All startups need money, unless the owners are loaded. Where does that money come from? From fundraising efforts, both offline and online. Online fundraising is a lot more effective because of its sheer reach. Here are several tips for startups on how to obtain crowd funding for their projects.
Whether you're a startup or an established company, a carefully crafted business plan is a road map to your firm's success. But with the internet saturated with good advice it can be confusing and hard to know where to begin.
carolinecummings. Most people view writing a business plan as an arduous process or a necessary evil. I'm here to tell you that it doesn't need to be difficult, and not only is it possible to write your plan in under an hour, it can ...
Business plan writing is tough. A good business plan writer needs to be objective, analytical, and creative – a combination of traits that are hard to find. Nevertheless, launching a new business should be synonymous with writing a business plan.
In the unpredictable world of technology, some hot start-ups could fizzle and be forgotten. Others could be the next household name. Which one has what it takes?
When it comes to technology start-ups, there are a lot of paths to success.
Some successful start-ups sell for a billion dollars, as Tumblr did this year to Yahoo. When that happens, it’s a windfall for the founders of the start-ups as well as for the investors and some employees.
Other new companies are considered successful if they attract millions of users and venture money before going public, as Facebook did and Twitter is doing. And still others are considered hot because their products attract demographic groups that advertisers want to reach or because they have come up with some new idea or technology that seems to change the way we live.
About a year ago, right after Instagram was snapped up by Facebook, a few other start-ups seemed poised for some degree of success. Some of them, like Pinterest, Square and Uber, are still thriving, with plenty of users and cash from investors. Others, like Path or Airtime, have lost steam, and users’ attention, and may be on their way to the tech boneyard.
This year, there’s a new class of interesting start-ups to watch. Some are attracting record numbers of new users and significant amounts of venture capital, or appealing to a new and interesting demographic. Some are simply working on a new idea that seems to be taking off. In the unpredictable world of tech start-ups, any of them could fizzle and be forgotten by the end of the year. But they could also be the next big thing.
To read the full article and check out these new startups, click on the title.
There are a few commonsense ways to help protect your reputation online. Some companies offer such a service for a fee, but you can do …
There are a few commonsense ways to help protect your reputation online. Some companies offer such a service for a fee, but you can do a lot yourself to keep your reputation sterling.
The first step for anyone should be reviewing their own social media accounts. Embarrassing photos, status updates, or even the use of foul language can reflect negatively on a person looking for employment, promotion, or business partners. In certain situations, a photo or comment could even cost someone the job he already has. Everyone should be aware of what their social media accounts say about them, and take action to correct anything that could reflect negatively upon them.
The next step is to familiarize yourself with the various privacy policies of social media websites. These vary from one site to another, and while avoiding having embarrassing material show up online should be the top priority, it is also a good idea to be aware of who can see what sections of a person’s pages. Adjusting settings to allow certain things only to be seen by certain people would be a wise step for those who don’t want to revamp their pages completely.
Written by Pete Kennedy on Wednesday, April 9, 2008
1. To prove that you’re serious about your business. A formal business plan is necessary to show all interested parties -- employees, investors, partners and yourself -- that you are committed to building the business.
2. To establish business milestones. The business plan should clearly lay out the long-term milestones that are most important to the success of your business. To paraphrase Guy Kawasaki, a milestone is something significant enough to come home and tell your spouse about (without boring him or her to death). Would you tell your spouse that you tweaked the company brochure? Probably not. But you'd certainly share the news that you launched your new website or reached $1M in annual revenues.
3. To better understand your competition. Creating the business plan forces you to analyze the competition. All companies have competition in the form of either direct or indirect competitors, and it is critical to understand your company's competitive advantages.
4. To better understand your customer. Why do they buy when they buy? Why don’t they when they don't? An in-depth customer analysis is essential to an effective business plan and to a successful business.
5. To enunciate previously unstated assumptions. The process of actually writing the business plan helps to bring previously "hidden" assumptions to the foreground. By writing them down and assessing them, you can test them and analyze their validity.
6. To assess the feasibility of your venture. How good is this opportunity? The business plan process involves researching your target market, as well as the competitive landscape, and serves as a feasibility study for the success of your venture.
7. To document your revenue model. How exactly will your business make money? This is a critical question to answer in writing, for yourself and your investors. Documenting the revenue model helps to address challenges and assumptions associated with the model.
8. To determine your financial needs. Does your business need to raise capital? How much? The business plan creation process helps you to determine exactly how much capital you need and what you will use it for. This process is essential for raising capital for business and for effectively employing the capital.
9. To attract investors. A formal business plan is the basis for financing proposals. The business plan answers investors' questions such as: Is there a need for this product/service? What are the financial projections? What is the company's exit strategy?
10. To reduce the risk of pursuing the wrong opportunity. The process of creating the business plan helps to minimize opportunity costs. Writing the business plan helps you assess the attractiveness of this particular opportunity, versus other opportunities.
11. To force you to research and really know your market. What are the most important trends in your industry? What are the greatest threats to your industry? Is the market growing or shrinking? What is the size of the target market for your product/service? Creating the business plan will help you to gain a wider, deeper, and more nuanced understanding of your marketplace.
12. To attract employees and a management team. To attract and retain top quality talent, a business plan is necessary. The business plan inspires employees and management that the idea is sound and that the business is poised to achieve its strategic goals.
13. To plot your course and focus your efforts. The business plan provides a roadmap from which to operate, and to look to for direction in times of doubt. Without a business plan, you may shift your short-term strategies constantly without a view to your long-term milestones.
14. To attract partners. Partners also want to see a business plan, in order to determine whether it is worth partnering with your business. Establishing partnerships often requires time and capital, and companies will be more likely to partner with your venture if they can read a detailed explanation of your company.
15. To position your brand. Creating the business plan helps to define your company's role in the marketplace. This definition allows you to succinctly describe the business and position the brand to customers, investors, and partners.
16. To judge the success of your business. A formal business plan allows you to compare actual operational results versus the business plan itself. In this way, it allows you to clearly see whether you have achieved your strategic, financing, and operational goals (and why you have or have not).
17. To reposition your business to deal with changing conditions. For example, during difficult economic conditions, if your current sales and operational models aren’t working, you can rewrite your business plan to define, try, and validate new ideas and strategies.
18. To document your marketing plan. How are you going to reach your customers? How will you retain them? What is your advertising budget? What price will you charge? A well-documented marketing plan is essential to the growth of a business.
19. To understand and forecast your company’s staffing needs. After completing your business plan, you will not be surprised when you are suddenly short-handed. Rather, your business plan provides a roadmap for your staffing needs, and thus helps to ensure smoother expansion.
20. To uncover new opportunities. Through the process of brainstorming, white-boarding and creative interviewing, you will likely see your business in a different light. As a result, you will often come up with new ideas for marketing your product/service and running your business.
Since 1999, Growthink's business plan experts have assisted more than 1,500 clients in launching and growing their businesses, and raising more than $2 billion in growth financing.
Need help with your business plan?
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Dj Baker says
I find this a very simple, yet effective, breakdown of the reasons why a business plan is absolutely essential. From personal experience these 20 reasons our very much the truth. It is also very reassuring to know that there are trustworthy sites out there who do contain valuable information. Much appreciated, DjPosted at 5:24 pmdan says
thanks for the news letter, we are in the air cooling business. using air conditioners. we supply LG units. our major challanges has for the last 6 months been reliable suppliers of LG products at a competitives price. we do not have enough money to qualify as dealers hence we depend on thers, when i read the 20 reasons , i reflected to find out why our clients buy from us , and why others do not. thank you.Posted at 5:19 amSindi says
Thanks for this article. It is indeed a great eye opener for me. Didn't realise there's so much a business plan can reveal about any enterprise.Posted at 1:49 pmMohammed Ajmal says
Thanks for the all this valuable info free of cost.Posted at 11:22 ammanas says
hi all this site such a wonder full i would like to thanks to all of u those who operating this websitePosted at 1:53 amSuzanne Muusers says
Just found this post. What a great list of reasons to write a business plan. I particularly like: 13. To plot your course and focus your efforts. All too often I meet entrepreneurs who have been running their business for years without a business plan, and their business shows it. Writing a business plan creates the INTENTIONS and structure for success. Thank you, SuzannePosted at 11:41 amprivate placement memorandum says
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I'm preparing on opening a flavored coffee bar in San Diego and my company companion is heading to leave his work and operate the business, even though I ongoing to operate my day time job. Would it be much better for each of us to leave our careers in dive in mind first? Or mainly because I possess a company companion prepared to operate it entire time to remain at my present work and never arrive right up until the company is established?Posted at 8:45 pmSamantha says
I think if you are looking forward to have a business then you must have a very well structured plan otherwise your business might not bring any good to you. Sam from Calgary ListingsPosted at 2:35 pmMia says
A good plan is a must for everyone who is going to make some mark in the business. It should be implemented too. I'm currently finding out some herniated disc treatments and I think I'll get some help soonPosted at 4:18 pmSamantha says
Sometimes I wonder how can someone start a business without a plan but there are people who actually do that but I'm sure their business doesn't last for long. The things that you mentioned above are absolutely necessary. Thanks - hemorrojderPosted at 6:42 amSamantha says
That is a great post! I missed few of the points that you have mentioned above but I'm going to be a little more watchful next time. Thanks! Samantha from Cat Health TipsPosted at 6:14 amjenny says
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I like the first 5 ones. This article is a good insight for people related to this field. video clips onlinePosted at 5:20 amAmanda says
Business plan is a must to succeed, whether it is offline or online. On My Blog I talk about factors that are required for online success.Posted at 6:43 am
Via Marc Kneepkens
Jose Gonzalez's insight:
Very true !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
At the last two of our Summer Learning Series events, some angel investors shared their own perspectives and experiences. Surprisingly enough, the advice seemed to circle back to the concept that the process for choosing investors (and co-investors) needs to be given as much attention and priority as the process of vetting potential startup investments.
As one presenter, Dr. Floyd Taub – physician, entrepreneur and angel investor – wisely analogized – having a startup is like having a baby. Exactly what and how much you feed it (as well as who might be feeding it) is very important. As Dr. Taub said:
“Entrepreneurs need to be re-educated from the frequent initial thought that they are ‘selling their baby’ to understand that they are selling paper in order to ‘feed their baby’. Not only do babies frequently starve, but those who are underfed, may be stunted or at least have a significant and costly growth delay.”
I’m a real fan of analogies, so this really resonated with me. I thought I’d embrace my analogyitis and take this a step further with a few examples that can apply to both babies and startups…
To read the full article and check out these new startups, click on the title.
I was motivated to write this article because I realized that telling you how to develop a small business plan is just not the same as showing you exactly what needs to be included in one. I hope you know that building a ...