Category: Business Planning

Advantages of Choosing a Suitable Location for Your Business

The location of a business plays an important role in making it a successful venture. It is therefore, advisable to have a plan in advance while choosing a location for your business and do proper research for the best suitable location for your business. It is equally important regardless of whether the business is large or small.

The location of a business directly affects its operational costs, as well as the ability to serve customers. There is no such thing as a perfect location in business, location can be everything which sustains a business. There are many factors to take into account when making decision about your business location, including targeted customers, transportation, finances, neighborhood and long term future.

Advantages of Choosing a Suitable Location
Choosing a suitable location will give your business many benefits. Following are the advantages of choosing a suitable location for your business.

Helps You to Draw Potential Customers
Location is one of the best tools to convert the foot traffic and the online traffic into potential customers. Thus, it helps you draw potential customers from different locations. Even people who may have never heard of your business can also be persuaded to try your business for the first time. Once the customers reach your business, it is up to you to turn them into loyal customer by offering them high quality services and products.

Builds Brand Image
Location of business is an important factor which is useful in improving brand image, because many people look for location before making a purchase. Your location will make people buy your product and make use of your services hassle free. So the better place you are in, the more people will look for your products/services, leading to constant growth in your business. So choose a location that builds the best brand image for your business.

Helps increase business sales and profits
Choosing the right location will help you earn profits in your business. Right location removes the barriers to sales and increases business’s sales and profits. For this, you should thoroughly research to find a best location that suits best for your business. This is a critical thing because, if you fail to find a suitable location for your business, it will become very hard for your business to succeed. Search for a good and organized location and maintain it properly, because most customers visit places where they feel comfortable, while purchasing your products. If you really want your business to grow further, look for the surroundings and also the accessibility to the customers.

Future Growth
A good business location brings more and more customers to your business, which helps you earn more profits and also builds good brand image. Buyers will frequently come across your brand that is available in their locality. Good brand image in turn helps you, retain the current customers and bring new ones, which will slowly help you in growing successfully in future.

Thus, if the products/services provided by you are good, then the existing customers will bring new customers to your business. They will continue doing so as long as your products/services improve in future as per the customer needs. Your business will, thus, keep on growing in the years to come.

Things to Consider While Choosing a Business Plan Consultant

Every business whether small or large requires a strategic business plan to attract potential investors and lenders for a flourishing business. Drafting a business plan on your own is difficult, because you need to analyze the market and do a thorough research, at times you may loose on some of the essential points that need to be included. Therefore, it is better to take the help of a professional business plan consultant, to avoid any risk of failure. A business plan consultant will conduct market research based on your business details and will design a well written effective business plan for your business.

In this article, we will explain you the need of a business plan consultant for your business.

Expertise and experience
A professional business consultant works along with experts in similar field to execute his work efficiently and will think in multiple dimensions to make your business plan effective. A business consultant will first analyze and research the market, contact other firms similar to your business, refine your business strategies and ideas to target potential audience. Choose a business consultant who is expert and has the experience in domain specific to your business, so that he will develop an effective business plan for your business for a successful business growth.

Good track record
Every business owner wants a successful business plan to grow in future. These plans help’s him in raising funds for his business. Therefore, choose a consultant who can provide you a plan which has all the details of your business, that will help you in raising funds for your business. Choose a consultant who provides optimized plans and by looking at his track record you can figure out his success rate in drafting business plans.

Efficiency of the team
When you hire a business consultant to design your business plan, make sure that the core team of that company management are experts and they will be able to develop an effective business plan. The consultant team should consist of experienced and experts and should have mutual understanding between them to develop a business plan which meets your business needs.

Approach various firms
Before developing a business plan you need to approach consultants from different firms and choose the firm that has professional’s in it, that are best suited for drafting your business plan. A professional business consultant will approach the business owners, managers, team workers and employers in your business to get sufficient information before he starts drafting your business plan.

Experienced business consultants are versatile and can work with any businesses even in complex times. They are ready to take up any challenge and provide services for you in any business situation. Overall, these consultants provide a path for companies to get special projects done without making necessary efforts.

Quick and quality service
Choose a business consultant who provides you with timely and quality service for your business needs. You can check and decide it by yourself, based on his previous work samples. Their work should be clear and concise without any grammatical errors. Then only they will be able to provide you a business plan with quick and quality service.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Consultant to Draft Your Business Plan

An effective business plan is a formal written document that contains every detail of your business and is very important to run a successful business. It guides every business owner, managers, employers and co-workers to work towards achieving business goals and objectives.

A successful business plan helps raise finances, impresses investors, lenders and franchisers, which in turn, helps you to grow your business. So, it is imperative to note that business plan is an important document for every business. However, doing it by your own is not that effective, it is advisable to hire a professional who has enough expertise in drafting business plans.

In this article, we will explain you the benefits of hiring a professional consultant to draft your business plan.

Possesses functional expertise
Business professionals have many years of experience in this field and have knowledge in different types of businesses, business stages and business sectors. By utilizing this experience, they draft business plans in a professional way based on the functional needs of your business and makes your task easier to achieve your business strategic goals.

Conducts market research based on your business details
Preparing a great plan is not as simple as you think. To prepare an effective business plan, you need to conduct in-depth market research on your business. By doing this, you are able to know more about your products, services, markets, regulatory requirements and competitors, which will help you in deciding your product mix, your customer demographics, evaluating market and branding strategies which later projects your sales, profits and revenues. All this, cannot be done by the business owner, he needs to take help of a business consultant because they have access to various research reports and databases, which enables them to get the required information in fast pace.

Helps improve business procedures and strategies
Before drafting a business plan, every professional business consultant will first understand your business by asking and clarifying some questions with business owners and will then create a strategic plan to lead your business towards success. They analyze your business from every corner and perform accordingly. Business consultants have project management and project design skills which they can employ in improving your business procedures.

Writes business plans appealing to investors
Investors invest in only those businesses which give them more profits. Before investing into anyone’s business they will first read the business plan and then come to a decision whether to invest in or not. This can only take place if your business plan is effective to attract the attention of investors. Attention is achieved when the plan conveys business intentions. A professional consultant will draft your business plans in a appealing way so that investors will be interested in your business.

Provides high quality work
Most business consultants have an experienced business career and they are experts in their field, they will give you high quality work based on your business details and provide you with best approaches to reach goals in terms of well written business plans. These plans are 100% original and are written from scratch, based on your business and on the market research.

Cost and time efficient
Hiring a business consultant to draft your business plan will save money and time because they have many years of experience and moreover they are versatile and have the ability to handle everything from short-term to long-term planning. They can draft an effective business plan based on your business needs.

Provides peace of mind
With the help of consultant, you will know how your business will run in near future. It gives you some amount of satisfaction and peace of mind. Business consultants will put in all their efforts in planning your business.

Thus, business consultants will help you in drafting an effective business plan that will lead to a successful business growth

How to Write Effective Content for Your Small Business Website

Small businesses should consider having quality content on their website, as it is well know to everybody that ‘content is king’. If your content is good and focuses onmonitoring service educating and offering value to customers about your business, then customers will get attracted to your website and eventually make a purchase. The content of your website should be informative, simple, fresh and easy to understand. An effective content builds the brand name of your business.

Tips for writing good content for your website:
Small businesses should have a powerful web presence to attract customers for a successful business. Content is an important thing that plays a main role in any website. Businesses without quality content face the risk of losing customers and driving them away. So, the content for your business website should be simple and to the point, so that it attracts customers. By having quality content your website will generate traffic, leads and sales.

Following are five tips, that you need to consider while creating content for your business website:

1. Content should be unique and interesting:
Content which you are writing for your website should be interesting and unique. It should be like story telling and make the reader feel that you are communicating with him/her, it will then grab the attention of the reader. The content of your website should not be copied and pasted from other websites, as it shows plagiarism, which may affect your business. So, keeping in mind about the expectations and requirements of the readers, the content should be simple and fresh.

2. Informative as well as educational:
Provide content to readers that is informative and also educative. It should educate the readers and if they have any queries regarding your business, you need to respond to them actively. The content in your website should provide readers about every detail of your business and the products/services that are offered by you. By educating the customers about your business, leaves a good impression on your business.

3. Easy to read and understand:
The content which you are creating on your web page should be simple, so that it will be easy for the users/viewers to read. Content in your web page should consist of simple text with simple words, so that readers will understand what exactly you are trying to tell about your business. It will eventually interest the reader to read the content of your website and this will lead to the success of your website.

4. Use visual content (like info-graphics, charts and graphs) to convey message easily:
Rightly said – ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Visual communication (graphs, charts and info-graphics) has the ability to convey your business messages to your potential customers. Using visual content on your website will affect your business in a positive way, as it expresses your thoughts clearly. By doing so, your website will have a real opportunity to increase/improve traffic to your website.

5. Use only original content and update the blog regularly:
Content in your website should be original and fresh, it should not be duplicate content, copied from another website. While creating content you should check for the website monitoring serviceoriginality of the content. If the given information on your website is incorrect, then you need update and provide correct information. You also need to update your website blog on a regular basis, giving fresh and quality content, it shows that you are really making an effort to build your business.

Thus, writing effective content for your small business website and giving quality content to the readers, helps your business to grow successfully and establish good customer relationship.

Choosing a Domain Name For Your Small Business Website

A domain name identifies the unique address of the particular website on the internet. It is an unique address that can be used for email addresses and website addresses. Domain names are used in URL’s to identify and locate particular web pages.

Simply by entering the domain name into the web browser, it allows you to connect/access directly to that particular website. It is an unique online identity that consists of three main parts: sub-domain, domain name/buy domain and its extension.

For example: The most commonly used extensions are .com, .net and .org. The extension .com refers to commerce used by commercial businesses, .net refers to network used by network organizations and .org refers to organization used by non-profit organizations.

Things to consider while choosing a domain name:
As the design of your website is important, choosing a good domain name is also equally important. Most businessmen, particularly small business owners want their website to be up quickly on the internet. Many times they don’t think about the importance of their domain name and choose a name quickly without thinking twice. This can be a disaster because domain name reflects your business.

Domain name should reflect your business:
While choosing a domain name for your business you should consider a name that reflects the theme and objectives of your business. Be careful while choosing a domain name, do some research and see if the domain name that you are planning for your business is not similar to any other business. Because, when users enter a domain name, there is a possibility of users going to other site than yours. It may harm your business. Therefore, choose a domain name that is unique, as it builds your brand name.

Select easy to remember name – simple, short, quicker to type:
Choose a domain name that is small, easy to remember and that can be typed quickly. It should not exceed more than 13 to 14 characters. To make it easier and simple for the users, you should avoid using underscore ‘_’ or any numbers, as it is difficult to pronounce verbally. So make sure that your domain name is easy to spell and note worthy.

Choose domain name extension based on nature of your business:
Choose an extension for your domain name that suits the nature of your business and matches with your business theme. For example, if you are dealing with networking system then you need to choose a domain name with an extension .net or if you are doing commercial business, then you should choose an extension .com. While making a purchase consider buying the .com extension as it is one of the oldest and most popular extension in the world.

Check availability of the preferred domain name:
After you have finished choosing a domain name for your business, you should check for the availability of the preferred domain name, because there are chances of other company/organization having the same domain name that your are planning for your business. If you find someone else having the domain name that you have preferred, then it is better to choose a domain name that is unique and specific to your business.

Register your domain name:
After you have chosen a unique domain name for your business, the next step is to register the domain name. Sometimes it is difficult to register with the .com extension, so it is better to choose other extensions like .net, .info, .biz, etc. These extensions are also equally helpful for your business.

Therefore, it is very important to consider the above things, before choosing a domain name for your small business website.

Essential Components to Include in your Business Plan

Your business plan is a document that consists of every detail of your business. It helps you reach your business and your personal goals, and it is an essential tool for all businesses small, medium or large.

The business plan is a blueprint of your business that includes what you want to achieve and how you plan to go about it. However, you cannot start and run successful business without a solid and workable blueprint.

Business plan helps business owners work smarter, stay alert against future problems, test new ideas, stay motivated, help align expectations with stakeholders and investors, and also helps you know how much amount to be borrowed and can you really afford it for your business.

The business plan also helps you reveal where the plan is unclear and undeveloped. Business plan guides you to walk through from market analysis to your company finances including how to develop a funding request.

In this article, we will explain the components you should include in your business plan.

Executive Summary of the Business Plan
The executive summary briefly tells your reader about the highlights of your business plan that is business proposition, key financial projections, present state of business, and the elements that are critical for success. The key elements of a executive summary should include:

  • What your business is all about – this is a mission statement.
  • How much important is your business to you and how it is better from other businesses.
  • Company details should include description about your company and when was it established, names and roles of the founders, number of employees working and location of your business.
  • Financial information of the business includes sales, profits, cash flows, investment of capital to start a business and how it is used, and return on investment.
  • Major achievements.
  • Technology patent.
  • Expectations of your company.

Executive summary is the doorway to the rest of the plan and should grab the attention of potential investor other wise he/she won’t bother about your business. Overall, it should tell the investor about size and scope of the market opportunity.

Description of your Company
It is the second section after Executive summary in your business plan. It should outline your basic information and business concept. It covers the history of your company, how your company reached the present stage, where you intend to go in future. In short, you have to mention your company name, nature of your business, locations, ownership, company history, selling of products and services to whom and objectives.

Brief Analysis of your Market
This section includes information on the industry, your target market, trends and growth overtime, your competition and to which group of potential customers your company is going to target.

The key elements to be included are:

  • Describing your industry including its current size and historic growth rate.
  • Demographics of whom you are targeting.
  • Results of the market research you conducted as part of your investigation of your market and information about your testing process and supporting statistics.
  • Factors that are influencing growth and declining your industry.
  • How much time you are taking to fulfill the order of the customer.
  • Who are your competitors, and what are the strengths and weaknesses to enter in to the market.
  • Things that may affect your business such as customer or governmental regulatory obligations and how will you overcome it.

Structure or Organization and Management
This section includes your company’s organizational structure, details of ownership of your company, biographies of management team and why you are bringing them into business including descriptions of each department, division and its function. It even includes the kind of salary package, incentives you are offering to your staff, promotions etc.

Details of the Products and Services
In this section, you have to describe your products/services and how it will benefit your potential and present customers. It should be clear and specific to the customer perspective and they should easily understand your intentions. You should also include how your products/services are better from other businesses.

Strategies for Marketing and Sales Management
Once you have described the products/services in the above section, the next thing is to plan strategies for sales and marketing for your business. Marketing creates customers for your business. To create customers, you need to define your marketing strategy and should be unique to your company. Marketing strategy includes think big and audit your time, always be unique and stand out from the competition, building relationship with customers, collecting E-mail addresses, hiring top sales people, communication strategies to reach customers, seasonal pricing, promotional plans, sales potential, distribution etc.

Funding Requirements
Suppose you are willing to take funds for your business venture, you will include this section in your business plan. It includes information like how much funds you need for current business, any funds required for your future plans, how you are going to use the funds (as capital investment, working capital, debt retirement, acquisitions etc.). While writing this section in your plan you need to write the amount you need now and in the future.

Financial Projections-Past and Future
Whatever you planned ideas, concepts, strategies throughout your business plan form the basis for, and should flow into, your financial statements and projections in some way. This includes the data for financing your business now, what will be needed for future growth, and an estimation of past or future business operations. It includes financial historical data of your company’s income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements for each year you have been in business.

Whether it’s a start up or a growing business, you need to provide prospective financial data because investors want to see what you are expecting from your company within the next five years. Ensure that the projections you made should match the funding requests because creditors will always look for inconsistencies. Overall, you need to include a short analysis of financial information.

Now that you have understood the components to include in your business plan. You should execute the components of the plan to make your business thrive for the benefit of all stakeholders- customers, employees, vendors and investors.

How to Get Started with a Home Staging Business?

Home staging is a process of selling home in a short period of time for higher profits with the help of home stagers. This process involves cleaning, repairing, painting, and updating the decor and furnishings of a home to make it more attractive to potential buyers. Home staging business will be successful only when the owner of the agency works with the real estate agents, homeowners and building contractors in exchange for steady work. However, if you are interested in designing, you can start a business of home staging by just knowing some of the simple processes.

Below are some of the steps that will help you to start a home staging business:

  • Get a home staging certification by registering in a certified course for few months. This will cost money.
  • After studying this course, you have to work under somebody for free to get experience.
  • Then apply for a business license, because in some jurisdictions operating a home staging business is not allowed until he/she gets a license. So, contact your state’s department of business regulations as well as the country’s government.
  • Then, you have to obtain a bond and insurance because some states require certain professionals to be bonded and carry insurance for giving assurance.
  • Then you distribute your portfolio to the real estate brokerages and building contractors. Compile a portfolio of homes that you have staged and distribute the copies to local real estate brokers and home builders to market and promote your home stage business. You can also give advertisements about your agency in news papers to gain the attention.
  • When you are staging the home, you need to focus on main features that buyers wants and try to make the improvements on them so that the buyers will get a welcoming feel and the house gets sold faster and at good price.

The above are some of the simple steps to start a business. Also remember that, as you are new to the business, you may not know few important legalities in the field, so be aware of them too. (more…)

Know About Different Types of Auto Insurance Coverages

If you want to insure your car or business motor vehicles, you need to have an auto insurance coverage. However, before buying any auto insurance, you need to consider the types of insurance coverages included in the policy. According to your business needs, you need to consider the type of coverage that suits your requirement. It is very much useful, if your business vehicle is insured with all the available coverages, so that you can avoid all the possible risks against your vehicle.

Here, below you find basic types of auto insurance coverages that are provided by the insurance companies:

Liability insurance: This type of coverage is required for any type of vehicle. In some states, it is made mandatory by the law for the owner of the vehicle. This is also called as third party liability insurance coverage because it covers all the expenses related to damages caused to the property or any injury caused to the thrid party in the event of an accident made by you.

Bodily injury liability: This type of coverage applies only to the bodily injury of the third party (the person who is injured by you). It pays for all the medical bills incurred in the treatment of the third party. It protects your business from all the legal claims made by the third party against you.

Collision insurance policy: This type of coverage pays for the damages caused to the insured vehicle in the event of collision with other vehicle or any object.

Comprehensive insurance: This type of coverage pays for loss or damage caused to the insured vehicle due to fire, wind, storm, flood, theft, etc. It does not cover for the damages caused in an accident.

Personal injury insurance: This type of coverage pays for the medical bills and cost of treatment for the driver of insured vehicle, regardless of fault for which accident occurred.

Under insured driver coverage: This type of coverage pays for the loss/damages of the person (whose vehicle is insured) when met with an auto accident by another driver who has insufficient liability insurance.

Uninsured driver coverage: This type of coverage pays for the loss/damage caused to the person (whose vehicle is insured) by another driver in an accident who does not have liability insurance.

Rental Reimbursement: This type of policy pays for the loss/damage to a rental car, if it is damaged in an auto accident. This type of coverage has a daily allowance for a rental car.

Thus, based on your requirement, you can include the type of coverage which is needed to cover the risk of loss/damages/bodily injury of third party or the owner of insured vehicle. (more…)