Your browser does not support JavaScript!
business plans

Don’t Let COVID-19 Destroy Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

Don’t Let COVID-19 Destroy Your Entrepreneurial Dreams

“Only the bold reinvent a business when the traditional environment that made them successful has been completely altered.” – Dr. Anthony M. Criniti

Risk assessment is an essential piece of planning for any business. That said, I would bet very few people approach a social or business enterprise with a pandemic on their risk assessment chart. A global pandemic is as unpredictable and potentially detrimental as it gets. It was March 15, 2020, Dow Jones fell 3000 points, and all of my investments were bleeding. My hands were shivering and there were tears in my eyes looking at the Questrade app on my phone. After a stellar six-figure freelancing revenue in 2019 and spending one week in Cozumel, Mexico in February 2020, I was hoping for a better 2020! I had moved my condo mortgage from a variable interest rate to a fixed interest rate in early 2019 (as a “risk management” against rising interest rates) – so the three prime rate cuts in March 2020 did not ease my pandemic pain.

How has the pandemic affected entrepreneurs?

COVID-19 has had a definite but still unmeasurable impact on the global economy. Those who are feeling the effects the most are small and medium-sized companies without endless financial safeguards and investors to keep them afloat. But as grim as endless lockdowns and capacity restrictions may have felt for those in affected areas, there may be some positive takeaways from this worldwide learning curve, especially in the sphere of entrepreneurship. As it has never been required before, resilience has become a necessity, alongside a capacity for adaptation and persistent ingenuity. 

Fear zone, learning zone, growth zone.

Businesses are crucial for helping society survive an economic crisis and driving the innovation that shapes society post-crisis. A successful entrepreneur operating in the pandemic needs to think outside the box. An open mind and an opportunistic mindset can be a gamechanger. To take advantage of widespread uncertainty, an entrepreneur needs to compartmentalize the surrounding chaos and identify their role within the unpredictability. 

An entrepreneur’s outlook is often quite different than others. The average entrepreneur will see a chaotic time (like a pandemic, for example) as a perfect chance to make a move, turning ideas into financial rewards. This can be true in any industry. Of course, specific sectors are doing better now than before the pandemic. Cleaning services, delivery services, liquor stores, online gaming companies, video communications, telehealth, and tutoring services – most business models prioritizing convenience and at-home enjoyment, alongside sanitization and health spheres, are faring well within the global crisis, at least in terms of profit.

There are also new companies being invented or reinvented almost daily. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented ways of thinking, which leads to changes in consumer behavior. Everyone – consumers, business owners, market analysts – is adjusting to a new business model. The move online has uprooted established habits and expectations, replacing them with entirely different methods of communication, advertising, and functioning.  

How can you maintain (or build up) your business within pandemic uncertainty?

Consider how your product or service fits into the pandemic lifestyle. The world has changed, and so have the values and priorities of different market segments. Be very conscious of your ethos and the way you’re conducting business. Reputations are strengthened and destroyed during times of crisis. Businesses that can support their customers by helping with shortages or making donations are quite often remembered for their goodwill when the economy bounces out. The same is true for the treatment of employees. A respected and supported team during hard times (and anytime, really) enhances a company’s credibility as an employer.

Are you looking for a Vancouver business plan writer to help you with your post-pandemic entrepreneurial dreams? Contact me here, and I’ll be happy to bounce ideas!

Continue Reading
BC_PNP_Business_Plan_Writer

Why Some Business Plans Don’t Receive Funding

Why Some Business Plans Don’t Receive Funding

Have you ever written a business plan before? Your business plan is the first impression any potential investor will get about your venture. Investors go through numerous business plans each year, so you need to ensure that your business plan stands out and has the wow factor. Your business venture could have an excellent product, team, and customer base, but if your business plan doesn’t highlight these correctly, you will face rejection. Investors look for many reasons to say no when they look at business plans, so you need to make sure you give them every reason to say yes. So, let’s look at some of the reasons why business plans don’t receive funding. These will help you ensure that you leave a positive first impression on investors by avoiding these common mistakes.

Not Identifying Competition

One of the common mistakes entrepreneurs make is not identifying competitors or mentioning that they don’t have any competitors. While they think this will fascinate investors, in reality, it sends wrong signals. Be careful when you say there are no competitors for your business. Competitors can be direct or indirect. In your business plan, you should address both types of competitors. Furthermore, once you have identified competitors, lay out the USP and how your product or service is different or unique. This will help investors understand how to plan to overcome competition in the market.  

No Marketing Strategy

Business plans that cannot explain how a business will market, sell, and distribute products or services will fail to convince the investors that they will sustain in the market. Business plans need to provide answers to pressing questions investors could ask. Some critical questions to answer in your business plan include:

  • Who will buy the product or service?
  • Why will they buy it?
  • How will you get the product or service to the target customer?

When detailing the marketing strategy for the business, you will need to explain how you will generate customer interest and make actual sales.

Not Filling a Need

The key to any business’s success is its ability to fill a need or solve a problem in the market. If the business plan doesn’t demonstrate how the company will fill a need, the plan will likely face rejection.

People are ready to pay good money to have their needs filled and pay for a solution to the existing market gap. The greater the pain and the better your product is at alleviating it, the greater your market potential. If your business plan doesn’t explain what needs your business will fill and how you will fill that need, it will be tough to convince investors. 

Too Technical

If your business plan is too technical with a lot of jargon, there is a high chance that the readers will not understand it. Business owners often write their business plans with industry-specific terms that are often confusing to potential readers. The key here is to keep the business plan simple and easy to understand for potential investors. Try to avoid highly technical discussions of the product or market that potential investors may find confusing. 

If you are overwhelmed and need a business plan writer, contact me here. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about your business plan requirements. Here are the top five reasons to hire a business plan writer.

Continue Reading
Hire a business plan writer

Business Plan Software vs. Business Plan Writer

Business Plan Software vs. Business Plan Writer

Are you an entrepreneur looking for business plan writing resources? For any business to succeed, a well-written business plan representing the business and its operations can be crucial. The options available for writing a business plan are either hiring a professional business plan writer or using a business plan software application. Depending on your business and future goals, either can help you put together the business plan you need. Many business owners have difficulty in deciding what will be the best option for writing their business plan. So, let’s look at both options and identify which might be a better fit for your business planning needs. 

Business Plan Software

Business plan software applications are a cost-effective option as compared to hiring a professional business plan writer. Business plan software applications have features that will help you write your business plan, but they have certain limitations. 

A few suitable software applications available on the market allow business owners to have more confidence in their plan before sharing it with potential investors. But there are many reasons you might not want to use business plan software applications given the purpose of your business plan. 

Many of these software applications miss industry insights or even the importance of business experience in the business plan. It’s worth noting that business plan software applications come at a cost, and many business owners can write the same quality business plan for free. The big downfall in many of these applications is that they are standardized and don’t offer flexibility and customization for developing a business plan. 

Business plan software applications serve a purpose, but when seeking investment or potential partners to your business, they fall short in quality, in-depth industry research, local market analysis, competitor analysis, etc. For this reason, many business owners choose to hire a professional business plan writer to create an accurate picture of their business that captures the eye of the potential readers.

Business Plan Writer

A professional business plan writer can take on a more customized approach when writing a business plan. They will conduct relevant market research to gather valuable information, ultimately saving you both time and money. This time saved can then be used to focus on other areas of your business. 

A professional business plan writer knows what to add to a business plan to appeal to investors. They also know the terminology to use while ensuring relevant information is included in the plan to achieve its purpose. 

A professional business plan writer can also be flexible and provide a business plan at any stage of your business process, whether for a new business venture or an already established business. They can revamp and update existing business plans where required. The significant part about hiring a business plan writer is that you will have someone who can continually update and revise your existing plan as your company grows. 

Often, business owners refine their business concept and need to revise the first draft of the business plan. This is where a human connection can make a big difference. By hiring a business plan writer, you are engaging a professional who will write the business plan and also help with brainstorming ideas and strategies along the way. 

Business Plan Software vs. Business Plan Writer

As you can see, there are differences between using business plan software and hiring a business plan writer. Many business owners choose to use business plan software applications to save on the initial costs and write the business plan themselves. However, many end up spending more money further down the line by hiring an editor to review the final document.

Considering the two options, you will first need to decide the purpose of your business plan. If the goal is for your eyes only, then business plan software might be the best option. But, when presenting your business plan to investors for raising capital, it’s more advisable to hire an experienced business plan writer. 

Business plan software can work well in some situations. However, if you are a growth-focused entrepreneur, you will need an in-depth marketing strategy, risk analysis, industry research for securing a bank loan or investor funding. By hiring a business plan writer, you can ensure the business plan meets its purpose the first time around with accurate results. A professionally written business plan can save you time and money eventually. So, focus on your end goal, and then decide for yourself which option will work for you. If you are looking for business plan writing services in Vancouver, contact me here, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about your business plan requirements.

Continue Reading
BC_PNP_Business_Plan_Writer

Eight Things to Do Before Launching Your Business

Eight Things to Do Before Launching Your Business

Launching a small business is like training for a marathon. It’s easy enough to hang a shingle and flip the switch on the open sign, but unless you’ve laid the groundwork, you’ll be like the person who shows up on race day without a single kilometer run on their brand-new running shoes. 

Understand that running a business is work

Yes, a lot of work! It’s stressful and requires a much different level of dedication than working for someone else. There will be extended hours for little pay – on average; it takes two to three years for a business to be profitable. Expect to devote many hours to develop and then refine your small business strategy.

Write a Business Plan 

The business plan is your playbook and is a valuable tool to keep you on track. It assists in providing clarity for your goals and is an aid in tracking the progress of your venture. If you’re seeking funding, most lenders and investors will need to review your formal business plan. There are many business plans writing services and tools to be found online and in your community.

Ensure there’s a demand for your product or service

You believe that your concept is terrific, but the question that needs to be asked is whether consumers feel the same way. Bottled water for dogs may be a hot seller in upscale neighborhoods where tiny, fluffy canines are carried around in designer bags. Still, it will likely be a flop in an area with average owners whose pets drink out tap water and puddles.

Understand your demographic and what makes them tick

What are their buying habits? Study your competitor’s online presence and how they are delivering what people are looking for. What are their customers saying about them? Hiring a business plan consultant at this stage can prove to be a wise business expense. Good consultants are experts on the subject of demographics and the fluid nature of consumer demands.  

“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake, co-founder, Flickr

Have a strong mission

The purpose of your business should drive your every decision. It’s easy to be distracted and lose focus when starting up a business simply because there are many demands. The mission, a part of a solid small business strategy, will keep you focused and prevent you from being pulled in many directions, 

Network, network, network

Joining community groups like the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce or other local service organizations are excellent ways to get to know other businessmen and businesswomen. In these groups, you’ll also be able to meet people who offer valuable services like small business consulting, marketing, and business plan writing. You may also find the potential customers of your products and services in that community.

Assess your finances 

Unless you have a bag of money buried in the backyard, you’ll not only need money for start-up costs, but you’ll have to have the resources to pay the bills until your business begins to turn a profit. Starting small and growing your business slowly will enable you to control your personal and professional finances. If you already have a day job, and this is your side hustle or passion project, you may need to weigh the value of keeping your current job until your business is firmly on its feet.

Find a mentor

Surround yourself with experienced and successful business people. They have been where you are right now, and you’ll find that most are delighted to share what they’ve learned from their experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek out other people’s opinions about your business idea. 

If this seems too much, hire a business plan writer. Need help writing a business plan? Check out more details here Adept Business Plans Inc. I am an independent business plan writer. I can help you write a professional business plan for your startup. If you’re interested in working with me, bouncing ideas, or just want to say hello, I would love to hear from you.

 

Continue Reading
franchise business plan

Tips for writing a franchise business plan

Tips for writing a franchise business plan 

Writing a business plan is a critical step for any business, including planning to own a franchise. Think of the business plan as a detailed map that outlines your journey, helps you identify any potential roadblocks, and paves the way to successfully arriving at your destination. Creating a business plan can help you in anticipating potential challenges and assist you in tempering any unrealistic expectations you may have. It is difficult to bridle enthusiasm when working out a business strategy, and the business plan is an excellent tool to channel that drive. If you are going to be seeking financing, banks and other lending institutions will certainly ask for a detailed business plan. 

Many franchises offer their business plan templates that you can use and adapt. Another perk of a franchise startup is that most of the financial information you will require can be found in their Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Hiring a business plan writer to develop your business plan, reviewing it, and providing feedback, is a wise decision. The money you spend at this step is considered a business expense.

Lenders are busy people and don’t want to read novel-length business plans, so use restraint while being clear and concise. Your work should make the lenders confident that you’re able and ready to take on the franchise and that it will turn a profit in a reasonable amount of time. One of the advantages of franchise ownership is that franchisors have already done the legwork to address lenders’ concerns. While business plans aren’t standardized, there are must-have sections found in every well-written business plan. 

Executive Summary

The executive summary provides a brief overview of the company and the history of the franchise. It also outlines the market size and its characteristics, the competition in that market, and how strong it is. Other points included here are your operational approach and the summary of your financial projections. Some of the information you’ll need can be found in the Financial Disclosure Document.

Management

The key management positions and who will fill these roles are what this section is all about. It’s important to highlight that your managers possess the relevant experience your managers have, driving your franchise towards success. You will also want to highlight the staff/ consultants that the franchisor provides to assist franchisees.

Marketing

This section describes the target market and answers the customers’ questions and how they will be attracted to your business. Outline the competitive advantage your new franchise will enjoy in the market and describe how potential customers perceive the value of your product or service. It will be necessary to briefly outline your marketing and advertising plan and explain how and why they will draw customers to your business.

Pro Forma Financial Projections

Income statements, cash flow statements, and balance sheets that are clear about the anticipated financial performance of the business are found here. All of the material assumptions used to prepare these projections must be carefully and extensively outlined here. When you are working out your numbers, it is crucial to be very conservative. Lenders are realistic, and they understand that unexpected challenges arise no matter how prepared you are.

Financing Needs

This section analyzes all of your startup costs, including the working capital required for the marketing plan and the operating expenses until the business gets to its breakeven point. Occasionally entrepreneurs get to this section, and after crunching all the numbers, they discover that the franchise may not be a good venture or the right fit. It’s much better to understand this sooner rather than later. It’s not a failure at all – it’s good business. When you are writing your business plan, don’t be shy about using all the resources a franchisee will make available to you, including initial training and the Financial Disclosure Document. Some franchises are better than others, and the services of a business plan writer are invaluable. Lastly, remember that your business plan is not a static document tucked away in a filing cabinet. It should be reviewed and revised annually.

Get in touch: If you’re considering creating a franchise business plan, want to revise an existing business plan, or need any advice in the business plan writing world then get in touch! I’d love to hear from you.

Continue Reading
language school business plan

5 Tips for Creating a Language School Business Plan

 

5 Tips for Creating a Language School Business Plan

With more than 7000 languages spoken around our increasingly interconnected world, access to language learning resources has never been more sought after. Language schools can bring the world together by allowing individuals to learn new languages and break down communication barriers. If you have a passion for education and a desire to promote cultural exchange, this could be the right business venture for you. Developing a solid business plan could very well be the most important step in your language school. It might not seem very interesting compared to the exciting stages of launching, marketing, and actually seeing clients walk through your (newly painted) door. Still, those successes all stem from thorough business planning. 

1. Research

Knowledge is power, especially with a business plan. Ask the pertinent questions: How many students are interested in studying Academic English? How many students will be in each level per course? Who are your biggest competitors, and what are you up against? What about in terms of the profile of prospective students? Find out how many young and adult learners there are. Ensure your curriculum meets the students’ needs (i.e., personal growth, education, or broader career opportunities). These factors can help you decide what factors are high or low in demand and provide accordingly. Can you offer any or all types of instructions in your language school? English, Chamicuro (only a dozen people speak this language worldwide), sign language? With innovation, you can explore offering specialized modes of instruction to boost demand and ensure you won’t be competing within a saturated market. Know if there are legal requirements you need to comply with, like health & safety, fire, emergency exits, etc. Be sure to consider insurance costs, the number of classrooms you will utilize, and how many classes will run in each classroom per day. This kind of knowledge will support you as you go about managing your limited resources.

2. Do a SWOT Analysis. 

This allows you to map out the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats for your language school.

>   Strengths are assets you offer as the owner of your potential language school. For example, if you’ve been a language teacher for ten years, that experience will set you apart from anyone new to the industry.

>   Weaknesses are real shortcomings you can identify in terms of you and your business. Remember that acknowledging your weaknesses shouldn’t be shameful. Keeping your blind spots front and center helps you to avoid potential pitfalls.

>   Opportunities pinpoint inevitable outside forces. For example: “The Canadian government is extending a 25% subsidy on language preparation programs.”

>   Threats also refer to external influences that could wreak havoc on you and your language school. You need to anticipate solutions for possible business threats around you, so you are prepared if any of those worse case scenarios hit your business.

3. Make a Plan for Building a Team

It pays to have a plan for finding competent staff – not everyone will be an asset to you. Do you have connections or know capable people you can potentially hire for your language school? Will they be full or part-timers? Having a great team of passionate people that you trust will contribute to the success of your language school.

4. Do a Competitor Analysis

To assess the competition, follow the same process of gathering information as you used to generate your initial market research. Once you feel confident in your ideas, objectives, and courses of action, direct your energy towards uncovering the same things about your closest competitors. What are they doing well? If they seem to have a particular niche locked down, consider offering something unique. Or if they have courses that aren’t exactly thriving, it is a chance for you to provide a better version of those courses.

5. Work Out the Financials

This is the most critical part of your business plan. Map out your cash flow using a profit and loss plan. Solidify potential sources of finance and calculate how much you will bill your students for the course fees. The typical rate of language classes will depend on the instructor’s level and years of experience and the class size. Your revenue can increase considerably based on the number of teachers employed and the number of classes you can deliver per week. To minimize handling several students at a time, consider scheduling more group classes and fewer one-on-one lessons. In this case, it’s feasible for you to have at least two teachers conducting both the group and individual lessons. Time to get started on your language school’s business model. Be creative but realistic, and don’t forget to have fun! In addition to applying these tips, please feel free to contact me if you need help with your business plan writing.

Continue Reading
Clothing store business plan

5 Tips for Writing a Clothing Store Business Plan

5 Tips for Writing a Clothing Store Business Plan

Many business plans are wordy and repetitive, written to sound business-like but leaving you in the dark after reading. This guide will be short and straightforward. It doesn’t need to take multiple months to a year to get your business ready for take-off. A few strategic weeks of planning can be more than enough. Your business plan will help you outline and achieve your goals. It’s also a management tool that allows you to analyze results, make strategic decisions, and showcase how your business will operate and grow.

1. Carve out what makes your brand you:

Mission, vision, and values, that’s right. If you don’t have these ducks in a row, it will be increasingly hard for you and your business to stay authentic and clear as you move forward. 

Define your niche from the outset. Who are you designing for, and why? Starting a clothing business is personal, and you’re probably looking to introduce something a little different to a constantly evolving industry. 

Perhaps you’ve identified a gap in the market or have a unique design in mind for a specific customer group. Or maybe your clothing business is born out of something you’ve realized you’re genuinely passionate about, from eco-sustainable fabrics to unisex baby accessories. Keep your individuality in mind. As your business grows and evolves, these initial principles can still guide your decision-making and values.

2. Prepare and draft.

This initial document doesn’t need to be perfect. Draft your business plan to be reviewed and adjusted to help you identify and reach your goals. Working through your business plan and starting with a one-page pitch (link to our one-page article) can help you test the viability of your business idea long before launching. Investors and loan providers need to know that you have a solid understanding of the trajectory of your business. Ensure you understand and can provide:

  • The correct financial statements.
  • Forecasts.
  • An easy-to-swallow explanation of your business model is available for potential investors.

3. Organize the nitty-gritty. 

You’re eager to get started and maybe planning to buy a sewing machine and get straight to work. But spend a moment on the logistics. Where will you be located? Are you working from your living room with a plan to upgrade into a small studio? Are you selling online or opening a bricks-and-mortar shop front? Do your research as specific rules apply for online businesses or market stall traders.

4. Scope out the competition. 

This is where you need to put in the groundwork. To understand what your business needs to offer, you need first to identify your competitors. How long have they been in business? What are their annual sales (if they are public)? How do they market themselves? Once you have a sense of who you’re up against, compare your product to theirs and get a sense of what to do (and not do).

5. Clarify your budget. 

The fashion industry depends on global shifts and evolutions. As such, it’s hard to predict, and nothing is guaranteed. So, while it pays to have a plan A, you also need a plan B, D, and C. Keep things simple as you enter the scene. Plan to develop one design you love and know-how to manufacture (or buy) and test the waters. This approach allows you to make changes on the fly without committing to a wide selection of products that no longer make financial sense to offer.

Your budget will vary depending on whether you’ll design and make the clothes yourself or buy from designers at wholesale price. Either way, start small. Invest in smaller designers and/or essential equipment, and as demand grows, you can review potential upgrades or expansions.

That’s it!

And now you’ve written your business plan! Business planning isn’t easy, but when brands put in the effort at the start of their business, they have a much higher chance of success and growth.

Looking for business plan advice?

I know all the ins and outs of business plan writing. Feel free to contact me with any questions regarding business, marketing, or financial plans!

Continue Reading
Vancouver business plan writer

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Business Plan Writer

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Business Plan Writer

When starting a new business, all entrepreneurs dream that it will be a remarkable success in the future and try to focus on the outcomes of the business. However, one thing that should never be skipped is having a professionally- written business plan that touches all aspects of the business. Careful business planning consists of all valuable information regarding the business, helping to secure investors’ capital to get the business started.

This business planning stage can be the determining factor as to whether the business is a success in the future, that’s why it’s essential to have a professionally written business plan. Hiring an experienced business plan writer is the key to any new business.

Professional business plan writers will conduct relevant research and gather vital information needed for the business plan. This saves business owners time which they can then focus on other areas of the business.

#1 Specialized Skill Set

When you hire an experienced business plan writer, you are hiring a professional who knows exactly what needs to be in a well-written business plan. The key is to have an outstanding business plan for potential investors.

Business plan writers have the skillset and knowledge that allows them to present what investors look for in a business plan. They typically know the business plan format that investors look for when they review it.

#2 Crucial to Business Success

Business plans focus on the most important aspects of the business such as the overall profitability and growth of the business. Business plans that are well-written by a professional business plan writer have a much greater chance of attracting new investment, which is crucial to its chance of success.

A business plan writer will outline how the company operates including its market growth, sales, and production. This is where the business plan is written to capture the overall mission and goals for the business in the long term.

#3 Save Valuable Time

Preparing the perfect business plan for any business can take time to ensure that it includes all the main points of the business while being appealing to investors.

It can take some business owners days, or even weeks to compose the ideal business plan. By hiring a professional business plan writer, business owners can save time, and switch their focus back to their business. At the initial stages of any business, entrepreneurs want to ensure their focus and time are fully in the business, so that they can produce the best ideas for their business. By hiring a business plan writer, they have one less important task to worry about.

#4 Business Planning Expert

Business plan writers are much more than just writers. They can offer business owners insights and advice regarding their own business planning. When hiring a business plan writer, you are getting more than just a writer. You hire someone who has extensive knowledge in the area to help plan out the business and to place it in its best position for growth.

 #5 Revamp Existing Business Plans

Many business owners attempt to put together their own business plans but cannot obtain funding for their business. By hiring a professional business plan writer, they can step in, and revamp the existing plan to be more appealing to investors. In many cases, this will involve a deeper analysis of the business, so the writer is able to capture all the main points and can write in a more persuasive and professional way. This can be the case for old and existing business plans which are no longer relevant, or accurate for the business.

Looking for a Vancouver-based business plan writer? Contact me here, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about your business plan requirements.

Continue Reading
marketing plan vancouver

How to Choose the Best Marketing Platforms for Your Business

How to Choose the Best Marketing Platforms for Your Business

Alright, business-savvy peeps— you have your awesome business plan in your hands, and now it’s time to sort out the marketing. As you get busy running your business, it can be challenging to spend time mastering all the different marketing avenues available. Narrowing it down to a few select platforms will allow you to focus your efforts and get the best return on your time investment. 

So, how do you choose the right social media platforms for your business?

Market research is a key part of developing your marketing strategy. It allows you to collect information and gain insight into your customers’ location, demographics, rationale, and buying patterns. Thorough market research will also allow you to craft an initial sales forecast and keep an eye on what your competition is doing. 

Here are three tips to help you get started.

1. Identify your audience

There is an unlimited number of potential customers, and trying to advertise to everyone can be expensive and ineffective. For the purpose of market segmentation, you must choose your most viable option and move your product forward from there. Grouping or segmenting your potential customers based on certain characteristics will help to focus your marketing efforts. Consider the more obvious factors, such as:

  • Geography – location;
  • Demographic – age, gender, education level, income, occupation.

But also underlying motivators, including:

  • Behavior – loyalty, attitude, engagement, readiness to buy;
  • Psychographic – lifestyle, habits, social status, personality, personal values.

2. Set goals that make sense for your business

Marketing goals will help you to define what you want to achieve through your marketing activities. Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. You will also need to allocate a budget to your marketing activities. Your marketing budget should consider:

  • website development and maintenance
  • search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
  • brand design
  • creation of promotional material (online adverts, business cards, brochures, signage, etc.)
  • sponsorships
  • employing staff to undertake marketing activities.

3. Choose your marketing avenues

Options include a business website, blogging, brochure and flyers, networking events, print advertising, word of mouth, cold calling and letter drops, and of course, social media marketing

Social media is a great way to interact with your market segment. It allows you to connect with your customers easily and address questions and concerns quickly. This makes them happy and bolsters your reputation. More than 3 billion people report using social media regularly; many of those people don’t just connect with their friends and family — they use social media as a way to follow and learn about different brands and companies. In a recent survey of 250 business executives, 85% report that social data will be a central source of data collection for their company moving forward into 2021 and beyond. 

When it comes to social media marketing, your best bet is to research which platform best fits your brand. This includes evaluating the different platforms to see if your customer base is there, whether or not they’re engaging with brands, and if the platform jives with your brand’s personality. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.; each platform offers its own advantages and potential drawbacks. Social media allows you to develop your brand and voice and monitor and improve your search engine rankings. The global market has moved online, and it may benefit your business to follow suit.

Conclusion

Right marketing platform can be a powerful tool. It can turn your website into a lead generation machine and build your brand. But, you have to make sure you choose the right platform. Only then will you see the benefits unfold. Looking for a strategic marketing plan? My marketing plans focus on digital strategies to help grow your brand and bring in leads. The plan will give you the necessary resources and strategies to grow your business. Please message meany questions you have about marketing plans. I can’t wait to start working with you!

Continue Reading
vancouver business plan writer

Tips for Writing a One-Page Business Plan

Tips for Writing a One-Page Business Plan

The old adage ‘less is more’ might just prove to be true when it comes to making a business plan. Minimalism is effective, and recent business pitches have seen entrepreneurs and start-ups utilizing the one-page business plan to get the funding or external investment conversation started.

Benefits of condensing your business plan

A one-page business plan is all about efficiency, summarizing your strategy into one easy-to-share page. It’s a handy snapshot you or your team can refer to every now and then to ensure you’re on track. While each specific goal can be flushed out with more detail and specificity, the concise one-page business plan enables you to create a straightforward strategy that is easy to pitch, explain, and compare. The readability of your business plan – such as keywords and short phrases – means that important information stands out, assisting you and your team with meetings and assessments.

Don’t discard important detail.

A one-page business plan mustn’t be missing any crucial detail. Just because this is a shorter version of your business plan doesn’t mean you can skimp on the research needed to back up your objectives and strategies. Your condensed business plan must have one paragraph on identifying the problem and offer a solution. Layout who you will serve and what problem you’ll solve for them with your strategic and innovative plan. And don’t forget to explain exactly how it will be profitable.  

Include a Market Analysis

Include a couple of sentences about your primary target market and the customer or client needs within this market that you will be addressing. Describe your market niche, keeping in mind that the more specific the target market, the better. Conclude this section with detail about how you plan to differentiate your product after your target customer base.

Management Structure

Include your team and their titles. Who is who in the business, but keep it short. If investors have questions, they can always ask for your resume and Linkedin profile link.

And a Competitive Analysis

In your shorter plan, highlight a few key points about the competition: Which products and services are most competitive to yours?  Where will your product or service have the most significant opportunities? Where will you face the most severe threat? Keep your answers short and to the point.

Strategy

This is what sets a one-page plan apart from longer descriptions. You need to (very briefly) explain how your business will be different from your competitors. Describe your unique selling points (USP). It will be difficult to craft this section into just a few sentences, but by doing so, you’ll not only have a clearer idea of what you’re doing, but you’ll also have a short and compelling pitch.

Products and Services

Write a sentence or two on your plan to position products/services and a competitive evaluation of these products/services. Provide detailed descriptions and focus on differentiation. Avoid too much deep technical detail and clarify what you’re bringing to market that nobody else is.

Marketing, Sales, and Financials

Focus on the one marketing or sales method that sets you apart. Quickly explain your strategy and how it will drive results and revenue. Keep your financial detail tightly focused on profit and loss projection. Highlight profit and loss projections, including gross sales, gross profit margin; selling, general and administrative expenses; and net profit. If you feel confident, include sales targets. The main objective of a one-page business plan is to hit the high points relevant to your business and leave the nitty-gritty details for a longer document (and hopefully a more extended business plan discussion) with a prospective partner or investor.

Have questions about your one-page business plan? Get in touch. I am always happy to help.

Continue Reading
competitor analysis

How to write the competition section of your business plan

How to write the competition section of your business plan

An investigation is key to preparing a thriving competitor analysis section of your business plan. You need to understand the markets your competition is catering to, learn everything you can about the products and/or services being offered, and analyze why customers choose this company.

Identify the purpose of your analysis.

In a management plan for business owners, the competition section provides a breakdown of the competition. You and your team look at comparative strengths and weaknesses to develop strategic positioning. In a business plan aimed at potential investors or lenders, a description of the competition is designed to reassure your audience that you understand the competition and are positioned to take advantage of opportunities and avoid pitfalls.

Gather information for your competitor analysis 

Visiting your competition is a great starting point, whether that means a URL entry or a trip to their physical store. Go and investigate. Look at the systems they have in place, price points, and how customers are treated. You can learn a fair bit about your competitors from talking to their customers and/or clients. Additional valuable sources of information about competitors include their vendors or suppliers, as well as a company’s past or current employees. They may or may not be willing to talk to you, but it’s worth a try. Seek out any publicly available information about your competitors. Online publications, newspapers, and magazines can contain information about the company you’re investigating for your competitive analysis. 

Analyze the competition 

Simply finding and listing the results of your research into the competition won’t be helpful by itself. It’s the analysis of the information that’s important. Study the information you’ve gathered about each of your competitors and ask yourself how you plan to compete with that company. The key to competing successfully for many businesses is identifying a gap in the market and a specific customer base whose needs are not being met and cater to them. The goal of your competitor analysis is to identify and expand upon your competitive advantage. Layout the benefits that your proposed business can offer the customer or client that your competition cannot. And remember that there is always competition. There are only two reasons competition may not appear to be a problem:

> Your business or product is so new and innovative that no one else has had time to replicate it, OR

> There’s a fatal flaw you’ve missed that others have identified; essentially, it’s not a good enough business idea to attract others.

Either way, competition still exists. In the first case, your competition is getting ready to jump in, so be prepared. In the second case, look at your plan more closely.

Use online reviews

When it comes to searching for and utilizing information, use common sense. Look for readily available information that will represent what you’re hoping to demonstrate. Credible online reviews are a quick and easy way to find evidence of quality. Websites, social media, and reviews are widely available on lots of local businesses. 

Source financial information

It can be challenging to access the financial data of privately held companies. More exhaustive research and speculation are sometimes required, such as numbers of employees, rooms, tables, vehicles, or stars in reviews. If you’re up for it, you could play the role of potential customer to gain insight.

Establish your competitive position

How well does your business compare? The goal of positioning is to set your business up against the background of your competitors, so the differences are apparent to your target market. What are you doing better? How do you work toward strengths and away from weaknesses? What do you want customers to think and say about you in comparison to others? Once you’ve drafted and perfected this section, pop it into your well-written and clear business plan and get ’em! Got questions? Call me at (778) 319-8550 to chat more about my business plan writing services or contact me here!

Continue Reading
daycare business plan

Tips for Writing a Daycare Business Plan

Tips for Writing a Daycare Business Plan 

According to Wikipedia, “Childcare, otherwise known as daycare, is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose ages range from two weeks to eighteen years.” Operating a daycare can be a rewarding personal and financial undertaking. Typically, profit margins are high, making it easy for owners to scale and grow their daycare operations. According to Canadian labor statistics, approximately 60% of children under six participate in formal or informal daycare. Each Canadian province and territory establish legislation and regulations around daycare businesses, so doing online research or chatting with a savvy business plan consultant is an ideal place to begin defining your small business strategy. A business plan will help to shape and focus your idea of running a daycare. It provides direction, and if you’re going to seek out an investor or a financial institution, a business plan is an absolute necessity. Writing a business plan demands time and research, but it doesn’t have to be an arduous task. Numerous business plan writers in Canada are available for hire, and the cost of employing one is considered a business expense – a wise one. Here are a few tips on what to include in a daycare business plan.

Business Description

Daycare is an all-encompassing word for many distinct types of services, so you’ll want to spend some time defining what your niche is. Your description is an “elevator pitch” – a short, impact statement that gets investors excited about the business. Describe what sets you apart from other caregivers. This could include touching on your unique location, philosophy, approach, curriculum, quality of staff, neighborhood needs, and how your business meets them. Professional business plan writers are absolute gold and can help mine your ideas and develop a professional business plan.

Business Needs Assessment

While you’ll want to introduce general trends in daycare, the most salient point is to narrow the focus to trends in your locale. Who is your target market? Real estate websites are a wealth of information about neighbourhood demographics. What is the median age of the neighbourhood? Will your daycare be in a bedroom community of a larger city? Is the area one in which the population fluctuates due to seasonal employment, potentially affecting business income? Who is the competition, and what are the differences that will attract customers?

Financials

Starting a business requires a great idea, but a successful business is built on sound financial planning and assessment. This is the section where the rubber meets the road. Having a solid handle on the numbers is, of course, necessary for investors or lending institutions, but it’s also an invaluable tool for you, the small business owner. You’ll want to demonstrate that the business will reach a breakeven point and begin to turn a profit in a reasonable period. Outline income and expenses and design a realistic contingency plan for unexpected operating costs. Your investors will want to know how many children will need to be enrolled to break even. Also, a rough estimate of bills and expenses like rent, utilities, insurance, wages, equipment, licensing fees, etc. When writing this section, it’s vital to be realistic and conservative. 

Operating Policies and Procedures

Include the daycare’s policies and procedures handbook here. Outline that your business complies with your region’s staff-to-child ratio. Furthermore, you also undertake extensive background checks, including fingerprinting and rigorous verification of references and education. A daycare center should have a clearly outlined disaster and crisis management plan. 

Who Will Run Your Daycare?

Your investors will need to know who is going to run your daycare. Who are your managers and staff? If you have employees on board, provide a polished resume for everyone and a detailed job description for every position. This is also the section to identify directors, a board, other investors, partners, etc.

Marketing Plan

The marketing plan is the tool you will use to attract customers. A business consultant who specializes in marketing is a terrific resource and a legitimate business expense. The plan outlines how potential customers will understand that you are different from your competitors. You must demonstrate that you understand the needs of your target market and how you’re going to meet them.

Conclusion

The value in hiring a small business consultant or a small business plan writer can’t ever be overstated. Their services can vary from taking on the entire writing plan to providing experienced and thoughtful feedback on what you’ve crafted yourself. No matter what avenue you choose, your plan will be based on three to five years of business. Remember that it takes the average business two to three years to begin turning a profit, and your plan should reflect that. 

Let’s grow together

I help individuals, entrepreneurs, and companies of all sizes write professional business plans. Start today by requesting a quick discovery call to find out how I can help you craft an awesome daycare business plan.

Continue Reading