If you are seeking to open a new business – either online or in the real world – and you don’t have the capital, you will need to seek help from institutional or individual investors. And the first thing they are going to want to see before they invest a dime in your business is your business plan.
What Is a Business Plan?
The business plan serves two essential functions: (1) It provides a blueprint that you can use to build your business; and (2) The business plan explains to investors why your business will be financially successful.
What investors want to see is a business plan that presents a model of what your business will look like from its very beginning until it is operating at full capacity. Your business plan should include realistic, attainable objectives. If it includes unrealistic revenue forecasts or is built on a swampy foundation, your business plan won’t fly.
Benefits of a Business Plan
Even if you are going to be your business’ only employee and work out of your home, you still need a business plan. That’s because your business needs a map that leads it where you want it to go.
Although your business plan should be as detailed as possible, the larger and more complicated your business will be, the more detail your business plan will need to include.
You will need to rely on your business plan and reference it frequently both before and after you launch your business, so it’s absolutely necessary that you have everything in place as much as possible from the beginning.
Elements of a Business Plan
Successful business plans have five elements:
Background Information – How and why are you creating this business? Here you will include general information such as what types of products and/or services you will be selling.
Marketing Plan – Explain what type of marketing you plan to use to promote your business, such as paid advertising, social media marketing and direct marketing.
Operational Plan – Indicate how your business will function. Include hours of operation, estimated number of employees, location, and any other relevant operational data.
Financial Plan – This may be the most important part. You need to explain your financial goals and a detailed account of your estimated costs, including payroll, rent, overhead, supplies, raw materials and any other expenditure.
Decision-Making Criteria – In this section, indicate what types of things you are going to consider before moving forward with the plan.
Every business plan is different. There’s not one single template you can use and simply fill in the specific details of your business proposal. When developing your plan, present the information so that anybody can use it as a tool to decide whether or not to proceed with the business.
Getting Help with Your Business Plan
If you have a partner, they ca n assist you in developing your business plan. Others who can help you include your accountant, if you have one. In most cases, CPAs have enough experience to identify glaring errors so you can correct them before showing it to anybody else.
Your next stop should be trusted professionals in the same field as yours. While you may not want to hand your business plan to somebody you will be competing against directly, if you have a friend, a former business school professor you are still close with, or a mentor who can give you genuine, helpful advice, see if they would be willing to take a look at your business plan.
When you have as much feedback as you need and have made the necessary changes to your plan so it is as accurate and realistic as possible, you can use it to attract investors. When you present to investors or apply for a business loan, your business plan will serve as the centerpiece of your pitch.
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Given the vast amount of information we all encounter in our everyday lives, there is a daily information overload that prevents us from processing what we see and hear efficiently.
Information marketing refers to the process of resolving this problem by making it easy for people to get to the information they want as quickly and efficiently as possible. It features products that are created once and then sold many times.
These products — known as “info products” – include such things as books, eBooks, DVDs, video downloads, workshops, MP3s, audio downloads, slideshows and many other infoproducts.
Why Information Marketing?
One of the biggest benefits of information marketing is its extremely low startup cost. In most cases, you can purchase your original infoproduct for very little money, modify it and then resell it many times over.
Challenge of Information Marketing
Perhaps the hardest part of information marketing is determining what infoproducts to sell. Obviously, you want to sell only those infoproducts for which there is a high demand.
If there are a lot of customers who want the kinds of infoproducts you sell or promote, you have a much better chance of driving strong sales and high profits than you would if there were only a few customers looking for the types of infoproducts you sell.
Choose Familiar Products
It’s important to choose infoproducts with which you have some familiarity. This will make it easier for you to talk about them with your customers.
If you aren’t familiar with your own infoproducts, it’s likely that your customers will sense this and stay away.
What Are Information Products Worth?
Another important factor is assessing how much money you can make from a particular infoproduct. If your profit margin is low, you are going to have to see a lot more infoproducts – and work a lot harder – just to hit the minimum revenue targets you set for yourself.
So the ideal infoproduct has a broad customer base, is something you are familiar with, and has a high profit margin.
Identifying the Best Niche
How can you find those kinds of infoproducts to promote? The first place to start is to determine is your niche. A niche for an information infoproduct is a market that is a subset of the larger market that focuses on one particular type of infoproducts.
Popular niches include such things as weight loss infoproduct s, infoproduct s aimed at sports fans, or infoproduct s related to relationships and dating.
Mass market products are the opposite of niche market infoproducts. Niche markets are more like specialty stores – such as stores that sell tires and other auto parts – compared to mass markets stores that sell a little bit of everything, such as Kmart or Sears.
Narrowing Your Scope
By choosing to promote infoproducts and services within a particular niche, you can develop an area of expertise. This makes you more authoritative to your customers, so they will be more likely to believe in what you have to say.
Niche markets also allow you to focus on a specific group of customers. For example, you can build your Internet marketing business around only those people who are interested in infoproducts within your niche.
Identifying a niche makes creating an Internet marketing campaign easier because it narrows the scope of your efforts, making them much more manageable.
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4. There’s no such thing as a war crime. Carson said earlier this year that the U.S. should not hesitate to send troops to defeat the Islamic State and should not fear prosecution for its actions. In the Fox News interview, he said he would “not hesitate to put boots on the ground” and suggested that the military should not be subject to any war crimes law. “If you’re gonna have rules for war, you should just have a rule that says no war,” he said. “Other than that, we have to win.” It is obvious that if Carson where President, he would follow the same actions George Bush took when he and co-president Chaney invaded Iraq that killed over 4,500 Americans and wounded thousands. This is not the person that most Americans would want as Commander In Chief.
5. Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery. In October 2013, when Carson was still gaining recognition in the Republican Party, he said in a speech that “Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.” “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care.” He added. “It was about control.” Carson has continued to speak out about Obama’s health care plan, saying in January of this year that it’s “a bunch of crap” that politicians say they can’t unravel the legislation, and, in the pages of CQ, he likened Obama to a “psychopath.” Although Carson and his family were once on medical assistance, as President, he would deprive over 16.1 million Americans healthcare. To compare Obamacare with slavery suggests that Carson doesn’t know or fully understand the definition of “slavery.” Slavery is the condition in which one person is owned as property by another and is under the owner’s control, especially in involuntary servitude. The millions of Americans who now have healthcare are not subjected or subservient to the government or to anyone else. To attempt to connect slavery with Obamacare is idiotic.
6. Obama is depressing the economy to keep people on welfare. After appearing on The View last year and saying that Americans have become dependent on welfare, Carson elaborated on Fox News in May 2014: “Do you think that people who are on welfare want to be on welfare?” Fox’s Megyn Kelly asked him. “I think some people have that as a way of life,” Carson responded, later adding that “perhaps some of the things that are going on right now which could be easily remedied are not being remedied in order to keep the economy depressed because there would be no appetite for many of the social programs if people were doing well.” When pressed by Kelly, Carson wouldn’t name Obama but said there are “some people” taking these actions. What forms the basis of this statement is puzzling especially since Carson’s family was on welfare and other forms of public assistance when he was growing up. Welfare has been around long before Obama and folks like the Carson family would not have made it had it not been for government assistance.
7. Obama signed immigration reform to bring in government-dependent voters. After speaking out about welfare, Carson said in an interview on November 14, 2014, that Obama’s executive action on immigration was part of a “nefarious agenda” to bring new voters into the United States who will be dependent on government. “Is he just trying to instead of get out the vote, bring in the vote?” former Republican Congressman J.D. Hayworth asked Carson.“ Is this all designed to have new voters — despite the fact he claims they’re not going to get citizenship — is the long-term goal to bring in a new class of voters dependent on government?” Of course it is,” Carson replied. He added that Republicans should respond to Obama’s action by shutting down the government, but only the parts that are “important to the president” and not any parts that will “hurt the American people.” This nation has always been a nation of immigrants. Obama signed an Executive Order on immigration reform only because House Speaker Boehner has refused to bring the approved Senate Immigration Bill to the floor for an up or down vote. The President’s Executive Action focuses on cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, deporting felons, not families; and accountability through criminal background checks and taxes. The last government shut-down cost the taxpayers over 25 Billion dollars and all parts of it hurt the American people. For Carson to suggest otherwise and to “shut down the government again” unless Republicans have their way is just plain reckless.
Carson was once a registered Democrat but switched to the Republican Party in the 1980s. After getting a “sour taste” watching Republicans who had their own personal shortcomings, impeach President Clinton. “I just saw so much hypocrisy in both parties,” he explained and he became an Independent. Carson said that it made sense for him to switch back to the Republican Party in 2014, “if I make the decision to run (for president), then I clearly don’t want to be backtracking and do something in a hurry. It’s one of those things I wanted to be thinking about far ahead.”
Many African Americans saw Carson as the embodiment of black achievement – a poor inner city boy who became one of the world’s most accomplished neurosurgeons – his emergence as a conservative hero and unabashed critic of the United State’s first black President has been shocking. In fact, some black pastors who were Carson’s biggest promoters have stopped recommending his book, and members of minority medical organizations that long boasted of their affiliations with him say he is called an “embarrassment” on private online discussion groups. “Has he lost his sense of who he is?” said the Rev. Jamal Bryant, a prominent black pastor in Baltimore, where Carson lived for decades. “He does not see he is the next Herman Cain.“
Reading “Gifted Hands” as a teenager, Mark Terrelonge, 26, who is in his final year at Stanford University School of Medicine, said he saw Carson’s story as an affirmation of his own ambition to become a doctor. Never before had he heard of a black man in the upper echelons of medicine. But Terrelonge, who is gay, was stung when he heard Carson say that homosexuality was a choice.
There is no question that Dr. Carson was an excellent surgeon who pulled himself out of poverty with public assistance to achieve enormous success. Although his prestigious awards and professional achievements have been laudable, Carson will never become a viable presidential candidate in the Republican Party and will probably bow out after the first few Republican debates, but that’s just my take.
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