Build A Better Business With Network Marketing Advice That Works The more knowledge you have network marketing, the greater your chance for success. Use the information in the article below to help you get further with your goals. Network marketing broadens your business network as those familiar with your company spread the word to other potential partners. When you have marketers working for you, you will find you have more success just from word of mouth. You want others to do this marketing so that you can stay focused on other important aspects of your business. Before getting into network marketing think about what you hope to achieve. Are you getting into network marketing for it to just be a hobby? When you have clear intentions and put in a real effort, you will find success in whatever you choose to do. Because prospective partners are bound to eventually get your answering service, you want your voicemail message to be engaging. Make sure that your message is concise and positive. The best approach is to give the information that is necessary, then give an idea of how long it will take you to get back to the caller. Always take your network marketing seriously. Treat it as a business. A common cause of failure is not taking network marketing efforts seriously. Network marketing takes hard work and if you put in a good effort, it can lead to a full-time job. Train yourself by learning as much as you can, and take advantage of any official training offered by your company. To best prepare for these situations you need to calculate your monthly expenses, multiply that by nine, then figure out what you need in case an emergency happens. One way to build that nest egg that you can depend upon is through effective network marketing. Starting off with a well thought out business plan can help you make your network marketing endeavors more successful more quickly. This plan should include your specific goals and the path you will take to achieve them. Know how many customers you need to have, how many sales you need to make each month, and what sort of marketing campaign you will have. Hold regular group discussions with your whole team. It is important for a group to be united and working toward common goals, through regular strategy sessions. Group meeting are essential if you want to cultivate a cohesive team. Create a monthly budget. You need to know how much money you can realistically invest in your business so that it can continue to run strong. If you can, make a strong investment to see profits sooner. Treat your network marketing as a business at all times. If you are trying to get rich only putting in a couple of hours a week, it will never happen. To be successful at network marketing, you have to be willing to invest a lot of time and effort into your venture. Make a vow to […]
The success of a business depends on how carefully all its activities have been planned and how well the plan has been executed. A cohesive plan helps to understand all aspects of the business and helps in the day to day operations. A business functioning without any plans will definitely not compare well with a business that operates according to a plan. Plans are essential tools for management and are vital for hassle free operations. When the business operates based on a carefully drafted and executed plan, there is little room for the management to be unpleasantly surprised. Developing a strategic plan is a necessity. The Essential IngredientsDefining the nature of your business and making your mission statements clear is the most important component of a business plan. Determining the ultimate purpose of your business and the goals of your business are essential ingredients for a strategic plan. Determine your firm’s philosophy. Define it clearly, so that employees consider it when they make any decision concerning the company. Set goals and develop plans to guide your business so that it will achieve the target goals within a prescribed time. Once the goals have been set, planning and execution are necessary to initiate the processes involved in accomplishing the goals. Delegate responsibility and be certain that the duties are being performed. Make sure that the target set is realistic and achievable with the resources available to the company. Make sure adequate analysis and appraisals of the overall performance of the company are done regularly. Make necessary changes to help achieve the goals. Analyze the industry’s environment to find the position of your business within it. Analyze trends that may have an effect on your business such as the political environment, changes in consumer tastes, new technologies developing each day, and your competitors. Make use of management tools such as cash flow forecasts to help plan better and deal with any situation, ensuring constant cash flow. Use competitive analysis techniques to know your position in the industry and plan how best to utilize your advantages to achieve your target goals. Analyze your internal business administration and make sure that there are no unnecessary expenses. Finalize your plans and be certain that they will be executed carefully. Additional HelpThese are some of the essential ingredients for a strategic plan. When a capable person with good business acumen does the planning and the execution of the plan is done under this person’s supervision, the plan is sure to succeed and guide the business towards success. There are firms that offer services and products to make the process of running and managing a business easier. This includes software that helps organize the company and keep it within government standards. Another video about how to open your own business in the UK for Beginners. In my last video I’ve talked about “Where to take money from to start the business in the UK” – Lets take the first. . .
Writing a business plan can be an overwhelming task. Here’s how to make that task a bit easier. 1. Don’t try to write the business plan in one day or even in one week. Break the task into smaller chunks and set a realistic timetable to complete those tasks. 30 days is a reasonable amount of time. It helps to have a written task list with projected start and finish dates for each task. As you complete the task, note the date. The task list is to keep you on track and not meant to be a straight jacket. 2. Start with the section you feel most comfortable with, this is one instance you don’t have to begin at the beginning. Most entrepreneurs don’t have any hesitancy writing about the historical background of their company. Or perhaps writing about the needs your products fill for customers would be a task that would get your business plan off to a good start. What’s important is to actually start writing and stop procrastinating. 3. Base your marketing on research. It might seem easier to say that the market of your company is $5 billion a year and you expect to obtain a 1.56% market share, but that’s meaningless. Define your market and how you will reach your market. The market might be huge but you can only reach a small portion at a time. Attack that market segment where you have the best chance of success. 4. Spend quality time writing your business plan. Don’t put it off until you’re exhausted from all the other tasks in your day. If the morning is when you’re raring to go then designate one hour every morning to write your business plan. Don’t let interruptions eat into that one hour. Put your phone on answer, don’t look at email, or cruise the Internet. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish in that one hour if you stay focused. 5. Give your business plan a rest. After you’ve completed a section let it rest for a day or two, then go back and review what you’ve written. You’ll be surprised at how much you can improve your business plan if you come back to it when you’re fresh. 6. Have a few trusted people review your business plan. If they understand what you’re doing and your strategies are clear, great. However, if they don’t “get it” then you have some work ahead of you. More business plan help for how to write a business plan for a lawn care, gardening or landscaping business on my apps: In this video I explain how to write a business. . .
Significant income on the Internet only comes from repeat sales to the same people, for which you need a continuing relationship with them, which in turn requires a mailing list. To get people to sign up for your mailing list, you must give them something. Offering free e-learning courses is one of the easiest ways to get people to give you their email addresses, to start building a relationship, and to get them interested in your offerings. To create your free e-learning courses, you have to deal both with the mechanics and with the content. First the mechanics: You need an auto responder to send out the lessons and a web site where you can put the sign-up page (also called the “squeeze page”). You set up a new list at the auto responder site, get the sign up form, and put it on your squeeze page. When people subscribe, you have the auto responder send them a message every few days containing the next lesson. You can put the lesson in a plain-text e-mail message, but that’s rather ugly. You can put it in an email that looks like a web page, but that makes spam filters suspicious. It is better if the plain-text e-mail message contains a greeting and the beginning of the lesson content and a link to the web page that contains the entire lesson. As for the content, you write it much like you wrote essays in high school. It’s easiest if you lay it out on a sheet of paper: Start by writing your topic in the center of the page. You surround it with subtopics — you only need maybe half a dozen subtopics, give or take, but list a few more topics than that to give yourself a choice. For each subtopic, you list three points. Each subtopic will be a separate lesson. For each lesson, you write an introductory paragraph, a paragraph about each point, and the conclusion, each of two or three sentences. That adds up to five paragraphs and 10 to 15 sentences overall. The mini course of course cannot go into detail. It should be a valuable, but it should aim for a broad understanding and appreciation of the importance of the topic rather than the nitty-gritty of how to deal with it. You save the nitty-gritty for your books and other courses, and you use the mini course to promote them. You can reuse the lessons themselves for a course e-book to offer as another freebie. Don’t do any hard-core selling, but don’t omit sales entirely. Keep the first lessons strictly informational. Maybe by the third you can suggest that they buy a product. By the last couple of lessons you can be suggesting they buy your e-book or sign up for your course or hire you to speak or consult. After the course is over, keep in touch with the people on your list. Invite them to tele-seminars. Send them more information. Keep up your relationship. […]
Preparing an effective Business Plan is the first step to raising venture capital. If done properly it will take a good deal of time and effort to get the job done properly. Don’t rush through this step in the process, otherwise the months you spend meeting with angel investors and venture capital sources will be a waste of time, effort and money. I have read many Business Plans that clearly lacked preparation, were poorly written and probably did more harm than good when it came to raising capital. Every hour of preparation and research you spend on this first step to raising capital will save you months of time in the long run. Your Business Plan should be professional, well planned, edited and then re-edited several times before you have your final version. Have as many business people as possible read it and question you on it before you send it to potential investors. What may seem clear or obvious to you may not be necessarily clear and obvious to someone reading it for the first time. I advise clients to use an Executive Summary to break the ice with potential investors, then have a phone conversation to get a feel for the investor. Here’s an important drafting tip: START OUT STRONG. The first section that an investor reads is your Company Description section. You need to make an impact on the reader, grab their attention and make them want to read every word. The best place to start is right at the top with your Company Description. In addition to a good company description, a good customer list and marketing plan is important to an interested investor. How do you access potential customers? Do you just wait for customers to come to you and simply rely on word of mouth marketing? Hopefully you have several methods of attracting customers. Mentioning several methods in your business plan, including direct mailing lists, is a good idea. Regardless of whether the investor is a strategic partner, Angel Investor or Venture Capital/Private Equity firm you need to identify the reason for their interest in your company. Are they looking at investing in the industry in which your company will focus? What size investment do they typically make? What percentage of a company do they take when they invest, i.e. do they need over 50% for control purposes? Have they invested in companies that could be viewed as your competitors? How long is their review process and do they require board representation? These are just some of the questions you should ask before you send potential investors information about your company. In other words, you have to separate the REAL INVESTORS from those who will waste your time. One of the most difficult tasks entrepreneurs face is not the running of their business or even dealing with competitors. It is raising capital. If your company is established and profitable it is clearly a much easier task to find the money sources and raise capital. […]
Do you understand email marketing? If you do not, you do not have to worry just yet. This is because the concept of email marketing is relatively new and many business owners have not started to take advantage of this wonderful marketing tool yet. However, there are some savvy business owners who are already employing email marketing techniques to create additional business for themselves and to gain an advantage over the competition. While not having a great deal of knowledge about email marketing is not an immediate threat to your business, you should start learning about this concept to ensure it does not become a problem for you later as more and more business owners in your niche begin to take advantage of the concept of email marketing. This article will provide information on email marketing which should be useful to business owners who do not have experience with the subject matter. Business owners should first understand the options available to them in terms of email marketing. The most common options include sending out mass emails with promotional materials, publishing and distributing e-newsletters and offering correspondence courses via email. The advantage to all of these marketing strategies is the ability to reach a worldwide audience. Unlike traditional methods of marketing such as television and radio ads or print media ads which only reach an audience in a limited area anyone with access to the Internet can benefit from your email marketing techniques. Mass emails are the most popular form of email marketing. This includes emails which are sent to hundreds, thousands or even millions of recipients at once. The problem with this type of marketing is the potential for having your emails viewed as spam. This is likely to occur if you send your emails to recipients who have no interest in your products or services and have not expressed interest in receiving emails from you. E-newsletters are also becoming increasingly popular as a form of email marketing. E-newsletters can be a simple or as complex as you prefer and may include text, graphics, advertisements, links or any combination of these elements. One of the first decisions you will have to make is whether you wish to make your e-newsletter strictly text or include graphics in the e-newsletter. If you are on a tight budget, it may be worthwhile to only include text to avoid the need to hire a graphic artist. You may be able to incorporate graphics yourself but they will not look nearly as professional as the graphics provided by a professional. Likewise you can certainly write your own copy for your e-newsletter but you will likely create a much better impression if you hire a qualified professional writer to create the content for you instead. Hiring a professional graphic artist and a professional writer may seem like an extraneous expense but it is actually quite important. Your e-newsletter may be the first impression many potential customers get of you and your work so it is important […]
By: Todd Lokken I am the owner and manager of a trucking repair company located in the mid-west. My business provides tractor-trailer repair services both in-house and on the road for owner/operators who are in transit. I say “in transit” because a large portion of our business comes from trucks which have broken down on the road. We travel over 200 miles in all directions to get them up and running as fast as we can. Additionally, we offer diagnostic services and preventive maintenance such as oil changes, plug and wire changes and tune-ups. Located between two fairly large cities, we see a lot of business come in as drivers generally prefer to avoid having to stop near major metropolitan areas as it can often mean several hours of down time. Consequently, we get a lot of calls coming in at certain times of the day, while at other times our phones might not ring for an hour or more. I recently had a trunk study performed on our phone lines, to determine if we were missing calls during our busy times. I wanted to know if adding more phone lines might improve business. I was shocked at the results. We were missing a lot of incoming calls, more than I had imagined. With the phones ringing off the hook, I really had no idea just how many people were unable to get through. After I received the trunk study results, I added four more lines and hired more customer service representatives. Within a month of doing this, I had to add two extra bays to our building to accommodate the increase in trucks coming in. In short, my business has grown by thirty percent from having the trunk study performed. The alternative would have likely been a decrease in business as drivers might have decided to stop trying to schedule with us as a result of never being able to get through. It just reminds me that what you don’t know can hurt you, or certainly your business.
Affiliate programs have been used by some of the most well known and profitable internet businesses to make their millions. Amazon. com and ebay. com are just two examples of websites that have used affiliate programs in a BIG WAY to make money online. Affiliate programs are programs where you pay other people to grow your business. The idea is that you pay them a fraction of the profits you make from the sales they give you so that you are always in profit. For example, some affiliate programs offer to pay affiliates $5 for every time they sell a copy of their $10 eBook through their special affiliate tracking link. As long as the product and the management cost less than $5 per eBook to maintain then you are still in profit and are gaining customers you would not have had otherwise. With affiliate programs the advantage is that you will always make a profit from your investment in them if you do it right. If you pay your affiliates a commission per sale then you are only ever paying someone to benefit your business and at a profit. You will never be paying anyone to benefit your business and not get your investment back with a profit. Other affiliate programs pay affiliates per hit to their website, and the fee is obviously smaller but the boss (that’s you!) still gets the biggest profit. The only risk with this method is that, while you may be getting traffic, you have to be sure that you can convert that into sales in order to make a profit. You would be surprised just how many people there are out there that are very good at selling products or guiding traffic but cannot create their own. They need to sell YOUR unique and original products. Many affiliates will be webmasters with websites with original content who simply enjoy maintaining them but would like to make enough money from them so that they maintain themselves. Many affiliates will have read every handbook on marketing and making money from programs and will be working night and day to sell your product. The only drawback is that you have no idea of what methods they may use or where your website may end up being promoted. However, this is a fairly calculated risk you take and in my opinion little harm can come of it. I hope you have taken something from this article. It can definitely be used to grow any sort of web business and has been used in this way for a long time now. You may also be surprised at how well this can increase your revenue as it has done for many giant e-businesses in the past. Setting one up is as easy as a trip to clickbank. com where you can set all of the cash reward settings and just leave it. Automatically people will begin promoting your website for you and soon it will begin to grow far […]
The prospect of entering your chosen field after two semesters of post-secondary study is an exciting one and a reality for students who attend Centennial College’s hotel management program in Canada, officially known as Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Management. With a curriculum designed for mature students, this offering takes those with previous post-secondary credentials and/or work experience, and prepares them for careers in the accommodation, food and beverage sectors of the hospitality industry. It is a burgeoning industry, which in 2010, employed 1,086,000 people and generated revenues of almost $18.8-billion.Centennial College’s fast-paced hotel management courses cover a wide range of areas that include:Hotel and restaurant general management, human resources management, sales and marketing management, convention services management, cruise lines. Applicants to this hotel management program must possess a college diploma or university degree in hospitality, tourism or related discipline. They must also present a resume that demonstrates relevant work experience in the industry, as it may be a required part of the admission process. Please note that the hotel management program will consider applicants with a diploma or degree in unrelated disciplines who have related work experience. It will also consider applicants with partial post secondary education and relevant work experience in hospitality.Based at Centennial College’s Progress Campus, this is one of Ontario’s most respected hotel management programs, as it offers its students facilities that ensure there is a balance of theory and practical application. Progress Campus is home to all of the college’s hospitality and tourism programs and, therefore, boasts modern computer labs, operational lab practice facilities, an on-site conference centre, and a full-service student-operated restaurant called Horizons. Within their hotel management courses, which are led by industry professionals, students study key management areas such as: finance, human resources, labour relations, oenology, international operations, leadership, entrepreneurship, security and risk, service quality, marketing and revenue management.The hotel management courses and practical practice culminate in a two-day-per week industry placement for 15 weeks in semester two. This experience is an opportunity for students to not only apply what they have learned in class but also to enables students to better understand the dynamics of the industry, increase their knowledge of industry practices and provides a competitive advantage of experience in the job market. In the past, students who completed Centennial College’s hotel management courses in Canada have been hired by companies that include: Delta Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotel Group, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, and more.
Do you know the history of the word “tips”? A simple enough concept, tips are the visible means customers reward wait staff for good service. Although many people mistakenly believe “tips” is an acronym for “to insure prompt service”, the word actually began as a slang term used by criminals to denote giving or sharing. However, for current usage the importance of good service is irrevocably linked with a generous tip. Training your staff to consistently and happily serve your customers and deal with problems is one of the chief goals of many establishments. Here are some tips to help your staff remember the “service” part of food service. Many restaurant owners agree that the attitude of the manager sets the tone for the rest of the employees. If you treat customers as if they are important, their concerns are genuine, and you are happy to serve them your staff will pick up on that outlook and emulate it. For example, one time when I was at a highly acclaimed restaurant a waiter spilled an entire glass of lemonade all over one of my party. Far from being apologetic and fixing the situation, he simply walked off. After we located the manager, he displayed an equally indifferent attitude toward my friend’s plight. Restaurant staff are somewhat like children in that they follow the attitude of the management. “They must be schooled in the importance of service with a smile,” says one restaurant manager. The classic adage, “the customer is always right” might be cliché but if an employee has this attitude they will get much better response than someone who begins with the assumption that customers are finicky, complaining, and focusing on minor issues. Of course you will probably get customers like this, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. If your staff understands this and approaches their job with a friendly and helpful manner you will be much closer to turning your customers into repeat patrons. Does your staff know what to do with an intoxicated person? What about someone who doesn’t have the money to pay for their meal? Or how about a simple problem such as the food being undercooked? Handling problems is an important part of a restaurant’s reputation. If a manager and staff are in control, apologetic, and sincere about solving issues that occur with customers, the business will do well. For example, one time when my mother and I were out at a local burger place, my mother found a bristle off a grill cleaning brush in her burger. After alerting our waiter, who was very apologetic, the manager came over and not only compensated us for my mother’s meal, but also gave us free desserts. We felt as if our problem was important to the staff and they were sincere about gaining back our business.
Each website needs traffic. It is really quite simple. No matter how beautiful your website design, it will only miss in No Man’s Land, where no one ends visit. Of course, if a company is on your site, the need for transport is an absolute necessity, because without traffic, no one visits the site, which means that you are nothing. Your automatic recurring revenue is dependent on the number of visitors, you get as you drive traffic to your website. Whatever site traffic goes, there are many ways to do this. There are some that market participants a guaranteed number of “hits” if you have a specific price per lot of hits. There are some companies who have a bulk transportation for a certain period, say for a month or two, if you have a specific price. Then there is the viral marketing campaigns, where you have a product with the embedded web link, which occurs at the (usually free) to other marketers. After a while, your site link in relation to a lot of other people and if the link is clicked, your site gets traffic. These methods of driving website traffic are all well and good, some offer more than others, and in any case. These methods, in particular lead or “targeted” hit buy will cost you significant dollars over time and may or may not be beneficial for the money. I have found that a tactic will definitely drive targeted website visitors to your site. The method I am talking to more site traffic, the submission of article marketing. It is a powerful, that the strategy at the end, you many back links to your site without you having to lift a finger as soon as your article, the article directories. For this reason, article marketing has become very popular among Internet providers. How does the filing of Article Marketing? Now, all you have to do is to an article on a subject that some informational content to them. The topic of your article should be obvious, what is your site. This is so that people who read your article would read, is also keen to your site, since the content of the article and the contents of the site are on the same or a similar theme. You do not really need to know very much about the topic you are writing articles about, since resources are available, which you can use to provide a basis to have enough in their informational content to your article started. Generally, a 350 to 900 word article is all that is needed. Once you have written the article, you must make it an article directory to be published. There are many items to create directories. After the submission of the article is an article directory to continue to submit to others. At the end of your article, you should use a resource. The resource box contains a brief bio about you as well as a link to your website. […]
A nurse checks a patient’s pulse. She then tends to a bandage on the patient’s arm and attempts to move the patient into a sitting position. Suddenly, a teacher stops her and moves in to demonstrate the proper way of helping a patient to sit up. This is just another day at Centennial College’s Morningside Campus, which boasts facilities that mimic hospital rooms to enhance the education of students in the School of Community and Health Studies. One program that sees students using the mock clinical settings is the nursing program known as Nursing (BScN). As student Paulina explains, “We get a lot of hands-on experience. We make use of simulation labs and we use simulation dummies in the labs. And that gives us a chance to practice on ‘patients’ to really enhance our skills.” However, this is not the only special aspect of this undertaking. It is actually a rather unique nursing program Toronto has to offer. That’s because it is a collaborative program between Centennial College, George Brown College and Ryerson University. As such, students complete the first two of their four years of training at Centennial College before moving onto their final two years at Ryerson. Why is this beneficial? The experience of attending both college and university — and learning from both college and university staff — gives students the practical application that was described by Paulina at college level and in-depth theory at university level. During their time at Centennial College, students of this program partake in about 40 courses throughout which are weaved five themes: primary healthcare/health promotion; reflective practice/critical thinking; meaningful relationships/caring/communication; political/social justice; and personal/professional development. Particular courses, meanwhile, include: Nutrition for Nursing Practice, Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, Assessment of the Healthy Individual, Nursing Implications, Understanding Society, Community Health Nursing, Professional Trends and Issues, and many others. Aside from these and other nursing courses, students also take a series of required and elective courses, selected from other disciplines. These both enhance and support the broad knowledge base required of professional nurses. To ensure that students retain the large amount of information they receive, the program includes a mentorship program and peer tutoring. Lastly, to supplement on-campus lessons, students also enjoy a clinical placement. This opportunity to work in the field gives students the advantage of being able to network and make employment contacts. They are also able to apply their knowledge to the real world and real patients. To receive a registered nurse designation, students must write the College of Nurses of Ontario registration examination. This nursing school in Toronto makes them eligible for this exam. Once students obtain the RN designation, they work with persons and communities of diverse backgrounds, ages and degrees of health and illness, in a variety of contexts. Get Ashley’s full program here: Three weeks may not seem like enough time to make progress. Think again. There’s no level “easy” on this trainer. The only two settings. . .
I accidentally stumbled into a huge fight at one of those small business discussion boards recently. Small business owners were going just nuts about whether business planning is needed, what a small business business plan even is, and who should write such a plan. But before I repeat the comments I shared, let me just say that as a CPA with many business clients in the Seattle area I’ve done a bunch of business planning, have covered the subjects in books I’ve written like the super-sized version of QuickBooks for Dummies, and also covered the subject rather extensively in my book MBA’s Guide to Microsoft Excel (which was used at several big business schools.) With that as background, let me share a handful of thoughts. Not All Business Plans Are Equal So here’s a first thought. People often mean different things when they use the phrase “business plan.” Sometimes they just mean a strategy (which could just as well be described in a sentence). Sometimes they mean a 20-25pp document that “sells” a business to new investors or lenders. And sometimes they mean a long document–a sort of white paper–that describes in massive detail a new venture opportunity, an approach to exploiting that opportunity, and then detailed workplans for getting from “here” to “there”. And that’s the first thing I told the people squabbling online. People use the phrase to mean different things—and that’s confusing. And part of the fight I witnessed stemmed from this miscommunication. New Venture Plans Aren’t Necessary Unless Funders Require It Here was my next point for the flame warriors I encountered. Obviously, if you’re not raising money or you’re raising money from people who aren’t traditional new venture investors and orthodox lenders, you don’t need a business plan that “sells” the business to funding sources—the sort of plan people sometimes call a “new venture plan.” If your father or rich uncle is planning to invest in you business, for example, you may not need a business plan that “sells” the investment. Right or wrong, you dad or rich uncle Joe may write you a check just because you are who you are. What about a White-paper Style Business Plan? Does this mean that you don’t need to do business planning? Well, sort of. Sort of not. I have personally started, oh, let’s say 5 businesses over the last 25 years. Four succeeded rather nicely. One basically failed (ironically, the one profiled in a glowing Wall Street Journal feature!) I did not really create a formal, white-paper-style business plan for any of these ventures. But even though I did not have a formal written document, I truly had done all the research that feeds a white-paper-style business plan… I just hadn’t officially “published” my research results. So I guess I would say that you don’t necessarily need a formal, printed-and-bound white-paper business plan document. But you really should have done all the research that goes into such a document. Enough said.
If you learned how to write a business plan at all, you probably learned how to write a MBA quality 30-page plan designed to attract investors or get a bank loan. In addition, if you are like most of us, after your initial start up you never looked at your plan again. Often with a prospective client, just asking the simple question tell me about your business plan” can lead to all the information I need to coach this business owner to next year. I learn about the vision for the business, the issues, the focus, the employees or lack of and I learn about the customer who buys their product or service. Entrepreneurs are typically great talkers so I wait until after their first breath and say something like is all this in writing” or what do your employees think about the plan”? Really, it is not meant to be an earth shattering provocative question. Somehow it usually is. On a side note, I love entrepreneurs. It could be that I love them because they are often a lot like me. They have great ideas, a positive attitude and have way too much to do! It could be I enjoy them because their business issues are a lot like my own. It could just be that I tend to favor the underdog and want to see the mom and pop organization take market share and win against all odds. Okay, it is probably all three. So when I ask about their business plan, it’s because I have learned that most of my clients don’t have one and that when they take the time to think through their focus and strategy, preferably with their team, everything comes together. When the time is right, I ask my clients What would it be like if you could reference a plan when making choices?” Can you imagine being able to share the whole plan with your employees, affiliates and your coach”? Sometimes I ask, Can you imagine the freedom you will have when it is out of your head and on paper?” or What if everyone understood the business strategy, as well as the business strengths and weaknesses?” These questions along with my simple business plan format usually do the trick and they go to work on a plan. They often report many insights into future mistakes that would have happened had they not written the plan and that having a simple plan in writing has allowed the whole team to collaborate, align and support the business vision. For a simple business plan format go to www.profitconsultingco.com/business.htm or join us for business planning tele class in October. Alicia Fruin Owner Profit Consulting Co. Business coach and trainer
What makes a good leader? Leadership development Ever since we started Impact Factory, lo these many years ago, we have struggled with the whole notion of leadership development or leadership training. Indeed, we have resisted writing about it in much detail because the subject is so subjective. Are leaders born or made? Can you use management leadership training to give leadership skills to someone who is not leadership material? How is it done? Given that we’re being asked to create a lot more leadership programmes of late, we decided we’d take a hard look at just what makes a good leader. Even of you don’t think of yourself as a leader, you will have areas in your life where other people look to you for leadership. So here are some essentials qualities and skills you need to be a good leader in whatever leadership arena you’re in. Leadership training Training is a misnomer when applied to leadership. Any leadership development programme has to include at least a passing reference to the following Introduction to the concept of leadership behaviours Discussion and debate about leadership A widening of the definition beyond traditional leadership stereotypes Personal understanding of individual leadership qualities and strengths The difference between leadership and management A look at how people perceive, their perception is their reality Assumptions and their effect on how people see the world What are your terms of reference and seeing the bigger picture Personal patterns and beliefs A look at the elements that have influenced and shaped the participants Establishing ownership of individual’s leadership behaviours A programme needs to be designed around the development of the individuals involved rather than towards competencies identified as required by the organisation. Leadership style What does a leader look like? No cookie cutter models here. Everyone can develop their capacity to lead, from church committees to local pressure groups to business teams to political parties. When someone is committed to, and practises using their leadership capabilities at all levels in their life, then they can and will develop their own potential as a leader. There is a tendency, in our Western culture, to see Leadership as synonymous with white, middle class, male, in charge. There’s a kind of unspoken template of what leadership is supposed to look like. Now we know that is not true. Leadership can and does come in many different shapes and forms. Good leaders don’t conform to a template. Indeed, leaders are people who don’t usually follow the party line. They have an edge to them, they get up people’s noses sometimes, they make decisions – lots of them – that often others don’t like. They say the things that need saying in a way that others understand. Don’t let the picture get in the way However, it is important to acknowledge that people developing their leadership skills are often hampered by their picture (or other people’s picture) of what a leader is supposed to ‘look’ like. This is when it’s important to understand […]
School in general has become a much more expected and in my opinioned marketed thing than it was in the past. So it is no surprise that the question of the necessity of business school come up fairly regularly. What does surprise me is that people that are business minded are so easily swayed into believing that formal training in business (the quality of which I often question) is necessary to make it in the fast pace business that comes with a globalizing market and the information age that we live in. The question remains, however, and I want to point out two things that will hopefully answer it. They are myths of business school that are often cited but have little evidence to back them up. The first is that you receive an education in business school that will prepare you for the real world. It is my contention however that you really don’t learn the bulk of what it takes to thrive in business sitting in a classroom listening to the lecture. What you do learn is the language of business so that you may pick things up faster but is learning the language faster a justification for the time and expense of formal training. I will admit that most people that go through business school have an easy transition into the real world but my contention is still that this is no because they sat through class. The way business schools have gotten away with this is that they require their students to do internships. This really is a fleecing when you consider that these students are actually out in the real world getting their education, paid horribly, and then paying the institution that requires this slave labor and is taking credit for the education ungodly amounts of money. It cracks me up that the most common complaint especially for those who want to start their own business that they don’t have the capitol. I say, you had the capitol, you just gave it away! The second myth is that business school is a good training for every type of business and every position within those businesses. My contention is that business school is only smart for those who want to become a CEO of a major company. This is only because of the connections that you gain in business school, that land you the high profile internships, which get you in contact with the right people etc. If you want to run a small business with a unique product I would suggest that you spend more time developing your product and less time wasted in school. You will gain the business savvy in a few years once you are up and running any way and you will not have wasted a lot of time and money. My number one example of this is Bill Gates, a fine businessman, one of the richest men in the world, and yet does not have a college degree to his […]