|Strategic Planning Information|
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.
Many businesses have sales fluctuations based on the weather but few companies include weather-predicting metrics into their staffing and inventory planning. They just take weather fluctuations and volume fluctuations as "acts of God." But imagine if your business sold car batteries and you could increase inventory just before it turned ten degrees below zero. You would be able to lower or eliminate the number of lost sales because of being sold out of the most popular models. You would be able to schedule more people to work those busy days so customers would be serviced quickly and efficiently. You would do more business because your competitors would be sold out or have long waiting times. You would also be able to turn your inventory more efficiently for a greater ROI (Return On Investment).
Your business might not fluctuate by the whims or patterns of the weather, but I'm sure it does fluctuate by some factors that you do not have control over. Study various patterns and factors. Become aware of them, measure them, chart them, and understand the dynamics. Use those factors to predict busier or slower sales periods and adjust inventory, staff size, prices, and margins accordingly.
Larry Galler coaches and consults with high-performance executives, professionals, and small businesses since 1993. He is the writer of the long-running (every Sunday since November 2001) business column, "Front Lines with Larry Galler" Sign up for his free newsletter at http://www.larrygaller.com
Business Plan 101 How to Write a Table of Contents
No matter what business you plan to start in your next entrepreneurial endeavor you need to be thinking about writing a business plan. Even if you are not seeking funding for your new business or already have secured funds from family members, angel investor types, personal savings or partners. A business plan helps you start out on the right foot and makes you think about your future strategies. One important thing you need in a business plan is a table of contents that you can use as a guide, as you go thru the hectic and tedious steps to start your new business. There are a myriad of rules, regulations and inane paper work and you must stay focused at all times.
How to Snuff Out the Competition Without Leaving a Mark
Does the competition drive you crazy?
3 Undercover Ways to Make Big Profits from Your Competition
You have heard that there is extra money on the table marketing products related to yours. You have also heard that your direct competitors product is off the table. How unfortunate. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to profit from the hard work, expertise and quality of your competitions product?
Alice In Wonderland - A Parable for A Business Plan
Remember reading "Alice in Wonderland?"
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:
Business Plan: Planning the Operations
Writing a business plan is no easy task, sure you can whip something together in a day or so, but without proper planning you are setting yourself up to fail. Many first time entrepreneurs have a bit of trouble writing a business plan, which will be acceptable to bankers and investors. One easy place to fall down on is the understanding of the daily operations of your chosen business model.
Designing an Efficient Distribution System
Let us look at a few of the big distribution networks in the US that we use today. The US Post Office for instance is a huge complex chain of symbiotic relations ships with vendors to deliver by truck, work with FED EX for air, previously that airmail idea started commercial aviation. The reason it grew big and evolved so well is because of the special teams and companies and individuals from the first air mail carriers to the Wells Fargo Coaches. A much better system than Paul Revere; although he was very simple with only two possible signals 1 or 2 "if's" scenarios. Let's face it 1's and Zero's or 1 or 2 ifs are different than today.
Why 9 in 10 Businesses are Overspending on Day-to-day Expenses
Experts estimate that 90 percent of Australian businesses are overspending on day-to-day expenses, by as much as 75 percent in some cost categories!
Business Plan Financial Projections: Stop Worrying About Being Right...
Business plan financial projections seem daunting because they are so uncertain. This very uncertainty, however, is what makes preparing them easy because you can't possibly be right. You can't predict the future. None of us can. All you can be is competent in the way you prepare your business plan projections.
Why Create an Annual Plan?
Can you imagine going on a road trip without knowing your destination? Or, building your house without plans? The same can be said about running your business without a plan.
Don?t Allow Yourself to Get Burned
I am not a big fisherman, but I do enjoy it whenever the opportunity comes my way. I have some friends who are fanatics and occasionally I will go out with one of them. They have nice boats and it makes for an enjoyable day.
Turning On The Lights
Fun From The Start
Microsoft Great Plains Implementation: Placement/Recruiting Agency example ? overview for consultant
Microsoft Great Plains does wonderful ERP job for horizontal markets and clientele. However in our opinion placement software market is underserved and needs custom modules to be developed. In the case of Microsoft Great Plains we see numerous examples of in-house or outsourced customization done for Great Plains Dynamics/Microsoft Great Plains in order to automate placement agency workflow and processes. In our opinion Great Plains is good choice, considering the side of placement and recruiting companies: mid-size or even small. Let us give you highlights from our consulting practice.
Take A Systems View To Ensure Your Business Stays Healthy
How are you feeling today? Good, not so good, great? Let me ask the same question in a different way: How is your gastro-intestinal system functioning today? What about your lymphatic system? How's the old circulatory system flowing along? Are all your bodily systems aligned, in sync, and cranking at peak performance?
3 Ps of Planning - Prepare, Personalize, Pilot
Here's a really simple way to make sure your plans always produce the results you expect.
City of Cortez and South Western Colorado Market Survey
We have been spending many hours surveying the market for a potential business location in the South Western Region (region # 9) of Colorado. Pouring through data, seeing the tourist sites, and understanding the market there. Meeting with officials, business people and visiting businesses we learned quite a bit about the region and the future prospects there for someone opening a business.
Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a New Home Business
I love the excitement of starting up a new home based business. I enjoy trying out new ideas and approaches with the new venture. I dream the big dreams and hope to obtain some of them (if not all of them). I am sure you have those same feelings as well. Organization is imperative when starting any business. Some say that a well funded business has the best chance to sustain losses until it's profitable. However, if you are on a shoe string budget like me, money management is the key.
Is Your Company Growing Fast Enough for You?
Are you frustrated by the lack of growth in your firm, or the effort required to squeeze any up-tick in performance? Are inadequate policies and procedures a root cause? To find out, take this simple self assessment to see if this may be inhibiting real growth at your company.
How Good Is a Business Plan To Your Business?
You know you need a business plan. You probably realize that it is one of the best ways to get your business up and running. No matter what your business is, a business plan can help to focus its direction while providing the information you need to get moving. The most important thing a business plan will do is to provide your financial backers with a reason to give you their approval. It will show them how you plan to work your business.
Memo: Sustaining Growth in Your Business
What gets measured gets done.
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