- integration with existing systems
- innovation and software development
- Back up and redundancy measures
We will next be talking about the operation section of the business plan.
After working through the previous two posts you have a clear vision and a direction, you know what products and you have some basic information regarding your customers and how you are going to get the products to them.
Now in this post we are going to help you define your market, your companies position in it and who your main competitors are. In order to do this you need to do some market research, there is some useful information here regarding doing your market research.
Once you have gathered all the information you will need to collate it all. You should have information on:
- Total size of the market
- Your main competitors and their share of the market (think local and national)
- history of the markets and the products
- your customers and their buying habits
- Product pricing and availability
The main point of this section is to tell your reader that you know this market, you understand the trends within it and what drives it. You need to show that it is a growing market and how you are going to attract customers despite the competition.
I hear you say how am i meant to do this, well if you have been operating and or working in this market for a long time then it will feel natural and you will know this information naturally. If not then these are what you need to focus on to ensure that the readers get the level of detail they require:
- your target customers - Who are they, what is their demographic information, including disposable income and spending habits, how you know they are interested in products and services you will be supplying. Why this group of people.
- your competitors - who are they, how do they operate within the market, what is their main customer base, market share, it's good to perform a SWOT analysis on each competitor as well as yourself.
- the future - Expected changes to the market, focus on how you and your main competitors will react and use this section to show how you are innovative and understand the trends and what drives the market and how you can fill a gap in that market.
You have written your Vision Statement using the previous information. We will now use this and expand upon it to build a clear picture of what your business will be, your target customers and what you will be offering them. This is all information that others are going to want if they are to provide funds or investments.
Now for this section you want to start out by giving an overview of your business, focus on:
- The date you started trading or proposed start date.
- Any investment or projected investments to date.
- The type of business and the sector that it is in.
- History of the company, including if applicable, previous owners, franchise information, previous successes
- The legal status (e.g. sole trader, partnership, LLP, LTD) here is a good link for information about these
- Your vision for the future.
- Describe your products and services as simply and clearly as possible.
- What makes it different from similar products.
- What benefits does this have for both your customer and your business.
- Why will customers buy from you rather than competitors.
- the key features and success factors in the industry you will be operating within.
- How you plan to develop you products and services to ensure you are current
- Any patents or trademarks you currently have
If you did as the last post suggested and wrote a little about your business ideas, customers and goals then you can skip the below template. If you didn't use this little template and fill in the blanks.
Within the next ___years grow (company name) ___________ into a business with £ ______ worth of annual sales.
We will primarily operate in ______________
providing (describe products/services)_____________________________________
to (describe target customer and ideal client)_________________________ In the next year I aim to be
within the next three years I aim to be
Using this simple but powerful statements gives you a clear and concise vision with which to start your business plan. You can keep looking back and referring to it as you build the plan, allowing you to keep focused on what you want your business to achieve. It will help keep your plan lean and targeted.
If you have multiple markets and or products you may want to write something similar for each niche.
Believe it or not by writing the above you have already wrote your vision statement as it focuses on the what's of your business, it describes your idealized perception of what your business will look like under ideal conditions, the key components are:
- Name of planned business venture
- The products/services you plan to provide
- The target markets you intend to serve
- Top level Goals
A Business plan is arguably the most important part of any new start up business, or for that matter any business at all. Why? I hear you ask! It gives your ideas substance and a logical framework with which to build your dream into a reality. Not only this but anyone wanting to invest will want to see it. It is the guide to your business.
There is a very famous saying:
Failing to Plan, is planning to FailThis was said by Ben Franklin, Churchill and many others in some form or another. It really does apply to business plans. Did you know that 95% of businesses without a business plan fail... yes I know 87.567% of statistics are made up but feel free to go and verify this one. Without direction a new venture is likely to not succeed. Why start if you don't plan to succeed so get planning.
Now you know why you need one, what exactly is it? A business plan is a working document (by that I mean you don't just write it once put it in that file and dust it off once every three years to show the bank when you want an overdraft or loan) It should be flexible, it should grow and change with the ever changing face of your business, it should reflect your business goals and finally but most importantly it should be current and up to date.
I won't go into detail over how to write one here as that is for future posts. I'll just leave you with this If you want your business to succeed you have to plan for success, you need targets and plans these can't be in your head they need to be recorded, so please start by just jotting down your business ideas, what is the general concept, who are your potential customers, what are your short, medium and long term goals.
I want to start a touring theatre company, which will supply theatre workshops to support the national curriculum. I want to deal with schools, local councils and government and social groups. I want to start in my local area probably with one troupe and once this is financially successful I'd like to branch out to other areas in the UK and eventually be the leading provider of TIE (Theatre in Education) for the UK.This is all your start needs to be it states what you want to be, it's main market and niche and some short and longer term goals. It is very basic and a top level overview of what you want to achieve, but it is a great starting point.
In the next blog we will build on the above and start talking about how we turn our vision into a business plan with substance.
Please feel free to ask me any questions you like by leaving a comment.
and check out businesslink.gov.uk which is a very useful site with lot's of information about starting a business including writing your business plans.
The company's revenue in the third quarter was higher than it expected, but it noted the quarter was softer than normal. While executives said on a conference call that the company is seeing "early signs of stabilization," they still expect the fourth quarter to be weak and below seasonal.
"Economic uncertainty continues to weigh on demand in almost every major market segment in which we operate," Chairman and Chief Executive Rich Templeton said in a press release.
TI, which makes chips used in everything from cellphones to industrial equipment, had seen a sharp rebound after the recession caused customers to virtually stop buying chips. But recent macroeconomic worries have led to softer demand for semiconductors and other tech products, weighing not only on consumer businesses but also starting to affect enterprise demand.
TI in August lowered its view for the third quarter, saying it was seeing broad-based weakness across its customers and markets. The company on Monday echoed those comments and provided lower-than-expected earnings guidance for the current quarter.
Shares, up 11% over the past 12 months through Monday's close, slipped 1.3% to $31.27 in after-hours trading. The stock had climbed 4% during the regular session trading, slightly better than the 3.4% gain in the Philadelphia SOX Semiconductor index.
Bernstein analyst Stacy Rasgon said weakness in the third and fourth quarters was broadly expected, with macroeconomic softness weighing on TI's business.
"Results weren't horrible versus where expectations were," Rasgon said. "Everyone expected it to be a messy quarter, but they actually beat this quarter."
Chief Financial Officer Kevin March said in an interview the market is beginning to bottom, with July seeing the sharpest drop in orders but the decline moderating in August and September. He said revenue hit a low in July and grew the following two months.
He said the market declines aren't driven by excess semiconductor inventory but noted customers are being cautious with orders on worries about the macroeconomic environment.
"Customers had been reducing their internal inventories, and that's causing us and our competitors in the semiconductor industry to see revenue decline more sharply than what our customers ard actually experiencing," he said.
Ron Slaymaker, vice president of investor relations, said during a conference call that the reduction in TI inventory by customers is largely past. He noted the company has a "reasonable" view of the fourth quarter but said demand beyond that is tied to what the macroeconomic environment is like.
TI predicted a fourth-quarter profit of 28 cents to 36 cents, including about 15 cents of acquisition-related costs, on revenue between $3.26 billion and $3.54 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting earnings of 54 cents a share on revenue of $3.43 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. A year ago, TI reported fourth-quarter earnings of 78 cents a share on $3.53 billion in revenue.
TI has been benefiting in recent quarters from increased focus on its highly profitable analog and embedded-application chips, as well as its applications processor for smartphones, tablets and other devices. Last month, it closed a $6.5 billion deal for rival National Semiconductor, expanding its reach in the analog market.
The company's acquisition of National Semiconductor, while hurting fourth-quarter earnings by 15 cents a share, is helping buffer its revenue in the period, March said. At the midpoint of TI's guidance, sales are down about 2% sequentially with contributions from National Semiconductor's revenue. Taking that out, the midpoint would be down 10%, he said.
March added during a conference call that acquisition charges will total $260 million in the fourth quarter and then decline to about $150 million in the first quarter and $110 million in the second quarter. The charges should then fall by about $10 million per quarter until reaching $80 million, which is the amortization of intangibles amount. He said that would continue for about eight to 10 years.
March said smartphone demand remains "solid," but the company's other businesses are experiencing softness. Automotive customers are "being confronted by wary customers given the macroeconomic outlook," he said, while industrial demand is "weak." Communications infrastructure is slowing, while consumer and PC demand are below normal seasonality, March added.
For the latest quarter, TI reported a profit of $601 million, or 51 cents a share, down from $859 million, or 71 cents a share, a year earlier. The latest quarter included about 9 cents of costs tied to the acquisition. Revenue fell 7.3% to $3.47 billion.
The company last month forecast a per-share profit of 56 cents to 60 cents with revenue between $3.23 billion and $3.37 billion.
Gross margin narrowed to 50.3% from 54.5%.
Sales of analog chips, which provide almost half of total revenue, slipped 1.5% as earnings fell 20%. Revenue from the company's embedded processing segment declined 7% as earnings decreased 29%, while wireless sales dropped 24% amid lower demand for connectivity chips from key customers, pushing earnings down 57%.
The Gateway ID47H02u specification:
Processor Intel Core i5 2410M 2.3 GHz
Memory 4GB DDR3 1333 MHz
Chipset Intel HM65 Express
Graphics Intel HD 3000
Hard drive 500 GB 5400 rpm
Operating System Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Battery 6 cells
Gateway claims eight hours on a single charge, but realistically, you will get somewhere between six to seven hours of up time, depending on your workload.
Along with the impressive battery life, Gateway ID47H02u comes with one USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports. The USB 3.0 is still a rarity among mainstream class laptops. Gateway also able to pack 14-inch screen into a laptop that normally sports 13-inch screen. The laptop weighs in at 4.5 pounds, and adds another pound if you want to carry the AC adapter around.
Despite clear advantages in terms of job creation, cost improvement, and enhanced security, the project has not yet been approved by the U.S. Department of State. In fact, the permit review of the project was delayed by almost a full year from the originally announced schedule.
In a prior study, we determined that the total impact of the construction and development phases of the Keystone XL project on the U.S. economy would include (over the life of the project) $20.931 billion in total spending, $9.605 billion in output, and 118,935 person-years of employment. These were calculated at that time in constant (2009) dollars and rise slightly when adjusted to a 2011-dollar basis ($21.979 billion in total spending and $10.087 billion in output). The delays in the permitting process have cost business activity (on a net present value basis) of $1.19 billion in spending and $559 million in output, as well as postponing 88,622 person-years of employment. Job deferrals for states along the route vary, but most states have seen in excess of 5,000 person-years of employment (one person working for one year) delayed during a difficult economic period. View more on Ray Perryman Column.
It is with both joy and sadness I send this email. I am retiring on Friday, September 9.
Forty years ago, I embarked on a vocational path looking for a meaningful career. From a telephone operator, to sales representative to administrative assistant. However, I would not know what meaningful was until I joined the public health profession. These last 10 years have been the best time of my life because I was working with the most dedicated of all professions. Certainly, public health workers are dedicated to leaving the world a better place.
I also was able to learn from the best of the best. I will be forever grateful for having the best teachers in the country Janet Porter, Steve Orton and Karl Umble. From them, I learned many skills among them are communication, management and relationship building. Best of all, by observing them in action, I learned leadership skills. With those leadership skills, I was able to do community work and will continue that community work in my retirement.
My greatest joy was helping all you, my students, write your own business plans while fulfilling all your other responsibilities. Whether it was a friendly reminder or a word of encouragement, I felt I was helping your communities through you.
I am excited about this new adventure in my life. I promise you I will take all I learned from you to make my own community happier, safer and most of all healthier.
It was an honor and pleasure working with you.
Gladly, I can say that the event planning industry is a thriving one worldwide. It is considered a billion dollar industry, with a stable spot within the entertainment industry. However, like everything else new trends, topics and ideas are being established in order to appeal to a more technologically and modern audiences.
According to the article, Green Grows the Greenbacks: Some caterers Boost Revenue with Eco-Friendly Practices, on the magazine Special Events, reported that
“Though the green practices themselves—such as cutting energy use and trash-hauling costs—tend to be revenue-neutral, Cuccaro says, the big payoff comes from green-minded clients. "We definitely pick up more business as a result" of green practices, he says.”
This is a very good service event planners can suggest their clients who are on board with green events. Not only are helping the environment but we are creating conscious events that are modern and appealing to new modern clients. New trends are always emerging is up to event planners to be constantly researching new ways and techniques to create one-of-a kind events that are appealing to the always changing entertainment industry.
As a recent college graduate I have learn the importance of research and thinking outside of the box. It is important to understand the industry, know what and how things are being done. This is the only way to make yourself stand out from the competition, in addition this way you or your company will always have a competitive edge. Learning about all the different components that make a successful event has definitely given me an advantage over those already established companies that have stayed behind.
“NCIF invests in CDBIs that display both strong financial and social performance. To determine if an institution meets these criteria, NCIF evaluates the institution using a Development Impact analysis as well as an internal CAMEL analysis. In addition, the institution must also provide a planned exit strategy.”
- A phone app/game to help drive school culture change
- A revenue-supported plan for delivering quality improvement training
- On-line weight loss and lifestyle change program... already piloted, and it works
- Diabetes Education at the local level, sustained by revenues
Pointing out in your business plan what makes your business successful and how it can benefit an investor or a bank can help your business bloom in a blink of an eye. Having key elements like your financial plan, and your analysis of customers and competition can be decision makers when negotiating an investment or a loan. People who look for smart investments want the facts and numbers right away. Sections like the ones listed above makes it easy for those interested to make a decision and have an incentive at the time of the investing.
- An ER Diversion project with hospitals, public health and the Federally Qualified Health Center
- An "Academic Health Department" plan to allow the county to participate in clinical trials, bringing in revenue and expanding treatment options
- A dental clinic add-on to an existing Ryan White organization
- A free clinic to create a bridge for the uninsured until 2014
- A health coaching project
- A project to combine substance abuse/behavioral health in an integrated organization
A recent example of this new technique is the American sporting goods store, Callaway. Famous for their golf equipment and goods, Callaway has become one of the biggest brands in the sports industry. With artist endorsements and sponsorships, Callaway has been able to appeal to a younger audience and attract people to their brand.
Like them here] Recently, they have created a father’s day contest; Tee off with Diablo Octone and Justin Timberlake, where the lucky winner wins a set of Callaway clubs, meet Justin Timberlake and play golf with him. For more information on the contest you can visit Callaway’s official website http://www.callawaygolf.com/Global/en-US.html or click here.
In order to enter the contest you must like their page first in Facebook. This guarantees a member in their Facebook page, giving the company access to your profile, likes and dislikes, and most importantly your information where more contests, equipment, and news can be distribute in mass quantities.
As you can see very well known brands are incorporating contests and/or competitions to their marketing campaigns. The mix of utilizing social media and attractive techniques like the contests can benefit you in many ways; bringing you more traffic to your site, more followers, and customer data. All of these points can be used as evidence of a successful marketing campaign.
Incorporating these types of techniques in the event planning industry can be easy and very entertaining to your clients or customers. For example, if you are participating in a trade-show doing a contest or a giveaway can bring more people to your booth. The contest can require people giving you their information, which you can later use as data for emails or newsletters.
Remember to be creative and unique this is the only way your company, business or corporation can be successful. Using everything the Internet has to offer can benefit you no matter in what industry you are, make sure you integrate social media to your marketing plan in order to achieve your marketing goals.