How to Write a Winning Business Plan

A business plan is a written description of your business's future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it or describing your business strategy, showing you've written a plan, making an effective business plan can seem a frustrating and hard challenge. However, this skill is a vital requirement for any entrepreneur or business seeking to increase their chances of survival. Here are the tips for writing the business plan from the marketing consultant in Sydney True North Business Consulting, "if you fail to plan then you plan to fail":

 The business plan should be very comprehensive with backed financial data with practicality of each milestones to validate the goals and strategic process to reach them. It should include the purpose of the company which is the True North aka vision and the why for your business, the goals and objectives of the business, as well as real market financial data or current historical financial data and researched information. The marketing should also be described in detail, that is, Product, Place, Price and Promotion as well as a detailed competitive analysis stating the strategic overview and reverse engineering the long term objective back to the actually engagement rate or cost per lead for each dollar allocated to  the marketing budget as clear logical and trackable goals. A business owner should always tailor the FINAL version of the business plan to their own personality.

 The comprehensive business plan is to state the vision and mission of the business. This can be as simple as saying "I want to build a well branded local florist which allows me a desirable lifestyle to raise my children" and “I would like to sell flowers for a profit”. This is a relatively basic and broad statement that merely states at a high level big picture view the company’s purpose and future goals. In addition, it is recommended that the prospective small business owners prepare a short executive summary that clarifies and highlights the key points of the business plan to prospective investors or even to themselves and their staff that they might want to share the companies vision with.

 The business plan should include a detailed description of the proposed or actual and this will fill the main body of the businesses direction and strategy. This portion of the business plan should include the type of business form used as well as the type of business merchandising, manufacturing service, franchise or other operations of the business. A statement of the potential opportunities for growth should be included. The hours of operation should be included as well as the proposed method of servicing your customers and what your competitors do well and where you see yourself providing just as much if not more value than them to make your impact on the market.

 The description of the company’s history, many prospective companies will be startups and therefore will not have much of an operating history. It is OK to be in a startup as long as the rest of the business plan is strong and focused though you can use industry researched financial data and give yourself a conservative guideline to what you wish to expect from your market, this also shows you have done the actual research and your numbers to reduce the risk before taking this venture on and also looking for investors to help fund this start up. If the company is not a startup, then a description of past history, operational as well as financial, future goals, and the method of implementation are warranted.

 It must be considered while constructing a small business plan will be around the delivery and strategy of your product or services being offered by your company to the market. As easy as that sounds, there can be a great difficulty in selecting a product or the delivery of a product. A description of how the product or service you intend to offer.  Offering of how will it benefit the consumer should definitely be included in the business plan. A description of the anticipated demand for your product or service should be included as well as potential cash flow from your product or service be ready to validate the forecasted financial for the business plans and try to be more conservative than optimistic to as you want to be prepared on the a lower worst case outcome to always ensure protection on the downside in business. One of the primary difficulties a small business faces is the type of product or service they will be selling to the public and how do you stand out with yours to be the best. In the case of a service you certainly do not want to be in an area where many other companies offer the same service as you do because having the ability to differentiate yourself is something that should be addressed and how you will break into your market to survive.

plan should always be viewed as a living document and contain specifics regarding dates, deadlines and specific responsibilities and this is a good psychological aspect to any owner having critical milestones to celebrate when you achieve them on time and also when you fall short to reflect and review what happened to try improve this for next time you might be presented with a similar challenge in your business. It should be constantly reviewed and updated, as well as being used in regular “plan versus actual” discussions. There are many business plans in the industry today that I se that have a business plan with little strategy or action plan to explain how to execute and implement effectively off and achieve the goals, which is why the practical way of how you work your way through the obstacles of running the business for real and things are live will be the outcome to if you achieve the results. Many businesses rely heavily on people taking actions and being accountable for them just as much as the high level business plan and goal setting too. A winning business plan and aligned to a detailed action plan with the right talent behind it to implement it without hesitation and the ability to adapt and innovate in a rapidly moving business world will ensure that the business is on a safer path to achieve the company’s goals and move towards the vision with positive results time and time again.


How to Reduce the Business Expenses Straight Away

Running a business means facing increasing running cost, taxes and fees on an annual basis. The costs seem to multiply exponentially each year, and the challenge is to balance those costs with revenue to not just increase total revenue but also the bottom line otherwise the extra stress and risk is pointless. When revenue holds steady, the costs have to come down to maintain that balance. Struggling businesses usually scramble to find ways to cut their costs before they go so far into debt they’ll never recover. If you are wondering how to reduce costs in business, here are some money-saving techniques from business strategies services in Sydney that you can implement right away:
 
Record your actual costs and compare them with the amount allocated in your budget. Also have budget for the business overall and then allocate a budget to various areas or departments in the business. Try to work out why there is a discrepancy between what you planned to spend and what you actually spend. The larger the cost overrun, the more scope there should be for savings. Actual costs that are higher than your budgeted costs usually indicate room to reduce costs. Lower costs may indicate good management, but might also reflect a drop in quality or potential problems. If possible make each cost the responsibility of one person or manager. Some costs will be easier to control if one person is responsible for that cost throughout the business. Get your employees involved in cost control as always asking for feedback and innovative ways from staff not only is a opportunity to motivate the staff to get involved but leverage off their knowledge as every one will have one idea that you never had before even if it's small or big they will trust me. Give them an incentive to suggest cost-saving ideas and ask what causes them problems or wastes their time which is a very well renowned business model called Kaizen from Japan which is feedback from the bottom up of a company but the top down needs to embed and encourage this behaviour to actually work effectively across an organization.
 
Employ the right people who make money for your business, more money than it costs to retain them. That means hiring people who are capable of doing the job and have experience and skills. Give responsibilities to the employees with the most skill and efficiency in those areas and making sure they care enough about there job and role to want to contribute and see the company do well and its just not clock work, this ability to get your employees into a mindset of being apart of the bigger picture in business is a skill itself for a manager or owner. Don’t use expert sales people for word processing or “numbers” people for design functions understand your staffs skills and strengths and then help them knuckle down on doing that more, you can do employee profiling through HBDI Herman Brain Dominance Intelligence programs to assess each employees capabilities if you don't feel comfortable making this judgement yourself. It's often necessary for one person to be responsible for a variety of tasks, but consider exchanging some of those tasks with another individual who shows greater efficiency. The right combination of experience and training can make the difference between a good hire and a great one and that difference can make a huge impact for the better or worse for a small business or a fast growing one too that needs quality resources.
 
Outsource your business as many of the individuals or companies that provide outsourcing services are able to do the work for considerably less money so it can help you to reduce cost right away, as you don’t have to provide benefits to their workers, and have fewer overhead expenses to worry about, for example, the cost of website development. Services like True North can help you find and contract highly qualified developers who generally charge a fraction of what you’d pay for a local hire. The cost different is so different and some or most of the countries abroad have English spoken workers that have minimum university level degrees and education at a USA standard level. The Australian market is booing via Philippine outsourcing agencies these days and like with any recruitment you can sometimes not get the best fit on the first hire or time around though from my own experience you can get amazing staff and over time they learn and develop a better understand of your business just like an employee would do locally but the benefit here is the cost is about 80% less of an expense. The time zone for Sydney to Philippines is only 2-3 hours difference so makes working hours and contact a lot easier tasks for other places. 
 
Review your marketing strategies to make sure that all of it is needed any time you can be the person that tries everything and implements more than is necessary without stopping to see what is proving you the most ROI return on investment. Most businesses spend a lot of money on marketing efforts that do not ever produce and no one has bothered to track it or to challenge why they are even doing it. By reviewing your marketing strategy regularly or having a full time marketing manager do this, you can find places to save money and also get better results with the dollars you are spending. Start by eliminating marketing efforts that are at least a year old if you cannot document how they have helped your business within that time frame. The ability to track and monitor the social media ads these days are easy and very effective if you or you marketing person is aware for them and taking the time to review it ongoing. One tip I suggest in the marketing world is to have few different marketing avenues but percentage base the revenue through what I call the "satellite" approach. Where 50-80% majority of the overall budget goes to the main revenue producing marketing strategy and the remainder of the budget would be split across 2 otters areas or be used as a risk free budget. To gauge and test across new social media platforms or areas of marketing but you want to review the ROI and impact they deliver otherwise this exercise is pointless so you can be ready to move onto the next profitable trend in marketing if you find something or the current big marketing thing dies suddenly, you won't be left in the dark and looking silly. Always be scoping the market, keep to a structured marketing plan and budget 
 
If you think you need to review your business expenses and look at effective ways to grow then talk to the experts in the small business space then request a call back from a True North small business specialist today:  www.truenorthbusinessconsulting.com/reqesut-a-call/ 

Why Facebook Marketing is Important and How to Execute on it for New Clients!

Marketing is the key to success for any business. However Facebook is becoming an increasingly important way of obtaining information about friends and family, but also about world events and any business owner knows information is key and holds leverage for a business owner. Whether it’s good or bad there’s no doubt that Facebook marketing is one of the most effective ways of marketing, the site’s impact is unquestionable. Over one billion users make it a cultural, economic and social phenomenon. So think about opportunity loss if you are not actively on this platform and in front of your customers either current ones or new.

To do Facebook marketing you have to join Facebook, and create your own profile page, where you will be able to tell people about yourself. And to market your business, try to start adding friends, preferably your own circle of friends or people that you already personally know. Once you build your own network of friends, it is now time for you to extend that network. Try joining groups that share your interest or groups that are interested in what you have to offer by target gin niche's. This is the easy alternative that can be beneficial to a a smaller business with a limited or no marketing budget but has the asset of time on their hands to be active about obtaining new clients.

You can also try personalizing your profile page to make it unique which will attract people to view it or engage with your content more. You might also want to post links to your website on your profile page or you can also syndicate your blog pages using RSS. These tools are already provided by Facebook, so you don't really need to know about HTML programming or other complicated internet things. The benefit of putting out a blog from your website to your Facebook profile page can generate traffic both ways along with adding additional back links to your website, back links increase the changes your website will rank higher on a google search for organic searches not paid Adwords.

Facebook marketing is important to businesses now knowing that majority of your customers or clients will be on this platform or in the future will be on this platform. It can work magic if you understand the potential is has to offer your business. Of all the social networking platforms on the Internet today, none has the same targeted advertising capabilities of Facebook. Facebook collects more details about its members than other services, these details allow you to create advertisements by profession, interests and social connections, allows you to target and expand your market reach and within these searches you can allocate a budget in dollar amount that has a specified time to use that budget across. It enables marketers to upload lists of contacts such as emails, so for the uses of a business that has a good sized data base of emails already then this is hard to overstate knowing it gives instant leverage to reengage to the people on that list within a more popular environment, so with users across the world devoting countless hours to the site being the business that is always popping up in the background allow you to be positioned for the next sales as you seem to always be there in their minds or in front of their eyes.

Facebook is a great place to market products and services without paid promotion as Facebook encourages word of mouth advertising with a share option imagine the impact of a really good referral share and positive feedback story that goes viral for your business, it amplifies the reach it will get. If someone likes your profile page or the products or services you sold them, they may be able to recommend you to their network of friends and also their groups so be delivering a good service is critical on these platforms as the positive or negative exposure can be stretch just as easy either way so keep this in mind with how you operate and conduct yourself as a business online. This means that the people in Facebook will be able to also advertise for you without paying for it.

So depending what type of budget your business can allocate to the social media platforms you need to know how to implement and execute an effective marketing strategy. Where I see many small businesses go wrong is not knowing how to execute the strategy and when they blow their initial marketing budget and the stats are terrible. They default to thinking negative and want to give up and believe the whole thing is hopeless and rubbish, so they go back to their traditional ways of generating business, fingers crossed and holding their breathe... right?! Now you see what not to do we can focus on the way a paid strategy should be implemented, first you need a clear objective i.e convert leads/get new sales, increase likes to the business page or exposure through engage through brand awareness. But in my experience the most common is the lead generation as this is the easiest and most effective to get a return on your investment (ROI) for a smaller business. Then now we are aware of generating leads we need to creative a landing page which is a single page website that will capture the customers name, email and mobile or any other fields you want to add but keeping this a simple process is important to ensuring more people want to opt-in (leave their details). This due to the shortening attention span of today's consumers which marketers are noticing through research and real life stats that the number of times you need to pop up for the sale or be seen by the client has increased from less than half a dozen to over a dozen now. So saying the attention span part you can imagine that the aesthetics of the landing page has to be on point, the main thing I would focus my attention on is the copy which is the sales writing on the landing page. The sales copy used in effective marketing campaigns have a whole world of psychology behind them in the words, text size, where to bold or pop words and the colors used, spending time and money here will definitely stretch the money spent on the ads themselves.

With a clear objective and landing page now setup we need to create a reason for the customer to leave their details which we say is a "call to action". This is something that needs to excite or offer the client an incentive to want to leave their details for you but also is the first trust building aspect of the sale relationship for the business to create and do by adding value. Believe it when I say this to you that you just don't put an ad out there and the clients come running and jump up and down begging for your service or product. Plus no one ever wants to be sold too remember these words with seriousness as I have spent over 10 years in sales! So now you have the client in the sales funnel and can massage and engage with them across numerous ways, add them to an email list, call them and offer feedback on the call to action which might have been an ebook. Maybe the call to action was a free strategy call and then you can talk to the client, ensuring trying to always add value to the customer and not selling will allow the relationship to develop with trust and a transaction for your services and their money will be highly likely to occur if you show the ability to articulate the service or product your business offers.

So now you know how to effectively you Facebook to market and leverage to getting your business out their and generating new business, you will find that this platform will become one of the main sources and ways to building the revenue in your business and scaling the structure.

If you think you need to talk to the experts in the small business space then request a call back from a True North small business specialist today: www.truenorthbusinessconsulting.com/reqesut-a-call/