Category: Business Planning

Things to Consider Before Choosing Right Type of Business

Everyone wants to start and work on their own to earn money, but they don’t know what type of business to choose, how to start and how to achieve it. If you are planning to start a business, it is significant to consider some points before choosing the right type of business, because it directly affects your tax payments, administrative tasks, business risks and development.

It will become much easier for you to start the right business when you know exactly what you are looking for. Generally, you should go for business which gives you most protection and least obligations, otherwise you may loose control on it. If you make a smarter choice of doing business that you are aware of then you will find it enjoyable, fulfillment, greater control, and you can make reasonably profit from it.

In this article, we will discuss how to choose right type of business.

Choose a business from a familiar industry
The best way to start a business is to do something which you are passionate about or interested in. Start a business that will stand in the long run, you need to choose a business that suits your nature and your lifestyle, so that you will not only be successful, but you will also enjoy doing it. You will stand much better for making a sale when you believe in what you are marketing or selling. During tough times, you can even fight to overcome difficulties.

Suppose you don’t have any experience or knowledge of what type of business to do, there are chances of business failure. Choosing a known business has many benefits because you can use your knowledge about the specific industry, your training skills, your network of contacts who might help you find finances, suppliers and customers.

Before making a choice on which business to start, be sure that you are not falling into a trap of starting a business just because someone has advised you or because someone is making huge profits from a particular business.

Analyze the market and evaluate the risks
When you start business with your own individual interests, it is necessary to make sure that your business represents a entrepreneurial opportunity. So analyze and study the market, whether it is moving towards a real need. Conduct survey through direct or online means and ask people about their wants and needs. By doing this, you can evaluate your strengths, weaknesses and where you may face risks, so that you will be prepared to find a solution.

Know your customers and competitors
Without customers, there is no business. So your business should be according to the needs and desires of potential customers. Every business in the market has competitors. Some competitors are ruthless and unpredictable because they can do anything to match or beat you in offering products to customers at lower price. You should know who your customers and competitors are and what are their capabilities, so that you can prepare well and come up with a better marketing strategy.

Choosing products/services that can bring good ROI
When you want to start a business, choose a product or service according to the needs of potential customers, so that you will get a good return on investment (ROI) to your business. ROI tells business owners about the profits gained from their investments. The overall ROI for an enterprise is sometimes used as a tool to grade how well a company is doing.

Business financing requirements
Finally, you have to consider whether you need any funding requirements at present or in future for your business. If you don’t want to raise money or others to get involved in your business, choose something that you can grow solely, without any third-party funding. So start small and let the business provide revenues for the operational and growth capital you need. Small businesses need less capital than others. For example consulting businesses require a business card and some basic marketing materials to start.

It is helpful to consider all these points before plunging into business and invest your time and effort to choose the right path. This will ultimately helps you start up a successful business.
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Why is it Important for Small Businesses to Write a Business Plan

An effective business plan is like a road map that shows small business owners the right direction to achieve their set of goals and objectives. Goals are targets that need to be achieved and objectives will help you in attaining the target. A good business plan will help you in making the right decision for your business.

Business plan is an essential tool for running a small business successfully, irrespective of it’s size and type. A business plan should include complete description of your business, services/products, overall budget, current and projected finances, market analysis, targeted customers, competitors and marketing strategies. Running a business without a business plan is like going on a road without a destination.

In this article, we will discuss the importance of writing a business plan for small businesses.

Saves time and money
A carefully structured business plan helps you invest wisely and also helps you minimize the time to evaluate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Thereby you can capably run a business without any obligations. An effective business plan will save you a great deal of time and money, by enabling you to identify the potential issues timely that may crop up in course of your business.

Helps in raising money
A well written business plan convinces investors or lenders to put in their money in funding your business. It tells why your business is worth starting or pursuing, your future business plans and goals. If your business plan provides them a glimpse of chance of getting funds and raise more money then investors will attract towards your business and invest in it. In this way, it will help in raising funds for your business operation.

Helps attract investors
Business exposure is a crucial thing while writing business plan. An effective business plan will attract franchise capitalists, lenders or investors. This can only happens when you have a detailed description of your financial need. After all, investors will invest only in profitable businesses. Therefore, you need to write a detailed descriptions about your company background, market analysis, strategies, future plans, target audience, products/services and your competitors.

To expand/grow the business
A well written business plan helps business owners figure out their drawbacks and will work on them and also where the business is vague or undeveloped. By knowing and correcting these issues, they can find a solution and control their finances. A good business plan gives the scope to expand business and also gives an idea whether the business is financially stable enough to expand in the near future.

Works as an effective communication tool
For a business to be successful and profitable – the managers, workers and employers should have a mutual understanding among them. They should be aware of company’s strengths, weaknesses, investors, lenders, customers and competitors. An effective business plan creates a well established communication tool through which you can communicate with your employees to work towards company’s goals and to achieve it successfully.

To see results in long term and short term
An effective business plan gives you a clear picture of your business, whether it will run for a short term or long term. If you suspect that your business will run for a short term, then you can cover up the loopholes and make modifications to make your business thrive in the long run. With this, you can see the results on financial ups and downs and if future financial projections needed in the business.

We hope that you have been well-informed about the importance of writing a business plan for a small business and to execute it for the benefit of your business.
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Different Types of Business Plans for Small Businesses

Many small business owners are at times confused on whether to develop a business plan or not. Due to lack of capacity and management skills, many small business owners consider business planning to be a process that is useless and time consuming. Without proper planning, they just start the business and realize it later the need to develop a plan to run their business successfully.

Business planning is the building blocks of any business. It is an essential guide for the success of the business irrespective of its size and industry. A business plan is a formally written document that helps business owners achieve what they want, plan how to achieve it and keeps the business on track. The document generally projects for the next 3-5 years and outlines the route, the company intends to take to grow revenues. However, not all business plans work out for businesses. So, choosing the right type of business plan that suits your business needs is a crucial thing.

In this article, we will explain you the types of business plans for small businesses.

Types of business plans for small businesses

The Start-Up Business Plan – the most standard: This is the most standard plan which introduces the business to lenders, investors, and provides them a clear picture of company’s goals, ethics, products/services, market forecasts, strategies, implementation of objectives, management team and financial analysis. It provides financial analysis with spreadsheets describing financial areas including projected sales, profit and loss, balance sheets, cash flow and other tables.

Internal Business Plans: Internal business plans are meant only for the target audience within the business and not meant for lenders or investors. Such plans describe the detailed information about company’s current state, including operational costs, profitability and the upcoming product or project. It may also include financial projections if needed for the project that may become forecasts and budgets.

An Operational Business Plan: It is also a kind of internal plan that consists of information related to business operations like annual deadlines, responsibilities of managerial team, milestones, and important dates and events for the upcoming year.

A Strategic Business Plan: It is also an internal plan that focuses mainly on high level options and provides a detailed guide of a company’s goals and how to attain them by laying out a foundational plan for the entire company. This plan includes elements– business mission, vision statement, information on critical success factors and strategies for achieving goals by implementing the schedule of objectives. This type of plan helps in bringing people to work together towards company’s goals.

The Feasibility Business Plan: It is a pre-startup plan that helps the business owner whether the proposed business is worth pursuing. It includes information such as market analysis, estimation of start-up costs, pricing and expenses and a mission statement or target demographics. If this plan indicates business will succeed then the next step to do is lining for a detailed start up business plan.

A Growth or Expansion Plan: This plan is written either for internal or external purpose and is meant for expansion of business in a particular domain of the business or the product/service. If the business owner wants to expand the business, s/he requires investment for the company growth. This plan includes complete description of the company, management and officers. The plan must furnish all the information on the company and satisfy all the potential investors, otherwise they will not fund your business.

Having understood the types of business plans for small businesses, it is very important to have a business plan for your business that will be based on the needs of your business.
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Things to Consider Before Starting a Small Business

Starting a small business takes considerable time and effort. It requires comprehensive planning and ability to execute the same. If you are planning to start a small business, you need to have a complete grasp of various things to ensure its success. If anything goes wrong, it may affect your plan. Following are basic things you need to consider before you start a small business.

Self-evaluation

First, you need to identify your skills, talent, expertise and weaknesses. You need to evaluate your ideas. Examine the issues – Is there a real market for the product or service? Will your income be adequate? Is your product or service competitive with others? Do you have the required expertise? You need to consider with extreme care before you get started.

Do in-depth research

Analyzing the market from the beginning is one of the most important things to consider before starting a business. You need to research thoroughly about your target customers, your competitors and your industry. You also need to identify potential market and understand which products and services are in demand.

Make the plan ready

Have a plan for your start-up small business. It should be properly structured and should focus on the aims and objectives. Depending on the type, you need to describe which products/services you are selling. The plan should also include company description, market analysis, financial and management plan.

Create an initial budget

Creating an effective budget is a challenging task for any business owner. Depending on the size of your business, you need to structure the initial budget that includes start-up costs and weekly or monthly maintenance expenses. While budgeting, you need to know how to manage your financial aspects.

Choose location

Finding an optimal location is crucial. When you are looking for a location, you need to consider a few things such as – whether the site is located near potential customers, how safe the area is, whether it is convenient and accessible to traffic, how long the competitors have been in this area, and how strong they are.

Legal issues

You need to get the relevant licenses and permits beforehand. You should also look into legal matters such as registering your business, taxes and potential legal liabilities. Take professional help in these matters, if required.

Do frugal shopping

Have a small budget; cut down expenses and go for cost effective and durable (not fancy) equipment and furniture. Be frugal and just buy what you require for your business. It will save your money and you will be able to build sound finances later.

Taking into account these things will help your business meet the challenges ahead. (more…)

What and When You Need to Outsource Your Small Business Tasks

You may be one of the small business owners who think that they can take care of all their business activities. Of course, you can, but it may become difficult for you to focus more on your core business activities. You can outsource few tasks to vendors who can effectively execute and you can also leverage the cost-effectiveness of outsourcing.

Outsourcing certain tasks is like lending a helping hand to perform your business activities effectively. You can get twice the work done in the same amount of time if you can choose a good provider.

What tasks to outsource?
Take some time and carefully think what tasks you want to outsource. Remember, don’t outsource tasks that are the core areas of your business. Core areas should be given more of your time, because they are your strengths.

Consider outsourcing tasks that you are not professionally competent though you might have some knowledge. For example, book-keeping, call answering, social media management, web design and maintenance and other tasks that are specific to your business requirements. By doing this you can reprioritize tasks.

When to outsource tasks?
Small businesses in their initial days require more attention and focus. In such a crucial period if you keep focusing on small tasks like attending calls, book-keeping, etc., you may not be able to concentrate on important tasks. So, if you start outsourcing from the beginning itself it will be advantageous. By doing so, you will get adequate time to manage and operate core business activities.

Moreover, when you start a business, you might not have experienced personnel responsible for the job. But you can easily find an experienced service provider to outsource the task. For example, if you find keeping a track of your accounts difficult, you can outsource it to a book-keeping service provider.

Now that you have decided what and when to outsource your business tasks, the next thing is to find the right service provider. You can take help from your business contacts to find a suitable partner who can handle the workload on critical tasks. You could also look for word of mouth.

Outsourcing conserves time, which you could use for more productive purpose. The need of outsourcing a service varies across businesses. The need depends on the professional competence of the business owner, organization and management skills.

How to Write Effective Content for Your Small Business Website?

Small businesses need to consider having quality content on their websites as it has the potential to naturally attract quality customers to their website. Like large monitoring servicebusinesses, small businesses don’t have the luxury of large finances to implement expensive marketing strategies that bring potential customers. Writing effective content, which is easy as well as affordable, thus, helps them to get the desired results without straining their finances. In this article, we will discuss on how to write effective content for your small business website.

Original and unique content
Create content keeping in mind the expectations and needs of your target customers to make it useful. Such content is likely to attract the attention of users.

Moreover, search engines are solely focused to help users get unique content. They are, therefore, cleaning off content that is not in the interest of users. For example, Google’s Panda algorithm makes sure that content that is not original, plagiarized, not updated, full of errors of any kind is not on their result pages. Thus, only websites having original and unique content get good search engine rankings and ultimately good traffic.

Informative as well as educational
Provide content that is informative and also educative. Make sure that it is specific to your niche so that it attracts those who are looking for that information, in other words, your target audience.

It should address their concerns and help them to make proper decisions. In addition to the regular product descriptions, you can educate your customers by providing some thought leadership, insightful content that shows your authority in your niche. This kind of content builds credibility of your website and your business.

Easy to read and understand
Make sure that the content is simple to read and easy to understand. It enables all the readers – from average to highly educated, to quickly understand the point you want to convey.

Use simple and short sentences instead of long ones. Avoid using complex words and technical terms which make it difficult for average readers to understand. Easy-to-understand content is likely to interest readers and keep them engaged.

Use visual content to convey message easily
It is rightly said – ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Visual communication has the ability to convey the message easily to the readers. Using various images like graphs, charts, info-graphics, etc., you can furnish clarity on the topic. However, avoid using heavy images and videos as they could affect the page load time which leads to poor user experience.

Small businesses are, in general, cash crunch entities. They cannot allot high budgets for marketing activities. Given the low cost for writing and managing websitesite monitoring content, it is absolutely a useful tool to promote themselves online and to attract potential customers to their website.

They can either create content on their own or can outsource it if they do not have the time and resources to write content. Many reputed and experienced companies offer content writing services that are tailor-made for small businesses, at affordable prices. They have a dedicated team of writers who can write well-researched content as per your requirements.

Importance of Insurance in Making the Small Businesses Successful

Small businesses encounter scores of issues which affect their profitability. There is risk of diverse sort which influence businesses sometimes in their favor and sometimes against. Such risk of uncertainty can be mitigated by purchasing insurance.

Insurance covers risk of uncertainty
By purchasing insurance, small business can offset the losses incurred on different counts, say, public liability, personal injury, professional indemnity, natural calamities such as flash floods, blizzard, earthquake and the like. As small businesses cannot afford to face the financial losses posed by these uncertainties, they should consider taking insurance.

Insurance helps you stay confident and secure
Your business is associated with other people’s life and property, presumably, clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, warehouse owners, employees. Members of any of these groups could get wounded accidentally on your business premises, suing your business for bodily or personal injury, damage to property, professional liability or public liability. All these claims can entail heavy losses that may prove debilitating for your business. Purchasing insurance protects your business from the aforesaid liabilities and thus, you stay confident and secure.

Safeguards capital – can help you better control costs
Small business insurance protects against diverse sorts of liabilities. This is because, any sort of liability for a small business entails heavy loss in the form of costs of litigation, the expenses involving financial compensation to the third party, coupled with the anxiety it brings forth. Consequently it will safeguard the capital invested, and also brings costs under control, which otherwise escalate.

High deductible – lower premium plan
Small business insurance is available at reasonably low premium, provided it is purchased with high deductible option. By opting this, you can get the insurance at lower premiums.

Focus on claims made by third party
As a small business owner, you can probably face claims of liability depending on the kind, size, proximity of the business to the public and the hazards therein while carrying on the business. By purchasing small business insurance, it will reduce substantially the loss incurred from claims of the third party. While purchasing a liability insurance, you can opt for public liability, professional indemnity and/or others as per your requirement.

Promotes economic growth and development
Small business insurance protects businesses from losses and liabilities because of different reasons. Consequently, businesses thrive well and contribute to economic growth in terms of generating employment and income.

Insurance protects business owner’s family
In the event of untimely decease of the owner of the business, the insurance takes care of the financial needs family. It also relieves them from the burden to pay taxes. Thus, by purchasing the insurance you can stay rest assured, as the members of your family will face no financial hardship.

Your employees will feel secured and will help in productivity
Small business insurance helps improve employees’ productivity. This is possible because, the insurance protects the employees from risks involved and hence the employees would be more focused on to work hard.

Conveys that you take care of your employees
The insurance covers risks of everyone participating in the business including employees, owner(s), and other groups that are associated with the business. This conveys to the employees that you take utmost care of them, which would raise their morale for better productivity.

Small business insurances are, thus, useful for businesses. They protect all from the top to bottom in the hierarchy and also the business assets. Hence, small businesses should purchase the insurance in the greater interest of business therein.

Tips to Successfully Publicize Your Small Business

Small businesses need to get to know with all visitors and customers, alike. It is important to have good publicity among all to promote your business. By getting publicized well, you can sell more of your products/services.

Publicity by newspapers, radio, magazine
Newspapers
Small businesses can use the medium of local newspapers as they are inexpensive and easily accessible compared to national and regional newspapers. Further, small businesses focus on locals as they consider them to be their potential targeted audience. Hence, newspapers would be more suitable for the purpose.

Radio
Despite revolution in the communication technology, radio occupies significant place as a means of communication and dissemination information. Small businesses can live rage radio to publicize themselves to local audiences. The advantage of radio is that it can reach the audience in remote and inaccessible terrain. It is economical and fast. You can schedule the publicity advertisement as per your requirement.

Magazines
Local magazines are another means of publicizing your small business. They are more expensive than newspapers and radio. Local magazines are an important means of publicizing your business. They are effective and easily accessible. Even if your business is located in an urban center you can target the audience in remote towns and villages.

T-shirts with your company logo printed on it for the employees
Publicizing your small business using t-shirts involves printing the name, logo, etc., on the shirts and distribute them among the members of your staff, prospective clients, etc. While using t-shirts you should first have a plan regarding who to give the shirts, where to give, when to give and so on. The t-shirts thus, handed out should be of reasonable quality. You can use t-shirts as gifts to clients and prospective clients to publicize your business.

T-shirts are helpful in spreading awareness of your business among all. T-shirts are also an inexpensive way of promoting your business.

Create impressive business cards
Business cards are another way to publicize your small business. You could target them at potential customers. While getting designed, see that the cards should be a bit unusual and unique. Thus, you could use synthetic paper for the purpose to impart an elegant look to the cards. Mention name, logo contact details, location of business on the cards. Though creating impressive cards is a bit expensive, it yields good results to publicize your business.

Contact schools, colleges and business organizations
Using schools, colleges and business organization to publicize your business. These community benefit your business by publicizing the business among their clients. Educational institutions including schools and colleges can spread brand awareness among potential users of the product/service. Likewise, business organizations could also be approached to popularize the product/service among their staffs.

Telephone customers – who are likely to be interested in buying your products/services
Call people who you think, are potential customers. That is, ones who are more inclined to listen to you on your new business. You can call them and take an appointment, if they need at a specific time. By this, you will loss neither your time or theirs.

Offer free samples of products to your customers
To publicize your business, and to attract existing and potential customers, offer free samples of the product. Ask them to review and give feedback. Likewise, if yours is a service, conduct seminars, consultations, camps to attract potential customers. You should be ready to visit customers and conduct demo, if they want. Take care that the demo is not too long. It is better to close it within five minutes.

Promote your business online –attract your target customers
The Internet has turned out to be a highly effective tool to promote small businesses. It offers a wide range of options to choose to publicize your business. Email marketing, pay per click campaign, SEO on search engines and so on are one of the most inexpensive ways of publicizing your business. Advertising and publicizing on the Internet is fast, effective and can target your local audience by customizing the ad campaign depending on the audience.

Adequate and effective publicity is a part of doing business. This becomes more important if yours is a start-up enterprise. As users feel that your product/service is reliable they would start using them. To retain the existing customers, to render timely and correct information and to attract prospective ones publicity is indispensable.