Latest Questions in Business Planning

Lisa Ormenyessy answered a question

How often to you review your vendors?

How often do you review all of your vendors your business uses? I think reviewing things annually makes a lot of sense, but perhaps in some industries that is not often enough.

Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at Straight Talk Group

Hi Jef, we review our vendors on an ongoing basis and especially at the time of referring clients.... read more

Hi Jef, we review our vendors on an ongoing basis and especially at the time of referring clients.

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Roland Hanekroot answered a question

Roland Hanekroot

Roland Hanekroot, Founder at New Perspectives Business Coaching

Hi Collin,Just came across your question.The simple answer is Yes... As I say: "A business without a business plan achieves everything in it"... but the trick i... read more

Hi Collin,

Just came across your question.

The simple answer is Yes... As I say: "A business without a business plan achieves everything in it"...

but the trick is that all business plans were not created equal.

First you need to decide what the purpose of your business plan is. If the purpose of the plan is to impress the bank to give you a loan, the document you need to create is very different from a plan that is meant to help you focus on your priorities for the coming year.

Also, You need to understand that an effective plan is never about the document (Unless is it created to impress the bank), but it is always about the work that goes into created the plan. Plans are guesses at the best of times, so often the document will be out of date the moment you've created it. but the work that goes into creating the plan is invaluable.

Hope that helps, I can go on and on about planning, and I often do... let me know if you have more questions

cheers

roland

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John Eustace

John Eustace, Principal / Communications and Media Strategist at Bells and Whistles Marketing Pty Ltd

Do you need a business plan! If you needed to ask this question, than maybe there is no point Colin. Serendipity or failure are the only other options, it is a ... read more

Do you need a business plan! If you needed to ask this question, than maybe there is no point Colin. Serendipity or failure are the only other options, it is a no-brainer.

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Deborah Vella answered a question

Are Internal Processes or External Brand Perception in the Driver's Seat?

What do I mean? Simply what is currently a larger driver of your business (for better or worse)

  • What keeps you up at night?
  • Are you more bias to positive or negative feedback (internally and externally)?
  • Are your internal processes causing efficiencies or inefficiencies further down in your business?
  • Is your brand perception positively or negatively impacting you (and are you doing anything about it)?

I'm looking forward to all of the answers. Feel free to tack on additional questions if you feel I missed any that are related.

Deborah Vella

Deborah Vella, Owner at Support Legal

Both internal processes and external brand perception are important in business. As the owner of a law practice providing legal services, the external brand pe... read more

Both internal processes and external brand perception are important in business. As the owner of a law practice providing legal services, the external brand perception for Support Legal and personal reputation of myself as a lawyer are crucial to successful practice.

That being said, my internal processes go along way to maintaining a quality brand perception and good legal services. Therefore I believe that you can't have success in one without success in the other.

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great answer. Thanks for giving examples.... read more
Great answer. Thanks for giving examples.
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Marcus Tjen answered a question

Marcus Tjen

Marcus Tjen, Owner at Rugged Computing

date/time, description, amount, and receipts.... read more

date/time, description, amount, and receipts.

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Marcus Tjen answered a question

How does AliBaba make money when buyers and suppliers can use it for free?

From what I can see there is a premium membership i.e Gold Supplier but there is the ability to use AliBaba as a buyer and a supplier for free.

Marcus Tjen

Marcus Tjen, Owner at Rugged Computing

You will find that the most important thing for a buyer to find a supplier in Alibaba is trust. To gain trust, supplier attains the Gold Supplier status from A... read more

You will find that the most important thing for a buyer to find a supplier in Alibaba is trust. To gain trust, supplier attains the Gold Supplier status from Alibaba, that's how traditionally Alibaba make their money. Nowadays, Alibaba makes money in a lot of ways.

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Steve Osborne answered a question

What are some ways to monetise a site like mine?

Hello Everyone, I am about to launch Guest Posting website, and My site niche is Tours on Bikes, as you see in my domain. My main question is how I earn money with my site, I setup Guest post option in my site, People share their blogs, Articles etc... for back link, but M still confuse how do i earn money with that site? Is adsense is Good for it? or should i go to some other options? Site is still not Launched m currently working on it. some of sections are still empty, But M sharing link. www.bikestours.com Please have a look and tell me how to earn money? Thanks

Steve Osborne

Steve Osborne, director at Smarthinking

To me, you're asking the wrong question.The question should have been: How do I get people to write guest posts for my tour guide/bike hire/camping supply busin... read more

To me, you're asking the wrong question.

The question should have been: How do I get people to write guest posts for my tour guide/bike hire/camping supply business?

The people who made money out of every goldrush in history were the merchants selling shovels, not the diggers and prospectors.

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Laura Humphreys answered a question

Are business plans a thing of the past?

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

Laura Humphreys

Laura Humphreys, Freedom Mentor at Liber8 your Business

That is like asking if maps are a thing of the past. You need a map to get where you are going - especially if you've never been there. These days you have a G... read more

That is like asking if maps are a thing of the past. You need a map to get where you are going - especially if you've never been there. These days you have a GPS, but it's still a map, just using technology to make it more efficient. Business is about having a vision then knowing how you are going to get there, and executing your strategies. A sloppy business owner will attempt to do it blind, without a plan. A disciplined business owner will articulate their strategies in writing, relate these to the targets they set, then monitor and adapt as they go. When you write these things down, it comes out as a business plan. Time doesn't change this, no matter what technology is doing for us, we still need to have an idea of what we are building, what problem we are solving, the size of the market for our offering, the competitive landscape and how it will scale and then put some disciplines in place to ensure we do things effectively.

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Steven Freeman

Steven Freeman, Owner at Evolved Sound

For small businesses 100 page plan documents full of fluff and not a lot of real accountable substance are few and far between. From what I have seen even a 1 p... read more

For small businesses 100 page plan documents full of fluff and not a lot of real accountable substance are few and far between.

From what I have seen even a 1 page plan which is actively followed, monitored and updated every 3 - 6 months is very now and worth its weight in gold.

A practical approach I have more recently incorporated is best summarised as follows:

Plan quarterly

Prepare weekly

Act daily.

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Melanie Gray answered a question

What have been some great activities or exercises you have done at a team day. Needs to be in house.

What topics would you like covered on the day - self or work matters. Any Motivating Videos you could suggest? I've done a bit of training for this client already, so a I've used a lot of my good stuff.

Melanie Gray

Melanie Gray, Managing Owner at MyCL (My Computer Lab)

We did personality profiles on a team building day. Was really insightful, got us all understanding each other a bit better and how to work better with each ot... read more

We did personality profiles on a team building day. Was really insightful, got us all understanding each other a bit better and how to work better with each other.

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Tracey Miller

Tracey Miller, Owner at artation

Hi SandraLast year I started my business artation which is making art work for team building. Working to a theme of your choice we provide a painting activity ... read more

Hi Sandra

Last year I started my business artation which is making art work for team building. Working to a theme of your choice we provide a painting activity for your people. For example the theme of the painting might be the aims of the conference or the values of the company etc. The participants work in small groups to paint on a canvas. No painting experience is necessary. Each group is given a plan to follow. Teams need to communicate and collaborate to make their painting on canvas successful. This is the absolute opposite of competitive team building. At the end of the session all the groups put their canvases together, like a puzzle coming together to reveal the big picture.

Later the painting can be exhibited in the office as a constant and tangible reminder of the team building day and what they can achieve together.

http://artation.com.au/

Kind regards

Tracey Miller

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Terry Chadban answered a question

Terry Chadban

Terry Chadban, Founder/manager at Port Macquarie Online Marketing

Hi Anna,If you are a small business owner, and just want to collect payments, have a look at both PayPal and Stripe. Neither of them have monthly charges, just ... read more

Hi Anna,

If you are a small business owner, and just want to collect payments, have a look at both PayPal and Stripe. Neither of them have monthly charges, just a set percentage of the transaction, and both are easy to integrate into a website, especially if you use Wordpress to build your website, which you should do. :-)

All Australian banks charge a setup fee, plus a monthly fee regardless whether you actually make any sales or not, so I strongly recommend looking at Stripe in particular, but you may already have a PayPal account, and it is easy and free to upgrade it to a business account.

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great answer. I'm also a big fan of Stripe's simplicity and transparency.... read more
Great answer. I'm also a big fan of Stripe's simplicity and transparency.
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Melanie Gray answered a question

Melanie Gray

Melanie Gray, Managing Owner at MyCL (My Computer Lab)

Have you download the CollectMore app on your mobile phone? Has some great ideas on how to most effectually get money from people that owe you. ... read more

Have you download the CollectMore app on your mobile phone?

Has some great ideas on how to most effectually get money from people that owe you.

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Sputnik Sputnik

Sputnik Sputnik,

Not a lawyer, but having written them quite a few times before, and given the circumstances, I wouldn't sweat the quality of your prose. They just need to do a ... read more

Not a lawyer, but having written them quite a few times before, and given the circumstances, I wouldn't sweat the quality of your prose. They just need to do a few things so however you word them is fine - with one small ethical warning.

Practically, as long as you state specifically what the claim is for (reference to original task and/or invoice), and when specifically you need it paid (day & time Friday at 5pm is always a good one) and give them a reasonable amount of time to make payment (2 weeks would usually be more than enough) you're pretty much there. That covers the actual 'demand' part.

Two things you may want to consider:

1. You may also like to say pay it by this date OR if you have a query regarding the charge, enquire by the date (assuming they haven't already).

2. You will also need to decide on the tone of your letter. If it's all out war, you have nothing to lose, just be short, sharp and shiny. If there is ANY chance at all of getting payment through negotiation, don't be afraid to soften it a little and write like you'd speak to someone you actually like. ie "I know this has gone on a while now and is not ideal for either of us, but I really need to do something to bring it to a close. I'd really appreciate you contacting me to resolve this or if you don't have any queries about the charge, paying by time and date below so i don't have to look at alternative ways of getting it resolved... "

Good luck!

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Great answer. It never hurts to be tactful. If you get too aggressive in the letter chances are high that you'll have to actually go to court. Weigh the outcome... read more
Great answer. It never hurts to be tactful. If you get too aggressive in the letter chances are high that you'll have to actually go to court. Weigh the outcomes for sure.
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