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SunnyJuly 17, 2018
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6min20

You have trekked through the streets of Kampala for months, in search for a white collar job but in vain! Then the thought of starting your own business props up.

But you don’t know where to get the starting capital to turn your dream idea into a reality.

But not all business require money or capital to start. There are many businesses you can start without using money or with little pocket change like designing business plans.

A good business plan required you to construct realistic financial projections and explore some of the risks involved. That’s why you might have to hire a business planner .

This article shows you how to start designing business plans for others and make a killing, with barely any capital. All you need is the knowledge you got from school.

Put simply, a business plan is a document that brings together key elements of a business that include details about products and services, cost, sales and expected profits.

Having all these ideas in your mind may seem easy but putting every detail on paper is another thing altogether.

Considering that some businesses have failed without a proper business plan, the services of a gifted business plan designer come in handy.

In an interview with Prosper Magazine, Mr Newton Buteraba, the chief executive officer House of Wealth – a local firm offering business advisory services, says: “Banks usually make mandatory requirements for people who want to borrow money. A good business plan is an easy ticket to getting that loan.”

People need business plans for banks; others need business plans to entice funders or partners while others need business plans for their own good.

A business plan is a road map to growing your business. Without it you risk closing shop within year.

“That is why most businesses in Uganda collapse because they have no plan on how to grow. It is here that the experts in designing business plans come in handy,” he shared.

It is upon you as the designer to market your services to potential clients. Approach businesses and people whom you think might require your services. Make yourself known and help them understand their businesses better.

Capital

What is required to start this kind of business?

Experts say the only thing is required of as a business plan designer is to be a good reader, or be ready to move shop to shop, understand how businesses operate and how you will help them.

You are not only a designer but also an adviser. This is why you need to invest in research.

If you are for stance designing a business plan for some who wants Shs200 million from the bank and the bank needs a business plan, you can charge a 1 percent fee which about Shs2 million.

Of the 2 million, you can use about Shs500,000 to research and the rest is your profit.

So when you break this further, Buteraba says designing a business plan for someone who wants Shs20 million, 1 percent of this is about Shs200,000.

“With this percentage, it means if you to design say 10 business plans in a month, you will be assured of your monthly Shs2 million profit and at the end of the year, you will be Shs24 million richer.

Buteraba who is also a business plan designer, says the amount one requires determines how much your commission.

Advice

Engage your client from the first to last page of the plan to help them make a good presentation. This will help them get the loans and your commission eventually.

All business plans must have 90 per cent of clients’ input. The rest is professional input.

“If you are dealing in a matooke business, you know the source, the markets and where you want to take the business,” He shared.

It would be advisable to create an electronic copy that your client can customise, keep a copy on file and continue customising it according to their needs.

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SunnyJuly 17, 2018
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2min00

Employees and consumers will pay the price of government policies in the electricity market and the Public Power Corporation business plan.

The infamous business plan for the 2018-2022 period that PPC management carefully hid even from governing board members provides for a staff reduction of 6,000 people, which amounts to 50 percent of current employee numbers. It also provides for the adjustment of existing rates so as to increase the utility’s operating profits by 90-100 million euros per annum within five years.

PPC avoided commenting on the above data published by Kefalaio newspaper, while Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis also distanced himself: “The role of the ministry is not to judge specific corporate choices but to formulate the institutional framework,” said the minister when asked about the business plan the PPC board approved last week.

The plan, delivered to PPC by McKinsey, was approved without being revealed to the power giant’s board members in its entirety, with the opposition asking for its submission in Parliament.

On the issue of electricity rates, Stathakis cited the recent decision to reduce the supplier charge, which he said will benefit PPC to the tune of 300 million euros.

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SunnyJuly 16, 2018
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6min20

You have trekked through the streets of Kampala for months, in search for a white collar job but in vain! Then the thought of starting your own business props up.
But you don’t know where to get the starting capital to turn your dream idea into a reality.
But not all business require money or capital to start. There are many businesses you can start without using money or with little pocket change like designing business plans.

A good business plan required you to construct realistic financial projections and explore some of the risks involved. That’s why you might have to hire a business planner .
This article shows you how to start designing business plans for others and make a killing, with barely any capital. All you need is the knowledge you got from school.

Put simply, a business plan is a document that brings together key elements of a business that include details about products and services, cost, sales and expected profits.
Having all these ideas in your mind may seem easy but putting every detail on paper is another thing altogether.
Considering that some businesses have failed without a proper business plan, the services of a gifted business plan designer come in handy.
In an interview with Prosper Magazine, Mr Newton Buteraba, the chief executive officer House of Wealth – a local firm offering business advisory services, says: “Banks usually make mandatory requirements for people who want to borrow money. A good business plan is an easy ticket to getting that loan.”

People need business plans for banks; others need business plans to entice funders or partners while others need business plans for their own good.
A business plan is a road map to growing your business. Without it you risk closing shop within year.
“That is why most businesses in Uganda collapse because they have no plan on how to grow. It is here that the experts in designing business plans come in handy,” he shared.
It is upon you as the designer to market your services to potential clients. Approach businesses and people whom you think might require your services. Make yourself known and help them understand their businesses better.

Capital
What is required to start this kind of business?
Experts say the only thing is required of as a business plan designer is to be a good reader, or be ready to move shop to shop, understand how businesses operate and how you will help them.
You are not only a designer but also an adviser. This is why you need to invest in research.
If you are for stance designing a business plan for some who wants Shs200 million from the bank and the bank needs a business plan, you can charge a 1 percent fee which about Shs2 million.

Of the 2 million, you can use about Shs500,000 to research and the rest is your profit.
So when you break this further, Buteraba says designing a business plan for someone who wants Shs20 million, 1 percent of this is about Shs200,000.
“With this percentage, it means if you to design say 10 business plans in a month, you will be assured of your monthly Shs2 million profit and at the end of the year, you will be Shs24 million richer.
Buteraba who is also a business plan designer, says the amount one requires determines how much your commission.

Advice
Engage your client from the first to last page of the plan to help them make a good presentation. This will help them get the loans and your commission eventually.
All business plans must have 90 per cent of clients’ input. The rest is professional input.
“If you are dealing in a matooke business, you know the source, the markets and where you want to take the business,” He shared.
It would be advisable to create an electronic copy that your client can customise, keep a copy on file and continue customising it according to their needs.

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SunnyJuly 16, 2018
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13min20

When starting a company, every entrepreneur should develop at least a simple version of a business plan. It often makes sense to start rather basic and then elaborate as you prepare to approach bankers or investors.

Remember that business idea you had that ended up in oblivion? Or that other idea that after a few months or years you found out someone else had the organization, resources and commitment to make it through to the market? Well, both those ideas might have had a chance with a proper business plan.

A business plan does not have to be over-detailed, or fairly simplistic. Advisers, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and private investors alike agree that it must be a reasonable roadmap to achieve product or service launch and to keep the company going in the first stages of its development. You don’t have to add a lot of numbers or cashflows statements to that paper, but rather you would need to have a simple orientation plan to where you want to go and how it is going to be achieved, considering the potential market and the competition.

It is not rare that the exercise of putting some milestones and points organized in a piece of paper will give entrepreneurs a clearer idea and new insights into their own roadmap to market.

There are nine basic questions that one has to answer and should include in the most basic to the most sophisticated business plans. They are:

1. Mission: 

What makes your company and product or service different from all the rest of the market? Who will benefit from your offer? What are the problem you are solving for your clients? What are the leveraging and tradeoffs you want to give your clients, under which circumstances and implications? What are you set to change with your invention and work?

2. Capital Needs: 

How much capital you need to start your company? Remember, the first months are the most difficult for a newborn company. Always include more in your forecast of needed capital than your real number. That may create a hedge for your cashflow issues in the first months if the company takes more time than expected to reach break-even.

It is not a common practice, but business owners and entrepreneurs should have a reserve of the first 6 to 12 months in their account, so they can cope with adversity. Cashflow problems are what most kill businesses, especially in the B2B segment, where most of the time you get to sell with credit to clients that represent a good percentage of your revenue. If any of those clients will delay payment or default, it is better to be prepared.

The Return On Investment is the indicator pointing out the amount of time needed to cover the initially invested funds. After the break-even point happens, the company will begin to create value every month.

3. Products and Services Portfolio: 

This is an interesting exercise. In order to define your products and services portfolio, you need to understand the needs and wants of your potential clients. Once you have identified them, think about the motivation your client would have to buy and use your offered product.

A company’s value proposition is what distinguishes it from its competitors. The value proposition provides value through various elements such as performance, customization, design, status, cost reduction, risk reduction, convenience, usability and so on.

The basic question here is: what is the problem my company solves and what is the opportunity it opens to my client / user?

Once you answer that question, you are ready to outline your list of products and services. Focus on a small list of offers where your team, know how and timing will make the difference rather than an extensive list of options.

4. Target Market: 

Who are the people or businesses that will buy your product or service? Where do they live? How many companies and people with the profile you need are there in the market to buy your offer? Are you limiting your reach geographically, demographically or in any way?

The deeper you know about the market you want to disrupt, the better. Spend as much time as needed doing your research, ask experts, read financial and industry papers and news, so you can have the best possible base to decide.

5. Revenues, expenses, losses, profits: 

A basic forecast of your cashflow can be a powerful tool. Not only to be adjusted should your performance not be so good as projected, but also for providing a roadmap to your shareholders, co-founders and employees. It must show your business will be economically viable.

All expenses out (rent, electricity, payroll, taxes, supplies, etc.) how much will remain in the end of the month? What is your net profit margin?

This is probably the most important item, as you should always strive to be in control of those numbers and increase your profit margin without compromising the quality of your offer, the harmony of your founding team and the motivational aspects of your product development and employees’ work.

6. Your Team: 

Not only the profile, function and key positions of your employees should appear here, but also the activities, functions and attributions of each co-founder and director. This is so simple but the more detail you have in those descriptions, the clearer it is for everybody where one should jump in a situation and where another one should step back and focus in their own activity or sector. It avoids misunderstandings and needless discussions.

Other two important questions are:

  1. Do I need someone with experience in this market to lead my company – and can I afford this person’s compensation or is it better to hire a few industrious and committed people instead of a rising market star?
  2. How many employees does my company need to carry its mission, achieve its numbers and deliver its promises?

7. Competitors: 

Where are your main competitors? Who are they? How much they charge for a similar product or service? What is their differentiation strategy?

Here a valuable lesson is: when in a commoditized market, exceed in customer service; when in a niche market, exceed in product development to keep ahead in that niche. This way, in most cases, you can avoid degrading price wars and preserve your company from dumping tactics from the competitors.

8. Pricing: 

One of the most important items. If you fail to price correctly your product, you are almost killing all your efforts. Have your operational costs, profit margin and needed ROI in consideration when pricing your offers, but also include a factor directly proportional to the benefit that your product brings to the client. If your product helps people save electricity for example, it is easier to charge on the savings produced, then invoicing your clients with a fix number.

9. Marketing and Sales Channels: 

One or two sheets of your Business Plan should encompass your marketing plan in your sales channels strategy. How are you going to spread your message and make your company known? Are you going to bet on online publicity, printed advertisement or word-of-mouth?

The sales channels strategy is somehow neglected in 90% of the Business Plans that I have come across. Most of business owners do not realize the importance of choosing the right sales channels for their offers. The difference of choosing among distributors, representatives and resellers can affect your numbers and operation to an extent that you might only find out when the business is already in trouble. Usually a mix of sales channels is the best solution and dependent on the nature of your projections and specific market.

Conclusion: 

Being able to enumerate, describe and answer those main points can serve your company as a compass for the days ahead, bringing your team together in moments of crisis and giving opportunity for items review every now and then.

If you are thinking about presenting your business idea to investors or going to venture capitalists and obtain funds for your operation in an investment round, you need to have some track record and show them very precisely your market data, growth over the last months or years and what is your competitive advantage as a company.

A very good help and basis for any business plan is to use the Business Model Canvas methodology, where you can derive some of those items from, and it is a visual method for brainstorming with your fellow co-founders and team.

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SunnyJuly 13, 2018
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8min50

WASHINGTON — Gogo, an inflight connectivity provider leasing capacity on dozens of satellites, bulldozed its old business plan July 13 amid looming concerns over unprofitability, encroaching debt deadlines, and a potential buyout.

Gogo expects to cut its losses by laying off staff and ending generous airline equipment subsidies while exploring strategic options that could result in splitting the company.

Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s president and CEO, said multiple parties have asked about transactions that could entail separating the Chicago-based company successful business aviation division from its troubled commercial aviation division.

Gogo is eliminating “approximately 55 positions” with intentions to eliminate around 30 percent of personnel by 2020, Thorne said during a July 13 call with analysts. The initial layoffs amount to more than five percent of Gogo’s commercial aviation, he said.

Over the past few weeks Gogo has received “a number of strategic inquiries from financial and strategic acquirers,” and is considering those options, Thorne said.

Thorne said the difference between what Wall Street thinks Gogo is worth, and what potential suitors might be willing to pay, “is as striking as I’ve ever seen,” but didn’t go into specifics. Gogo’s stock closed at $4.82 a share the day before the announcement, a fraction of its 52-week high of $14.76 a share.

Thorne said the company will continue pursuing its revised business goals even as it considers strategic options. Those goals include breaking even on free cash flow, cutting non-satellite spending for commercial aviation by 20 percent, and shaving $200 million in total cash burn, all by the end of 2020.

Ending subsidized hardware installs for airlines

To reach those goals, Thorne said Gogo will curb hardware install-subsidies for customer aircraft.

“We are going to eliminate or materially reduce subsidies that we offer airlines on all future deals,” he said. “The subsidy model has led to our entire industry suffering significant losses, and it was started by us back when we first got into the [commercial aviation] market in the mid-2000s.”

Thorne said when Gogo first started with the subsidies, the script was flipped with airlines whose “balance sheets were messes, not ours.”

Gogo has outfitted 809 aircraft with its 2Ku hardware, but ran into performance issues that delayed rollout. Thorne said some of the antennas, supplied by ThinKom of Hawthorne, California, were defective, causing icing issues in winter and subpar service uptime. Gogo has fixed most of those problems with software upgrades and hardware replacements, boosting the antenna’s reliability from 84 percent this winter to 97 percent as of May, he said.

Gogo will also start charging customers for engineering and certification services it has provided for free, “but which airlines are used to paying for with other vendors for other types of avionics equipment,” Thorne said.

Another change is that Gogo will take on fewer one-off customized inflight connectivity projects, and has already shrunk the total from around 500 at the beginning of the year to 91 presently, he said.

Cutting costs

Satellite capacity is Gogo’s “single largest cost category,” according to Barry Rowan, Gogo’s chief financial officer. It is also an area where cost can’t be controlled, Thorne said.

Gogo executives said they are confident current downward trends in capacity pricing will continue, saving the company money even as satcom needs continue to rise.

Rowan said Gogo makes “about a 45 percent margin” on revenue from satellite capacity, and expects that to continue. “Revenue is going up as fast as the cost,” he said.

Gogo leases large amounts of capacity from Intelsat and SES, the world’s two largest geostationary satellite operators, as well as from several other satellite operators. The company relies on Ku-band capacity, which is the same type that low-Earth-orbit startup OneWeb plans to offer with its constellation. Thorne said Gogo, whose Thinkom-supplied 2Ku commercial aviation antennas are already designed for OneWeb compatibility, is well positioned to take advantage of capacity from multiple orbits.

Along with satellites, Gogo uses a system of towers for an air-to-ground, or ATG, network to beam broadband to aircraft as they fly over the continental United States. Thorne said Gogo, which has become increasingly reliant on satellite capacity, is reconsidering whether it will continue with an upgrade of that ATG network.

Gogo’s ATG upgrade hit a roadblock in April when the U.S. Commerce Department imposed a trade ban on Gogo antenna supplier ZTE, a Chinese telecom company that violated U.S. sanctions by selling equipment to Iran and North Korea. The nearly three-month trade ban, however, was lifted by the Commerce Department July 13, just hours after Gogo’s investor call.

Gogo has slightly over $1 billion in debt, with $362 million due in March 2020. Rowan said Gogo is committed to “addressing these maturities” before they become current this coming March.

“We believe the combination of the support of our current shareholder base and a wide array of financing and strategic options will enable us to address our balance sheet,” he said.

Thorne and related affiliates control about 30 percent of Gogo’s outstanding shares, and have indicated a willingness to buy more, Rowan said.

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SunnyJuly 13, 2018
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6min80

Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) announced that it has completed a comprehensive analysis of its business and is implementing an Integrated Business Plan (IBP) designed to improve the company’s operational and financial performance. Gogo, a leading provider of broadband connectivity and products and services for aviation has branded its IBP as Gogo 2020. As quoted in the press … Continued

Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) announced that it has completed a comprehensive analysis of its business and is implementing an Integrated Business Plan (IBP) designed to improve the company’s operational and financial performance.

Gogo, a leading provider of broadband connectivity and products and services for aviation has branded its IBP as Gogo 2020.

As quoted in the press release:

The IBP, branded as “Gogo 2020”, transforms Gogo’s business model and is intended to significantly reduce its cost structure, improve quality, drive revenue, streamline business processes and prudently strengthen its balance sheet.

Oakleigh Thorne, President and CEO of Gogo, said, “The initiatives we are executing under our Integrated Business Plan demonstrate our commitment to taking aggressive action to position Gogo for sustainable value creation. Gogo 2020 represents a new era for Gogo with a significantly reduced cost structure, much lower capital expenditures, and a streamlined and standardized approach to meeting the needs of our customers with improved quality and service. As we prioritize resources to strengthen the resiliency of our model, we remain focused on accomplishing our objectives without sacrificing our long-term growth opportunities and will continue to evaluate strategic options to drive revenue, monetize assets and realize the significant value of our business.”

Gogo 2020 resulted in the following:

  • Targeting Free Cash Flow break-even for the full year 2020;
  • Targeting significant annual EBITDA growth each year in our plan, reaching over $200 million in 2022;
  • Continuing to build on the significant improvement in 2Ku performance metrics, including availability of over 97% in June, by enhancing product and service quality;
  • Maintain cash capex reduction in 2018 with further material reductions in 2019;
  • Materially reducing upfront equipment subsidies for airline contracts;
  • Reducing total operating spend in Gogo’s Commercial Aviation “CA” business (excluding satellite costs) by nearly 20% by the end of 2020;
  • Reducing total cash burn in 2019 by over $100 million from expected 2018 cash burn and by a further $100 million in 2020;
  • Reviewing multiple options to address our outstanding convertible debt before it becomes current in March of 2019;
  • Renewing focus on third-party payer revenue streams to better monetize existing connected aircraft;
  • Focusing on improving the range of user experiences;
  • Reviewing a range of attractive strategic alternatives, including opportunities suggested by various strategic and financial parties, with the goal of maximizing shareholder value.

The Company provides 2018 guidance as follows:

  • Total revenue of $865 million to $935 million, in line with prior guidance;

  • 2Ku incremental aircraft on-line to be at the low end of the prior guidance range of 550 to 650;

  • Gross capex of $150 million to $170 million and cash capex of $110 million to $130 million, in line with prior guidance;

  • Adjusted EBITDA guidance of $35-45 million.

Click here for the full text release.

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SunnyJuly 12, 2018
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13min30

Photo: Thought Catalog
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

If you think you don’t need a business plan because you work in a creative field, think again. Business plans aren’t only for multimillion dollar corporations or startups seeking investors. They also offer great ways to have a handle on your business, whether you are selling goods online, starting your photography studio, or working as a fine artist.

At its core, a business plan is a roadmap to guide you through your career. As a living document, your business plan will be continually updated to reflect your long-term and short-term goals. And, even if you aren’t seeking investors right away, a solid business plan will come in handy if you decide to solicit investments in the future. Starting with a smaller plan that you can update as you go is often the best course of action for creatives who are beginning their careers but don’t necessarily need a business plan to present to investors.

Best of all, your business plan doesn’t have to be lengthy. No one wants to read 100 pages—keep it short and sweet. Especially when you’re starting out, it can be around 10 to 15 pages, but that’s ok. Some of the best business plans are short and to the point, which is made possible by doing your homework ahead of time and being concise about your vision. In the end, the elements of your business plan are simply the business strategies you’ll need to be thinking about when launching your creative career. What are you selling? What makes your work unique? Who are your clients? How will you market to them? These are just some of the questions your business plan will answer, making it easier for you to stay on track and to communicate about your work effectively.

See how easy it can be to write a business plan for your creative career according to our outline.

If you’re lost and aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. Business plans follow a fairly standard format. The questions you ask yourself and how they’re answered might differ based on your profession, but the motives behind each are the same. They’ll get you thinking deeply about your career, what you want out of it, and how you’ll measure success.

Depending on your career, some areas may be more in-depth than others, but each will give you a map to success. And remember, when we speak about a company or business, this can be a single person. An individual artist is his/her own business—working as CEO, creative director, salesman, and product all wrapped into one.

What is a Business Plan?

Photo: rawpixel

Executive Summary

This is the area to write the big picture. As the opening to your business plan, it summarizes the what you’re looking for out of your creative business and how you plan to accomplish those goals in a broad sense. Interestingly, most people write this section last, as it summarizes the entire plan. Think of this as your written elevator pitch.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s your big picture vision for your company?
  • Why is your creative business poised for success?

Business Description

Here you’ll not only want to introduce what you are offering but also give insight into the industry at large. Is it a growing market? Are there trends to look out for? This is also the place to spell out how your business is structured legally and how long you have already been working in the field.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What general industry are you working in?
  • What trends are happening in the industry and how will this impact your business?
  • What does the future of this industry look like?
  • What type of business are you running (service oriented, retail, etc.)?
  • How are you structured legally for tax purposes?
  • Is your business new or pre-existing?
Business Planning for Creatives

Photo: Kyle Glenn

Products & Services

This is where you’ll break down the specifics of the creative work you are producing, whether it be photography services, oil paintings, or embroidery patterns. The point here is to not only demonstrate what makes your creative work different, but to also clearly articulate what clients can expect when they hire you or purchase an item.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • What services or products are you providing?
  • What’s your creative niche?
  • How is what you provide unique in your industry?
  • What makes your work unique?

Marketing Plan

In your marketing plan, you’ll not only explore who your clients are but your entire strategy for developing your brand and getting your name out into the world.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Who are your clients?
  • Where will you find your potential clients?
  • Why should clients pick your work over the competition?
  • How will you communicate your artistic vision to your clients?
  • How will you cultivate repeat clients?
Do Artists Need a Business Plan

Photo: rawpixel

Competitor Analysis

Every successful business plan takes a look at the competition and evaluates their successes and failures. The key to good business is understanding your market, and being able to hone in on what separates you from the rest.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Who are your main competitors in the industry?
  • How does your work differ from theirs?
  • How does your pricing differ?
  • Who are their biggest clients?
  • What can you learn from them?

Operations & Management

Whether you are doing it all yourself or have a team in place, this is section is where you look at the details of how you produce your work and run your business. While you may not have full-time collaborators to begin with, you may be bringing on temporary consultants like web designers or working with distribution channels that sell your art online. Get as specific as possible and don’t forget to include logistics from start to finish.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have a team? If so, what are their specific roles?
  • How will the fulfillment of orders and services be handled?
  • How will distribution work?
  • How specifically will your product be executed?
  • What are your benchmarks for successful operations?
Business Plans for Artists

Photo: rawpixel

Finances

And finally, it comes down to the money. Taking a critical look at your expenses and potential profits, especially as they relate to your lifestyle expectations, will be important. It’s also essential to give yourself benchmarks for success and room to grow financially. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to track your success.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How much does it cost to create your product or provide a service?
  • What are your other overhead costs (rent, utilities, etc.)?
  • What type of profit can you expect?
  • How much of your time will you be devoting to your business?
  • What is your pricing strategy?
  • How will your pricing change in the future?
  • What is your benchmark for profitability?
  • Do you have an emergency safety net?

Read on for more resources to help you craft the perfect business plan to kickstart your creative career.

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SunnyJuly 12, 2018
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7min30

Wednesday, Governor Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) CEO Dr. Courtney Phillips released DHHS’ third annual business plan, titled “Mission Driven, High-Quality Services for Nebraskans.”  The business plan identifies and details 18 key priority initiatives that will guide the work of DHHS through the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“Running government more like a business is helping make the State of Nebraska more effective, more efficient, and more customer-focused,” said Governor Ricketts.  “With their business plans, DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips and her team are helping bring greater discipline and focus to the their work and more value for clients and taxpayers.  Congratulations to the team on pulling together this third plan, which will help the agency better accomplish their mission of helping Nebraskans live better lives.”

“The commitment by Governor Ricketts and the Department to operational excellence is delivering on his principles of strong accountability and intentional customer focus throughout all state government,” said Dr. Phillips.  “I am excited to share our third annual business plan which will serve as the guide to our strategic priorities and initiatives through June 2019.  This plan is a continuation of our work to analyze, develop, and implement scalable solutions which will have a positive impact for those we serve.”

Phillips said some of this year’s initiatives will build on the progress made on last year’s priorities while others provide new opportunities for DHHS and, ultimately, for those the Department serves.

The 18 initiatives are aimed at integrating services, promoting independence, focusing on prevention, leveraging technology, and increasing operating efficiencies.  Each goal will result in measurable improvements and continue a commitment by the agency to be accountable and transparent.  The initiatives include:

  • Integrating Services and Partnerships: Working to create more efficient and effective ways to serve Nebraskans, DHHS is integrating services across DHHS and with stakeholders and partners. The priority initiatives include:
    • Heritage Health: A Quality Approach to Managed Care
    • Keeping Families Together
    • Nebraska System of Care, Youth & Families
  • Promoting Independence through Community-Based Services: Built on the needs of DHHS’ varied customers, community-based services provide the supports within communities to help them maintain independence and flourish. The priority initiatives include:
    • Medicaid and Long-Term Care (LTC) Redesign
    • Promoting Independence through Community-Based Services
  • Focusing on Prevention to Change Lives: DHHS is investing in healthy behaviors, safety, and prevention to help Nebraskans achieve lifelong success and live better lives. The priority initiatives include:
    • Addressing Opioid Abuse in Nebraska, Prevention & Care two ways:
      • Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention & Prescription Drug Monitoring
      • State Targeted Response Grant, Opioid Treatment
    • Equip & Empower the Child Protection & Safety Team
    • Improve Birth Outcomes in Nebraska
    • Supporting Family Preservation & Safety
    • Walk/Bike Communities
  • Leveraging Technology to Increase Effectiveness: Using technology, DHHS will streamline processes; make information more accessible, timely, and customer-focused; and effectively position the agency for the future as data needs change.  The priority initiatives include:
    • DHHS Public Website Redesign
    • Statewide eWIC Implementation
  • Increasing Operating Efficiencies and Improvements: A strong base for DHHS is essential to have continued success. DHHS will focus on improvements, efficiencies, and reduction in regulatory complexities to enhance quality and performance. The priority initiatives are:
    • Internal Audits, Increase Fiscal Proficiency
    • Maximizing Fund Mix Adjustment
    • Maintain & Improve ACCESSNebraska’s Performance
    • Quality Management in Developmental Disabilities For Those We Serve
    • Youth & Community Safety

Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts highlighted achievements from the past year made by DHHS as part of its second-ever business plan, including:

  • Sustaining reforms with ACCESSNebraska
  • Addressing opioid abuse
  • Growing Nebraska through re-employment
  • Transforming behavioral healthcare for children

Governor Ricketts said the DHHS successes can be attributed to a team dedicated to their mission, a commitment to excellence, and a focus on change and continuous improvement.  Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts applauded Phillips and the DHHS team for their work on last year’s business plan.  Overall, the team accomplished 13 of the 15 initiatives scheduled for completion in FY18 (over 97 percent of the deliverables due in FY18) and 89 percent of all the deliverables of the 20 initiatives in last year’s plan.

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SunnyJuly 12, 2018
records-for-small-businesses.jpg

12min90

Ozioma Ubabukoh

Your business plan is one of your venture’s most important documents. It’s the bible you’ll use to help establish your company, but it’s also the guiding document against which you’ll measure your success and continue to grow.

In order to build your business sustainably, you need to know where you are and where you’re going. This is what a business plan provides.

There’s a range of formats in which you might choose to write a business plan, but most of them include the same core sections. Below, we’ve explained each of these areas and how to complete them.

Executive summary. This is the outline of your plan, and a snappy explanation of your business. It’s used to pique the reader’s interest, and to explain what’s in the rest of the document. The executive summary shouldn’t generally be more than a couple of pages, and most people choose to write this section last.

The problem. This is where you explain the need for your business. What’s the problem you’re solving, or what’s the opportunity? Why do people need or want what you’re selling?

The solution. Here, you explain how you’re solving the problem you outlined in the previous section. What is it that your business will do? How does it meet the needs you’ve identified?

The market. In this section you explain the size and nature of your market. You’ll need to do some research to back this up, and that might be either quantitative, qualitative, or ideally both. Potential investors will want to know how big the market is, how many existing competitors there are, and whether the market is set to grow or contract.

Competitor analysis. Here, you’ll look at a few of your key competitors and analyse their strengths and weaknesses. What are they doing well and what can you improve on?

SWOT analysis. This is a key part of the business plan. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This section helps you understand some of the most important factors that might affect the success of your proposition, and how you’re going to compete effectively with other companies operating in your market.

The execution. Now that you’ve done the analysis, this section allows you to explain how you’re actually going to run your business. How will you turn the opportunity into a profit-making enterprise? This section will have a number of subsections, including marketing and sales, operations, and benchmarks.

The team. Here you’ll explain who’s involved in the business and what their strengths are. You should outline each key team member’s experience, and what they bring to this new business. You might also want to include outside advisors and experts, such as your accountants.

Financials. Your business plan won’t succeed without watertight financial forecasts. Here, you’ll need to outline your sales forecasts and the cost of goods sold. You’ll also need a profit and loss forecast, cash flow statement, and balance sheet, each of which should be presented in raw figures and as charts. If you’re seeking equity investment, you should also think about including details of potential exit strategies.

Appendices. Finally, many business plans include appendix sections featuring other graphs, tables, or notes that are too long or involved to include in the body of the plan itself.

Top tips for writing

a business plan

While you’re writing your business plan, you should keep the following tips in mind:

Know your audience. Remember who you’re writing for – is the business plan primarily for your own use, or are you looking for a loan, or even equity investment? By keeping your audience in mind at all times, you can help to ensure that you stay on track.

Don’t go on too long. Remember to keep your plan snappy. While you don’t want to miss out crucial detail, you should also bear in mind people’s attention spans. Don’t turn in a plan running to hundreds of pages.

KISS. Keep it simple, stupid! It’s likely that your plan will be seen by people who don’t have intimate knowledge of your industry, so you need to make sure that it’s written in language that is accessible to people without specialist experience.

Don’t forget the visuals. Finally, you should consider having a designer look over your business plan if it’s going to investors. You might even choose to build a presentation deck to give the top lines from your plan in an attractive, accessible format.

Free business plan software

There’s a range of software options available to help you write your business plan. The best ones guide you through the process systematically, giving you the questions and hints you need in order to structure your document properly.

While it’s not free, the best business plan software we’ve found is LivePlan, which is available for a fee per month when you buy a full year. This cloud-based software helps you structure your business plan properly, but its best feature is its fully functional forecasting section. This allows you to plug your numbers into a simple interface, which then generates attractive charts and graphs for you to embed in your document.

However, if money is tight, there are a few free options to help you create a great business plan. Your first stop should be the websites of the major banks, most of which offer free templates to help you create your plan. These can be particularly useful if you’re looking to apply for finance from a bank, as they’ll give you an idea of the sort of format lenders are looking for.

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SunnyJuly 10, 2018
IFCI

4min40

IFCI, a government company, has devised a multi-pronged turnaround strategy to tackle the current weak asset quality issues and strengthen its balance sheet, a top official said.

The strategy comprises focussed efforts to double cash recovery to ₹2,000 crore this fiscal, sale of investments in certain projects and realise ₹250 crore by selling non-core real-estate assets across the country, Emandi Sankara Rao, Managing Director & CEO, IFCI, told BusinessLine.

In 2017-18, IFCI made a cash recovery of ₹950 crore, just short of the targeted amount of ₹1,000 crore.

IFCI is also looking to unlock value of ₹70 crore this fiscal by selling its direct subsidiary IFIN (which has a presence in the NBFC and broking segments) to SHCIL (in which IFCI controls 52.86 per cent stake).

It may be recalled that IFCI had, in 2017-18, recorded a profit before provisioning of about ₹570 crore, but registered a net loss of ₹1,008 crore, largely due to huge provisioning for bad debts.

Rao, who has been at the helm of IFCI since August 2017, also said that IFCI was open to further sell its equity holding in the National Stock Exchange (NSE), the country’s largest bourse by profits. IFCI has direct equity stake of about 2.44 per cent in the NSE.

Higher disbursements

IFCI is also open to diluting its holding in Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) without losing control over the company, said Rao. For the current fiscal (2018-19), IFCI has set its sights on disbursements of about ₹6,000 crore, much higher than the ₹4,500 crore it disbursed in 2017-18 and about ₹3,000 crore in 2016-17, said Rao. “We have made a business plan which involves disbursement of ₹6,000 crore this fiscal. Of this, as much as ₹3,000 crore will be for new accounts,” said Rao.

In a change of tack on the asset portfolio side, IFCI has also decided to focus more on short-term loans while being selective on funding long-term projects.

“We don’t want to do long-term projects. We will do them selectively and in less number. Our focus now will be on short term lending. We will also enhance focus on fee based activity and offer structured products,” he said.

IFCI will focus on sunrise industries (electronics, renewables, and logistics) and certain brownfield projects.

“The idea is to ensure that the quality of assets that we are acquiring is A- and above. We provide tailor-made solutions,” he said.

Rao said that IFCI Venture Capital Funds Ltd (IVCF), a subsidiary of IFCI, will close three of its closed-ended funds (in aggregate ₹610 crore) and return money to investors this calendar year.

“We propose to start two new funds – Green Fund-II and Affordable Housing Fund – of ₹500 crore each. For Green Fund-II, we have all the approvals. We have to just do roadshows,” said Rao.

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