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Business Plan Tips

If you’re starting-up or running a small business the ability to put together a persuasive business proposal will really help you to succeed.

If you have impressed a prospective client or partner after an initial meeting, phone call or email, you will frequently be asked to submit a business proposal.

This is not the time to become complacent. There will be others on the short list too, so a well-written and attractively presented business proposal is a crucial sales tool. It is often the difference between getting the go-ahead with your idea or missing out on a lucrative new opportunity.

Fortunately, if you follow these 10 golden rules, it’s not too difficult to put together a winning business proposal Continue…

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The second instalment of our two-part guide to writing a business plan for business angels, examines each of the main chapters in detail, highlighting the areas that need particular attention if you are to successfully attract funding from a business angel or private investor. Continue…

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This guide has been written for ByteStart by John Courtney of Beer & Partners Ltd.

There are many books on writing business plans – all the banks provide a handy checklist for example. Yet business plans should always be written with the audience in mind. This guide is therefore aimed at helping you put your message across to one particularly critical audience – the business angel.

We see nearly 2000 plans a year and we know what our angel investors are looking for; more importantly perhaps we also know the pitfalls and howlers to be avoided. Continue…

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Marketing your business should be fun and simple. Surely there can be no better way to spend a day than working on something which is going to help you achieve your objectives more quickly?

Sadly many business owners don’t see marketing that way. They see it as a necessary evil; something that “must be done” rather than something to look forward to and clear time for.

Often this is because they’re not really sure where they should be spending their time and marketing spend.

If this is you, you need a plan. And the good news is you don’t have to spend hours on it. You can put together a very good marketing plan for your business in just 60 minutes. It’s just a case of answering a few simple questions, doing a little bit of thinking, then adding the magic ingredient: Continue…

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Writing a business plan is an important step in the business start-up process. And, if you want to raise funding for your new business, you simply must produce an up-to-date business plan to show potential backers.

Even if you don’t place much importance on the business planning process, the simple act of writing down your thoughts can help focus your mind on aspects of the business which you may otherwise have neglected. Here are 10 business planning tips to help you produce an effective plan;
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Starting a new business is fun. It’s a world of learning and discovery as you set out on your own and try to build a brand new business from scratch.

Many people are so caught up in building their business that they don’t really consider where they want it to go in the long-term. And very few people are forward thinking enough to plan the finish – their exit strategy – when they are starting up.
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Life can be great when you’re running your business as a one man band. You get to escape the shackles of employment including a boss telling you what you do and when.

Of course there are downsides, such as the loss of a regular salary and other employment perks. And the most serious of these is how you would continue to earn money if something happened to you or your business.
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As you start up your business, the need for a well thought through business plan is clear.

Even if you are just going to be you sitting in your spare bedroom selling things over the internet, you need a business plan to understand how you are going to market your products or services and actually turn a profit.
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One of the keys to success in any venture is having an accurate and informative business plan. It will set a clear direction and ensure you spend your time productively. As a vital document, you need to invest time getting it right before you make any key business decisions.

There are numerous tools and sources of information online, that allow you to research and plan virtually any business idea. Here are a few of our favourites.
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Starting your own business is a really exciting thing to do. You get to take a dream that you have been harbouring for years and turn it into reality.

That means lots of planning and thinking about your business and how you want it to pan out. You can decide where you want to be years down the line and aim for it.
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When you decide it’s time to get your business started, you’ll find the first piece of advice given by most experts is to “get a business plan written”.

And they’re right; that is the first step to turn your business dream into a reality. But many people find it the hardest step to make.
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Restructuring a business can be a turbulent time; you may be juggling legal issues with disgruntled employees, expansion plans with uncertain investors or faced with frustrated customers.

However, that isn’t a world away from the day-to-day nature of running a business, and you shouldn’t feel unnecessarily daunted just because you’re moving in a new direction.
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One of the most useful bits of advice that established entrepreneurs give to people starting their own business is this: ‘cash is king’.

It doesn’t matter what business you’re in and how profitable it is, if you run out of cash, your business will struggle to continue. If you can’t pay suppliers you’ll have nothing to sell, and it’s a quick, vicious circle from there to insolvency.
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What is a Business Plan?

September 25, 2011

A business plan is a document which captures how you expect your business will grow, according to a large number of factors such as funding, how the market behaves, the people involved in the business, and – of course – how successful you are at selling your product or service.
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On day one of your new business, as you sit at an empty desk wishing the phone would ring, you think about the future and how exciting it will be to be busy.

Fast forward two years to when you are working 14 hours a day, six days a week (with enough work to fill your sleeping hours) and your wish has come true, but turned into a nightmare along the way.

If this is happening to you, don’t worry, you are not alone. It’s a common problem that affects many small business owners. The hard work and long hours to get the business off the ground never seem to stop.
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There is a lot to be gained from business planning but many businesses will search for a million reasons to avoid it. However large or small your business is, planning for the future is critical to its success.
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With all the excitement of starting and running your own business, it’s easy to overlook what might happen if it all goes wrong.

A disaster could strike your business at any time, in any form. What if your main sales person was lured to an aggressive competitor, you lost your data, or your building was destroyed in an accident? It’s rare, but it happens.

Here are seven simple steps to a writing a simple but powerful disaster recovery plan:
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Many of the world’s most successful business people became that way with help from a key figure in their lives.

When you have a mentor or a coach, you are involving someone else in the decisions you need to make to grow your business. They will help you stay focused, on track, and get the most out of yourself.
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It’s easy to focus on the day-to-day running of your business, especially when you have only just started-up. But once your business is established, it is actually time to start planning again. Here’s why you should review the performance of your business and how to get started.
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Delivering a good business pitch is an essential part of the commercial process, whether you’re pitching for millions of pounds of investment, or simply trying to convince a new client to sign up to your service.
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