching skills
We know that many of the products we sell will be used as promotional giveaways at trade shows, conferences and exhibitions. Through this we have learnt a few things that will help you market your brand at these events.
We’ve got a mixture of advice and potential promotional products.
Here are seven top tips:
1. If the customer is going to say no to you, make sure “no” the answer you want to hear. Instead of asking if they would like some free promotional products, ask them “have you seen our free merchandise”. It’s far more difficult to say no to somebody when a simple “no thanks” will get the job done.
2. Make one of your handouts pre-charged power banks. These make a fantastic promotional product in their own right, but the added practicality of being pre-charged, your printed product has gone from being a useful item to have in the future to being a lifesaver there and then.
It may take a bit of time charging the power banks before the event but it will be worth it. Your company’s message and logo will be on the product which saved the
Why do some companies consistently outperform their peers? When companies that face identical circumstances are compared, one variable stands out among the winners- leadership quality. The best leaders are able to effectively influence three determinants of organizational performance-adaptation, efficiency, and human resources.
Adaptation involves changes made to cope with external threats and to exploit opportunities created by new technology, changing markets, and the shifting needs and expectations of customers. The ability to adapt becomes even more important when the external environment is turbulent and uncertain, yet it’s often more difficult the larger the size of an organization.
Here are seven things leaders can do to better manage change and ensure their companies are able to adapt amid uncertainty.
Start With a Culture That Rewards Change
The many difficulties involved in fostering adaptation in large organizations make it essential to have a culture with firmly embedded values and beliefs that support innovation and change. Relevant values include flexibility, continuous improvement, initiative, and a quest for excellence.
Instead of viewing adaptation as an infrequent reaction to dramatic, one- time events, it is better to view it as a continuous process that involves a combination of
”Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” – Dwight Eisenhower
Delivering the promises of a strategy is about having the discipline of getting things done effectively. Yet, research shows that a large number of companies are unable to answer the pivotal question of strategy execution: “Are we doing what we said we should be doing?”
Once a strategy is decided upon, there is often surprisingly little follow-through to ensure that it actually gets executed. All businesses are different and, thus, face distinct execution issues, from those related to people and culture to corporate structures. However, a common challenge is the ability to bridge strategy, as a theoretical exercise, to practical matters, such as operational complexity and budget constraints.
So how can businesses ensure that the five or six key objectives critical to generate superior performance become the driving force behind everything the company does? How can they create the right conditions to succeed, measuring, adjusting and reallocating resources as necessary along the way?
1. Stop expecting without inspecting
For much of the last 40 years, the focus has been on