|Strategic Planning Information|
Business Disaster? Wont Happen to Me
As fast as you can say business disaster, your business can go up in smoke. That's what happened a while back to Castle Carpet One. Gone were thousands of dollars worth of equipment and carpet, plus two smaller businesses that were housed in the same building. Luckily the owners, Larry and Diane Cox, had plenty of business insurance to cover their physical losses. But they lost their most important business asset - customer records - because of failed back up systems. Rebuilding their customer base will be tough and the long-term revenue impact is hard to measure.
With disasters like hurricanes, tornados, fires, floods and terrorism, to name a few, it's critical for small companies to have a disaster plan. And for companies with only one location, it's even more important. One location companies have the potential to lose the entire business if disaster strikes. For a home-based business, it's even worse. You could lose your home and your business in one swoop. Any small business owner can minimize the damage by simply having proactive strategies in place to deal with an emergency when it happens. What if:
* You arrive at your business to find it vandalized and all of your customer records missing?
* Your most critical employee becomes ill and requires an extended absence?
* Your computer hard drive (or network) crashes?
* You become the primary care giver for a sick family member?
* You become ill and can't manage your customer commitments?
* Your business becomes inaccessible because of an emergency on your street?
What would you do?
Would your business survive? What would you grab if you had to leave your business quickly? After the emergency, how would you communicate with your employees? Customers? How long would it take to get back to business as usual?
Without a disaster plan, you'll have a harder time getting back to work. Most businesspeople think it will just take two or three days. That's tough to do if you have no plan for action and little money to move forward. The reality, experts say, is more like several months and at least 25 percent of businesses that experience a disaster never reopen.
But most small business owners just don't make time for planning. We think it's "never going to happen to us." It could. The time to formalize a game plan for an emergency is before it happens. Do it now.
Denise O'Berry is a small business consultant located in Florida. For disaster planning tools and tips, visit http://www.myhurricanecenter.com
Six Key Areas For Evaluating A Strategic Alliance
Strategic alliances are increasing at a rapid rate. It is good for business, good for the consumer. A strategic alliance is similar to a joint venture. Everyone remains in his or her own entity, yet come together for a single purpose or period of time to create something that could not otherwise be created.
The Top Five Reasons Strategic Plans Fail
"Most great plans aren't. They are just nice, high-level ideas."
Expanding your business in a franchise system
If you are a successful franchise of a large franchise brand or chain, chances are you will wish to expand. The most important thing to do is make sure you are on the most positive terms with your franchisor. You should tell your franchisor at the earliest point of your plan to expand. It is important that you ask the franchisor for help when you are expanding. Growing your business is not an easy task. It requires systematic checks of your business. The kind of checks your car does electronically such as sensors telling you:
Memo: Sustaining Growth in Your Business
What gets measured gets done.
I Always Play by the Rules and It Stinks!
This week I coached a wonderfully lovely woman I'll call Jill. She's a bright woman, very compassionate and sweet. She's at one of the corporations where I am an outside consultant/coach. This was our first meeting but within seconds I could tell she had a lot on her mind.. and her plate.
The Best Entity to Hold Real Estate
Possibly THE most frequently asked question of me is "What is the best business entity to use for real-estate investments?" My recommendation to most people is that a limited liability company (an "LLC") is the best entity for this type of use. Here's why:
To Go or No Go, That Is The Question
Last week we talked about a few of the ways to test the feasibility of a business idea to help determine if the idea really had merit or just looked good on the surface. To recap, I said don't bet the farm on the opinions of friends and family, consult with knowledgeable business experts, and conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis. This week let's take it a step further and talk about the creation of a formal Feasibility Plan which will help you determine the true feasibility of your big business idea.
The Chasm of Change---- Restructuring ----- The Goliath
Richard L. Daft one of the country's recognized academic leadership experts raises the question, "What kind of people can lead an organization through major change?" A Turn-A-Round restructuring qualifies as major change and requires transformational leadership. Daft points out that this type of leader is characterized by the ability to bring about change through innovation and creativity. This type of leader motivates people to not only follow their lead but to believe in the vision of corporate transformation, the need for revitalization, to sign on for the new vision and to help institutionalize a new organizational process." Daft points to four principles in discussions about leading an organization through major change. These four principles are the foundation of the restructuring Turn-A-Round process.
8 Ways to Earn More Without Working Harder
Conventional wisdom has it that there are only three ways to grow your business: find new customers, increase the amount of each sale to existing customers or get customers to buy more frequently. But I've seen business owners go blank when presented with those three options. So here is a more useful list of ways to increase your total revenues without in most cases having to put in more hours at the office.
Executive Summary for Business Plans of Franchisees
Writing a business plan for a franchised outlet of a larger company to get funding or find investors is difficult because the franchisor already has a plan which is working, but until you are privy to it upon purchase you actually know relatively few details. The franchisor must keep this information proprietary to insure competitors do not steal the information, but the franchise buyer needs the information to prepare a business plan to get a loan from a bank. Thus a catch 22 exists and is further exacerbated by the fact there are laws against some types of disclosures, which many franchisors due to the litigious nature of franchising do not wish to disclose based on advice from their attorneys. So what do you do? Well, you do the best you can using the UFOC, uniform franchise offering circular or ask the franchisor to send in a business plan directly to your banker who, signs a waiver of non-disclosure and you cannot see it until purchase.
During the election we heard about Ohio?s Economy
Much of what we heard in the mass media about Ohio and the down and out economy was the fiction of spin-doctors of politics who wanted to oust the current sitting President. On further review and first hand observation and experience Cincinnati has people moving in and economic expansion. It is in a good spot with decent quality of life, plenty of jobs and an expanding set of suburbs. Just cross the river into KY and you get a glimpse of the reality.
The Top 10 Priorities That Guard Your Five-Star Reputation
Making money doesn't make your reputation... your reputation makes you money. Gala Gorman
10 Critical Facts to Put On the Cover of Your Business Plan...
In most business plans, no matter how striking the idea, the covers are critically important. The majority of investors may flip to the executive summary, if they get past the cover, when deciding whether or not they are interested. Exactly like the front page of a daily newspaper, a business plan cover puts the important highlights of the proposal upfront for potential investors to read.
Is Plan B Ready?
Business owners and entrepreneurs are, by nature, risk takers and adventurers. If we didn't have that "optimism gene" floating around, not much of any progress would ever get done. But every so often the adventurous get in trouble.
The 7 Critical Steps to Formulating Your Annual Strategic Business Plan
Businesses tend to avoid doing their annual business plan thinking that it is an arduous task that does not accomplish much. Formulating your annual plan is, however, critical to your business success and if done correctly should be quick, easy and generate bottom line results.
Corporate Venturing For Emerging Growth Companies
The boom of the dot-com era in 1999 brought the emergence of corporate venture capital as a major source of funding to the private equity markets. Corporate venture investments peaked in the third quarter of 2000 with 608 deals totaling a combined $4.9 billion. A few of the top corporate venture capital investors of 2000 included Nokia Corporate ($500 million), Oracle Corporation ($400 million), Intel Corporation ($300 million), Sun Microsystems, Inc. ($300 million) and Daimler Chrysler ($100 million).
Fail to plan... or Plan to FAIL??
Running a business, whether it be an offline multi-billion dollar company or an online part time home business, they share many similar traits.
Are You Ready To Go International?
Although North Americans were the dominant population on the Internet, that has now changed, and the rest of the world has caught up rapidly. And while English is still the most widely used Internet language, it's not the language of choice for many, many Internet users.
Cost-cutting Essential to Maintaining Profits
Why cut costs now? Efforts are multiplying to cut costs wherever possible in order to achieve or preserve high profits. The resulting benefits for all of a company's employees should be obvious.
Business Plan Descriptions of Computer System
Entrepreneurs often give little if any consideration to their computer system needs in their original business plans. It is a necessity to have mention of your computer system as bankers and/or investors will want to know how you will keep track of your future endeavor. You need to carefully spell out your needs and their costs to insure you are asking for the right amount of money for your new project and to insure that you know what you need in advance. All too often entrepreneurs are not completely sure of what is needed and then when they see what is available they want it, this adds costs. Then comes the customization and feature creep as high paid programmers design the modifications.
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