business plan

08

Apr'19

What Should I Do Before Starting a Business?

What are the essential things to do before starting a business? We identify three important components.

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02

Apr'19

Business Plan or Idea?

Which is more important: a great business idea or a super business plan? The answer is clear: this isn't a chicken or egg question … the idea comes first. But it’s just an idea, imperfect, a shiny object, dimly perceived, not fully grasped.

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08

Feb'19

Priorities in Starting a Business

What are the three most important priorities in starting a business? Business planning, your business organization, and being prepared mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

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26

Oct'18

Key Factors for Success of a New Business

What are the key factors for the success of a new business? Everything you learned in Entrepreneur and Fast Magazine is probably wrong. Those magazines are pornography for business starters, and no I don’t mean that they contain images like you’d see on www.tubev.sex it’s just a figure of speech. This is going to be damn hard work. Harder than you figured, by a factor of 5. You can’t go home at 5. Most people just give up, exhausted and spent. Burn-out within 15 months is common. You are going to feel a lot of pain, anxiety, fear, angst and dread. If you can’t deal with it, if you’re not tough enough, it’s all over. Flame out comes sometimes within a year, most often after the 2nd year. You are going to have to plan things out. Which means you better do your research. Most available research is rubbish. You have to dig, hard. The vast majority of business plans aren’t worth the paper they are on. Business starters have to understand the dynamics of their businesses, and the key elements to success. Nothing happens until something is sold. Having the perfect product but no sales is guaranteed failure. You …

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27

May'18

Should I Go All-In and Invest All my Savings into my Startup?

All in? Invest everything you have into your Start-Up? No reserves except credit cards? Throw caution to the wind, jump onto that boat and make it float? If it springs a leak, use credit (borrowings) to float it for a while, until it finally floats? Eventually, sail off into the sunset with the gentle wind at your back, the beautiful girl at your side. I like the idea. Reality might be something entirely different. Do you have a business plan? Have you thought out what can ( and probably will) go wrong? Have you figured out how your competition succeeds? Have you really done the research to know what your costs and risks are? Remember, you are about to put real money into this… A true story may clarify. I have a good friend who started a business. At first they did very well. He upped the ante and put all his cash into it. Then the recession hit, and he weathered the storm, but incurred over $ 90,000 of credit card debt to keep it afloat. Limped along for several very stressful years. End of the story is he got lucky and found someone to buy the business for …

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19

May'18

How do I start a business with no experience?

How do you start a business with no experience? Maybe you haven’t worked in a job, other than maybe a temporary job in school. Becoming an entrepreneur, doing a start-up, and being successful is not as easy as it might be portrayed in Entrepreneur or Fast Company, or Inc magazines. They highlight the .1%, not the 95% who didn’t make it. My suggestion is that you shouldn’t start a business just yet, because you really need to have a lot more experience working for someone before you start your own business. Starting a business is hard. You have to know a lot about business, taxes, employees, marketing, organization, etc. Yes, you can learn a lot about these things at school, taking the appropriate courses, but as the saying goes, “in theory there is no difference between theory and practice, in practice, there’s a big difference.” Truer words have never been spoken. Now a lot of people are going to jump all over me saying “you don’t need any experience, just do it! There are many examples of people who did exactly that and succeeded.” Right. And for every one of them, there are 100 you don’t hear about who tried …

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24

Apr'18

What Should You Know to Analyze a Financial Statement?

What do you need to know to analyze a financial statement? The answer is a little complicated. Here are the things you should know: A basic understanding of accounting. You need to be able to appreciate what the various components of a financial are, and where they come from. You need to understand the pitfalls of financial reporting, and the limitations of GAAP. A good understanding of the tools of financial analysis, how they are used and what they reveal. Things like ratios, trend lines, scatter charts, and the like are important tools, if you know how to use them. A good understanding of the industry. You need to know what is expected and what is unusual. Without some comparative information and background, your financial analysis of the company is in a vacuum, and probably meaningless. A good understanding of the business. If you don’t know anything about the business except what you see in the financial statements, you don’t know very much. When I read an annual report, I spend far more time reading the explanatory material than actually looking at the financials. I do a web search on the company, try to understand what their products are, their …

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29

Mar'18

What does a Treasurer Do?

What is the function of the treasurer of a company? The answer is simple: the treasury function is all about looking at possibilities, risks, and returns. A treasurer of a company analyzes the economy, the business cycle, the product life cycle and the business plan of the company. What funds are going to be needed? Is there a recession coming or underway? How can funds be deployed for the best risk-adjusted returns? What is the cost of capital? The answers to these questions are all moving targets, and a lot of it is educated guesswork. The treasurer has to work with the management team in formulating and executing the business plan. The work is at the same time very granular and yet also broad brush to the point of conceptual. If they have promising projects, with large risk-adjusted returns on investment, that is where they should put their funds. If they can buy businesses with a good return on investment, they should do it. If they can place the money in investments which pay a greater return than their cost of capital, they should do it. If the Treasurer’s team sees a big recession coming, they may decide to build …

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23

Mar'18

How much money do I need for my startup?

The best amount is the amount you need, plus a contingency fund. The exact amount depends upon the business and the business environment. How will you calculate the “best amount?” The answer is simple: the business plan. Business planning is a lot more than just filling in some pre-formatted spreadsheet, or completing the blanks in some downloaded business plan form. If you’ve done your business plan correctly, you will have a tool that will help you model your business under various situations. You will understand the mathematical model that describes how your activities in marketing and sales translate into cash inflow, and what amount of cash you will have as profit. You will understand your USP ( unique sales proposition), your competition, the market dynamics, and how all of the factors: personnel, material, capital and system interact to produce profits. So what you need to do is work on that business plan. We have a few interesting videos describing the whole process at CEAnow.org.

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19

Mar'18

Do I really need a business plan?

Why? No need to have a business plan. You can go ahead and fly by the seat of your pants and maybe you will be successful. I’ve done it a few times with several businesses and it worked out just fine. ( by the grace of the Lord and blind stupid luck) On the other hand…. your odds of success increase exponentially when you have done your research, done the planning, figured out the business model, have the USP ( unique selling proposition) well defined, and have a keen understanding of what your competition is doing now and planning to do. Your chance for success increases as you can enumerate a carefully thought-out plan of execution, identify the issues you will face, and have a Plan B and Plan C for the “unk-unks” that you will encounter. Gee, do all that and you have a business plan! Need more convincing? Check out our videos on business plans and starting a business at CEAnow.org.

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