9 Tips for Putting Together a Great Business Plan

9 Tips for Putting Together a Great Business Plan

You have this brilliant idea you believe will change the world. You have a clear vision of the future and are excited about it. But first, you must convince venture capitalists, banks, and close family and friends about your idea because you need capital. This is where a business plan comes in. A business plan is a simple document that gives a good description about your company and how you expect it to grow. A well-written plan increases your chances of ever raising money for your business. Here are some of the best tips you should always use when coming up with a great business plan.

Make it short and simple

A common mistake we see with most people is that they develop very lengthy business plans. In these plans, they try to cover everything in their businesses with great detail. Sadly, this is wrong for several reasons. First, most people you will share your business plan with are busy people. They don’t have time to read hundreds of pages of a business plan. Second, if you can’t explain what your business is with a few words, it has a problem. Finally, a long business plan sends the wrong picture to investors. Ideally, we recommend a plan that is less than 3 pages.

Make a great business plan clear

If you are developing the business plan to raise capital, make it very clear. To do this, just say what your business is, the market you are targeting, the competitors in the business, how the industry is growing, your estimated customer acquisition costs, and how your business differs from the competitors. Most importantly, tell the investors and lenders how you will generate revenue and your likely margins. If you write all these well, you will have a likelihood of raising money.

Have all the essential parts

A business plan has three main components. You should do your best to explain these components with ease. The first part is business analysis. As mentioned above, this includes things like the industry, competition, industry growth, and industry trends. The second part is on your action plan. This includes things like the people involved in the project and sales and marketing. Finally, there are projections. This is where you project how much money the company will make.

Do your research

As you write your business plan, you need to get everything right. One way to achieve this is to remember that the people who will read the plan already read tens of them every day. In many venture funds, some people are assigned the role of reading business plans. This means that they read a lot of them. Therefore,  you should do your research to ensure you get everything right. For example, if you talk about the growth rate of an industry, make sure you have real data to prove it.

Watch an episode of shark tank

Shark tank is the premier business plan television show. You have likely heard about it. If you haven’t watched it, we recommend that you watch a few episodes. This is because what you will learn from the program will help you develop your plan. For example, you will learn so many things about competitor analysis, margins, customer acquisition costs, how to negotiate with retailers, and how to grow your business.

Make a visual version of the plan

Most people don’t have time to read a lot of materials. To solve this problem, you should do a video version of the plan. This will draw the attention of the people you are reaching with your plan. If you go through this route, ensure that the video is short and well-edited. Another brilliant way is to create a pitch deck presentation.

Highlight your progress

Having an idea itself is not enough. The audience of your business plan needs to see the progress you have made. For example, have you registered the business name? Do you have a prototype? Have you bought a website domain? Have you patented the product? Is the business generating any income? If so, how is the growth? These are some of the things that you should tell your investors or financiers.

The exit strategy

The reason investors fund small companies is so that they can maximize their returns. Organic income itself will not make them happy. Therefore, you need to explain to them about having a good exit strategy. This could either be to license the product, sell the company, or even an IPO.

Don’t make vague pronouncements

A common mistake we see is when entrepreneurs make vague announcements. A popular one is when an entrepreneur talks about the size of the market and how they would be successful even if they took a small share of the market. Another one is when an entrepreneur underestimates the amount of money that is needed to grow the company.

Final Thoughts on great business plan

A good business plan is said to be the foundation of all businesses. In fact, not many companies have succeeded without having a good business plan. By following these simple tips, you will be in a good position to raise money from both banks and investors. It will also help you in running and managing your organization.

Online Careers with Little to No Startup Money Required

Online Careers with Little to No Startup Money Required

Working from home is a dream job for so many people. In fact, recent data from the Census Bureau showed that 5.2% of workers in the country work from home. This is up from 3.3% in 2000 and the number is expected to continue rising. In this article, we will look at the best online careers you can start without needing any money.

Virtual Assistant Online Careers

In the U.S., there is increased talk of higher wages. These high wages depress their margins. To deal with the issue, most companies are turning to online contractors to help them. Some of the work you will be doing as a virtual assistant will be customer service, replying emails, article writing, social media management, and scheduling among others. To get such jobs, you can use freelancing sites like Upwork. Alternatively, you can check the popular job boards for remote work.

Transcriber

Audio is becoming more popular these days. Part of the reason for this is the popularity of podcasting industry. While there are several automatic transcribing services, they are usually not very accurate. Therefore, most podcasters turn to online contractors to help them with transcribing their podcasts. Therefore, you can perfect your art of transcribing and make a lot of money with it.

SEO Specialist

Most companies have their own websites. To rank higher, they turn to search engine optimizing experts. This is because companies that don’t appear on the first page of Google don’t achieve a lot of success. At the same time, hiring SEO companies is usually very expensive. Therefore, many companies turn to online SEO specialists to help them with this. While the concept sounds difficult, it is relatively easy. In fact, you can learn it within two days.

Website Designer

In the past, website design was a difficult thing. One needed to have a background in software engineering. Today, all this has changed and the process is relatively easy. This is because of the many content management systems (CMS) that are available. These include tools like WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, and Weebly. You can learn how to use these systems and launch your home website design company.

Content Manager

The role of content is so important these days. The demand for quality content writers and managers is increasing. Therefore, if you have quality writing skills, you can specialize on writing quality content for companies. This will include writing press releases, SEO content, managing comments on their blogs, and updating their website pages. You can easily get such tasks in platforms like Upwork.

Graphic Design

As with the other tasks mentioned above, many companies are seeing no need for hiring full-time employees to handle their graphic design needs. Therefore, they are turning to online marketplaces like Upwork and 99Designs to find quality graphic designers. Even if you have no background in graphic design, you can use online videos to learn. As a designer, your work will be to create quality designs like logos, business cards, brochures, and banners.

Online Stocks Trading

So many people are working as online money managers today. Part of the reason is that there is adequate information about the potential of the market. If you have a background in finance, you can decide to be a full-time trader. If you don’t have such a background, you can use the various online platforms like Khan Academy, YouTube, and Coursera to learn more about it.

Online Store Manager

So many companies are using e-commerce to reach more people. To do this, they combine their own  websites with other marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. For busy companies, managing these stores is a difficult and time-wasting work. They also don’t want to hire full-time employees. Therefore, they turn to freelancers, who can do a good job and at a better price.

Blogger/Vlogger

You can also become a blogger or a vlogger, where you will be sharing important details about your life. So many people have made a fortune being bloggers and vloggers. All you need is to be passionate about what you want to share with the world. If you are successful, you will make money from adverts and sponsorships.

Fitness Trainer

There is a lot of demand for fitness training services. This is especially now that people can stream fitness activities through the internet. You can create your fitness website or leverage on platforms like YouTube and Peloton to sell your courses.

Summary of the Best Online Careers

The demand for online work will continue to increase as companies continue to see thinning margins with wages increase. This will create an opportunity for people interested in working from home. However, the industry is so competitive and you need to create a good brand so that you can attract valuable customers.

Getting Inside the Mind of Successful People and Discovering 7 Beliefs

Getting Inside the Mind of Successful People and Discovering 7 Beliefs

We are living in an era of great success in the United States. An era when recently-formed companies are receiving valuations worth billions of dollars. An era when more than 2000 people are worth more than a billion dollars worldwide. In this article, we will look at the beliefs of the most successful people in the world.

Don’t Be Complacent

An important lesson from wealthy people is on the dangers of complacency. Complacency means being comfortable with where you are in life. Most successful people believe in not expanding their goals once they achieve something. A good example of this is Jeff Bezos, the richest man on the planet. Recently, Amazon was the biggest online retailer in the world. Bezos could have rested easy and be comfortable owning the company. Instead, he started to explore other ideas. Today, Amazon is the biggest cloud computing company in the world. The same example can be said of other successful companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

You Don’t Have to Lead

Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1975. In 2000, Microsoft left the company to focus on philanthropy. He left the company in the hands of Steve Ballmer, who had been an early Microsoft employee. Ballmer was replaced by the current CEO, Satya Nadella in 2014. See, Bill Gates could have remained as the CEO of the company for decades. However, he decided to leave the position to other people, and today, Microsoft has become the biggest company in the world. The same transition has happened in other companies like Google.

The People You are Close to

Warren Buffett is one of the richest people in the world. Over the years, he has worked with Charlie Munger, who is also the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He is known to be a great financial analyst and a value investor. With all his money, Bill Gates could have selected anyone to be his investment partner. However, he selected Munger, who is an intelligent investor. Bill Gates is another close friend of Buffett. As he gets older, Buffett has been nurturing the talents of Ajit Jain, who will likely become the next CEO of the country.

Be a Risk Taker

Mark Zuckerberg was a top student at Harvard. He was a bright student, which means that he could have found a job at a leading organization in the US as other Harvard students do. However, he developed the idea of Facebook and decided to pursue it. As the company became popular, he decided to drop out. Today, Facebook is the biggest social media network in the world. It wouldn’t be if Zuckerberg didn’t drop out. Bill Gates is another billionaire who dropped out of college. From a corporate standpoint, we regularly see companies like Amazon and Alphabet launch many products, some of which don’t become successful.

Give Back

The more you have, the more you should give. This is the principle shared by many wealthy people. For example, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are the richest people in the world. They are also the biggest philanthropists in the world. By signing the Giving Pledge, the two have vowed to give away their funds to charity. Other billionaires have done the same thing. As you succeed in your career, you should always learn to give back to the society. It does not have to be monetarily. You can be a volunteer at a local organization or you can coach the young ones.

Failure is Just a Process

Most successful people have gone through failure in the past. Steve Jobs was fired from Apple. Warren Buffett’s investment in IBM and Kraft turned out to be disasters. Bill Ackman lost more than $4 billion on his investment in Valeant. There are many examples of this. The lesson is that failure is part of the process of being successful and you should not give up.

Be Honest in Your Dealings

In the recent past, we have seen many successful people fall. The best example was Bernie Madoff, who was a great investor before he started his pyramid scheme. He is now serving a 150-year sentence. Arif Naqvi ran a big investment company known as Abraaj. He was accused of misappropriating more than $250 million from his investors. Today, he is out on a bail and is expected to be locked up for a few years. There are other examples of this. The lesson here is that you should always be honest about your dealings.

Takeaway

There are many wealthy people in the world today. With the internet, we know a lot about them. In this article, we focused on a few lessons that we can learn from them. A good way to learn more from them is to read their biographies and the articles about them in the media. You should then apply these lessons on your personal and corporate life.

 

Ways You Can Tell When It’s Time for a Move in Your Career

Ways You Can Tell When It’s Time for a Move in Your Career

Ways You Can Tell When It’s Time for a Career Move

A recent study found that most employees were unhappy with their job. This is a big number, especially at a time when the economy is at full-employment. This unhappiness is caused by several factors like the slow wage growth, unfriendly colleagues, long shifts, and lack of motivation for your career. In this article, we will explain how you can realize that you are ready to make a career Move.

You Are at The Peak

You have worked hard in your career. Over the years, you have seen impressive growth at your workplace. You have risen from being a junior intern to the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO). You have achieved all the goals and desires that you set to achieve when you were starting up. If you are in such a situation, it could be a good thing to move your career. Because of your experience, you can easily find a similar high-level position in another bigger company. You can also leverage your experience in the industry to start your own organization.

You are Too Comfortable

You have a good job and you love it. You earn a good salary and you love what you do. You have also spent decades in the same company. If this is you, it could be a signal that you are ready to move to another company. When you spend your entire career in one company and in a similar position, it could be an indication that you have become too comfortable. As such, it is recommended that you move to another job or go out and start your own company.

No Career Growth

Another period when you need to move is when you are not making any progress in your career. This is especially the case when you see people who joined the company after you get promoted. This feels bad. However, it could also be a signal that you need to change your career. As you do this, you need to try and find a reason why your career has stagnated. Is it because you don’t have the necessary technical skills? Alternatively, could it be because you have poor interpersonal skills? Answering these skills will help you in the next phase of your career.

Your Side Hustle is Doing Well

You might be employed but still running a side job. Some of the most popular side hustles are being a graphic designer, website developer, and a content writer. At times, your side job might be doing better than your full-time job. As such, you believe that you can grow the side job to a real business. If you are in such a situation, you might consider leaving your job.

Your Company is In Trouble

Another period when you might want to consider a career move is when you see the company having financial difficulty. A good example was the collapse of Sears, which was once the biggest retailer in the country. As an insider, you likely know very well that the company won’t survive for long. Therefore, you might start looking for work opportunities elsewhere. This is because waiting too much could expose you to risk when the company collapses.

Toxic Work Environment

One reason why so many people hate their jobs is that the environment is not conducive. A good example of this is when there is increased sexual harassment in the company. Another period is when there is vulgar talk or when the employees don’t have respect for one another. While the job that you do might be good, you might find it difficult to remain in the company. This could be a sign that you might find a better job elsewhere.

The Pay is Not Good

You might have a good job that you love. Your colleagues could be great and the work environment could be perfect. However, if you believe that your pay is not good, you might consider moving. Before doing this, however, it is recommended that you talk with the managers to see whether they can give you a raise. Remember, it is never a crime to seek a raise.

Summary on Making a Career Move

In the past, people used to get so comfortable in their workplaces. At the time, labor mobility was low and people used to spend their entire career on their jobs. These days, this has changed and people are always on the move. This is partly because of the tight labor market and the companies’ desire for better talent. Therefore, if you believe that it’s time to move, we recommend that you do it in a strategic way.

Career Moves You Should Make Before You Turn 30

Career Moves You Should Make Before You Turn 30

To most people, their 20s can be an excellent time for self-discovery and adventure. To most people, the 20s begin when they are in college and end when they are in their first or second jobs. By the time they turn 30, most Americans are already married as well. The 20s also are an excellent period to take risks and mistake. In this article, we will look at the best career moves you need to take before you turn 30.

Advance Your Education

If you have a high school diploma, try and advance your education background. This will be an excellent career move especially because of the monetary benefit you will get. This is because the education level helps to determine the salary scale. According to government data, people with less than a high school diploma earn about $25k per year. It rises to $35k for people with a high school diploma to $41k to people with an associate degree. Those with a master’s degree earn about $69k. The more you are educated, the better your remuneration will be. However, the course that you take will also determine how much make. For example, the average salary of a doctor is $294k per year while that of a software engineer is $106k.

Find Your Space

As mentioned, you are ‘allowed’ to make mistakes when you are in your 20s. This is simply because you are young and can always find alternatives. For example, if your startup fails, you can always find another job. Therefore, you should try and find your space in a role that suits you. For example, if you are a financial graduate, you can try working in different financial firms like hedge funds and banks to see where you are much better.

Build Your Resume

As you will realize, experience is very essential for your career. This is simply because your interviewers will always look at what you have done to build your skills. In your 20s, you have the time to do some of the things that will build your resume. For example, you have the time to volunteer at local organizations. You also have the time to intern at important organizations. You also have the time to take career development things like training and seminars.

Network

Networking is very important for your career. This is because these networks can lead to better opportunities in your career. We know many people who work in prestigious not because they are overly qualified but because of the people, they knew. There are a few ways you can do this. First, you can create a good LinkedIn profile and network to important people in your industry. Second, you can attend events in your industry. In most events, you will get to interact with many senior people, even without an appointment. Third, create your business cards to share with your audience. Finally, have a personal website, where you will be sharing your experiences.

Develop Your Side Hustles

A side hustle is a job that gives you money on the side. Such hustles are so important because they can help you complement your official income. For example, if you are a software developer at a good company, you can use online platforms like Upwork and CloudPeeps to find clients in need of software development. If you are an analyst, you can also contribute on platforms like Seeking Alpha and make money. Stories have been told of people who created big businesses from their side hustles.

Have a Good Savings Plan

An essential career move in your 20s is to start saving for your retirement as soon as you get your job. Doing this will give you an opportunity to have enough money when you retire. The math of this is relatively simple. If you start working at 25 and then start saving $100 a month, you will have $42,000 in cash when you retire. When you add the dividends and capital appreciation, the amount will be more than that. A common way that many people do this is to top up their employer 401k account.

Apply for Better Jobs

If you don’t have a good job, you should work to find a better one. Fortunately, the economy is booming, with the unemployment rate at historic lows. There are more job vacancies than applicants. Therefore, you should try and apply to better jobs. To do this, there are a few things you need to do. First, create a good resume that captures your personality, skills, and experience. Second, have a good LinkedIn account. Third, have a good website that highlights your portfolio. Fourth, learn presentation skill. Finally, delete all irrelevant social media posts that might compromise your employability.

Summary on the Best Career Moves

Your 20s are the best time for you to increase your potential in the marketplace. They help form the foundation of your future. Therefore, following these tips will help you have an enjoyable period in your 30s. It will also help increase your happiness and social well-being.

7 Traits of Young Millionaires

7 Traits of Young Millionaires

7 Excellent Traits of Young Millionaires

In the past few years, the number of young millionaires has been increasing. This growth has happened primarily because of the internet and the technologies that are emerging. It has also happened mostly because of the venture capital industry, which has funded many startups by young people. For example, Mark Zuckerberg, who is just 35 years old is worth more than $66 billion while Jack Dorsey is worth more than $4.2 billion. There are other young people who have made millions by investing in the blockchain technology. Recently, Justin Sun, a 27-year old Chinese made headlines when he offered more than $4 million to have lunch with Warren Buffett. In this article, we will look at the most common traits of young millionaires and what you can learn from them.

They Are Risk-Takers

No young millionaire made his money for being employed. All of them became rich by taking a risk and starting their businesses. For example, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook when he was a student at Harvard University. As a bright person in the best university, he had an opportunity to work in any of the leading companies. However, he decided to take the risk of entrepreneurship. The same can be said about Patrick and John Collinson, who started Stripe. The two brothers could have landed a job in any large company but they decided to take the risk of starting a business.

They Identify Trends Early

Over the years, people who understand new trends early in the lifecycle turn to be successful entrepreneurs. Bill Gates understood the trend in computing technology in the 70s and decided to start a company to address these problems. In the late 90s, Jeff Bezos saw the emerging trend of online shopping and he decided to start a company in the industry. The same is true about all the young people who are successful.

They Value Teamwork

All young people who are successful value the role of teamwork a lot. They believe that working as a team can lead to better opportunities. It is this reason that Mark Zuckerberg created a team of his Harvard colleagues to start Facebook. This was a team of very bright individuals. It is also the reason why Steve Jobs worked with Steve Wozniack and why Bill Gates worked closely with Paul Allen. This is the main reason why many companies are founded by several people.

They Believe in Working Hard

It is impossible to make a lot of work by being lazy. For this reason, many startup founders usually spend tens of hours every day working on their projects. It has been documented that Zuckerberg used to work for more than 70 hours a week when Facebook was still young. The Collinson brothers are said to work more than 10 hours every day. This is simply because they believe that success does not come easy.

They are Masters of Branding

This year, Kylie Jenner became the youngest female self-made billionaire in the world. Kylie has used the power of social media to build one of the biggest brands on social media. The same can be said of most other self-made millionaires, who use social media to build their brand. For example, Michael Dubin, the founder of Dollar Shave Club became successful after creating a viral video about his company.

They Don’t Need to be the First

Amazon was not the first e-commerce store in the world. Google was not the first search engine, and Facebook was not the first social media platform in the world. Instead, the founders of these companies studied the industry, identified the mistakes the other companies were making, and created products that were better.

Good is Not Good Enough

Mark Zuckerberg could have rested when Facebook became a successful company. Jeff Bezos could have stopped when Amazon became a successful online book store, and Bill Gates could have stopped when he built his first software. However, good is not good enough to these people. This is the main reason why Amazon is always creating or buying new companies and why Microsoft is a different company than what it was 10 years ago. Similarly, you too should always look for ways to better your life. You should aim higher when you achieve something.

Summary of Traits of Young Millionaires

We are in an age where many young people, especially in Asia, are very successful. It is also an age where so much information about these wealthy people have been shared. As a young person, you should take time to learn about these people to see how you too can improve your life.