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Advice from Outside the Square

Category Archives: Business Planning

The Why And How Of Business Planning

OK, you’ve heard me talk about business plans before. Well, this week I’m going to talk about what the business planning process involves, and how you have to include the “why” of your business, why does it exist? You see, people forget that business plans are written to be read. Yes, that’s a revolutionary thought, isn’t it? People think that business plans are boring internal documents that you write so that you can follow them step by step to grow your business. No. That’s called a to-do checklist. Business plans are written to be read – by you, by your team, by outside investors, by supporters, by people close to you. Yes, they do form the basis of what you have to do in order to grow your business – but more than that, a business plan is a story of what you have to do in order to grow your business to become the business that you want. This takes much more than a list of things that are your goals and a list of actions to achieve those goals. This means that your business plan has to be a reminder, an inspiration, it must attract people, it must make them want to be part...
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5 Steps For An Indigenous Organisation To Start A Business

Are you planning to start a new business, either as a commercial business as part of your Indigenous corporation or as a social enterprise, or even as your private Indigenous-owned small business? A for-profit commercial business, even a social enterprise where you reach out to external "customers" in an enterprise that generates benefit for your members, is quite different from a community-controlled organisation that provides services to members. There are significant considerations such as the appropriate and separate legal structure that you would need that would separate the risks of an enterprise from the assets of your organisation. Even if you want to start a private business for yourself or your family, structuring is an important consideration so that you protect your family from the risks of the business. You need to take the proper advice about how to manage these risks. This article is about the steps you should take to ensure that your idea for the enterprise or business is feasible, and how to set it up so that it has every chance of success. Take these 5 steps as you start your considerations and planning. First, make sure that you understand what it takes to be in business for yourself, and assess your own...
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How To Explain Your Business Plan To Your Team

So, you've completed your Business Plan? Whatever it is, apart from starting to implement it – do you know what’s the most important thing for you to do now?

Explain it!

Who do you have to explain it to? Well, it depends – if you have a team of employees, you need to explain it to them. If you are work on your own but you use contractors, virtual assistants or friends to help you in your business – you need to explain your plan to them. Even if you work totally alone – you need to explain your plan to at least your spouse and family, if not your bank or other people involved in helping you. These are your “stakeholders” and you need to explain your big new plan to them because people hate change, and a plan represents change. If your plan affects them (how could it not?) you need to explain it to them. You also need to ensure that the people involved know about your plan - and especially the parts that they have to play - so that they can help you as required. You want them enthusiastic about the new ideas and the direction you...
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Are You Starting Your First Business? Get These 6 Things Right!

Are you starting your first business? If you are like most people who want to start their own business people, you probably decided to do so because you are an expert in what you do, you believe you can do it better as your own boss, and you want your independence and ability to do it your own way. Today, this seems even more possible due to the technology that you can use from home or a shared space that allows you to keep costs down when you start up. While there are even government websites encouraging you (there’s one that has a header “Open for Business: Simple, Fast, Easy) headlines still exist that shout out nearly 80% of businesses close within 18 months of starting – and you can bet most of these are micro, small, and "kitchen table" businesses. Nevertheless, our enthusiasm as human beings for the life of freedom is boundless, and once you conquer the fear of failure, most of us grasp the chance and plunge in. The question is not “will you start your own business” but “how will you start your business with least risk of failure”. So here are the 6 things I believe you need, gleaned from...
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