|Small Business Information|
Business Plans - What Consultants Don?t tell You!
Do you have a Business Plan? Congratulations, but you are in a small minority. And if you have a plan, is it integral to your business, and instrumental to its growth? If the answer to this question is yes, then you need to read no further. However, most business owners who actually go to the trouble to write a business plan have left it languishing on their bottom shelf, gathering dust! This is the dirty little secret of business consultants.
Most business consultants are only interested in selling their time or their 'Business Plan in a Box' but know that for a business plan to be useful, it has to be part of a Business Management System. But this is a much harder proposition for the consultant to sell, particularly to small business owners who are just looking for a quick fix. So most consultants just sell a quick fix solution- a business plan that they know will, within months, end up on the bottom shelf. Once owners have prepared their "fill in the blanks" plan, they expect it to transform their business overnight just by its mere existence. And because this does not happen, they never look at it again.
Business Plans do work, but you have to make them work. It is not a one-off exercise. If you buy a 'Business Plan in a Box', you need to understand that you are responsible for maintaining the plan. You also need to satisfy yourself that the product you buy is not just a fill in the blanks product. These plans always end up on the bottom shelf. They don't show you how to do your strategic analysis (which is never a fill in the blanks exercise- no matter what someone tells you).
Business Planning is a real soul searching exercise for the business owner. You have to be brutally honest with yourself. Even if you prepare your plan yourself (without a coach), get someone else involved to keep you honest! Looking at examples of what others have done can help, but your business will have different strengths and weaknesses and will operate in a different marketplace. And lastly, make sure any off-the-shelf product you choose will show you how to implement your plan into your business.
When you use a consultant, insist that they show you how the plan should be implemented into your business process. And have the consultant give you at least one review of your performance against your plan six months after the plan has been delivered. While this will cost you extra, this will ensure that your plan does not end up on the bottom shelf- because you know you will be held to account!
Business Planning is not an easy process. It takes time and commitment. You don't just do it once. This is not what business owners want to hear, and what most consultants won't tell you, because it might cost them a sale. But the rewards from a well implemented business plan are worth many times your investment.
Copyright 2005 Empower Business Solutions
Dr Greg Chapman assists small to medium sized businesses with business planning, business systems and marketing strategy. To find out how you can Multiply Your Profits & Make Your Business Run without You, and to find out How Good Your Business Really Is with a Free Online Business Medical, go to Empower Business Solutions website at: http://www.empowersolutions.com.au
Your Practice is Only as Valuable as Your Referral Base
Many physical therapists in private practice have the appearance of a very successful business that is built on the backs of about four to five doctors. Now if anything would happen to any of these guys, the value of these practices would drop markedly. How can you run a practice for many years and then take a good look at it and realize that you have five doctors that represent more than 50% of the referral base? Exactly how can that happen?
Reaping the Rewards of Cost Cutting
In these days of insecurity and uncertain futures, the tendency is to manage for survival but the smart business leaders are actively hunting for profits.
Three Ways to Add Leverage to Your Small Business
Remember those drawings from science class of how a lever works?
Banking and Company Credit Card Policies for Small Business
Does your small business have a banking and credit card policy? If not, perhaps you might wish to think on it. Developing such policies and procedures is not a difficult task. It will not take you long at all to make a relatively simple operations manual to cover your banking and credit card strategies. Below please find an outline or guideline to assist you in developing your own small business banking strategy.
Self-Employment: Managing Your Money: Tips for Living with a Fluctuating Cash Flow (Part One)
The way you manage your money is one of the first things you'll change when you move from employment to self-employment.
Computer Tips that Help Small Businesses Operate Profitably
When working properly, computers enable small businesses to make big business profits; however, get booted off your computer and you're suddenly starving. In most instances, computers usually act up due to lack of care by its owners. Here are four computer tips that'll keep you up and running smoothly.
Six Essential Skills to Business Success!
The following are six essential skills to business success. You may not have developed all of these skills, but like most things in life, you can by learning, practicing and determination. Implement these skills and you'll be on the right track.
Eight Ways To Improve Your Companys Cash-Flow ? TODAY!
Cash is the lifeblood of any business. As humans need air to breath and food to eat, your business requires customers that provides the primary substance that keeps a business in business: cash.
Dynamics of Daylight Savings Time on Service Businesses in the United States
The Dynamics of Daylight Savings Time changes the way we live and do business. What are the true dynamics of daylight Savings. It was to improve the efficiency of energy supply and demand issues originally. Does it still work for that purpose. To some degree yes. But, not as much as you think. As a matter of fact until people readjust a little it actually hurts energy costs for those cities burning coal. Some cities use fuels to power up. Nuclear is best next to hydroelectric power. Wind sounds great, but we have not perfected that and the tax write off scandalists made a mockery of what could have been great technology and environmentally sound energy. Solar, may work better more now than previously due to the Infrared knowledge and more efficient solar cells due to nano tech. Solar sounds good since it is coming from the sun or space, stuff that happened billions of years ago now reaching us in other spectrums too.
To Buy Or Not To Buy: Lawn Mowing Business
TRUTH IN THE LAWN MOWING INDUSTRY
Mobile Carwash; Senior Citizens and Mobile Homes
Senior citizens are generally not a large marketing segment for mobile detailers or car washers, however, they should not be ignored. You will find in a near by area a seniors-only mobile home park. You will also find square dance clubs and senior centers. All of these places can be extremely good places to look for new business. If you want to accelerate word of mouth advertising, you should meet with people in these groups. Wash cars at senior centers while they play cards. Hand out flyers, etc.
Sex Up Your Business Growth
A top executive called up me late in the night. He was still awake at 3 o'clock. He told me that he has not been sleeping for last 3 nights. Problem at his working place is working it effect on his marital life with wife. Although problem in professional life was manageable to some extent. But the bottom line was heading towards south. He was always busy in solving problems to the extent of guilty of ignoring the happening in market. He wanted help in solving problem.
Why are Reverse Mergers Often the Victims of Short Sellers?
There is a great deal of abuse going on in the OTC Bulletin Board Market and a lot of money is being made as result of it. Regulators are trying to deal with the problem but are unable to put a halt to it, unless they take drastic steps which will be detrimental to the small and micro-cap market.
Image of Your Franchise Automotive Outlet is So Important
Image of your franchise automotive outlet is so important. Some say image is everything, well then if you buy a franchise you should be constantly thinking of image and cleanliness. If you read Ray Kroc's book "Grinding it Out" (McDonalds Visionary) or Tom Monahan's (Founder of Dominos Pizza) book "Franchising for Dummies" or Howard Shultz's book; "Pour Your Heart Into it" (Story of Starbucks) you will see they all built brand on image. Even for those of you who are the extroverted sales type, plenty of examples such as "Customer's For Life" by Carl Sewel and "Exceeding Customer Expectations" by Jack Taylor (founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car). But as I travel the country and have literally been to every city in the country over 10,000 population in the US;
A Key to Success: Be Consistent
Over the years I heard the best way to learn something is to to teach it. Well, this week's topic, practicing consistent behavior, is definitely something I need to learn and practice more effectively.
The Number of Pages in the UFOC in Franchising is Still Growing Today
Today required franchise disclosure documents are over 200 pages generally. How many pages do you think the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular; UFOCs were 35 years ago for these ten-foot tall pillars of the franchising community like Kroc, Monhan and Rosenberg founded their companies? They were of course the founders of McDonalds, Domino's Pizza and Duncan Donuts.
Franchise Company Operations Manual Sample Outline
Many companies wish to expand and a few wish to use franchising as a method of expansion. Not a bad idea, but one must consider the importance of the fine details. One book I recommend you read is the "E-Myth" by Gerber it is available at all the usual places. You see when going from a small business to a franchise company it is important to make sure you take out all the mistakes you have made in the past in building your small business and insure that your future franchisees never make those mistakes themselves. After all they need not go thru the rigorous minefields and brick walls you had to in order to be successful. Especially considering you will most likely be charging them a substantial upfront franchise fee.
Why Clean Mobile Homes for a Business?
Manufactured and Mobile Home owners know that the weather this year will be quite harsh. It's imperative these owners to clean out rain gutters and debris from on top of their homes. They realize that they must thoroughly wash off this summer's dirt so they do not have drip marks on the sides of their cottages this winter. They must eliminate the mold buildup, and unsightly stains. Those mobile homes which have not been cleaned all Winter must have their rain gutters cleaned so when Hurricane remnants dump massive amounts of water in a region the roofs do not collapse. It is equally important to clean the bottom of the eaves and carport to prevent mold spots from forming.
Entrepreneurs and Franchisors Watch Out
New Franchisors and Entrepreneurs need to watch out as they enter into the world of franchising. What advice can I give to a new franchisor, I was asked today by another entrepreneur with a wonderful new concept; what are the tiger traps that lay ahead?
Solving the Late Paying Customer Blues
Nothing can drive a business down faster than customers who don't pay their bills as agreed. When you sell to customers on credit you are making an agreement with them. You will provide them with goods or services in exchange for their payment within the terms you agree upon. Period.
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