Basics of Creating a Small Business Plan

Starting a new business can be a daunting task but a rewarding one. This article is meant to help give some direction to someone that is thinking about starting their own business. A general idea of what ground work you need to think about and start planning for if you are serious about pursuing your dreams and making them become a reality.

First, you need a business plan which may seem cumbersome but is extremely necessary to flesh out the feasibility of your ideas. Not to mention a good business plan is vital to gaining loans or grants to fund the project.

A Business Plan should at least include but is not limited to the following:

1. Name of the business
2. Who are your competitors?
3. What makes your product or service better than your competition?
4. Do you have any strategic business partnerships you can leverage?

• If you are a caterer can you partner with a hall? This way you are guaranteed so much business & start a word of mouth client base.

5. Definition of who your customers are

6. How you are going to market & sell to your customers

• Are you going to use website, flyers, radio ads, strategic partnerships
• Market analysis can be done with the help of:

US Department of Commerce and Census Bureau
National Trade and Professional Association directory
Web-based: Google Trends, Trends Map & Social Mention Linked-in
Annual Survey of Buying Power produced by Sales and Marketing Management magazine – This can help with projected revenues.

7. Define your product or service
8. Develop a mission statement, branding & message you want to advertise
9. Legal Paperwork -

• Need a license, then speak to your state’s department of licensing and regulatory affairs.
• Patent ideas -Contact the Patent and Trademark Depository Library. Find out if you have an original idea and who to talk to if you need a patent attorney.
• Copyrights have to be registered with the government for about $65.
• Determine what type of business you are going to register under ie

- Sole proprietorships register a “Doing Business As” with the county clerk.
- Limited Liability Corporation(LLC), INC, PLC register with the state ie MI Dept of Energy & Labor

Working with a lawyer that specializes in zoning and business law can be helpful to avoid pitfalls. They can set you up with legal paperwork for clients to sign in an effort to reduce settlements. Business lawyers can help keep clients from coming after personal assets in the case of lawsuits ie LLC setup. They may have ideas depending on how you setup your business as to what insurance you will need too. As anything it is good to get at least three bids from different companies to get the best deal for your business.

10. What are you going to need to get your business up and running?

• New Structure & Land – Contact the planning office about zoning laws and building permits
• Existing structure – Contact the planning office about zoning laws and who to contact about getting a licensed inspector because not all inspectors have any ie electrical or HVAC licenses. If you run a business out of your primary residence you can sometimes bypass a business tax on your property but may need a inspection to make sure you are compliant with current codes. Check to see what local laws apply to you.

11. List of Expenditures ~Split into initial setup fees & annual cost of doing business:

Business Lawyers

Zoning & buying land, Setup of DBA or LLC + registration fees,client legal forms to reduce settlements, Copyrights/ Patent Costs and Business Insurance

Licensed Skilled Trades

Inspector Fees, Permits, licensed electrician/ HVAC/ plumber to bring you up to code.

Equipment / Supplies

Renting Building, computer, printer/fax/copier, Bulk supplies, Used/ surplus equipment

Marketing /Sales

Initial Market Analysis Costs, $120 setup a domain name & website/yr, $200/yr list with search engines & use clickthrough services to increase web traffic, flyers & radio ads

Employees

Your annual wage & health Insurance, employee wages, Payroll accountant or software. Speak to a business account to see if you need software for payroll that includes health insurance/workmen’s Compensation Insurance/Social Security/ state and federal tax with holdings.

Note whenever I have managed projects and budgets I add 15% to projected costs. This is in an effort to cover unexpected events ie building delay due to weather that puts you behind on opening and therefore reducing anticipated revenues. Or used equipment may break and need to be replaced. Your list will vary but the above list is a basic start to making an expenditure list for your business.

12. Projected annual revenue – Include how you are coming up with these numbers.
13. Projected Return on Investment (ROI) for investors
14. Exit plan – This defines what happens if you go out of business and how your stakeholders who invested in the business are going get their money back ie sell equipment, etc.

This is not an all inclusive list for everything contained in your business plan but should give you a good idea of where to start. Once you have a good portion of the above information worked out and written down. Then you could see one of the below organizations to help you work out additional kinks and polish the business plan. Then you can seek out people to fund your business.

Groups who help small businesses

• US Chamber of Congress
• National Federation of Independent Business
• National Association of the Self-Employed
• Small Business Administration & state level small business development centers
• Senior Core of Retired Executives (S.C.O.R.E)

Funding Sources

A.) Banks- They do not generally want ownership but interest. Their repayment times can vary but range many times from 5-10 years.

• Sam’s Club Small Business Loans • Bank loans

B.) Venture Capitol- Many times they want 15-30% ownership in the business plus 15-30% return on investment. Repayment times are varied but can be 5-10 years depending on the type of revenue being produced & amount of ownership they negotiate.

http://globalconnect.ucsd.edu/
https://angel.co/venture-capital

C.) Grants – These are funds you do not have to pay back but generally have to fill out a lot of paperwork and jump through the proper hoops to attain.

• Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR)
• Federal Grants
• Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

Forex Education Tips – 5 Steps to Successful Forex Trading

Close to 95% of all Forex traders will lose money. We’re not just talking about novices, either. Whether you trade Forex for a living, as a hobby or just for fun, odds are against your success. That’s a simply astonishing fact. However, the remaining 5% of Forex traders somehow manage to break even and there are those lucky few that actually make money in the currency market – consistently!Like the TV show says … “How’d they do that, anyway?”That’s the million dollar questions, isn’t it? Countless books, seminars and expos have been hosted to answer this very question. That sad fact is that thousands of books have been written and countless seminars and interviews have been conducted in an attempt to answer the magic questions. The reality of the situation is that there is no magic formula; no one single Holy Grail of Forex trading.So what do the successful traders do that the rest of us have simple not comprehended. They have mastered a process of winning where they combine and customize several factor to produce consistent results. They have mastered the Process of Trading.The Process of Trading is:Strategy > Money Management > Self-MasteryHere are some simple Forex Education tips to help you master the process of forex trading:Success Tip #1 – You’ve Got To Have a PlanYou must have a written business plan that will detail all aspects of your trading. When are you going to trade, how much to risk, strategies for entries and exits are just o name a few. To become a consistent (profitable) Forex trader you have to plan your trade sand trade your plan.

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Simplicity rules! Don’t make this plan too complicated. One sheet of paper for you mission statement and another for your trading plan should suffice. Anything more is probably too complicated.Success Tip #2 – Focus on Your Personal PsychologyKnowing yourself will allow you to master the discipline necessary to execute high quality trades with solid money management techniques. Lack of discipline is fatal in Forex trading. Go on a personal journey to identify you attitudes towards risk and money. Get intimate with your strengths and weaknesses as a trader and build in to your trading plan strategies to minimize those weaknesses and maximize your strengths.Different personalities lend to different trading styles. Get familiar with all the different styles and over time you will begin to gravitate towards one particular style. Don’t fight the urge like I did. I insisted I was a day trader, but had only limited results. I found my winning percentages were much higher when I entered swing trades. Guess what’s my bread and butter strategy now!Success Tip #3 – Be Realistic About Your ExpectationsThis is a hard one, I know! I am on the internet every day and the amount of advertising is staggering. Brokers are offering free education (fox in the hen house if you ask me), forums of all different trading styles and points of view. Gurus pushing their system as “the one” that will make you the big bucks. How do you get through all that noise?Let me tell you loud and clear right now – everyone is right and everyone is wrong. You have to make a personal commitment to become a successful trader, find a trading style that works for you and expect a slow and steady approach to wealth building through Forex.What works for me may not work for you. Expect to go through an exploratory period where you are learning and at the same time exploring yourself as a trader. Keep an open mind and don’t pay attention to all the noise out there.Success Tip #4 – Exercise PatienceRome was not built in a day and neither will your trading account. In fact, I tell all of my students that while they are studying to become successful Forex traders they should not look solely at their account balance as an indication of success or failure.By tracking and increasing your percentage of high quality trades you execute is a far better barometer of your progress than your account balance. Cause and effect rule here. Over time when you increase your probabilities through the execution of high quality trades your account balance will respond accordingly.Keep the focus on the process and with time your results will blow your mind.Success Tip #5 – Money Management Is Top PriorityI would rather have a shaky strategy and excellent money management techniques than the other way around. This topic warrants its own blog post to do it justice. Limited your exposure (read “risk”) allows for you to stay in the game and allow the laws of probability to work.

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Let’s take a casino for example. They need gamblers to frequent their slot machines to make money. Why? They have a game that has a greater than 50% chance of making money for the house. The more people that play the slots, the greater the casino’s profits.The casino controls risk by payout tables (always favoring the house!) and increases their probabilities by keeping gamblers at the slot machines (read “free drinks”). As a trader you must limit your risk by committing only 1% – 3% of available capital to a single trade. When you execute enough trades with a high probability strategy you too can clean up like the casinos – but only by staying in the game long term.In conclusion, Forex trading is not easy. It’s hard work and will test the limits of your patience and perseverance. If anyone tells you otherwise .., buyers beware! It can be a very rewarding and profitable venture if done correctly. In the end it is a profession that requires a learning curve and practical experience, no different than an airline pilot or engineer. Understanding how to approach and learn this game will allow you to reap all the benefits advertised. It is your Forex Education that you will master the Process of Forex Trading.

The Energy Healing Power of Natural Medicine

Natural medicine is a system that uses a variety of therapeutic or preventive health care practices such as homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic, and herbal medicine. Alternative medicine is also known as traditional, naturopathic, natural or holistic medicine. Proponents of alternative medicine are not refuting the validity of discoveries in and the practical uses of conventional medicine, but are merely trying to put some things into perspective. Due to the widespread interest in natural medicine along with the disappointment and disenchantment with Western medicine, many people, especially in the United States and Europe, where conventional medicine has taken a dominant foothold, are seeking the advice and treatment from naturopathic physicians. These practitioners include herbalists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others, who advocate preventative health measures as well as recommend wholesome foods and nutritional supplements for their patients and clients. Considering the growing popularity and effectiveness of alternative health treatments and products, certified and licensed professional practitioners of such medical practices should be given their rightful and respectful place in medical society. Natural medicine has been proven not only to be safe, but more effective than Western medicine in treating many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma and many other diseases as well

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The history of Natural Medicine and its roots can be traced back thousands of years to ancient cultures such as India and China. Ayurvedic (E. Indian) and Chinese medicine, along with their diagnostic and herbal systems, are still used in these countries extensively, as well as in the United States, especially in Europe, where alternative medicine is well respected. Chinese herbal medicine has a documented history of over 2500 years in China, and is now widely used by practitioners all over the world. It has been legally practiced in the United States. since the mid seventies by licensed acupuncturists. Homeopathy is also a well-known form of alternative medicine discovered in the 18th century by German physician Samuel Hahnemann, but was practically stamped out in the U.S. in the late nineteenth century by the American Medical Association. In 1938, though, the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act finally recognized homeopathic pharmacopoeia as the legal equivalent of allopathic medicine.Another more contemporary and popular form of herbal medicine, called Western herbalism, can be traced back about two hundred years in America. Samuel Thomson, born in 1769, is considered the father of Western herbalism. He discovered over sixty different medically effective native plants by clinical testing, and on the basis of these findings, devised a theory of disease and botanical drug action. Randy Kidu, D.V.M., Ph.D., writes in his articled entitled A Brief History of Alternative Medicine: “The history of herbal medicine is interesting because herbs have been a part of our diet and pharmacy since man began roaming the earth. Coprophytic evidence (seeds and other plant part(found in preserved fecal pellets) points to herbal use by cavemen. Early herbalists practiced their trade since before recorded history in all parts of the world including China, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, England, the Americas, and Europe. Many herbs are also mentioned in the Bible. Today, based on sheer numbers of folks who use one form of herbal medicine or another, it remains the most-used medicine worldwide.”Twenty-five hundred years after the advent of allopathic medicine, modern medicine is still grappling with the idea that herbal medicine could be an effective treatment, and not just quackery, although thousands of years of recorded history has proved its efficacy. A new model of understanding in medicine needs to be incorporated into the existing allopathic model. Because of the growing popularity and effectiveness of natural medicine, practitioners may eventually be given their deserved place in medical society. The incorporation of natural medical practices into the existing model of conventional Western medicine, including the training of new medical doctors, is now called Complimentary Medicine. In order to solve our health problems, this modern paradigm for treatment in medicine must be promoted. This can only truly emerge when bias, self-interest, greed and discrimination is discarded and diverse medical knowledge is promoted and shared, not only between university trained scientists and medical doctors, but among Alternative Medicine practitioners, philosophers, metaphysicians, and other intelligentsia of society as well.

Skip The Lines – Bring The Amusement Park Right To Your Own Back Yard

There’s no shortage of things to do in Atlanta. From professional sports to amusement parks, there’s something for everyone. In fact, Atlanta is proud to house some of the nations largest amusement attractions, including the ever popular Six Flags Over Georgia. Children (and adults) love the thrill and adrenaline rush of the large roller coasters. However, one thing most people don’t like about amusement parks is the long lines. By the time it’s all said and done, you can spend several hundred dollars for your family to have an afternoon of fun, and only get a few rides in. This year, instead of spending the day waiting in long lines for short rides, why not bring the fun right to your back yard? With today’s technology, you can literally do just that! One of the advantages of living in a large city like Atlanta is that we have large rental companies that can make your special event feel just like a trip to Six Flags… complete with a train and an ice cream cart!

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If you’re trying to replicate the amusement park feel, there are definitely specific items that you’ll want to be on the lookout for. As mentioned previously, ice cream carts and trackless trains help make the special event feel more like a day at Six Flags.In order to make your next special event more special, try some of the following tips:

Head online to do some research on the party rental company that has the selection your looking for. If you want an ice cream cart to complete your theme park adventure, look around until you find what you’re looking for.

Don’t settle for the first website you see. There are literally hundreds of inflatable party rental companies in Atlanta. Keep looking for a website that offers a wide variety of rental items that you’re looking for.

It’s better to rent everything from one company. Renting in bulk can help you save money. Larger companies will offer discounts for larger purchases of multiple units and rental items.

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Having a day of amusement park fun is cheaper and easier than ever before. By bringing the amusement park to your front door by using a party rental industry, you can include more people at a lower price. So next time you’re planning a special day, instead of spending tons of money for just a few people and braving the long lines of amusement parks, invite the whole neighborhood and bring the amusement park right to your own back yard!