The Importance of Your Business Plan
A business plan is one of the most important documents you’ll ever need to write. The business plan shows your investors, business partners, bankers or sponsors how you plan to operate your business. Furthermore, a business plan is a necessity when your company is seeking new investors or planning to expand your business.
Therefore, every business needs a written plan:
- Clearly communicate your daily operational plans.
- How you intend to operate your business.
- How you plan to achieve your operational goals.
- What milestones you’ll use to measure your business’s performance.
When writing your company’s business plan, keep in mind there are no strict rules on what content you add to your plan. However, it’s best to have a logical plan for your business. Furthermore, choose a simple format, be direct and give precise details of your plan and ideas. A business plan needs to outline the problems, give a solution, and what it will cost to fix the problem.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be interested in investing in your business. That’s why it’s important to find the right company, sponsors, or investors to present your business plan to. When writing your business plan, it’s necessary that you follow a few guidelines. This is important so you won’t waste the investor’s time.
Your business plan should include:
- An outline of what your idea is.
- Give supporting facts of why this product or service will benefit the public.
- Research the market to determine if another business has the same idea or a similar product you’re proposing.
- Outline your company’s growth over the next 10 years. Be realistic in your predictions for your business.
- Calculate your start-up cost, what you plan on investing, and what finances you’ll need to start your company.
- Determine how long it will take your company to turn a profit on your initial investment.
When drafting your business plan keep in mind:
The business plan is written to:
- Help communicate your ideas.
- Act as a business tool to help guide your new company.
- Help in seeking financial funding to start your business.
- Guide your measurement and assessment of your business’s growth.
- Help you to set your business’s short and long-term goals.
- Outline the strengths and weaknesses of your idea.
- The business plan gives investors an easy way to evaluate your idea and determine if your plan is feasible. Conclusion
Writing your company’s business plan takes careful research and planning. Furthermore, you’ll need to take into consideration your long and short-term goals, and your prediction of where you see your company in 10 years. If you’re unfamiliar about writing your first business plan, it’s advised that you hire a professional to help you write this plan. Afterwards, you can easily make modifications to your business plan as your company grows.
Business Meeting 101:
Business Meetings and How to Avoid the 4 Most Common Traps
When you work for a company it is a fact that you will be attending business meetings. However, there is another fact that most business meetings can be nonproductive and accomplish very little. In every business there seems to be a handful of people who can disrupt and destroy a meeting. Therefore, it is important that you understand how to conduct a business meeting. Don’t fall victim to the pitfalls of a bad business meeting.
How can you avoid the pitfalls of running a bad business meeting?
Many department heads feel they are experts at conducting business meetings.
Unfortunately, there are many people who have no idea at all how to conduct a business meeting. When you attend one of their meetings you are sure to find a party. They feel a need to supply treats, invite guests, and preside over the conversation. Therefore, nothing is accomplished during the meeting.
To avoid hosting a party instead of a meeting it is important that you understand how to lead a meeting. There are workshops, books and tools to teach you the fundamentals of conducting a business meeting.
You are forced to listen to long-winded speeches and announcements.
Some department heads feel it is their duty to keep their employees informed. They call a meeting only to use this time to speak. They never allow their employees a chance to participate during the meeting. Many employees find the long lectures boring. They feel they have wasted their time just listening to one person talk and give the same speech they have heard before.
In order to have a productive meeting you must design a meeting where your employees have an opportunity to talk and participate. Furthermore, you must ask questions that will require your employees to think of an answer that will produce results. If your meeting has activities that help your employees make a decision, this promotes participation. Therefore, save your announcements for a memo, email, or letter to your employees.
You feel obligated to nod your head and agree with your boss.
Many business leaders want to see their employees are agreeing with what they have to say. They scan the meeting looking for acceptance. Unfortunately, most employees are willing to do anything to please the boss. So they sit in the meeting smiling, nodding their heads, and pretending to listen to what is said. Afterwards, they leave the meeting only to forget what was said, work hard to sabotage the idea, or try to ignore the message.
Instead of being the only person at the meeting to finalize the decision, it is important that you promote fairness. Each employee needs to have a say during the decision process. You need to allow your employees to come to an agreement and accept the decisions made during your meeting.
Your boss feels an agenda is not important for his meeting.
Many department heads feel that an agenda isn’t important for their meeting. They feel that all of their employees should share their views and concerns. However, this isn’t the case. Most employees come to a meeting with certain ideas about what should happen or be discussed. If you don’t have an agenda your meeting will become chaotic quickly.
Therefore, it is important to always prepare an agenda for your meeting. Furthermore, make sure each employee has a copy of the agenda before the meeting starts. Before your meeting speak with a few key employees to ask them about your agenda and what they think.
When conducing a business meeting it is important that you prepare for the meeting and accomplish your goals. Many leaders have no idea how to conduct a productive meeting that accomplishes their goals. Therefore, it is necessary that you either use tools or attend a workshop to learn how to conduct a meeting. Otherwise, this wastes money and valuable time that your employees could use for work.