|Strategic Planning Information|
Secrets Of Effective Brainstorming
Have you been in a "brainstorming" session where each person just defended their own ideas? Worse is when people don't suggest ideas at all, for fear they'll be attacked. That's no way to brainstorm. Brainstorming is using the power of many minds, and ideas should flow freely and trigger other ideas. How do you make that happen?
The Key To Good Brainstorming
You have to have a good leader to have good brainstorming. The leader isn't there to impose his will, though, but to stop the imposition of anyones will. His role is to stop criticisms, arguments, and even strong opinions, at least in the first part of the session.
A brainstorming session needs to be spontaneous, open and uncritical. "Bad" or "silly" ideas can lead to helpful ones, so suggestions have to be left un-judged at first. To brainstorm effectively, you can't stifle the creative process. The leaders job, then, is to make everyone feel free to suggest any ideas.
An Example Of Good Brainstorming
The scenario: your business needs to cut delivery costs. The group throws out ideas and thoughts. "Let's not deliver," someone suggests, and when another starts to criticize, you remind him of the rules. "Negotiate lower rates," somebody says, "Or just find a company with lower rates," another adds. Ideas like reducing package weight and charging customers more are suggested, and lead to other ideas.
You keep it civil, take notes, and eventually call a halt to this free-for-all part of the session. Now it's time to evaluate and develop the ideas for whatever usefulness they may have.
To keep the creativity flowing in this stage, have participants defend or develop ideas that are not their own. This brings new insight to the idea, and prevents the problem of ego-identification that causes people to get "stuck in a rut" with their own ideas.
For example, ask the man who was critical of the idea of not delivering to work with that idea. "We have to deliver," he might start with. Then he thinks for a second and says, "I suppose we could deliver to central distribution points instead of to the individual customer. The customer could drive a short distance to pick up their order. That might save us on shipping."
Someone else suggests that the customers may like the arrangement. They would be able to return the product immediately if they were dissatisfied, with no need to pack and ship it. You assign a couple people to look into it, and move on to the other ideas.
Good leadership keeps the whole process working. In the last example, you've even used a "bad" idea to come to a possible solution. That's good brainstorming.
Steve Gillman has been studying brainpower enhancement, creative problem solving, and related topics for years. You can visit his website, and subscribe to his free Mind Power Course, at: http://www.IncreaseBrainPower.com/mind-power.html
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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).
Why You Need a Business Planning System NOT a Business Plan
When someone mentions business planning we have been conditioned to think about writing a business plan. There are hundreds of books and articles, tons of software, an army of consultants, and a multitude government programs to help you write a business plan. There are virtually no resources to help you set up what today's business environment really demands ? a continuous, ongoing planning system.
Sample Business Plan Outline
If you are looking for a partner, funding, angle investor or venture capital you will be asked for a business plan. Even if you are not in need of capital in the formation of your new business endeavor you will still be glad you prepared a business plan to help you prove to yourself that you have the right stuff and that the business is economically viable. The first step in the creation of your new business will be making a customized business plan. Please use this outline as your template to insure you do not forget anything important. This is a business plan format and outline I had created after reading over ten business plan books and taking the best of each of them and putting them into one outline. I give this to your freely and wish you great success in your new business. It is the great entrepreneurial spirit and the entrepreneur that build this great nation, glad to see you are one of us
When Do I Need To Hire A Business Plan Consultant
Every new business owner knows that a business plan is critical ? it is drilled into them by potential investors and every banking officer they meet. So why is something that is so important to the launch of a new venture so difficult to write? Good question! In this article I will try to address when you should go out and hire a business plan writer versus taking on the task yourself. First time entrepreneurs often cringe when sitting down to write their business plan. Some spend 6 months agonizing over each period and comma, and even worse others spend 6 months procrastinating and do nothing. So lets break it down and see where / when a business planning company should be brought in:
Getting Started with Succession Planning: Part II
Succession planning requires the owner of a small or medium-sized business to plan for what the company will look like and how it will operate after the transition to new owners is complete. Unless the owners have succession goals in mind, they won't achieve them. Once these goals are in place, the owners should backtrack and identify the process that will get the firm from its current status to the targeted status after succession. Some of the people involved in the process of transforming the company should be retained as future managers. Others are best utilized just for the transition but not in a managerial or ownership role after succession.
Dayton, OH; Why your Company needs to expand there
In Ohio: besides the 3-Cs you should look at Akron, Dayton, Canton, Toledo, Youngstown and their suburbs. We have been serious studying these areas quite intensely for quite a while, here is what we found; Dayton OH, is looking up after the recent GM Plant received high ratings for productivity being able to beat the Domestic Averages for time to build cars and SUVs, it's SUV Plant was amongst the top performers in the Country for time to build at an average of 20.7 Hours, much better than the Ford Plants all expect F-150 and Taurus Models. Many new projects are happening in Dayton;
Don?t Just Talk About the Weather, Use It to Advantage
A well known, national chain of restaurants discovered that certain weather patterns substantially impacts their business. They have studied it and found that more people go out to eat dinner when there is a series of beautiful days. So they measure the weather quality at their stores across the country. Managers report the weather quality daily. A weather predicting system is then employed to determine the quality of subsequent days. When the model predicts a higher customer count they reduce or eliminate sale items and include higher priced or higher margin specials on the changing daily menu. While they can't control the weather, they know that their customers respond to it. Knowing that, they work to take advantage of factors that can predict changes in business activity.
How To Kick Start Your Business And Double Your Profits
This will make some people angry as hell, but it's time to debunk the myth of 'Time Management' while sharing the real secret of the super successful.
Legal Strategies in Business Plans
Writing a Business Plan these days is tough, venture capitalists are busy and there are so many ideas to choose from. Bankers want a tight, sweet and to the point business plan. Family Members who may lend you money are generally worrisome due to lawsuits and liability. This is why you need to pay particular attention to the Legal Section of your Business Plan.
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.
Microsoft Great Plains in Aerospace & Defense industries ? implementation & customization highlights
Microsoft Great Plains fits horizontal markets clientele and in case of Aerospace and Defense industry we'll talk about contractors ? parts and subsystems for government contracts. We do not necessarily talk about large corporation, however models described could be implemented for large publicly traded company. As a rule ? market is represented by established companies with long history, including long history of its ERP and Computer Business System. It is difficult to stake on the computer operating systems future, however you may try to give high level of trust to the ERP coming from Microsoft Business Solutions, especially considering the fact of acquisition of such market leaders as Great Plains Software and Navision Software.
Pressure Washing Entrepreneurs Can Help With Government NPDES Permits
If you own a pressure washing business one of the smartest things you can do is get involved with the local and regional enforcement for storm water environmental laws. The reason being is they do not understand the washing process of the industry and you can assist them with pertinent information. Secondly you learn about opportunities in the market and third, you can prevent really bad legislation which could potentially put you and your business out of work.
The Tables Have Turned - Its Officially a Sellers Market
Private equity firms have raised so much capital over the last 12 months that they are vigorously competing with one another for opportunities to put their money to work. Business owners, who previously would have had to go hat-in-hand to investors, instead find themselves inundated with unsolicited offers for their companies. Companies with solid balance sheets, good management and strong growth prospects are able to tailor deals to their liking, and get solid valuations.
Buying Used Detailing Equipment and Rainy Day Services
Mobile auto detailing equipment becomes very inexpensive around March each year. If you look on eBay or your local classified section of the newspaper you will see. This is because mobile auto detailers are in a seasonal business. They find themselves scraping bottom when it is too cold to work because the water is freezing or it is raining and it becomes hard to sell detailing services. No one wants to see their business cards when it's raining. The only people who page them are their girlfriends who they can no longer take out for dinner or a movie. They can't use their car phone because it's been turned off by Verizon or Sprint. In a rainy year their cash reserve, if they had one, has been used up by mid January. They are eating Top Ramen by February. Their business no longer supports their needs. So they quit. Too bad for them; they obviously are not winners because: "Winner's Never Quit and Quitters Never Win!"
6 Steps To Laying Out Your Competitive Strategy
Why do so many companies languish and watch as their business turns into a zero profit zone, while others seem to thrive?
Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Pharmaceutical Corporation Specifics ? overview
Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains serves mid-size and large clients in horizontal and vertical markets. Historically Great Plains Software was encouraging ISV partner to write third party modules and later on ? Great Plains Software had a chance to select the product for incorporation into their core set of modules: Manufacturing, Project Accounting, Purchase Order Processing, Collection Management, etc. Today we'll consider Microsoft Great Plains implementation specifics for large pharmaceutical corporation.
A significant advantage of some business ideas is that the venture can break even at what seems to be an easily achievable volume. A technique for quantifying that volume, called break-even analysis, examines the interaction among fixed costs, variable costs, prices, and unit volume to determine that combination of elements in which revenues and total costs are equal.
Urban Flight in Ohio
Many of Ohio's downtown areas are in need of upgrading as folks pack up and move to the suburbs. Many downtown revitalization projects are currently going on there. Competition for sales tax, real estate, middle-income housing and quality of life is a power struggle, urban flight has been growing in Cincinnati and we do not see that stopping, but the expansion in the suburbs is very strong indeed.
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