Business Planning and Business Plans – What’s the Big Deal?

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Whether you are a veteran business owner, have recently begun your own venture, or are still in the dreaming stages, you have invariably spent many hours thinking about and envisioning your organization. While it is always exciting to try to realize your dream in your mind and to project that image into your future, the realization that barriers, stumbling blocks, and necessary “to-do’s” exist. These subjects range from broad to very specific, and can include questions such as:

  • Who is my ideal client?
  • What would be a good name for my organization?
  • What is my unique selling proposition (USP)?
  • How will I balance my work life with my personal life?
  • How big do I want this business to be?
  • Do I have the necessary resources? If not, where can I get them? If so, how do I most effectively utilize them?

The list goes on for pages and pages; indeed, there are numerous resources that outline these very details, and putting some time into exploring these ideas is always a smart move. For some specific ideas, check out some of the free articles on offer by MEG Enterprises.

The reasoning behind developing a business plan for businesses of all sizes can vary, but business plans are most often created for two primary reasons: as a management & planning tool, and to acquire funding for operational business needs.

Management & Planning Tool

If you are like many other small business owners, you are not only the owner of the company, you are likely also actively involved in the day-to-day operations as the President/CEO, the marketing department, the IT department, the HR department…the list goes on and on! One of the most important things to remember in trying to bring all of this together into a cohesive and efficient package is that planning is vital!

Many small businesses take a “fly by the seat of your pants” approach to operating their businesses. For example, let’s say that an excellent business opportunity arose for you, an opportunity that would net your business $5,000 over the next 3 months. However, in order to take advantage of this opportunity, you need an initial cash outlay of $1,000. Do you have the resources necessary to take advantage of this opportunity? If your answer is no, you may have been able to easily accomplish this goal by planning for such expenses in advance through a business plan. Even if having cash at the ready is not a viable alternative for you, you may have planned to have a line of credit available for such opportunities, knowing that in your field these opportunities do arise from time to time.

In a more broad sense, business planning helps businesses of all sizes to deal with the day-to-day needs of the organization by forcing the owner to weed through the operations of a typical work day. Business planning will assist you in understanding how to effectively market your business, how to understand and plan for financial stability both now and in the future, how to carry out your daily operations with a necessary level of routine, and so forth. Moreover, while unpredictable issues will certainly always arise, effective business planning will not only help you to navigate the predictable operations, but will also take these unpredictable situations into account. This will help you to deal with these issues with a level of comfort and ease, knowing that you have thought through and planned for such events.

In essence, here is a great way to think of superior business planning. Imagine you are taking a road trip from California to New York. No planning (“flying by the seat of your pants”) would involve you getting in the car and driving “East” on every freeway you come across. Adequate planning would involve mapping out your course, planning where to stay overnight, where to eat, sights to see, and so forth. This is a much better plan indeed. However, a superior plan would take all of these ideas to the next level by planning for “what if”: what will I do if I get a flat tire, if I run out of gas, if someone gets sick, or if I lose my wallet? You can see how the superior plan is clearly the best in most situations in that it allows for flexibility, plans for the expected and the unexpected, and allows you to spend more time enjoying the trip, knowing that you have all of your bases covered.

HELP…I Need Cash! (AKA Creating a Business Plan to Acquire Funding)

Another reason to create a business plan is to acquire funding. In today’s struggling economy, having access to cash as a small business is vital. In developing plans for this reason, a much more specific approach is taken. Here, the plan is created with a specific reader in mind: the lender. Whether seeking funds from a bank, an angel investor, or so forth, knowing your audience is vital.

How do you create an effective business plan in this situation? Well, simply stated, place yourself in the shoes of the person lending the money. What would you as the lender want to read in a plan? First and foremost, these individuals want to see that you have demonstrated the ability to repay the loan with the required level of return on investment (ROI) and within the required time frame.

These areas require that you present a strong case for your proposed financial expectations, grounded firmly in the supporting information of your plan, including marketing, market analysis, business operations, and so forth. Having confidence in your business and in yourself will assist you in demonstrating the potential for your company and in being able to deliver what your investor is looking for. Doing your due diligence and knowing the facts surrounding your business and your market will prove to be of great benefit when selling your business case, both in writing and verbally, to the lender you are seeking funding from.

So, How Do I Create A Business Plan? What Does It All Come Down To?

Although the term “business plan” conjures many negative images in the eyes of some business owners, taking a step-by-step approach will prove that creating a business plan is much less daunting than one might imagine. Although no two plans are exactly the same (the necessary details of the plan can vary between companies), the contents of a typical business plan include the following topics:

  • Executive Summary – Sell your business to your reader!
  • Business Overview – Giving a general summary of the business.
  • Market & Competitive Analysis – What environment are you competing in?
  • Marketing & Sales Strategy – How will you “win” in your market?
  • Organization Plan – How is your organization structured?
  • Financial Projections – Current status and future outlook.
  • Funding Sought (if required)
  • Key Milestones – What are your specific & achievable goals?
  • Critical Risks – What keeps you awake at night?
  • Appendix/Attachments

Does this look like a lot to you? Well, believe me, as you truly delve into the details of the plan and your business, you will be wondering why there isn’t more room for details!

The most important aspect of business planning (the “What does it all come down to?” part), however, is spending the time to do your research (“due diligence”) and critically thinking about these various aspects of your business. Of course, it is impossible to anticipate every detail simply by spending time thinking and writing; it is for this reason that plans are referred to and viewed as “dynamic”. However, the more issues and scenarios you are able to come up with ahead of time, the more prepared you will be to handle these as they arise.

So, in the end, I encourage you to realign whatever preconceived notions you may have of the business planning process and view it not as a daunting task or a necessary evil of running a successful business. Instead, view it as yet another opportunity, the chance to help make your dreams into a reality by mapping out the needs of your business, your customers, your employees, your suppliers, your community…and yourself!

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Source by Michael Capps

Things to Consider for Roof Repairs

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One of the largest investments that every household can have is for the roof. Maintaining it and keeping it in good condition is also a big a challenge.

When it comes to roof repairs however, it is necessary that you get yourself a better idea on how to handle it right. You certainly are aware that it is something that requires much attention and proper managing.

In order to help you out with any of your roofing issues and repairs, here are some of the helpful and important things to consider:

The Extent of Damage

The questions such as, does your roofing requires only a simple repair? Or does it need a complete replacement to fix it? Knowing the amount of damages is very important.

You can either do your own inspections or get someone or a roofing contractor to do that for you. It is always imperative that proper assessment of the damages can be done in order to make the right solutions for it.

The Insurance

Before you even go forward in making a roof repair, it is necessary that you give your insurance company a call. Checking out the roofing repair coverage that your insurance policy covers will help you to get help in case big repairs are needed.

Often times, the coverage that you will get depends on the extent of damage and the kind of policy you have. That's the very reason why you need to get hold of the insurance company beforehand.

The Quality Roofing Contractor

This might be the most important thing that you need to consider when it comes to roof repairs. Getting a quality help from the right people to do the roof repair job is critical.

Considering a roofing contractor that will be able to provide you the right kind of work is what you think about. There will be a great assurance of help if you are sure about the contractor that you get. Failure to do so might lead your roof to a ruin.

You can always find an excellent roofing help from the most experienced contractors in your location. Spend some time in making a search for the best roofing contractor that can help you.

You have to make sure that when it comes to roof repairs, you need to be certain of the every step that you do. Or you'll end up putting your entire property at risk.

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Source by Mica Galleb

Should You Boost A Facebook Post Or Run A Facebook Ad?

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Facebook is the most popular social media site in the world, with more than two billion monthly users. To reach more prospects and customers with your marketing messages you can get pay-per-click (PPC) traffic at an affordable rate from Facebook. This PPC advertising is much less expensive compared to Google AdWords. Even small businesses that have a limited budget can afford Facebook advertising.

One of the most important things to grasp is the difference between Facebook news feed advertising and Facebook boosted posts.

Facebook News Feed Advertising

The Facebook news feed is the backbone of Facebook, showing a wide variety of content from people with whom a person is connected. When someone likes your page, they will become a follower. This means they have to opportunity to see your content on their Facebook page..

Facebook news feed advertising are ads that show up in the news feed along with the rest of the content that is being delivered to your connections, and those you specify as your desired audience. You create an ad from scratch with an image, title, description, and URL.

Facebook Boosted Posts

Facebook boosted posts, or sponsored posts, also appear in the news feed, but with some key differences. If one of your posts proves to be very popular, you can pay for it to reach more people, turning it into a sponsored post.

There is a small shortcut of choosing a similar audience to the people who are already using your account, which can help you target people quickly. The sponsored posts will appear in those people’s news feeds.

Key Differences

The key difference is that the Facebook news feed ads offer you a lot more flexibility than the Facebook boosted posts with regards to appearance, description and providing a URL. The other main difference is that once you post the sponsored post, you can’t edit it. The language you used in the post might not be an effective marketing message.

If you have difficulty finding eye-catching images for your posts, the stock images in the Facebook Ad Center can help. You can choose different formats as well, and even add a call to action button.

Your call to action will depend on your goal for the ad, such as getting subscribers or trying to make sales. Determine your goal first, and then you can decide whether Facebook advertising or Facebook boosted posts are the best format to get your message across.

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Source by Jon Allo

Facebook Freezes – Why Does Facebook Freeze? And How to Fix It

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Facebook is a wonderful website that lets us stay connected with our friends. A great majority of users can not live without it. All people want this website to run without any problem. However, It becomes a serious concern when Facebook freezes. We can not use it properly and feel frustrated. Are you wondering what can be the reasons for Facebook freezing and how to fix it?

There are many reasons that account for this kind of freezing. I have mentioned the reasons along with the possible solutions. The suggested solutions are easy to act upon. An average computer user can take these steps and avoid Facebook freezing in his computer.

Small size of RAM makes computer slow. When we use many programs at once, computer gets bogged down. Uploading and viewing pictures or watching videos on Facebook can cause your browser to freeze. This problem can be cured by increasing the size of RAM. An increased RAM size will make sure that enough space is available to run many programs at the same time.

Corrupt Windows Registry causes freezing in computer. With the passage of time, Registry becomes congested and corrupt. Registry is most vital part of the computer system. It stores and use vital information. Cleaned Registry ensures smooth and fast computing. To repair Windows Registry you need to use the best Registry cleaner / System Optimizer software. It will solve this problem.

The most important thing that you can do to optimize your Facebook is to optimize your internet connection. To do so you will need to adjust internet settings. Not all people will be able to do this task manually. So it is recommended you use a system utilities software that provides the feature of internet optimizer.

One way to optimize browsing on your PC is to remove unwanted add-ons / extensions from your browser. Most of the time it is the slow browser that loads web pages slower than what is expected. To remove add-on / extensions from your browser simply go into the settings area of ​​the browser and disable the ones which are of least importance to you. This will remarkably increase browser performance ..

It is also recommended to clean system junk and browsers junk. You can do this through the system utilities software. Do not forget to run antivirus scan to make it sure that viruses are not the culprit behind slow internet and slow Facebook speed.

Re-download Java Runtime Environment (JRE). The JRP program files can be corrupt and cause issues with Java Scripts. Click Start | Control Panel | Programs Uninstall a Program. Click "Java Runtime Environment" and click "Uninstall" button. Follow the wizard and uninstall it. Visit the official website of Java, download setup and reinstall the program.

Check-out the list of Facebook applications to fix Facebook freezing. You may have authorized a number of Facebook applications. Click the Downward Arrow on the top-right side of the screen. Under left side panel, click Apps. Delete each Facebook application you do not require.

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Source by A. Honey

Grow Your Business With Joint Ventures

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Joint ventures are an extremely effective way to grow your business. However, it is extremely important for all the partners to be specific on their respective objectives when they draw up the joint venture agreement and then build and execute a plan that achieves these objectives.

Many people consider joint ventures as a way of establishing their business, particularly if they are having difficulty getting the business off the ground. A joint venture business plan that is executed properly can work wonders for any business at any stage of its evolution.

To help you decide if this type of business partnership would be effective to help you grow your own business it is important to understand the basic types of business venture arrangements that you can use, as these both function in different ways.

Put simply, a joint venture simply means two or more companies working together to achieve a common goal or purpose, and the key element in any such business partnership agreement is the accomplishment of agreed targets for mutual benefit.

There are two basic types of joint ventures that you can aim to set up, depending upon your business objectives.

Co-ownership

As the name clearly suggests, in a co-ownership agreement both the parties are owners of the business partnership, usually in equal proportion but the ownership can be for different percentages depending upon the contribution of each party to the arrangement.

Suppose you and your friend are partners in a co-ownership venture then both of you will have a mutually agreed initial investment and share in the business and are entitled to share the profits in the same proportion.

Running a company with dual or co-ownership can give rise to some operational difficulties at times so it is important for each party to be specific about the details of their involvement in the business partnership agreement right at the outset. By doing this, it is very possible to build up a very powerful business where all parties benefit.

Promotion Only

This concept is hugely popular in the world of Internet marketing. In a promotion only joint venture plan, your aim is to find hundreds or even thousands of online partners who will promote your product, your services or your whole business on their websites, to their email marketing lists, or on other sites across the Internet. In return, when your business makes a sale, a pre-agreed amount or percentage of your sales price or profit is paid out to your partner.

This type of business partnership arrangement is generally referred to as an affiliate program and has been the route to success for many online marketers over the years. As with all joint venture arrangements the businesses that become most successful are those that treat their partners well and are very clear about the benefits of promoting their product or service.

If you want to be extremely successful with a promotion only business venture your key goal is to make sure that you maximize the earnings payable to your affiliates for the visitors they send to your site, to encourage them to keep promoting your offering.

Both the co-ownership and promotion only joint ventures offer great potential benefits to business owners so long as these are well planned and properly executed. It requires acting with honesty and integrity when you start your business and building a successful business partnership is exactly the same. If you follow this approach, you will be able to find many ways to use joint ventures to grow your business.

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Source by N Williamson

The Thingness of History

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According to Nietzsche, history should never be pursued for the sake of just collecting more knowledge about the past. This means that history is something more to us; something that we can carry every day in our lives; something that others cannot take from within us. It is something that we can hold on to.

Nietzsche has been quoted to say “However far and fast he runs, the chain runs with him”. We can’t escape our memory, we can’t escape our history and we can’t wear it down. That would be the nature of history for me. It is a part of every human being. It is a matter of concern that is distinguished from a living being; something that makes a strong appeal to the individual. This indicates, personally, that the nature of history is a means to have or be capable of having within and naturally being within us.

Let’s take odor as an example. Odor is a characteristic or a predominant quality, a peculiar and essential character that every person has. The natural odor of every person is the smell that he bears or within one always. Meaning, that odor cannot be worn by anyone else. It is essentially in every human being. The same as with the nature of history, history is essentially part of human lives, individually.

When we say pattern of history, we are implying that there is one. When we say pattern, by all means, it is a form or model proposed for imitation, something designed or used as a model for making things, or a discernible coherent system. Our world is a state of things in which chances are supreme. We are living, ever since, in an unorganized world with our hopes, choices and dreams. A world that is a matter of chances that there can be no such thing as a perfect example or model as a whole that to be compared with regarding to the pattern of history. We are living in a confused unorganized state in a distinct form of the world since the beginning. That would be considered our evidence of knowing that we are living in an imperfect world. That by far, no complete peace, freedom and happiness has ever been achieved. A proof of not having the capability of having the quality of holding our lives, cohering a coherent plan for action to have a such organized world to set up an administrative structure for human lives. Therefore, there can be no pattern to history that we are capable of constructing for history or for the world. Our world is marked by gradual changes and a matter of choice. Your body, your emotions, the people around you and world- everything is changing. There are no patterns, no formulas but a constant change. A change that will for sure eventually lead us to an end. An end to our sorrows, needs, aspirations and all. And that is how we need change, a change to improve our life. We are in a process of change, a continuing natural activity or function that will lead us toward a particular result. That would be the only thing that we can be of certain about. We are in a series of action and operation conducting to an end.

Having to know the pattern of history also mean having a perfect kind of world. This would mean that you could have the ability that will cause you to be in a certain position of power to take control of the world. For the reason that you are in possession of exclusive knowledge or information relating to the main essential points of the world. But we cannot have and know that except for fact that the world is too huge and chaotic for someone to find a perfect model as a whole, or an ideal exemplification in general to put one’s life, thoughts and emotions in order. We need to look for it in pieces. We need to look at models in a view of their structures, their achievements, their attainments, accomplishments, or the things they are composed of, something that is useful that we can use in our lives. We should consider that our mind is living in a very huge and extensive world which cannot bare the ways of the world. Therefore, there can be no pattern of history or the world, for the fact that we cannot know it. It is far beyond the capability of human beings.

Human beings’ consciousness about the historical events of the past is the driving force that exerts pressure to every individual to live life. It is the thing that history brings out to every human life; the existence of history in human lives. This quality puts you in a state of being aware of something within oneself. The historical consciousness serves as the aspect or quality that connects us as being or belonging of the same kind. It is a kind in which every individual serves as a vital function to everyone.

History in relation to past serves as the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being to establish the existence of a thing, or to demonstrate as having a particular quality or worth. Because of the things happened in the past, history is created. The things that are for some had just gone for a long time ago and having existed or taken place in a period of time may, for others, and even to everyone, plays a very significant function to every human being. This function serves as the purpose of your life, to direct you on a course or in a direction on going ahead. Past serves to be just part of history; an essential portion or element of history. It is a means to have something less than a whole, but of one of the functional units of history.

Regarding to the relation of time in history, time shapes history. As the time goes on, history goes on. It is the nature of history that stays with us, within us and goes on with us. Such that history never dies. It is alive and has desirable and esteem characteristics.

Our seeking of truths, importance and purpose from the past is the great force that will make every human being seek to find the perfect world. It is the use of history in relation to life. According to Nietzsche, “history so far serves life, serves an unhistorical power. It doesn’t serve the past, it doesn’t serve the future but serves creativity and it serves will”. What he meant was history is not only limited to being understood only within their own contexts and times but as symbols of greatness and achievements. It should be views as an inspiration to oneself that as for Nietzsche is the Monumental History. It expresses something very positive and a faith in humanity. A faith such that for Nietzsche, the great moments in struggle of individuals form a chain in them. In them the high points of humanity are linked throughout millennia. That would be what is highest in such a moment of a distant past be as an inspiration to creativity, to growth and to develop, and also to give us courage. The courage such that for Nietzsche, “the knowledge of the great which once existed was at least possible once and may well again be possible sometimes”. It is when history works for us, it gives us the ability or power to instill with boldness to do great actions.

That would be by so far my own understanding of history regarding to its nature, its pattern, its relation to the past, in relation to time, and its relation to life. History would mean something to us if we only know how to appreciate history. History for life plays a very important thing in our lives. It can mean nothing to us if we won’t be able to find the importance of history and its values to every human kind. We need to work out our ways and bring out the creativity within us. It will lead us to be better in making our choices such that history serves as a set of choices we can rely on for the development of life. History does serve as many significant things in our lives. It serves as an inspiration, a purpose of being in the world, and a will to do great things. But somehow, we should not take history as the only way of living our life to the perfect world. We should bear in mind that we are always in the process of finding our own happiness in life. Through this process, we might be faced with much difficulty. Trying to draw positive conclusions through this may be challenging. We just have to find the beauty in every choice we make. As what the saying goes, “We all make choices in life. The hard thing to do is to live with them”. Therefore, beyond all the choices we made must also be the responsibility for each choice. To be responsible for them teaches us to stand for what we believe in and this will lead us to growth. Those choices will be able to teach us in the ways of life and let us discover that what we thought were ordinary turned out to be so much more.

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Source by Mariz J Facturan

How to Sell Your Songs

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Music publishers and licensing houses are two very different types of company. Approaching directly can work, but before sending in music to either type of company, do as much research on the recipient as much as you can. Most important here is to make sure that the person you are targeting is the right person. This means that the person actually deals in the type of music you want to send them. Approaching indirectly is best done by going through someone who has existing relationships with the publishers and sync/licensing agencies. In my experience, this is the best approach. Some publishers don’t like to take unsolicited material, or they are very busy – so having a trusted colleague suggest music can carry a lot more weight.

Many people worry that their songs that aren’t perfectly mixed and mastered. Though this is more of an issue with sync companies who may need a more finished product, publishers who are looking for songs are less worried. The aim should be to represent your material in the best possible manner.

Sync and licensing houses differ from publishing houses in this aspect because they are turning around tracks at a much faster rate.

Clients are requesting certain types of music for certain projects with deadlines etc and therefore the sync or licensing companies will find it much easier to place tracks that are ready to go – ie that have been mixed and mastered etc.

Publishers have a much more nurturing role than sync companies, but dont be afraid to submit music to sync companies if its not mixed in an expensive studio etc, its totally possible to get music placed that has glitches or doesn’t sound super polished. This is sometimes viewed as character or vibe and can give your music some authenticity.

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Source by Jack Chapman