Tag Archives: granger whitelaw business

Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan

Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan

<meta name="description" content="

The format of a Business Plan is something that has been developed and refined over the years and is something that should not be changed. Like a good recipe, a business plan needs to include certain ingredients to make it work.” />

Five Crucial Components of a Business Plan

The format of a Business Plan is something that has been developed and refined over the years and is something that should not be changed. Like a good recipe, a business plan needs to include certain ingredients to make it work.

When you create a business plan, don’t attempt to recreate its format. Those reviewing this type of document have expectations you must meet. If they do not see those crucial decision-making components, they’ll see no reason to proceed with their review of your business plan, no matter how great your business idea.

Executive Summary Section

Every business plan must begin with an Executive Summary section. A well-written Executive Summary is critical to the success of the rest of the document. Here is where you need to capture the attention of your audience so that they will be compelled to read on. Remember, it’s a summary, so each and every word must be carefully selected and presented.

Use the Executive Summary section of your business plan to accurately describe the nature of your business venture including the need that you plan to fill. Show the reasons why people need your product or service. Show this by including a brief analysis of the characteristics of your potential market.

Describe the organization of your business including your management team. Also, briefly describe your sales and marketing plan or approach. Finally include the numbers that those reviewing your business plan want to see the amount of capital you seek, the carefully calculated sales projections and your plan to repay the loan.

If you’ve captured your audience so far they’ll read on. Otherwise, they’ll close the document and add your business plan to the heap of other rejected ideas.

Devote the balance of your business plan to providing details of the items outlined in the Executive Summary.

The Business Section

Be sure to include the legal name, physical address and detailed description of the nature of your business. It’s important to keep the description easy to read using common terminology. Never assume that those reading your business plan have the same level of technical knowledge that you do. Describe how you plan to better serve your market than your competition is currently doing.

Market Analysis Section

An analysis of the market shows that you have done your homework. This section is basically a summary of your Marketing Plan. It needs to show the demand for your product or service, the proposed market, trends within the industry, a description of your pricing plan and packaging and a description of your company policies.

Financing Section

The Financing section must show that you are as committed to your business venture as you expect those reading your business plan to be. Show the amount of personal funds you are contributing and their source. Also include the amount of capital you need and your plan to repay this debt. Include all pertinent financial worksheets in this section: annual income projections, a break-even worksheet, projected cash flow statements and a balance sheet.

Management Section

Outline your organizational structure and management team here. Include the legal structure of your business whether it is a partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation. Include resumes and biographies of key players on your management team. Show staffing projection data for the next few years.

By now you’re probably thinking that you don’t need Business Plan just yet. Well you do, and there is business plan building software that can help you through this immense project. These software packages are easy to use and affordable. Use one today and produce a professional-quality Business Plan including all critical components tomorrow!

Copyright © 2004 Cavyl Stewart. Get more software tips, strategies and recommendations to help you create your business plan by signing up for my Exclusive 100% free, 100% original content ecourse: “How To Failure-Proof Your Business Instantly.” To sign up please visit: http://www.find-small-business-software.com/bizplan-ecourse.html

article source: adzines.com


Corporate Branding, will they remember you?

Corporate Branding – Will they remember you?

Corporate Branding – Will they remember you?

By: Tyson Fenech

In today’s market selling quantity seems to be the rule of the day. Slap together something quick and don’t worry about what flies out the door, it doesn’t even matter who the purchasers are.

Companies who focus on branding will stand out amongst the crowd. Why? They have recognized that most buyers’ especially online buyers need confidence in doing business with an established entity. Nothing shows your commitment to your business like a well developed branding strategy. Having a great logo is the first major step towards cultivating this development. Sure there are plenty of “out-of-the-box” logo solutions and the prices are more than appealing to a business that doesn’t recognize the value of their corporate image.

The Difference

Why should you spend more than $300 on a logo? Would you buy a car for $1000? Chances are if you do you’ll be paying a lot more for maintenance and the headaches it will bring. You always get what you pay for. This can’t be stressed enough. If you are willing to sabotage your business from the very beginning by neglecting the image you portray to your potential clients, that logo will be costing you a lot more than you’re willing to invest. A professional Graphic Designer will invest a lot of time, researching to produce a logo that is truly unique (vital to branding and making your mark) and introduce you to a solid first step in Branding your company as a powerful entity. A logo is further enhanced by the elements built around it. With everything related to design, everything should be custom made, now more so than ever because the competition for capital is increasing. You have to be better than your competitors in as many ways possible.

For the young start-up company, budgets may disallow you the option of working with a professional designer. There are plenty of great designers out there that won’t gouge your pocket book but be certain that they are capable of creating exactly what you want and that they have the experience to expand upon the logo design provided. You want someone who is business savvy and has demonstrated their applied knowledge. They must be able to foresee the bigger picture. The success of your business rests on this.

Putting it Together

Generally speaking the more experienced the designer the higher the rates charged. With the experience you will usually get a product that has been developed and refined over time. A veteran Graphic Designer will be designing with the big picture in mind taking your investment dollars further. The numbers quoted are relative to what they generate, a client will be happy to invest money when they see return. If the image developed for them attracts customers price becomes secondary. Recognize the value of your image and take your logo very seriously. As human beings we are visual.

For the long haul

Generally a business that has quality services to offer and takes their image seriously will understand the value of investing in professional design. Most successful businesses know how much they must devote to marketing in order to generate the sales they desire. Those marketing dollars will be more effective if your Branding approach was cultivated properly. If you take your business seriously chances are you’ll attract the same. How do you want to be viewed?

A Bit about the Logo

For the most part focus was placed on the business mentality rather than the logo itself. There are different types of logos. Many large corporations utilize strictly text or abbreviations. Companies like DELL, IBM, RCA, ABB, etc. Text logos are very popular and are easily integrated across the Branding board. Iconic treatments are also utilized by many businesses. An icon can be very powerful in identifying a company. Take Apple or Nike for example. Using imagery is a very powerful strategy in branding. Symbols guide us in our lives and daily activities. Icons can be very simple and clean to more complex utilizing gradients and simulated 3D. Illustrative (beyond iconic) is less frequently used but can work effectively for companies that usually want to portray a timelessness or “natural” homey feeling typically found on a bottle of tomato sauce or organic potato chips.

Everything outlined above can dictate the price of your logo. The logo is a powerful aspect of your company. It should take time to create and will require much attention if it is to create a powerful Branding strategy. Be sure that the logo designer of choice is willing to provide you with mock ups and multiple revisions and is willing to help take your company to the next level.

Author Bio
Tyson Fenech is the Creative Director for Core Creative Concepts. Designing web sites and print materials for the past 7 years helping both small startups and Fortune 500 companies. www.coregraphicdesign.com

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

Coca Cola’s brand power

Coca-Cola: The Power of a Brand

Coca-Cola: The Power of a Brand

By: Bob Zurn

There are few images as recognizable throughout the world as the Coca-Cola brand. Travel to the furthest reaches of the globe and you will probably encounter it on a clock or a sign, if not on the drink itself. Marketers today look to the Coca-Cola brand as a model of marketing power. Its image has transcended national borders and cultural barriers to reach almost everyone on earth. How did the Coca-Cola symbol become such an omnipresent image?

Beginning in 1886, Coca-Cola president John Pemberton began traveling the country introducing pharmacists to the drink. At that time it was considered a medicinal substance that could relieve headaches and other minor woes. Candler distributed clocks, calendars and other items laden with the Coca-Cola logo as he toured the country, spreading the brand and selling his product.

From there the brand continued to penetrate further around the world. The bottling rights to Coca-Cola were sold in 1899 and in 1915 the Root family submitted a standard size bottle for distribution, but it was too fat in the middle. The Coca-Cola Company liked the bottle so much they thinned it down and has been used ever since and is called a Hobbleskirt Bottle. By 1920, with new bottlers springing up all the time, the brand had expanded into Cuba, France, Puerto Rico and other territories. Its world dominance would increase further with World War II, when Coca-Cola promised that “every man in uniform gets a bottle of Coca-Cola for 5 cents, wherever he is, and whatever it costs the company.” Suddenly Coca-Cola could be found throughout Europe as American GIs carried it with them, and by 1960 the number of countries with Coke bottling plants had doubled.

Today Coke remains a powerful brand with over a century of history behind it. As a result, items featuring previous incarnations of the Coke image have become classic pieces of Americana. The success of the Coca-Cola brand has made it an icon not just in the world of brand marketing but of American history. It symbolizes the popularity of a soft drink as well as the dominance of American entrepreneurialism in the twentieth century and beyond.

Author Bio
Bob Zurn and his wife Joyce own and operate Cola Corner, the leading online provider of Coca-Cola collectibles. Cola Corner provides a wide selection of Coca-Cola posters, novelties, clothing, and furniture. Visit them online today at www.colacorner.com/novelties.html to view their classic collection.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content


Bringing Brand Benefits to Beer

Bringing Branding Benefits to Beer

Bringing Branding Benefits to Beer

By: Martin Williams

Ever since 1875, when the Bass red triangle became the first registered trademark, brewers have recognised the importance of on beer bottle branding, and now the latest printing technologies are being harnessed to achieve the best packaging impact for today’s brewers.

Beer bottle labels play a major role in ensuring that beer packaging has strong impact at the point of sale. Packaging technology is advancing dramatically, with innovations in the printing, production and application of beer labels, and a move away from the traditional wet glue labels to high impact self adhesive labels.

Recent developments in print technology have helped improve the aesthetic quality of self adhesive labels. High-end print techniques such as foils, special links and MetalFX provide a visually attractive label, able to fulfil brewer’s stringent brand values.

The economics of self adhesives have also been transformed with specialist label and packaging printers now available to produce high quality labels in economic short runs.

Traditional wet glue labels are applied by using adhesive on the bottling line. As they need to sit on the bottling line in a box or magazine each made specifically for a single label size and format, this process tends to limit the range of labels available.

By contrast, self adhesive label are pre-coated with adhesive and applied to bottles from a carrierweb. The process is cleaner, involves less complex machinery and can quickly be adapted to all label sizes and formats.

Traditional wet glue labels may suffer from the problems of drying out, tearing or fall off before they reach the customer. The technical specification of self adhesive materials can be tailored to ensure that each label type is fir for its purpose. By using appropriate adhesives, self adhesive labels can even be applied to web bottles on the line.

Such innovations ensure that labels remain in prime condition up to the point of sale.

Author Bio
Etiquette (www.etiquette.co.uk) are the UK’s experts in labels & labelling. For more information about beer bottle labelling, visit http://www.labelling-machine.com or buy online at http://www.thelabeller.com.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

Labels make the difference

Self Adhesive Satisfies Micro Breweries

Self Adhesive Satisfies Micro Breweries

By: Martin Williams

The move to self adhesive labels for UK brewers follows recent developments in the USA. Anheuser-Busch has played a leading role in the States and Coors are now adopting the same approach in the UK.

However, it is not only multi-national breweries that have an interest in the quality of their labelling – so do micro brewers.

These smaller regional breweries have a strong reputation for distinctive packaging and have been quick to harness the benefits of self adhesive labels. Many brewers outsource their bottling to contract breweries, which tell us that self adhesives are more reliable at application and give their bottlers less downtime on the production line. The result is good for both the brewer and the bottler.

There are also economies when producing self adhesive labels. Unit costs are reduced because they can be printed, finished and die cut in a single process, minimising costs and wastage.

The development of dual web printing processes also means that the body, back and neck labels can be applied in one pass on the bottling line and labels perfectly index onto the bottles. We also apply film coating that gives labels durability and ensure they reach the shelf in prime condition.

Beer bottles with self adhesive labels are able to be recycled in the same way as those with traditional labels, so innovative labelling does not get in the way of good recycling practice.

The OPM Group has designed, printed and produced self adhesive labels for several regional breweries including Swindon based Arkells.

Arkells head brewer Don Bracher says that self adhesives increase the brand impact of their bottles. “The visual impact of self adhesive labels is significantly better than we glue labels. Yes, they are more expensive, but we think they are worth the additional investment. We now have labels with better colours, better branding and more customer appeal.

“We’re producing beer in non returnable bottles, so you have a situation where the bottle is pristine. It’s important for the label to look the very best it can”.

Author Bio
Etiquette (www.etiquette.co.uk) are the UK’s experts in labels
& labelling. For more information about bottle labelling, visit http://www.labelling-machine.com or buy online at http://www.thelabeller.com.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

Protecting Corporate Name is a Must for New Firms

Protecting Your Corporate Name

Protecting Your Corporate Name

By: Jonathan Brown

Imagine this: you want to sell widgets, and you’ve chosen the perfect name for your brand new widget business. You’ve made the name original and yet homey, easy to say, hard to forget, and you’ve checked databases everywhere to make sure that nobody else thought of it first. You’ve invested vast sums of money in marketing materials and storefront signs that include your wonderful new name. Best of all, you’ve already impressed some new widget customers with your amazing services and they are spreading the word that your business-yes, the one with your fabulously unique name-is the place to go for all their widget needs, bar none. You love your new name.

Then picture this: shortly after your widget shop opens for business, you learn that a guy two blocks over is using the same name, for a strikingly similar widget business. That’s your name hanging in his window, by God! Customers are getting confused. Your business begins to drop off and you suspect the other widget guy is getting the customers who were looking for you.

Is this nightmare scenario possible?

Sadly, yes-but only if you don’t know how to protect your corporate name properly.

The first thing a new business owner must do is register the name of the new corporation. The procedure for registration varies by state, but generally involves some very simple paperwork to be submitted to the state’s Secretary of State’s office, along with a small fee. The Secretary of State’s office will not register two businesses with the same name, so this procedure will prevent later businesses from incorporating in the same state under your corporate name. Registration with the Secretary of State’s office will also legitimize the corporate identity of your business as a legal entity separate from its founders, and will provide evidence to demonstrate that the name is being used in commerce when you next register the name as a trademark. Be aware, however, that a business can incorporate in any of the fifty states, so registering your business in your own state provides only partial protection of your corporate name. To provide greater protection, it is necessary to register the name as a trademark or service mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Registering your new business name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will provide nationwide notice of your claim to the name as a trademark, and invokes the jurisdiction of the federal courts in protecting the name. To register a new business name as a trademark, an application may be obtained online at the U.S. Patent and Trademark website, http://www.uspto.gov. This application may either be filed online or mailed into the Patent and Trademark Office. Be aware that the processing of your application may take more than a year, so this application should be filed as soon as possible to begin the process. Status of your application may be checked online.

You do not need to wait until your trademark is nationally registered to begin protecting your right to it, however. When using your business name on marketing materials or other written matter, you can demonstrate your claim to the name as a trademark by adding a small “TM” at the end of the word. This provides notice to those who see the written materials that you consider the name to be proprietary and should not be “borrowed” by others. After you receive national registration of the business name as a trademark, however, it will receive the greatest possible protection and you may demonstrate this by including an R in a circle, “®,” at the end of your business name.

Once you have received trademark registration, you must file periodic Affidavits of Use with the Patent and Trademark Office to prove that the name remains in use. If you cease use of the mark for a period of years, you will lose ownership of the name as a trademark and others may be able to use it.

Next comes the business of “policing” your trademark. This involves online research and investigation within your own industry to determine whether your trademarked business name is being used by others in the same or similar business that might cause customer confusion as to your business identity. In that event, a judicious letter often dissuades the newcomer from using the business name. If a letter is ineffective, the matter may be resolved through litigation.

The founding of a new business is a busy time, but it is necessary to begin as quickly as possible to protect the new business name against infringement. In this way, it is possible to prevent customer confusion and retain all of the customer good will that they have come to associate with your company’s name.

Author Bio
Jonathan Brown recommends limited liability company for more information about protecting your corporate name.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

MSN and Branding

Branding – MSN fails to keep it Straight

Branding, Branding, Branding – MSN fails to keep it Straight

By: Rob Sullivan

Sometimes you see promotions come along and you wonder: did they just do that? The current MSN promotion called msnsearchandwin is a prime example of this.

Not only do they use “black hat” or at least “questionable” tactics on the site, but the messaging is inconsistent.

In this article I look at the new MSN promotion and ask the question: Why bother?

By now you’ve probably heard about the new MSN promotion where you can win prizes simply by using MSN search.

They did do something right by registering a domain name that implies that message. If you go to msnsearchandwin.com you will see the familiar MSN search box.

Wait a minute…Why is this search box blue? Didn’t MSN just rebrand with a nicer, cleaner silver grey look?

That, my friends, is mistake number one. It’s as if the technical team and the marketing team didn’t get together to discuss this program.

I mean, when you go through something as complex and massive as a rebranding, you should make sure the messaging is consistent across the various media. Especially when the promotion and the rebranding launch within days of each other.

This is eerily similar to the article I wrote about Superbowl Ads. In that article I talked about how advertisers spend millions on a 30 second or 1 minute TV commercial yet they fail to carry that messaging over onto their website effectively if at all.

And here we have MSN – probably one of the most recognized brands on the web and subsidiary to the company with one of the most effective and ruthless marketing arms in the world – and it can’t seem to communicate it’s message that MSN is rebranding.

I mean, how hard would it have been for someone in Tech to phone up someone in Marketing and say, “By the way, you know that search and win promotion you are doing? Be sure that the colors match the new look of MSN that’s launching in a few days.”

But wait, it gets better.

First spotted by Kerry Dean, if you view source of the msnsearchandwin home page what do you see?

That’s right, about a million keywords stuffed into the keywords tag. (OK maybe not a million but there are 256 keywords in the meta keywords tag).

It gets worse. Immediately below the overstuffed keywords tag you will see a bunch of keywords stuffed into a comments tag. Again the same 256 words used in the meta keywords tag.

So tell me, is it OK for a search engine to spam itself?

Perhaps we could all learn a little something from MSN’s marketing mistake: Keep it Consistent!

Author Bio
Rob Sullivan is a SEO Consultant and Writer for <a href="http://
Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content