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]

 

mobile apps

Why Have A Mobile App?

WHY HAVE A MOBILE APP FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

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

salesman

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.

body language

Body Language

Here is a short article which applies not only to job interviews but also one for people who are selling.

When you are face to face with an interviewer or prospective client, you may not be aware of this but the other person/s is observing your body language, very carefully. Your body language says a lot about yourself, so you need to control negative body movements and encourage positive body movements and

web design imagineers

When Prospects Give The Silent Treatment

Here’s an article which I rediscovered the other day. It makes interesting reading…

If you’ve been marketing your products for a while, you’ve probably had at least one experience in which your prospect suddenly started giving you the “silent treatment.”

“I don’t know what to do when I get hit with the ‘silent treatment’ — you know, when I’ve worked with a prospect for quite a while, and we’ve had great conversations, and they’ve expressed interest in our solution — and then all of a sudden everything stops.

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