Business Plan

Many great companies had their starts on paper, in the form of a plan may be seen as a valuable tool to be used to convey the mission and prospects of the business to customers, suppliers or others. However, it’s a mistake to think that only cash-starved startups need business plans.

Which kind of business plan you should be preparing? Business plans come in several forms, and before you start writing, you may want to determine whether a one- or two-page summary might do the trick. A summary business plan is a document typically less than 10 pages. There are predictable contents of a standard business plan outline. A synopsis might best be described as an executive summary on steroids. A complete operational plan may be 50 or more pages, going into details about sales, production, and distribution, management, offering guidelines to key managers, and perhaps also to all employees.

An executive summary is essentially a business plan in miniature and shouldn’t be longer than two pages. Include industry marketing data to back up the marketing section, detailing about features and product warranties description, full financial projections and budgets allocations for at least three to five years ahead. Also include management strategies and responsibilities with dates and cash flow projections.

If you are searching for funding—whether from venture capitalists, investors, bankers, or even friends and family—one of the first requests you’ll receive is this: “Send along your business plan.” But be prepared.

Before you hang up the phone or acknowledge the e-mails, you may want to ask one question: “What type of business plan do you want me to send?” If the prospective backers are truly interested, they may come back with the question: “Do you have any more detail or further information to make us convinced with your proposal that you presented to us?”

But it must go beyond simply addressing these issues in factual format like an abstract or an outline, as if hitting items on a list. When entrepreneurs seek funding for a new venture, potential investors often want to see a business plan. The precise business plan format can vary.

A business plan should be a work-in-progress.. Just keep in mind that whatever type of document you send, it must do more than simply describe your business—it must also sell you and your business and convince the backer you have what it takes to make the business succeed over the long-term.

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You’re Hired!


Cartoons by Andertoons

My company was hiring and yesterday I was in charged of conducting the interviews. There were nine shortlisted candidates who came for the only one vacancy as an assistant administrative manager.

Surprisingly, all eight of the nine candidates requested for salaries higher than the prevalent market value. And none impressed me with what benefit they can bring to the company. In other words, they are seeking reward first.

After analysing each of these nine candidates, I decided to hire a pretty twenty-something lady. Not that she’s better qualified or more experienced (as there were a few who’s more experienced and better qualified as per their impressive resumes and paper qualifications.). Or pretty, for that matter.

Then why did I hire her? Of course there are a number of factors I have chosen her over the others.

She has successfully demonstrated to me that she has the right and positive attitude, is enthusiastic about the job, reliable and dedicated, humble and effective, possess team-building skills and is a good listener and communicator.

But one statement from her makes her stands out from the rest :

“I’ll give you the firewood first, then only give me the fire.”

By this profound statement, she has successfully convinced me that she is the one I’m looking for. My congratulations to this successful candidate and I wish her, “Welcome Aboard.”

For those who are seeking for jobs, perhaps the following would be of interest :

Qualities Employers Look For
(extract from Career & Community Learning Center, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota)

  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills

According to employers, the ability to communicate effectively with others and get along with a variety of different types of personalities are two of the most desirable qualities in job candidates. Employers want to know if you have the ability to organize your thoughts and ideas effectively. Can you express
them clearly when speaking or writing? Can you present your ideas to others persuasively? Can you bring out the best efforts of individuals so they become effective, enthusiastic members of a team? Are you able to successfully contend with stressful situations and handle conflict?

  • Intelligence

Employers often use GPA as a way of screening out less desirable job candidates. To some, good grades indicate that the applicant is motivated and goal-oriented. Do you have the ability to understand the job assignment? Are you able to learn quickly? Can you contribute original ideas to the work being
done?

  • Enthusiasm

It’s not enough just to have the right qualifications; an employer needs to know that you are willing to give 100 percent to your job. Interviewers are impressed by candidates who are alert, responsive and energetic. Do you demonstrate a forcefulness and capacity to make things move ahead? Can you
maintain your work effort at an above average rate?

  • Flexibility

Employers need to know that the people they hire can expand and change as their companies do. Applicants who are receptive to new ideas and concepts are highly valued by employers. Are you capable of changing and being receptive to new situations and ideas? Can you confront and deal with
problems that may not have standard solutions?

  • Leadership

Even in entry-level positions, most employers look for evidence of leadership qualities. Successful companies need self-starters who are not afraid to take responsibility for doing the best job possible. Can you guide and direct others to attain the recognized objectives? Are you someone who recognizes
what needs to be done and is willing to do it?

  • High Energy Level

A job candidate’s willingness to work hard matters a great deal. Employers want to know that you are committed to devoting the prime hours of your day to the job. Do you have the capacity to compete with others and the willingness to be measured by your performance in relation to others?

  • Maturity

This is an illusive quality that employers always mention in connection with first job hires. Maturity essentially means knowing how to handle yourself in a business situation. Misplaced humorous remarks, giggling at inappropriate moments or being indiscreet about company information are tell-tale signs of immaturity. Do you demonstrate a sense of maturity that enables you to deal positively and effectively
with situations and people? Can you realistically assess your own capabilities? Do you see yourself as others see you and clearly recognize your strengths and weaknesses?

  • Skill

Do you posses the positive combination of education and skills required for the position you are seeking?
Do you have the ability to identify and work toward specific goals? Do such goals challenge your abilities?

Happy job-hunting.

Blogging for Cents or Sense?

I am usually and always inspired in the morning when I am having shower. Whenever I encounter problems which I’m unable to solve, the solutions just come naturally when the nice cool refreshing drops of the shower’s H2O rains down on me. Or if there are no problems (I always thank God for this), new ideas would sometime creep into my ‘ dormant ‘ sleepy head.

Many times (perhaps due to my ignorance or silliness), after briefly giving a thought to the newly inspired ideas, I would just forget or dismiss them. Perhaps my antiquated brain’s memory bank is overloaded and needs to be formatted. How wonderful it would be if this can be done, just like a computer!

Ever since I have restarted to blog again (please refer to my previous post, Your Comments – My Inspiration) here, my lifestyle habits has changed a little, (and thank God again), for the better. I’ve become more observant, read more, and my mind has become more analytical. Who says blogging is only for fun, or to many people, a vehicle to make more dollars and cents? For me, it’s some sort of “re-formatting” my brain. And of course, like the majority of the bloggers, if I could make extra bucks from blogging, it would be fabulous.  But I forsee that would be in the distance future as I am still a newbie in blogging. In the meantime, I’ll have a lot to read, learn and continue writing posts.

What about you? I would love to know your opinion and comments, whether you are an experienced, established, or just like me, a newbie in blogging. Thank you.

I Am

I visited some blogs today to learn more about blogging as I consider myself a novice at blogging. Many well-known blogs teach about how to’s – driving traffic to blogs, monetizing, SEO, marketing, etc., etc.. No doubt they are good and informative. But I guess I need time to digest those articles as they are quite technical in nature. What I like most are blogs whose niches are about writing contents.

I have learned that I failed in my former blog, Areka mainly due to lack of contents and my eagerness to become a well-known blogger. I realized that I cannot be another Darren Rowse (Problogger) or Seth Godin. I cannot pretend to be somebody. I am not created for that. I just have to be what and whom I am. Just be myself.

Never mind that it takes years for me have a successful blog. I have to take one step at a time. As the popular Chinese saying, “A Thousand Mile Journey Begins With The First Step.” I have taken the first, and I know that the following steps will not be an easy route. I will persevere and keep learning.

Please wish me success. Thank you.

Life Has To Continue

Today is the 1st day of March. It’s been exactly a week since my first post here. Formerly whenever I wanted to write a post (in my former blog, Areka), I would first jot down all the points in a note pad. After a few days of editing (adding and deleting the points) I would then publish the post. But to be honest, the final piece of most of my articles usually never come to being published. I was too obsessed being perfect. Not that I did not know that the reality is that nobody on earth is perfect. Just that I had chosen to ignore the fact. But now I told myself that I shall never repeat my silliness.

This time whenever I feel like writing, I just write straight away and publish. No “cooling off” period. After all, practice makes perfect, right?

Well, so much for that blah, blah.

I just watched a movie, titled, “Chrysanthemum of Life” and it ended sadly with death of one of the lead actor. His fiancée was devastated on learning the news of his death. But she recovered rapidly from her sorrows after being consoled by one of her good friends.

Her friend told her that she (the fiancée) was more fortunate than her because her (the fiancée) fiance’s love for her is forever in eternity. And because of this, the fiancée should strive forward with the consolation of knowing that she possessed the most valuable thing money cannot buy – eternity love of her deceased fiance.

I am sure that most of us have in our lifetime experienced the loss of our loved ones. Many says that time is the best healer of all sorrows. Is this true or just a myth? I have known people who are sorrowful till their last breadth.

I believed our purpose of existence in this world is not to be so. Our journey is a long one. We cannot avoid either life nor death. Be a happy person, or a sorrowful person, you still have to live each day. Why not live happily and have a wonderful, memorable life rather than vice-versa? It’s our choice. As they say, life has to continue.

Agree?

Your Comments – My Inspiration

Since I restarted to blog again about a week ago I have told myself that I will never procrastinate again. Because of my procrastination habit, I failed in my former blog Areka and it has been more than 8 months since my last post there.

I have told myself that I’ll write frequently, naturally, imperfectly (striving for perfection was one of the elements contributed to my procrastination nature) and whatever thoughts and opinions I would like to share.

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

Perhaps some of my posts may mean nothing, banal, or even be dismissed as “rubbish” by some. I would appreciate comments, be it complimentary or criticism as this will inspire me to strive better and is also the best way for me to learn from mistakes. I will not be dejected and I shall keep on writing and publish my articles.

Don’t Leave Home Without It?

Ever since I my first mobile phone from the mid-nineties till now, it was the first time that I had forgotten to bring my mobiles along with me and left them (I owned two sets) at home. I only realised my forgetfulness while I were driving half way to my destination.

“Should I turned back and get them?” I thought. Unnecessary worries began to crept into my mind – a lot of “ifs” – what if someone calls…? suppose there’s matters of urgency from my loved ones…? What if my car breaks down in the middle of the night..? I felt restless and anxiety. I remembered Psalm 25:1-2 ~ “To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me” and Matthew 6:34 ~ “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  I began praying to God repeatedly until I feel at peace.

After my rendezvous with my buddies, I returned home and immediately check my mobiles for any miss calls or messages – there were none.

My worries were unnecessary. God has heard my prayers and thank I thank Him that nothing that I had dreaded happened.

In today’s world we are being bonded as slaves (with our free will) to material things. We are so used to many so-called “making life easier” gadgets that we find that we cannot live a day without them. One of these are cell phones, which I believe most people cannot leave home without it.

Sometimes I wondered has our life being made easier with these advanced modern high-tech gadgets? Or these innovations have made us gradually loss our human touch whereby the popular sms (short messages) has replaced face to face verbal communications? Some countries even recognised that it is legally valid to divorce one’s spouse with just a few lines of sms using cell phone!

At the rate of technological advancement, perhaps in future, gadgets will be masters and we become slaves!