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The Importance of a Business Plan for a Small Business

If you’re one of the many people thinking about starting a small business, having a business plan is one of the first things you should have on your list of things to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a small business from home or away, having a plan for your business is considered a blue print for a successful small business. What is a business plan and why do you need one?

A Business Plan
A business plan is simply a plan of what your goals are for the business, and how you plan to go about accomplishing them. Some people refer to it as a vision for your business. I like to refer to it as a blue print or a road map to accomplishing your goals.

Your plan should be spelled out in clear and defining terms and be kept simple. It should be a written document and used as a tool in managing the business.

A plan should include but is not limited to the following:

1. A statement of your business purpose
2. A description of your company
3. The goals of your company
4. The structure of the company (sole-proprietorship, partnership or corporation)
5. The product or service that you are selling
6. A market analysis of your product or service
7. Resources spent (time and money)
8. A financial plan to include financial statements
9. Information about the managing principals in the company
10. How you plan to manage and operate the company

The Importance of a Business Plan
The success of a business starts with a business plan. The plan defines your business as to what it is and how you plan to achieve the goals of the business. It presents a clear picture of your business in terms of goals and objectives.

The plan reflects how you plan to operate your business. How you plan to market your product or services. It provides a financial picture of the company.

If you are looking for money to fund your business, you’re going to need a plan for your business. When you go to borrow money, lenders and investors are going to want to see written documentation in a business plan of your financial situation. Why do they want to see this information? Lenders and investors want to see this information because they are the ones taking the risk in lending your business money.

Once you have a plan in place, it’s important that you follow it. If you’re achieving your goals you should stick with the plan. If you are not achieving your goals then you will have go back, analyze your plan to find out what is working, what is not working and why it is not working.

A plan is not etched in stone. It is subject to change. As time goes on, things change in this world and businesses like everyone else are subject to change. A good plan will reflect changes that a company has to make to keep it competitive and successful.

Where can you find samples of a business plan for a small business? If you go into any of the search engines such as Google or Bing and type in “samples of a business plans for a small business” you will find websites with this information.

This is why it is important that a small business should have a business plan. If you look at those small businesses that are successful, you will find that most of them all started with and have a plan for their business.

Understanding the Benefits of Business Coaching

Business coaching is an effective business management strategy. It is a subtle way of guiding the business owner into outstanding performance in their specific financial or structural and performance goal.

Like a parent to a child, the manager acts as a coach to his staff and a business coach to a business protégée on various areas in business growth and development, while monitoring his progress and specific outputs. It is giving him a chance to explore his potential as a business owner, thus encouraging him to explore new ideas.

This may sound strange to some people, In simple terms, it is a working relationship between the coach and his client clearly guiding them, through process and procedures which helps to elicit from them answers to their queries. This is a business tactic created in order to guide a the business owner, encouraging him to perform a task, goal, objective in their business better than they would have done if working alone.

The business coach, can sometimes act as a mentor hatching his ideas, utilizing his experiences in business and explaining it to his protégée. The protégée applies the principles, while the business coach interacts. In business coaching, the coach facilitates the ideas and assists the protégée to apply the ideas to its best.

Coaching is usually done on a one-on one process. Like a tutor, the coach usually gives the idea while the learner has to do the talking and reasoning and implementation. The coach simply listens and guides and allows the protégée to apply the idea working towards a specific goal, checking along the way for improvement sometimes a total business over haul would be needed in the process to achieve maximum efficiency and results.

In business management, the support of a business coach is a must. In a world of strong-willed people, business coaching is a method which can actually give positive results compared to other applied business strategies.

The protégée learns the business process in a subtle way, giving him a feeling of importance and making him feel that it was himself who actually delivered the desired output. Making him equipped for his business journey, and boosting his self-confidence as an individual.

Effective business managers should seek the support of a business coach and can as well learn the technique in coaching to support their staff, rather than being an imposing business tycoon. Coaching tools and techniques has been proven as an effective tool in management.

When a business owner instead of yelling and shouting to his workers, learns to listen and allows a free and open conversation from his staff, studies reveal, that the results are far more better

In certain studies, it was found out that the work environment will be happier. Workers will be more confident and secure, they are also given the chance to interact and render their opinions openly.

Listening and open conversation is associated with business coaching strategies. Through this method, workers will actually learn how to sincerely love their work and not just to work for money.

With business coaching skills a manager is able to understand the needs of his employees. Through this strategy, the management may be able to understand and discover the inner potential of each employee in his organization. It is an act of conveying the message to the workers that the management “cares” for them and they are valuable human resource assets to the company.

A thing of thought for all business owners and managers, if you have never considered having a business coach maybe this is the time to do so. Gain clarity around your business processes, staff management, and financial increase.

I must conclude by saying with the rise in the use of the internet for branding and publicity, competition stares every business owner in the face. You do not have to work your business alone to make it successful, you have got resources and help everywhere but the most effective support is the services of a business coach.

Business Name Ideas – Some Simple Guidelines

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet but does this apply to business name ideas? Find out more.

Thinking of business name ideas is not the quickest or easiest process but it’s one of the most important tasks you will undertake when you start your company. Good or bad, your company name is the first impression most people have of your organisation. If you decide to change your name, it can be very expensive and time consuming to re-brand your business. Here are 10 ways you find a winning company name that does the business.

The name is memorable

When brainstorming business name ideas, you want to choose a name that a consumer remembers for all the right reasons. A creative industry calls for a creative name such as ‘A Snip Above the Rest’ for a hairdressing salon or you may want to play on words such as ‘Bean Me Up Espresso’ for a coffee shop. However, for a business such as a lawyer or doctor, you may decide to keep the name more professional and more corporate sounding.

Choose a searchable name

In this internet savvy world, it is ideal to choose a name that has a domain name available and low competition on Search Engines. If you choose a catchy name that is similar to other businesses, you may find that your business name is buried in the search results even for your company name. The name should also be easy to spell and if possible, try and use a keyword. This works well for organisations such as the ‘Queensland Theatre Company’.

Choose a name with positive associations

A business name that is unsuitable for your industry or just plain inappropriate, distasteful or bordering on the offensive such as ‘Stiff Nipples Air Conditioning’ or just sounds like a rude word will reflect badly on your business. Many words have both denotation (literal meaning) and connotation (emotional meaning). Choose names that have positive associations and signify trust and authority.
Choose a name that won’t date

A name that may be fashionable here and now or have popular culture references may not be understood or relevant fifty years from now. When thinking about business name ideas, think of a name that is funky and fun if your industry allows for it but will also last the distance in the corporate world and won’t date. Your business name needs to grow and develop with your business (see below).

Make it easy to pronounce and spell

Unfortunately the reality is that if a customer cannot pronounce your name correctly, this may inhibit them from calling your business or using your services. It’s a barrier to sales that most companies do not need. However, there are always exceptions to the rule and a quirky company name such as ‘agent provocateur’ which sells lingerie and breaks a lot of the business name guidelines may enhance your business and add a certain savoir faire.

Choose a name that will allow your company to grow

If you are planning to stay in one locality and have no plans for expansion, it is recommended that you use a localised keyword such as ‘Queensland’ in your business name (as above). However, if you do have plans for business growth whether that includes different regions or introducing different product categories, you should choose a name that will serve your company’s needs now and well in the future.

Use personal names

Some business experts say it can add credibility to your business say using your own name such as ‘Dick Smith’ or ‘Harvey Norman’ and this certainly works well in certain professions. Others say it may indicate that the business is a small entity and people may prefer to deal with a larger company. You can get around this by adding your name and associates or use a combination of a personal name and descriptive name such as ‘Dell Computers’.

Descriptive business name

Choosing an intrinsic business name is another strategy employed when thinking about business name ideas. People will be able to know at first glance exactly what your company does whether you own a gym, you are an accountant or you provide SEO Services. This strategy can work well for businesses. Examples include ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ and ‘International Business Machines (IBM)’ which do exactly what their business name says.

Build your unique brand

Businesses such as ‘Virgin Blue’, ‘Microsoft’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Google’, ‘Nike’ and ‘Cadbury’ have chosen names that defy all the business rules and spent a lot of money building their brand and educating customers about the products and services they sell and what they stand for as a company. In a lot of instances, these names are very unique and usually one word that is easier to remember and spell for the average consumer.

Emphasise your business image

Adjectives describing your product or service can be effectively used in a business name and they allow customers to be able to instantly conjure an image of your company simply by the name such as ‘Hire a Hubby’ or ‘Merry Maids’. The name you choose reflects the quality of your business and that image can be conveyed clearly to your customers purely through your company name alone.

There are several different strategies you can employ when choosing a name for your small business. These are just a few. Choosing a business name is an important part of branding your business. Think long and hard about the name of your company because there is no quick and painless way to change it. Once you have brainstormed business name ideas and settled one you like, register it straight away and buy the domain name.