How To Put Together a Strategic Business Plan

What is a Business Plan?

Most people assume you only have to write a business plan if you are going to seek capital from a bank or other lending institution. This is not always the case.

Most plans are driven by market needs and aims. The importance of having a business plan is to ensure your business remains on target for goals and objectives set for that financial year and for the future. There is no real difference between a business plan and a ‘strategic business plan’. You could say that every plan is a strategic one.

Most plans are driven by marketing, since you have to look outwards at the market, the market place, products and services before being able to look inwards at the company and finances.

Part of the business plan will include a marketing strategy, looking at how you will achieve growth, where to market and who to market to. Many people look at marketing as ‘selling’ but it is more than that. It’s about ‘branding’, image and building trust within the marketplace, about identifying the people who you need to market to. It’s about customer engagement and identifying your niche market and where they hang out. The Marketing strategy also looks at product development, customer service, ongoing training, the marketing system used to capture lead generation and how to retail to your customer on an ongoing basis, getting repeat customers, not just once off.

Why is it needed?

Having a plan helps you to define growth for your company, and expansion. It helps to keep you focused and on track.

Writing a business plan is not as complex as most people think, there are lots of templates out there on the market place that can help with the format.

Here are some quick tips for researching and putting together your marketing strategy:

· Determine your company values or ‘mission statement’, this will help to keep you on track as it is easy to get distracted without a mission statement.

· Do your market research, who are your audience? Your competitors? Who are your products aimed at? Where do they hang out?

· What is your unique selling point? What makes you stand out from your competitors

· What are your competitors activity? How do they compare to yours?

· What is it you are trying to achieve in your company / business? What are your aims?

· Are your products or services competitive? Do they stand out?

· What’s your customer service level like? Compared to your competitors?

· Have you got your marketing strategy right?

· Have you determined your advertising budget, your company brand etc?

· Market expansion – any plans for this?

· What will your business be like in 3 to 5 years time? Plan for growth financially and products, service wide.

Here are some great sites that offer more information on business planning and templates that you can use when producing a business plan.

U Style It

Business Balls

If you have found this post useful, let me know and leave me a comment below.

Feel free to share this with others on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc…

A Simple Way to Increase Your Business’ Production

Increasing business production is ever the goal for nearly any ambitious entrepreneur, but most business owners are too busy to take the time to figure out how to be more efficient, effective, or profitable.

The first setback is that most small business owners are so busy doing the day to day work of keeping the company profitable that they don’t take time to look at how to do things better. It is often called being stuck working ‘in’ the business rather than ‘on’ the business.

The good news is that once you realize you’ve fallen victim to this common entrepreneurial trap, it’s simply a matter of setting aside time to make plans and continually work on the improvement of business results.

However, even with goals and objectives in place, most small business owners find themselves setting these plans aside and falling right back into the rut of working in the trenches of the daily grind.

If this is happening to you (as it happens to nearly everyone) there is a little used, simple business tool to help you increase you business production quickly and effectively. It is creating accountability.

Accountability is one of the most overlooked, yet incredibly valuable tools that a small business owner has at his disposal – if he’ll only use it. I know this from personal experience in coaching 100′s of entrepreneurs to help them improve their results and bottom line profits.

So here’s the secret: You need to create a simple, efficient format that will create accountability to your team, your business partner, or someone else. Knowing that you have to report about your progress and results to someone will ALWAYS be sure to improve your results.

So here is a quick structure to create accountability for yourself in order to stay more focused and get better results in your business on a weekly basis:

1) Review your goals from the previous week.

2) Address why you didn’t complete any goals and how to create structure or a plan to not allow those challenges to stop you this week.

3) Create goals for the upcoming week.

4) Anticipate anything that will stop you from achieving your commitments and what can be done to overcome those challenges BEFORE they arise.

Also, it is important to note that you must have an agreement from both parties to hold one another accountable. This means possibly putting a structure into place so that you have an incentive to complete your commitments or face some sort of ramifications.

This ‘permission’ to hold one another to a high standard is paramount to making this process effective and will multiply your business (and personal) production exponentially.

Here’s the best part, if you structure your accountability program properly, it shouldn’t take more than 10-20 minutes per week to set and review your business goals, and will absolutely increase your business production and success.

Immigrate to New Zealand for Better Business Opportunities!

Many people are now looking to expand their business ventures by moving to different countries. Well some might be interested to invest in developing countries while some might think to invest in the developed countries. The choice to make an investment depends upon the perception of the businessman. One of countries where one can invest happens to be New Zealand.

To make an investment in New Zealand the applicant must contribute a suitable amount which is decided by the New Zealand Government. The decision is taken as per the ownership in the existing business. The agent or the immigration consultant can help people to make a right decision.

Those who want to migrate to New Zealand in search of better business opportunities can either apply for the Investor Plus Category or Long Term Business Visa category. These two are the best categories which are suitable for the New Zealand Business Immigration program.

In the Investor plus Category, there are two types of visa for which one can apply for. These are the Investor Plus visa or Investor visa. In the first category, the minimum investment made must amount to NZ$ 10 million for at least three years. In the second category, the minimum invest must be NZ$ 1.5 million for at least four years.

Besides the investment criteria, there are several other requirements which need to be fulfilled by the applicant. Those applying for Investor category must be below 65 years while those applying for Investor Plus category have no age limit. Also there is no business experience required for Investor Plus category, while for the other the applicant must have experience of minimum three years.

Other than the age criteria, the settlement fund criteria must also be fulfilled. Those who are applying for Investor category must have settlement fund amounting to NZ$ 1 million while there are no requirements of settlement funds for Investor Plus category.

Those who are looking to apply for the Long Term Business Visa category must first submit the required documents, like the ownership in the existing business, health reports, character reports, English language requirement, and few others. The most important document is the business proposal or the business plan.

This business proposal must include all the details about the type of business to be established in the nation and the other details, which can be the amount of money to be invested, or the places where the business plant will be established. With these details, there are some other details also which the business plan must have.

One must have enough funds to be able to live properly in the country. These funds are excluded from the investment made. If all the requirements are fulfilled, the New Zealand government will grant a visa for nine months which will give a chance to the applicant to establish their business. Before nine months, one must give detailed report about the business development, and then he will be given a Long Term Business Visa.