Get expert advice
e.g. What is the best way to market my cleaning business on the Internet?
Ask question
Business planning

5 tips to keep your office efficient, focused and collaborative in 2016

It is the time of the year where we stop and think about the year that was and start planning the... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I think it is important to let everyone cast vision, granted their scope may be different than your own. Vision needs to be set from the top and exemplified all the way down. Vision must also be allowed and encouraged from the bottom up to let team members have a feeling of autonomy. Let them cast vision for what they see their role doing in the new year, what they would like to accomplish professionally and personally. Help others see how they fit into the vision and help them pull that vision into their roles. Create informal (and formal if necessary) touch points to ensure no one is going off the rails.
Gavin KeaneOwner at Cloud Made Simple
Thanks Lina! I love to make a to-do list everyday, helps to keep me on track.
Business planning

10 Important Lessons for Businesses Old and New

Small Business Trends EventsInfluencer AwardsBook AwardsMarketplace RSS Pinterest Linked...read more

0
Added via Small Business Trends
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Business planning

8 Steps to Achieving Your Loftiest Goals in 2016

Home Latest Top 50 How To Lists X Switch back to...read more

0
Added via Entrepreneur.com
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Questions

What is your biggest business goal for 2016?

Each answer should be as unique as the individual businesses that we run. I'm planning on... read more

Asked by:
Jef Lippiatt Owner at Startup Chucktown
Rebecca Carroll-BellOwner at RCB Mediation Services
Great question Jef. Like the others I have a bunch of new ideas to translate into packages and services for my current and potential clients.The big, practical challenge and goal for me in 2016 is to ask for the work - because if I don't ask, the answer will always be 'No'.
Great question Jeff. I've spent the past few weeks mind mapping, asking myself loaded questions and doing a lot of thinking. I've come to an impasse with the services I've been offering and feel a sense that it's time to shift gears.With that said, my goal is simple: be intentional. In whatever I chose to do as a service provider, I want it to be done with intention. Whatever I write, as a writer, I want it to be written with intention.On a practical note:Finish my first draft for my first novel (eeeek!) I'm up to 26K and want to write about 60K. Still slogging throughCompile my poetry into an eBook to sellWrite for at least 3 major publications this year.The last one is a big one for me, well and truly out of my comfort zone. It's the fear of rejection in the way, so the real goal is to overcome that fear and just keep pitching, submitting and offering my writing to the world. Cheers!
Please login or sign up to answer.
Questions

Are business plans a thing of the past?

With the introduction of lean canvases, do we still see value in creating business plans? read more

Asked by:
Yee Trinh Co-founder at SavvySME
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
Yee,I think it really depends on the type of venture you are trying to launch. I think funding, is probably the single biggest factor determining if you need a business plan or not. If you are looking for traditional funding (bank loans, angel investors or venture capitalists) they most likely will still expect some type of business plan that has a bit more depth than a Lean Canvas. Banks, specifically will probably be the pickiest about having a professional and polished business plan.If you are planning on using crowdfunding (either from average people or accredited investors) you will still need to present your story clearly to get people excited enough to contribute to your venture/product.If you are funding the business entirely on your own or bootstrapping, a Lean Canvas may be enough. But whatever method you use, it should have enough clarity for your own consumption and benefit. The more people involved (co-founders, investors, etc.) the more detailed the plan should be so it is clear to all involved.The worst thing to do is nothing. Documenting your goals, ideas and strategy is the best way to keep it from getting away from you.
Please login or sign up to answer.
Business planning

How to Reduce Your End of Financial Year Stress

As the end of financial year draws nearer, it’s no surprise that many SMEs are feeling the... read more

Added by:
James Scollay General Manager, SME Solutions at MYOB
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Questions

Which do you consider the most important in building a sustainable business?

In terms of building a sustainable business which do you consider most important revenues or... read more

Asked by:
Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Jef LippiattOwner at Startup Chucktown
I would say margins, but specifically their reinvestment. Revenue is great to show traction, but that won't keep a business afloat long term. Your profit margins show a healthy business that has demand and larger margins help show your business is growing.However, it is important to think about the constant pace of change in the business world. You can't expect to make those margins continuously. You must plan for the margins to taper off as your customer, market or product change.Your margins should be split among several categories such as generating additional new business, supporting the existing business and investment. I want to focus on last point, "investment", for a minute. I don't necessarily mean an investment account for the business (although that isn't a terrible idea). I mean investing in the future of your company. Think of efforts like Research and Development, improving your current product, adapting your product into a line of products, or creating an entirely new product.Yes, you fund those activities through your margins. Those activities when managed correctly will need to new margins (not always more or better, but possibly) for your company. Diversifying your offering will create multiple streams of business income. These will help even other products as their demand goes up and down in the marketplace.Margins can be a safety net, but they should also be the coffers to the future of your business. You don't want to focus so much on the margins today that you have no margins down the road. Look at ways to keep your margins consistent regardless of the market.
Please login or sign up to answer.
Business planning

Google Apps for Business: Taking Over the World Today

Success in entrepreneurship does not come out of big fat pockets of money, nor does it come out of... read more

Added by:
Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Please login or sign up to comment.
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
I guess people do have their preferences :D but isn't it interesting how the concept of "lifetime patronage" comes into play especially in regards to technology?
I loved Google apps, and now I have made the $13.00 financial commitment to use Microsoft Office 365, which now I have my Hosted Exchange, SharePoint, Microsoft Lync and SkyDrive pro which I cannot live without. I know it is not a free service, but the small fee has rewarded me with a lot of resources. Clearly I am not an apple user :)
Business planning

Business Tips For a Great Year Ahead: Planning The Post-Christmas Hang Over

As we approach Christmas, no doubt, we are all very busy both on the work and home front finalising... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Business planning

How to create a S.M.A.R.T Business Plan

It's a general rule among entrepreneurs that before a business gets built from the ground up,... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Kerry Blake
Thank you for your kind words Roland. Your comment (short article) is great addition to my article.
Lovely article Kerry... Love the focus on learning from your competition... have a look what they do and then make it better. Business planning is a big soapbox of mine. Most business owners know they should have one but few of them do and the ones that do have one haven't looked at it in the last couple of years and the plan is gathering dust at the bottom of a pile of books. The problem is that people don't get clear about the purpose of the business plan that they create. There is a world of difference between a business plan that is written to impress a bank manager when applying for an overdraft and a plan that is aimed at engaging your people and the main tool that is used to guide the development of the business. The first one is what I call an external plan and the second one is what I refer to as an internal business plan. And the 6 criteria for an effective internal business plan are these: - It's got to be Live and kept alive...constantly - Make sure it's written for the right people - And easily accessible for those people - Including the Short, medium, long-term Goals of the business (SMART goals) - Referencing the Purpose and Mission of the business - And short (ideally no more than one page) As it happens I've written in more detail about effective business planning, on this site as well as on my blog... and I have a couple of recorded webinars available about Business plans that work (for free)... if anyone is interested drop me a line or let me know here and I'll share a link to one of them. Cheers Roland Hanekroot
Business planning

How to get your business organised

Successful people and business have a clear vision and a road map which guides their actions each... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
The SMART goal principle is just one of many I always tell myself to implement. Maybe it really is time to actually implement it to my routines! I usually just ricochet from one task to another with no actual goal in mind.
Leo EliadesOwner at INSPIRENOW PTY LTD
thank you Andrew, a great reminder for those very special and important things! Filing your day with what matters - YES s true, and it is very easy to get caught on this one Leo
Business planning

‘System’ is not a dirty word

Business owners are wary of ‘systems’, feeling they deprive them of flexibility. However, a... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Thanks Brian. I have been told that the value of your business is not just in the assets, but also the systems. The better the systems, the better the value.
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
Quick and to the point. I'm all for Systems :)
Business planning

Do you plan but not implement it?

Yogi Berra, the great American baseball player, once said, "If you don't know where you're going,... read more

Added by:
John Millar Managing Director at More Profit Less Time
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Business planning

Information overload: cutting to the chase.

Small business advice is big business, with an entire industry telling you how to run a better... read more

Please login or sign up to comment.
Thanks Steve.
Steve OsborneOwner at Smarthinking
All excellent advice. Clearly, the voice of experience speaking. I agree that it's easy for business owners to become overwhelmed with superfluous information. I'm also convinced most already have the (marketing) knowledge they need within themselves. They simply don't know how, when or why they should use it. Which is why good advice, when given, creates the "aha" light bulb moment. A sympathetic, experienced business advisor is invaluable for shedding light.
Business planning

Do you really need a business plan?

Why do we have architects and engineers?  It’s simple really.  Every great man-made structure,... read more

Added by:
Allan Bennetto Founder at JMango
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Business planning

My business name blooper

I have a confession to make. In my last business I made a fundamental mistake; not an uncommon... read more

Please login or sign up to comment.
Thanks I appreciate the feedback.
Ling LeeDirector at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
thanks for sharing this!
Business planning

9 tips and tricks to forecasting - avoid the hockey stick

Let’s face it, today is not the best of times for most businesses.  With the roller coaster ride... read more

Added by:
Allan Bennetto Founder at JMango
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Business planning

6 tips for buying a business

6 Tips for buying a business – Have you thought about being self employed and would like to buy... read more

Added by:
Please login or sign up to comment.
Be the first to comment
Business planning

What is success? & can everyone succeed?

Have you ever gone along to one of those meetings where only as you arrive do you realise the... read more

Added by:
Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Please login or sign up to comment.
Michelle TupyBlog and Epublishing Manager at Clever Streak
I love the fact that you can define your own success and it does not always involve big cars, big spending and private jets.
Questions

Will SME's spend & invest in consultancy skills to help build their businesses in 2014?

To place this into context two recent comments have caused me to pause and really think on this... read more

Asked by:
Neil Steggall Partner at Wardour Capital Partners
Steve GrayDirector at Gray Capital Investments
SMEs, a few issues to consider - Busy - so time stops them (can't find enough if they did they might not spend it on more work related 'stuff') - Over it... business has sapped their energy, they survive and hope for the best... not willing to try things. - Spend, only if I have to - It's hard won $$ therefore you want it you need to be very persuasive to pry it from them. - Consultant! - I'll do it myself, someday... (too proud to get in outside assistance). Just a few thoughts :)
Wendy HuangFull Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
I'm sure small business will spend if they can see a direct result of the consultancy, but I feel a lot of sales messages for consultancy these days promise great results, but the pitches are not specific enough for me to justify spend. Wallets are tight these days so I feel that consultants have an even bigger job and more pressure to do a great pitch for business.  I wonder if the money is the real barrier or the trust for the consultant to bring about change that will increase in revenue. Because logically speaking if revenue increase was higher then expenses it should be a straight forward decision.
Please login or sign up to answer.