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 http://seopressor.com/blog-title-generator/ It may not work for you entirely but it could be a good start in the right direction]

[Author Unknown]

 

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.

success is simple

Success Is Simple – Do What’s Right, the Right Way, at the Right Time

Here is an interesting article from a Tarun Kr Das. I found it amongst some other articles I have held on to. You have probably heard it all before… but it never hurts to hear it again…

Realize your Potential

In order to succeed at anything, you need to see that you have the potential to reach your goals. For example, if you want to be a recording artist but have no singing ability, having success in this field is not likely. However, if you love working on cars and have a real talent for fixing engines and transmissions, and to you, success would mean working for NASCAR, you have potential to learn and achieve that success.

success

Secrets To Success

Secrets to Success: Success Is Simple – Do What’s Right, the Right Way, at the Right Time

Here is an interesting article from Tarun Kr Das – Enjoy…

Realize your Potential

In order to succeed at anything, you need to see that you have the potential to reach your goals. For example, if you want to be a recording artist but have no singing ability, having success in this field is not likely. However, if you love working on cars and have a real talent for fixing engines and transmissions, and to you,

Who Needs A Business Coach?

The simple answer to the seemingly complex question of “Who needs a business coach?” is … everyone is responsible for operating a business. That’s right. The Fortune 50 CEO to the one-man-band needs a business coach.

Doing Something About It

Not getting any help at all is very often the cause of the business failure statistics we hear so much about. The small business owner will often claim that they don’t have the time or money for outside help. Think about that comment. How can you not have the money to get help from someone who can potentially save or make you more money, since you are not getting it done on your own? Or how about that time you are lacking? Maybe if that owner sat down for an hour with a business coach, they would be able to see why they don’t have time and do something about it.

A coach or advisor gives to small business owners something most of them don’t have; a sounding board and a board of directors to turn to for advice. These are two great resources to use when trying to avoid “trial and error” decisions and processes.

What many business owners do not realize is that they rarely go through any trials and tribulations that someone else has never dealt with. Not to mention that about 70-75% of their business is the same as every other business including HR, finances, sales, marketing and funding. The other 25-30% is industry specific.

Small to mid sized business owners take away much more from an advisor than big businesses. This, if for no other reason, is the case because the smaller companies have owners that wear a lot of hats. Many of those hats take time away from the things the owner actually needs to make a priority to see their company succeed. Things they should be doing that they don’t have time to get to, or things they are taking care of, that they have no experience in doing. These situations take away from them doing what they do best.

How Do You Find A Coach?

The question now is how to find a coach. Here are a few things to think about:

– Have they owned a small business before? Grey hair does not equal business ownership knowledge.

– Don’t worry if a potential coach doesn’t know your specific industry. Remember that a lot of your troubles have nothing to do with your industry. It would help though if the coach had contacts/resources for you in your industry for when specific problems are addressed.

Once you made the very intelligent decision of getting help in making your business a success, keep a few things in mind. You should really commit to working with your coach for a good 6 months. Nothing gets fixed overnight. Also, please do yourself a favour and be open to suggestions, bring important things to your advisor for help in making a decision and make the use of your time with the advisor a priority.

See The wood From The Trees

Working with an advisor can be a very enlightening experience. You will start to see the wood from the trees and not feel like you are the only person on the planet going through tough times as a business owner.

All business owners eventually need help. The successful ones put aside their pride and desire to be at the center of all aspects of the company and get the help.

My Business Coach comes highly recommended and has proved invaluable on so many occasions. Find him here http://www.life-coach-associates.com and have a word with him, to see how best he may be able to help you. His name is Gérard Jakimavičius… and he is a top man!

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