|Strategic Planning Information|
Business Plan: The Simplest Business Plan Ever
If you're a solo professional like I am, you know how tough it is to find any time at all to do any business planning. Doing a full business plan is a must if you're planning to seek financing or investors, but most solo professionals don't need anything that complicated.
Don't get me wrong, business planning is one of the most important things you need to do to succeed in your one man or woman show. Without planning you'll drift aimlessly from one crisis to the next and one idea to the next, never really getting anything done.
So, what's a solo pro to do? Here's what I do in my own business:
My business plan consists of one page with very little on it. It simply lists the three goals that I must achieve this year. Then, I list a statement for each goal: To achieve Goal #1 I need to?.This is followed by two to five activities or action items I need to do to make that happen.
That's it. That's the whole plan. The beauty is the simplicity. I simply cannot handle more than that. I don't have a staff. I don't have "people". Everything has to be structured so that I can get it done simply and systematically.
So, let's say one of my goals is to increase sales by a certain number, like $25,000. I then ask myself, "What do you need to do to make that happen?" Maybe I want to develop an ebook or add a new service. How many potential or current customers will I need to reach? How much time will I need to develop the book or service? How will I market it?
From those answers, I develop my schedule. What do I need to do monthly, weekly, daily? I break it up into small pieces that take an hour or less. For example, if I decide I need to send out 100 marketing postcards in a month, I break it into 25 cards a week. Then, I put it on my schedule each week, just as I do my appointments with clients.
To keep myself on track, I place my mini plan in front of my keyboard so every morning it's the first thing I see. I also include a note to myself. It reminds me that "Nothing Else Matters." I follow it with my company slogan: Get Knowledge. Get Focus. Get Results.
Complex plans take tons of time to develop and many (if not most) end up gathering dust on a shelf. Using a simple plan improves your focus and helps you to achieve great results.
Are you a solo professional feeling Stressed, Disorganized? Tired of Working Long Hours for Less Than You're Worth? Struggling for Focus?: Learn how one Solo Professional used the Chaos Tamer to Survive and Thrive in the Midst of Total Rampaging Chaos. http://www.TheJordanResult.com .
c 2001-2004 The Jordan Result LLC & Caroline Grimm Jordan All Rights Reserved.
Regroup - How To Do It And Why It Works
Regroup?is this a new management trend? Not a chance! Regroup is simply an opportunity to end one month's business cycle, recap the performance of your company and outline a plan of success for the new upcoming month. Why does it work? Because it allows each person on your team to assess their performance from the previous month, and make any necessary adjustments for the new month. Here's how it works:
Business Planning and the ?Bozo? Factor
"Bozo" ? A clown with a forlorn look, always finding negative implications in every activity or event. A person who tries to find a way to prevent you from moving ahead, giving excuses such as "we've always done it this way, or this is not our culture" when presented a new opportunity or challenge. Normally associated with people who are uncomfortable with learning new techniques, processes, or relationships.
A Backup To The Internet Is Vital & Now Cost Effective
It doesn't take a Terrorist Act, Tsunami or Earthquake to put a business heavily dependent on the internet in the dark and effectively out of business??for hours or even days into weeks.
Invalid Excuses for Poor Business Results - Rising costs
Note to Northwest Airlines ? It's not about fuel costs
Hunters and Gatherers - Are You Serving Both Their Needs?
The University of Exeter in the United Kingdom recently published research financed by Barclays Bank, which has implications for everyone who is serving the general population.
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.
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.
Microsoft Great Plains in Agriculture ? implementation highlights
In this small article we'll concentrate on farmers associations and non-profit state-sponsored organizations, dealing with subsidized state and federal programs distribution and management ? loans to farmers and rural communities. As we realized this is relatively narrow market niche and it is almost ignored by software developers. In the typical case you should take generic ERP application, such as Microsoft Great Plains and integrate it with legacy systems or create custom piece in Great Plains to serve your association needs.
Business Process Methodologies
I've either been involved with or held a process-related role since 1994. It started in the government with TQM (Total Quality Management). Then before I left the government, I worked with ERWin and some process standard model -- I've forgotten its official name. We had pages and pages of flows that were not easy to follow.
How To Get More Business During The Winter Months
Business seems to drop, slow or even stop during the winter months. As tourist traffic slows or stops during the winter months so does the incomes of many local business owners. The first step in overcoming this problem begins in your brain (don't they all?)
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.
Scheduling of Additional Auto Detailing or Mobile Car Wash Units
If you own a mobile car wash business or auto detailing business then you realize that when you are parked working you are making money and when you are stuck in traffic you are losing money. Sure you can say when you are in traffic people see you and write down the phone number, but you are not making money, that is potential future income, which is work you still must do in the future. Many auto detailers do not schedule properly and therefore get into trouble in that they attempt to expand before they have maximized their schedules.
TQM Total Quality Management, the book
Every decade we seem to come up with a buzz-word to describe the things we should be doing right all the time. Forever we have heard our parents or grandparents use little phrases to get our attention. "If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right? Or "Never enough time to do it right, but always making time to do it over." Quick quotes like these and there must be a hundreds of different ones which all lead to the same thing. In the 1980's and early 1990's it was TQM or Total Quality Management. Deming and Peters harped on this like there was no tomorrow. Then later on we had the Six Sigma by GE and the Jack Welsh crowd of executives and remember the ISO 9000 series of quality and perfection. Now then let's get back to; TQM Total Quality Management, the book. If you have not read it, then you should because you can buy it at any garage sale for $1.00 or at a used book store for $4-5 dollars. Amazon has tons of used ones for sale as well. Make sure you buy the right book, as there must be 100 or more books on that subject:
Family and Friends Referrals Make the Best Franchisees
As a franchisor it is imperative that you seek, find and recruit the best franchisees to maintain a strong franchise system. Your current Franchisees are your very best sales people, sometimes without even knowing it. As a franchisee starts making more money, it will show. Soon they will be moving out of their apartment or home into a nicer area. They will be driving a nicer car. They will be frequenting nicer eating establishments. A female franchisee's husband will tell the guys at work in a bragging way how great his wife is doing and that he plans on quitting his job to help her. A male franchisee's wife will brag to her friends that she is planning a vacation of that they bought a new indoor four-person Jacuzzi. Her friends will entice their husbands and boyfriends to look into the franchise, franchise companies should encourage this scenario and spend more time and money on referrals than straight sales. Sure mass marketing works, but throwing spaghetti at the refrigerator until something sticks is not very becoming of a star rated franchise system. Many times people at the franchisee's old job will start talking, "Hey, did you hear about Skip?, He's really doing well with that new franchise thing he doing." "Yah! Have you seen his new Corvette."
Do You Really Need a Business Plan?
"I don't need a business plan."
The Top Ten Rules of Effective Networking
Many of us are discouraged by the networking events that we go to. We feel swamped by people just looking to get money from us, and we rarely feel as though the event was worth our time.
Vendor Relations Strategies Sample Outline
One of the quintessential parts to any business is your supply chain. To insure that the supplies are there when you need them; in this new day and age of "just in time" distribution where very little sits on warehouse shelves until you order it you will need excellent vendor relations. Without the help of your vendors a small customer need turns into a astronomical problem and if you cannot solve it or serve your customer, you will indeed lose that customer to someone else who will. Someone who has constantly maintained a close relationship with their vendors in fact and can get what they need quickly with a simple phone. You say; "you wish it was that easy!" Yes, I hear you, yet I have seen over the years that with the proper vendor team, you can do anything, build anything, create anything and move forward faster than any competitor ever dreamed of. How do I know? Well, I built a multi-state franchise company with no outside investors from the smallest of small businesses, that's how.
How To Prepare A Business Plan That Guarantees Big Profits
It is always said "If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail"
More Uses for Your Business Plan
You have invested a lot of time and energy on writing a business plan just to get a loan or to attract an investor. What do you do when you get the money or, worse, should you be turned down?
ERP Role in Selling Your Mid-size Business ? Microsoft Great Plains and CRM Example
If you own the mid-size business and actively work in it as executive manager or lead, say marketing, ? you probably know exactly what needs to be done on the daily basis to keep it running. However, in many cases this business critical knowledge exists in your head only. This means that if you would like to sell your business ? it has little value without your participation. So, ahead of the selling time you should "formalize" the business ? to make it work within the systems and rules, independent of people. Let's consider the parts we will need.
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