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Business Plan? Do you really need it?

You should take running a business like taking up a journey. You have a great vision for where you want to take your organization (your destination). To reach there, you have to find the way through a field of land mines.

Here’s a thing, hundreds and thousands of people have navigated through this field of land mines before. Some reached their destinations, while others failed. The great news is that many have shared their experience of the journey, which helps tremendously to find the right way. Your business plan allows you to chalk out where the huge land mines are that claim most lives and helps you navigate your way around them. The simple act of putting down your idea on paper and detailing how the business will operate can be very helpful to ensure that you communicate your vision and that everyone is on the same page. A business plan is also crucial to get support for your vision because it conveys that you have thought through an idea clearly and you aren’t just casual about it.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while building your business plan:

Know your audience

The starting point for any business plan should be the outlook of the audience. You should be clear about the purpose of making this plan? Is it to get funding or is it to communicate the future plans for the company? The writer should customize the plan for different audiences, as each of them has very specific requirements. For example, a potential investor will seek clear explanations detailing the ROI and time frames for getting their money back.

Know your competition

It is ok to name your competition in your plan. Be focussed to bring out what makes you different from (and better than) each of them. However do not ever criticize/condemn your competition.

Get rid of the flowery decks

You should always try and be as much to the point as possible and remove any flowery filler language. Even if it sounds nice, it gets you nowhere and wastes space and time. No investors want to read a 20 page business plan. Get to the point quickly.

Support Your Business Plan with Industry Stats

When a new or young company presents financial projections, Investors will want to look at data which supports the financial assumptions.  If the company is using industry benchmarks, it will gain more reliability in the eyes of investors than just saying that the company made reasonable estimates.

 List your assumptions

You will always have a lot of assumptions in your plan (e.g. marketing mediums, how many visitors will convert to customers, how quickly you will be able to hire, etc). You will be very sure about them and if possible gather as much data as available to back these assumptions.

Make smart projections

Try and not make top-down projections i.e. there are x number of customers in the world, if we get 1% of them, we will make so much money. Instead, you should find out how many potential customers there are that are relevant to you. Put some figures as to how comparable businesses to yours are doing and then incorporate build-up into your plan (i.e. add customers in a step process vs. getting them all at once)

Well by now, you would have started thinking that making a business plan is a hundred day affair already. Trust Us, it is a very simple process and the basic components of the same are very simple. And finally about time – Please be rest assured, the time spent on making a business plan is time well spent and an early investment in the same would save you enough effort and money at a later stage in your business.

We at Leaderinu conduct executive coaching programs, open workshops and leadership development programs to help startup entrepreneurships throughout their business life-cycle. For more information please logon to www.leaderinu.in/life.php or mail us at info@leaderinu.in

Choose the Right Name For Your Company

Now that you have decided on getting started with your business idea, it is time to give it a worthy name. Getting your business a killer name is harder than it might seem at the onset.  One of the considerations to think about when choosing a name could be how it will look in the subject line of an email or even how it will sound when it’s said aloud.

You will have to understand and start believing in the fact that the name of your business has a tremendous impact on how your customers and potential investors view you, and in today’s small digitally revolutionized world, it is a world-wide decision.

And off course if you are looking for some investor funding, you wouldn’t want to send a business plans with “TBD” or “NewCo” in the title position. Whether it is right or wrong, the name you choose, or for that matter don’t choose, speaks volumes about your business and the understanding which you have of the world you are about to enter. After all it is the foundation of your business and must reinforce the elements of your business.

Here are some key things I will recommend considering while looking for in the name,

1) First off, conduct a business name search.

Before deciding on any name you must check out the market and competition names. All this is easily available on internet these days. If you decide to go ahead and use a name without research and it turns out similar names are out there like it, you might end up battling a trademark infringement case. For example if your name is Deepak and you are starting a clothing firm, the finding a business name as “Deepak Clothing” might turn out to be a herculean task, therefore you must conduct a business name check first and then reserve the name online if it’s available before you start the incorporation process

2) Name needs to be meaningful and memorable.

Try and find a name which explains what your business offers and tie that in as specifically as possible whenever you can. Although it can get complex sometimes, however it you get it right, it can be a killer.

3)  Short is Sweet

Keep the name of your business short and easy to spell. Shorter names definitely make it easier to claim a website address or URL that way too. Carrying on with the same example as above, getting a domain name of www.deepakClothing .com V/s www.dclothing.com would be far more difficult on world wide web.

4) Factor in search engine optimization.

In today’s digital world getting your company easy to find in search engines is an important consideration when picking a name. For Example, if you’re going to use a proper noun for your name, you should think about how that decision will impact Search Engine Optimization for your website. Choosing a common term like “Bell,” for example, would only make your website visible on the search pages of “Bell” which might not be what you are looking for.

5) Make the name visually distinctive. 

After you are done picking up your name, next thing you should consider is to add a custom feature that makes your brand more than just the word or words in the title. Some examples include avant-garde capitalization, combining two words into one, or giving it a unique design touch, like word “you” converted to “u” in the name & logo of Leaderinu. It is about developing a fully fleshed out visual identity.

What to Avoid:

  1. Asking too many people – It is only going to confuse you. It is your business, so the decision should be yours
  2. Using too plain words – Think of something unique, something unheard of. Its catches attention
  3. Adding Your City to your Business Name – Why do you want to limit yourself to a particular city. You never know how far you reach tomorrow.

 

We at Leaderinu run executive coaching programs & open workshops to help entrepreneurs find their niche.  For more information please logon to our website www.leaderinu.in or email us at info@leaderinu.in

8 inspiring women share how to face the tide and sail smoothly

Have you ever thought how did some women manage to progress in their careers while also enjoying life outside of work? They are also leading their part in the same male dominated society as the rest of us. What’s their secret to effectively climb the ladder of success? We asked 8 successful women leaders how did they deal with challenges to accomplish what they have. What’s their advice to women who wish to do something which matters out of their lives? Here’s what they had to say:

1. Be ready to play too many parts – Deepshikha Kumar, Founder andSlide1 CEO, SpeakIn