business plans

Write A Winning Business Plan – The Neatest Trick In The Book

“Writing a business plan” sounds really tough, and it can be. But there are a number of things the smart entrepreneur can do to make it easier.

For instance, justwhatkindofstuffyouthinkgetsreadlikethis? Imagine pages full of that, with virtually no margins, no paragraph breaks, no breathing room. Lenders, investors and angel investors are confronted with piles of business plans like that every day.

Take a breath. Then lure your reader into the plan with snappy headlines and easy to read formatting.

Do you know why the the big newspapers use headlines? Because it’s the only way anyone will read a story. More to the point, it’s the only way anyone will buy their paper!

Take a look at your favourite newspaper. Those headlines tell a story. Sometimes they ooze with conspiracy, and once in a while they stand majestic. Your business plan needs to do no less. The headlines and section headings need to draw the reader in, not with an announcement, but with an invitation.

Compare these:

The Executive Team – The Audio Industry – The Advisory Board

with these:

Strong Executive Team is Led by Industry Insider – The Industry that Reinvents Itself  –  7 Top Scientists Lead the Advisory Board

So which set are you going to read?

Lenders of all ilks get far too many business plans – certainly more than they can possibly fund. Simply getting your business plan read is a big step in the right direction.

Try this trick. Imagine that you are indeed writing a newspaper, one that competes with another strong paper in your town. What headline would you put on that paper to encourage readers to buy yours, and not the other?

Honesty, of course, is essential. But within that honesty there are a thousand ways to make the same statement. How many ways are there to say that it is spring time?

It is spring · It is April 22 · Lilacs are in bloom · Snow is melting in the hills

And how many ways are there to say that your business idea is a good one?

· This is a good idea · An innovative approach · A sure-fire winner · A strong contender for funding · A strong team in an equally strong market · Lots of community support · This fills a need in the marketplace · The company draws on the experience of each of its members · Two years of strong growth · Impressive projections

Now jot down some headlines for your company. You may or may not be able to use them. Try first just to jot down every idea, a brain storming session.

Now use the best of those headlines to help structure your business plan. If “Nobel Prize Winner Heads Advisory Board” is your strongest headline, then lead with that story. If “A Prime Location in a Prime Shopping Centre” is your strongest headline, then that is your lead.

Let the strength of the headlines pull your business plan up a notch or two. The power of your business may surprise even you!

Before you actually begin writing, take the time to really look at a good publication. Look at the styling and the use of headlines and sub-headings. Note how the ideas keep a steady flow, with an invitation to read.

Your business plan perhaps won’t look like the venerable Financial Times, or any other major publication, but odds are that it will look a whole lot better than most, and it will therefore be read much more readily.

And that, after all, is what you are after!

[Just as a matter of interest, here is a Headline Generator which I have used for the odd advert or blog page It may not work for you entirely but it could be a good start in the right direction]

[Author Unknown]


mobile apps

How To Grow Your Business In A Slow Economy

With the economy affecting businesses, as it is at present, small to medium sized firms need to continually innovate and identify ways of improving customer numbers, strengthen customer retention, build on customer loyalty and brand awareness and of course… bottom line profits.

It’s no good repeating the buzzwords like “austerity”, “cuts” etc., as an excuse for poor business performance… Unless one is able to make sweeping political changes, we all need to find ways of not just surviving but thriving and with confidence.

We need to keep an open mind and look for ways we can build on our brand, build on our customers by not only increasing numbers but afford our existing customers more reason to continue doing business with us, love what we do and recommend us without hesitation.


What do pretty much all our customers have at their finger tips 24/7? It’s their mobile device. They carry their devices wherever they go and seem to spend more and more time looking at them, communicating, emailing & texting! It is in fact an advertising powerhouse… and it is right under their noses!

So, what if you could get your business and very importantly your brand, literally, on to customer’s devices, enabling them to keep up with your business, offers, news, messages, loyalty programmes, discount incentive vouchers etc., giving them plenty of reasons to come back and spend money with you?… You simply encourage those customers to download your free mobile app and make every bit of use of it.


Once your business app is on their device they have immediate access to everything you want them to know about you. All your business information, services, products, links to your web site. They can call you, email you, interact with you on social media, make appointments and bookings. You can update the app at any time with new information and offers… And… You can send push messages to alert them… and send updates of your latest news etc.

So now you will be building a rapport with your customers, seeing more of them and increasing sales. Happy customers! Happy days!


We all know what happy customers like to do… They tell their friends and recommend you!

So what if you could give your customers a really simple way of telling their friends about how good you are and giving them an incentive to do so at the same time? Moreover, give their friends an incentive to come along a see what you can do for them. A lot of promotional apps have an “app share” facility but what if the app sharing idea took it a stage further and offered the new user a discount voucher and also your kind and happy customer a voucher too? How many of your customers would share and bring you more customers?

If 30 of your customers shared with 5 friends each, that’s a possible 150 new app users who are potential new customers! You do the maths… The possibilities are quite staggering.

Add all this together with an electronic loyalty scheme, whereby customers can gain points for purchases and redeem for prizes or vouchers etc., you not only gain more customers but you get to keep them as well!


So back to the fundamental task of building your business in slow and uncertain times…

We all need to address the following:

  • We need to make our brand noticeable, memorable and keep it out there and ahead of the competition
  • Retain our existing customers and build on their experience
  • Increase their spend with many good reasons to do so
  • Get referrals and give the new customers a reason to use us rather than our competitors

A mobile app will, if used as a marketing tool, give you the edge over your competitors and encourage customer loyalty, thus creating “raving fans” of your brand and products.

Even in the times of depressing news, shaky economies, awful politics and rising prices, we need to shine out and make a statement to customers who want the best value and more!


A lot of businesses still don’t have a mobile app, why? Probably some of the high costing ones put them off. Perhaps people are unaware as to what they can actually do for them and their business. Maybe it all looks too technical and frightens people? Perhaps they haven’t yet found an economical and affordable app yet. I remember speaking with customers years ago about having a web site… The amount of people who told me to get lost because this internet thing was too complex, too expensive and a waste of time!

Oh how times change and costs have come way down!


Having a mobile app designed and made for your business is much easier than getting a web site together. It is so simple but does so much for your business.

I provide apps for businesses. I do all the hard work and present you with an affordable, fully branded, working, effective mobile app, with it’s own admin log-in, for Android and Apple… for pretty much the cost of a mobile phone contract!

Have a look at my web page and drop me a line. I will be pleased to have a chat and give you a totally free proposal. I will even give you an introductory discount voucher!

Happy days!

More Information

And by the way… you may download my free app from the footer of this web page!



Visions that Work – Realizable Visions

Visions that Work – Realizable Visions

Extract from “Developing Powerful Visions & Inspiring People with Them”
“Vision is the art of seeing what’s invisible to others.”
Jonathan Swift

The realms of possibility

Most people are quite limited in their mental resources. No, we are not demeaning anyone here, but that is the way we have been conditioned to think.

mobile apps

Why Have A Mobile App?


I would like to discuss the use of mobile apps in promoting business and why you should really consider having a mobile app designed and built as part of your own mobile marketing strategy. You are probably thinking right now… what is Graham on about? Is it just another sales pitch? Well… to be honest… yes, in a way it is but I only say this because I am in a good position to help you in your marketing quests.

If you are under the impression that mobile apps are for big business users only, you could find yourself very much mistaken in this thinking! Increasingly small to medium sized businesses are taking advantage of what a mobile marketing strategy has to offer. An effective strategy one is more than just having a “responsive” web site.

You will be seeing even small high street businesses


You’re A Salesperson in Your Life

You’re A Salesperson in Your Life

Strange as it may seem, our life is made up of a series of “sales presentations”. Sales may not be your gig, but if you’re the boss you’re making presentations everyday. Be it a pitch to your Board, announcing a policy change to employees, selling an idea to your spouse, or just trying to win others over to your point of view – you need to punch up your people skills for winning pitches.

Human nature is such that people

effective meetings

10 Characteristics Of Effective Meetings

How many meetings do you go to that turn out to be a waste of time and you might actually have achieved something if you had just got on with your work?

Here are ten fundamental concepts that characterise an effective meeting.

1) Definition: A meeting is a business activity where select people gather to perform work that requires a team effort.

2) A meeting, like any business event, succeeds when it is preceded by planning, characterised by focus, governed by structure, and controlled by a budget.

3) Short meetings free people to work on the essential activities that represent the core of their jobs. In contrast, long meetings prevent people from working on critical tasks such as planning, communicating, and learning.

4) Three things guarantee an unproductive meeting: poor planning, lack of appropriate process, and hostile culture. Effective leaders attend to all of these to create an effective meeting.

5) Effective meetings require sharing control and making commitments.

6) The ultimate goals of every meeting are agreements, decisions, or solutions. Meetings held for other reasons seldom produce anything of value.

7) Unprepared participants will spend their time in the meeting preparing for the meeting.

8) It is better to spend a little time preparing for solutions than to spend a lot of time fixing problems.

9) Meetings are an investment of resources and time that should earn a profit.

10) A meeting can be led from any chair in the room. And if it’s your meeting, you want it to be your chair.

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