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Three Myths About Business Planning

Planning your business is a key step to having successful business operation. Yet a majority of women in small business rarely stop to write how they intend to grow a successful business. The fact that 3 of 5 small businesses fail in the first three to five years should raise warning signals that planning is necessary to make operations a success.

So a question that lingers is, “Why is a business plan so difficult for some entrepreneurs to create?”

This is a question a professional business consultant must know how to answer. Here are three myths that are common among entrepreneurs and often give them the impression that writing their operations document is unnecessary.

1. Just for Start Ups

You can write your business plan at any stage in your operations. In fact, one of the factors that lead to failure is a lack of planning. Like anything else; “Fail to plan and plan to fail.” A simple document that you develop over a short period of time can be the key to doing business in a successful manner.

The beginning of a business is the most common time when a business plan is written. This is when a plan can help put a business on a solid foundation. However, a properly prepared business plan should function as a living document. That means it must grow and change with the business.

Therefore, a business plan can be changed, upgraded or developed at any stage of the business operation. In fact, many people do start without a written document in hand. They just get their business license and start working their business. Later, they stop to write a plan to analyze the business operations. The plan helps to determine future growth patterns, see what’s bringing in the most money and where adjustments should be made.

2. Must be Huge

The myth that writing a business plan means having to stop everything in your life for months keeps many entrepreneurs from even starting a business plan. It is true that a business plan can certainly be extensive. In fact, some can be hundreds of pages with multiple extensive and complex financial projections. But that is for specific purposes such as for investor financing or finding joint venture partners.

Most of these documents can range from one to 20 pages. The point is to make it a document that makes sense for the business you are operating. If you can write what you want to do in one page, that’s all you need. You can whip that up in a few hours. The main thing is considering the various aspects of what you need to do so you know what direction to take in each area.

Write what fits your business, goals, needs, and marketing direction. It can start off small and grow as your business grows.

3. Essentially Useless

The purpose of the writing is to create an operational roadmap for your business. If it’s not usable, the plan hasn’t been well prepared. In fact, it should be pulled out on a daily basis to chart your business operations.

Some reasons why the document may not be usable could include using a template that doesn’t make sense for your business. Instead of being specifically for your operations a template made for another industry of business might be used that creates information or sections that are irrelevant to your business. Trying to fill these in can be so tedious that the writer just puts the plan away and moves on.

Another reason for rendering a plan useless are unrealistic financial projections. By giving false financial numbers it can be frustrating to see that the reality doesn’t produce the expected outcomes. As a result the plan is deemed useless.

The key to this is to work with conservative information in the business plan and be totally realistic about your business and its potential situation.

Writing the Business plan is the best thing an entrepreneur can do. Be aware that many myths have been created about business plans by people that don’t really understand them. Work with a professional that knows the business plan and put your business in order to sustainable success.

Top 7 Tips to Starting Your Business Using Virtual Business Strategies

Most entrepreneurs wanting to start a business make the mistake of using their savings, maxing out their credit cards or borrowing from family, friends or banks to get started. The reason they fall into this trap is because mistakenly they believe this is the only way they can become business owners.

It is important to understand that starting a business in this new Information Age and Knowledge Era, does not require the large funding previously needed in the old, traditional Industrial Age business model. This means the entrepreneur has the ability to start a profitable and reputable business with little to no money out of pocket.

If you are currently planning to start a business, consider the following 7 tips to start a virtual business instead of an offline one. Even if you already started a brick-and-mortar business, you can still apply these tips to your back-office operations:

  1. Use cloud technology for all your back-office systems. In other words, use all internet applications rather than technology hosted in your PC
  2. Set up your entire communication channels using cloud technology
  3. Set up your entire accounting department using cloud technology
  4. Set up your entire customer support using cloud technology
  5. Set up your entire human resources using cloud technology
  6. Set up your entire marketing department using cloud technology
  7. Set up your entire sales department using cloud technology

Don’t delay starting your business because of lack of funds. Hundreds, if not thousands of highly successful virtual businesses get started everyday. In the next 5 to 10 years, all if not most businesses will be run this way. By the simple act of implementing new business model strategies from the start, you have puts yourself miles ahead of the competition.

In cases where the business owner fails to adapt to this new information age business model, the speed to business failure greatly accelerates. If you talked in today’s terms, it would be like using telex machines and telegraphs to conduct day-to-day operations.

A virtual business allows a company to be geographically dispersed. It allows it to meet and support its customers wherever they are located. Employees can work from anywhere, at any time, at any pace; all accessible, networked and coordinated via internet applications.

You can see an example of a real sustainable, successful virtual business (100% virtual and paperless) at http://groupbenefitagency.com

As you can see, with a virtual business, all you need is a computer and internet access to get you going. Anyone can start a virtual business in minutes. You don’t need major start up capital. You don’t need investors. You don’t need to risk months or years trying to break even. You don’t even have to gamble your savings. You can implement sophisticated systems. You can hire the most qualified personnel from anywhere in the world. Most importantly, a virtual business allows you the free time to have a personal life too!

The Benefits You Can Get From Business Credit Card

Why do business owners get business credit cards? Business credit cards have different advantages and each business owner may have his/her own primary reason for obtaining this card. In this article, we will be discussing about the reasons why this cards are continuously gaining popularity. If you are a business owner, getting to know these reasons may help you consider owning one as well.

Managing Finances Made Easy

One of the basic reasons why this cards are in demand is that it helps business managers separate their personal finances from their business finances. Why is this crucial? Perhaps if you’ve just started with your business, you may feel that it’s okay to use your personal credit card for you business expenses. But as your business begins to grow and your expenses get bigger, you’ll see what a big difference it makes not to mix these two finances together. With a this card, separating your business expenses becomes automatic and keeping track of your account is made easier.

The convenience of managing accounts is also an advantage for card owners. The quarterly and yearly account summaries can be used as a reference to your accounting and bookkeeping tasks. More importantly, a business owner have the option to access his card account online at any time so it wouldn’t interfere with your busy schedule.

Keeping the cash flow steady is another factor why business owner prefer to use business credit cards. Every business needs to keep an available funding at all times and having this card makes this possible. By using your card for unexpected expenses, the budget plan is kept intact and uninterrupted.

Business Credit Cards and Rewards

Enjoying the rewards that small business credit cards offer is another major reason why business owners prefer to use them over a personal credit card. Just like with regular cards, the reward programs also vary. A card with a Frequent Flyer Miles Rewards is indispensable for business owners who make business trips often. By availing free travel tickets from their card use, a business can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars in their travel expenses.

On the other hand, this card with a cash back program is great for businesses that spend a lot for their stocks and supplies. It can offer 1% to as much as 5% cash back for every dollar they spend on the card. Obviously, if you add up all your savings together, it will make a significant difference in your business budget.

Finally, small business credit cards are great tools for establishing business credit. As soon as you’re approved for a card, you automatically begin building your credit history for your business. As long as you keep up with your credit card payments promptly and regularly, you’re on your way to building an excellent corporate credit history that will prepare your business for the future.