Friday, 3 May 2013

Business Planning Made Easier: 3 Top Business Plan Apps to Create Business Plans

It’s time small business owners stopped concentrating on negative statistics indicating that most businesses don’t celebrate their fifth birthday. Instead, they should ask themselves this critical question: What should we do to achieve business success?

Business planning is the ultimate way of achieving business success. Tim Berry’s recent survey indicates that a well written business plan doubles the chances of a business success.
Finances are the foundation of business growth. However, not all businesses have adequate cash to support sustainable growth. Therefore, they turn to lenders and potential investors who demand actionable business plans before pledging their financial support.
Unfortunately, most business owners face difficulties in preparing actionable business plans. Doing market and industry analysis, forecasting business performance over a period of 3-5 years, outlining marketing strategies, preparing product (s) description, and preparing accurate financial projections are some of the difficulties most business owners undergo during business planning.
Developers have come up with business plan apps to help business owners write good business plans worth presenting to lenders and potential investors. Here are 3 top apps that can help business owners create business plans easily…
1.      Business Plan Premier
Lenders and potential investors are mostly interested in financial statements of the business. In his guest post, Rob Severson warns business owners to never tell a banker “I want to explain a few things before giving you my financial statements.

Business plan premier , an iPad-based business plan app, enables business owners come up with accurate balance sheet and income statements based on the data they provide. What Rob puts across is that financial statements should “speak for themselves”.

This App connects you to over 3000 potential investors. It enables you craft vision and mission statements, develop a marketing plan, carry out SWOT analysis, identify target market, prepare product description, estimate start-up expenses and create executive summary.
It allows you to export the complete business plan as a Microsoft Word Document that can easily be edited, printed, uploaded to Dropbox or emailed to colleagues.

2.      Enloop
Lenders and potential investors use financial ratios, for instance debt coverage and quick ratios, to evaluate business viability.
Enloop, a web-based app, gives you a ratio analysis most important to lenders.
Based on the data fed, it generates Sales, Profit and Loss, Cash Flow and Balance Sheet forecasts. It generates accurate graphs and charts that match industry-standard reporting criteria used by bankers, investors and CPAs. It is equipped with EPS Score that ensures you don’t get unrealistic forecasts which lead to business failure. It comes with a Free Edition and more advanced editions ranging from $9.95 to $39.95.

3.      Stratpad
Stratpad is a must have for business owners writing a business plan for the first time. It includes a 58-page strategy and business planning tutorial. It is packed with free on-demand training videos, free live email support, a summary business plan, a project plan report and 3 samples strategic business plans.
It comes with a free Edition and more advanced editions ranging from $9.99 to $54.99. The more advanced editions allow you to export financial information to spreadsheets, attach color logo to reports, and email business plan file to team members and clients.
There is no reason why you should run a business without a business plan. Take advantage of these Business Plan Apps to “up” your business game!
Dedicated to your business success, Samuel Githinji.

Friday, 11 January 2013

7 Smart Ideas for Spicing up Your Business during Downtime

During downtime, most businesses are interrupted with financial problems. All businesses strive hard to get out of financial burden but fail to do so.  It is hard to deal businesses during downtime. The production cost, manufacturing of products and maintenance of machinery are reduced dramatically to cope with financial difficulty.  Proper planning and precautionary measures may save your business from falling down. 

Planning on how to increase your business performance during down time?

Here are some tips to change your business plan during downtime: 


  1. Plan for future:  Prepare a marketing calendar for your business to assess market conditions.  Marketing calendar is the best way to enhance your business with different opportunities.  You have to assess your previous track record to know the reasons for down time.  Find out the solutions for your committed mistakes. Ensure that you are not going to entertain this type of mistakes further in future.  

  1. Set up service for customers: Building long-lasting and strong relationship with customer is essential for any business. Mainly at the time of down time you should not loose valuable customers who bring profits to your organisation. In down time quality of customer service may harm your business plans. There are some situations which may affect customer satisfaction, find out solutions to build a long-lasting relationship with consumers. 

  1. Review:  Make use of down time to review your business plans.  Go through your old data to find loopholes and causes of failures. Reviewing your business plans is the best option to know the present status of your business.

  1. Train employees: Workforce is the real strength to any business. If you take any successful business story, there are hardworking employees who stay behind the scenes to make the business successful.  Training employees with latest and updated information and enhancing their skills with seminars and business meetings is the best option to boost your employees during down time.  Utilize your free time to know business ideas from employees.  Workforce can give successful ideas to improve your profits as they know the real position of the organisation.

  1. Add services and products: Most people think that reducing the manufacturing of some products may save handsome amount of money, but in reality it won’t. If you want to gain more profits think innovatively to launch new products to occupy the market.  Flood the market with latest marketing and advertising strategies.  It is the best way to earn extra amount of money during downtime.

  1. Risk management policy: Risk management strategies have saved many businesses from down time as it is the most powerful plan to bring back the old and golden days of your business.  If you have taken any loan to meet your financial needs in business. Make sure you payment protection insurance along with the loan. If you are unable to pay the monthly instalment, ppi will help to pay the monthly payments and later with the help of PPI Claims, you can get a refund.

  1. Be positive:  To be strong in the everlasting competition, you should never lose hope, improve your positive attitude to reach new heights in business environment. 

About the Author:
The guest post was contributed by Leo, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Find out more about her finance related blogs at financeport