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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Business Consultants

Business consultants have the education and background to help entrepreneurs with creating professional strategic business plans.. Before anything moves forward, there is a substantial amount of paper work that helps entrepreneurs. First one being that they are able to clearly see their path and the second one is that when applying for business loan or equity they are asked to present a clear picture as to what they plan to do. Business consultants make such plans for a living; their expertise of having done this so many times at commercial level is very useful for startups.

Another reason why business consultants are useful is that they do not own the business and have no personal involvement. Hence they do not hold a bias towards it or against it as they are not its competitors either. That way, whilst making suggestions they can also present the business owners with useful critical information as to where they are lacking; or better yet, if the venture should even be worked on. Business plan writers bring both upsides and downsides in account.

Choosing a tier 1 visa business plan director, businesses ensure that they get in depth guidance about how to perform their business activities in a long run and on day-to-day basis. Simpler business plans might just contain detailed information about processes. But only a tier 1 visa business plan writer explains the roles and duties. This gives useful information about what kind of a person is suitable for what job. Here again, internal bias towards a person in a certain role gets eliminated as there is a chance a new businessman would incorporate a dead weight into the business due to relation.

Ingredients of Successful Business Plans

A business plan sets out the method for running a specific activity over a specific future period.

Business plans are needed essentially for the four following reasons:

1. A formal, explicit document of the planning process;

2. A request for finances;

3. A framework for approval;

4. A tool for operational business management.

This may come as a surprise to my fellow business consultants, but producing a successful business plan is not as difficult as people often think, so long as they follow a logical sequence. Here is my considered view as to the critical steps.

1. Understand what you are planning and why;

2. Define the activities of your organisation;

3. Outline the current position of the business;

4. Review and discuss the external market conditions, undertake and understand a competitive analysis, and define your market positioning;

5. Define your core objectives;

6. Prepare and articulate the strategy to attain and meet the objectives;

7. Identify and review risks and opportunities;

8. Prepare a strategy to deal with risks and exploit opportunities;

9. Refine the strategies into operational plans;

10. Prepare financial forecasts including revenues, costs, cash-flow, capital expenditure and assumptions adopted;

11. Finalise the plan;

12. Get it approved;

13. Use it;

14. Review it regularly and update as appropriate.

Without being too prescriptive, there are certain necessary elements which need to be included. Such elements are:

· Preliminaries – such as contents, contacts and definitions;

· An executive summary;

· A description of the business;

· A review of the market, the competition and market positioning;

· The vision, mission and objectives;

· The corporate strategy;

· The plan for developing the products and services;

· Financial projections;

· An outline of the risks and opportunities;

· A conclusion.

Any casual viewer of the BBC programme, Dragons Den will be aware of how easy it is for weaknesses or gaps to be identified. Depending upon the purpose of the plan, this may, or may not, prove to be critical. It is often easier to recognise such weaknesses and gaps, and be prepared to deal with them, either by noting them in the plan itself, or having appropriate answers available should the need arise.

As a business consultant, this may sound like heresy, but I believe that any plan should be produced by the senior management of the organisation. That is not to say that the consultant does not have a role to play in its preparation. He does. Senior management should prepare the plan as they will then be able to present and discuss it, demonstrating to their audience that they fully understand their business and market. I believe that the consultant’s role is to help facilitate the preparation of the plan, the consultant can help undertake the necessary research, and can cast a critical and impartial eye over the plan.

Information Gathering For Business Plan

If one approaches only one’s friends and family with a business idea, and none of them have the necessary knowledge to advise one, the rot will begin to set in. Wrong or ill-informed advice is not what you need.

The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts, and look at your ideas critically. It takes time now, but avoids costly, perhaps disastrous, mistakes later.

Bankers and financiers presume that one means business when one approaches them in this regard and they expect to receive honest and accurate information. There is no quick and easy way to deal with this; it’s their way or no way.

We all have skills, talents and learned abilities. These can be used to operate a business, which will generate an income. Extensive, in depth analytical thinking and planning is very important though because, without it one is destined to fail.

Discuss your business plan with people who can give you advice; Bankers, Dept. Trade and Industry, Business Partners Inc., other institutions who grant money for small business initiatives, an attorney, an accountant and various other people who have a wealth of experience in their fields of speciality.

When planning to start a business take the following steps:

  1. Speak to product specialists for their advice concerning your products and/or services.
  2. Speak to bankers, a lawyer, an accountant and a number of institutions offering grants or loans to small business initiatives.
  3. The above people will give you a blank Business Plan form, among other forms, to complete.
  4. The business plan is normally of great assistance in planning and budgeting for the business. And it is a good guide to all that needs to be done and decided upon.

Meet with whoever your partners will be, if any, and discuss the whole planned business process, including:

  • The type of business ownership best suited to your business
  • The products or services to be offered
  • The premises needed
  • The machinery and vehicles needed
  • Start up expenses need to be established and discussed
  • Capital requirements and directorship of the business
  • Decide on who will perform which functions in the running of the business.
  • Your target market
  • The environment of your area to be covered
  • The economy relating to that area, current demand, future growth, etc.
  • Determine what barriers exist at present which may hinder your success
  • Promotion of your products and/or services
  • Distribution channels
  • Operational plan i.r.o purchasing, production, sales, etc. needs discussing
  • Legal environment and requirements
  • Inventory and suppliers
  • Insurance and other professional advisory requirements like, lawyer, accountant.
  • Establish a system of record keeping
  • Bank services needed
  • Personnel requirements and Human Resource policies
  • Do the costing of each product very accurately.
  • Calculate selling prices based on all costs plus mark up
  • Draft the projected financial plan or budget for twelve months
  • Draft the projected cash flow for twelve months
  • Draft a starting balance sheet

Starting a Home Business

#1) Business Summary.

Write out a description of your business. What kind of company do you want to build? A well written description or summary of your business often propels you through each step of how to write a business plan. Writing the summary first means you will always have the basic premise of your home business idea at the top of everything you put in your business plan.

#2) Name Your Business.

You may think that your direct sales business already has a company name but that is not the name of YOUR business. Creating a distinct name for your business will help make your plan. Does your business name reflect what you offer? Is it easy to remember? Does it have strong branding potential? Should you reconsider your current business name if it not working with your product? Make sure the name of your business fits not only your product or services but your mission statement.

#3) Itemize Your Products or Services.

Write out descriptions of your products; how do they look, smell, taste, feel or how your services will help others reach their own goals in life. How will your offerings improve the lives of others? Sort through why others aren’t already doing it and if they are offering exactly what you are going to offer then what prevents the competition from doing it better or more cheaply than you are.

#4) Mission Statement.

Your mission statement is a concise clear summary of the goals of your business. In your mission statement, you will define exactly what your business does, the products or services offered and what makes your business unique above the competition. Writing the bottom line of your business goals into your mission statement will guide the rest of your business plan.

#5) Business Assessment.

A major portion of your home business plan is a detailed assessment of four areas: your strengths, your weaknesses or limitations, business and marketing opportunities and threats or barriers to your potential success. At this stage of your business plan, you will be looking at your industry. Your work experience and talents that will add to your business would fall under your list of strengths. Your lack of knowledge or funds could be listed as your weaknesses. Take into account how broad your industry is when you are looking at your strengths and weaknesses. If you have little money for start up then you will need to be creative in your marketing and running your business. Will your weaknesses mean your opportunities for success are limited? Will your talent surpass your lack of funds?

Opportunities for business growth may be dependent on your networking contacts or website design. Every business owner should remain wary of all threats to business success. Planning for problems before they arise will make running a business easier and more successful in the long run. As you can see this aspect of business planning is critical to all of your vision, your mission statement, your goal setting and running your home business.