Category Archives: Starting A Business


What’s your business plan personality?

A lot of experienced soloists encourage newbies to make business plans before they commence on their business pursuit. However, there are some soloists who just don’t make business plans but rather stays pliable or quick on the trigger. If you look closely, such approach can be absurd.

You see, if you are making decisions regarding marketing and other business-related issues, how can one create strategic plans or decisions? Without a business plan, your decisions will be for short-term periods only and tactical. Also, how much time can it take for you to decide on what you should do and what you shouldn’t if you don’t have the foundation for making that decision? In fact, how can you even come up with decisions?

According to behavioral science, there are a lot of options for humans which leads to doing nothing or doing things over and over again. The paradox of choice, as they call it.

Soloists should always, always, always have a business plan before they set sail and go on an adventure. The same goes to the little things that you’re planning to do. For example, traveling. If you enjoy traveling and you are bound to go to an unknown place, don’t you need to have to have a concrete plan in order for you to execute the whole adventure perfectly and at the same time, make great decisions? The same applies to small businesses or even large ones.

Devising new strategies, long-term plans are some of the most important things that you can write on your business plan. Aside from this, having the right foundation can give you a bigger chance to succeed on your business ventures. Soloists who are more into flexibility tend to be caught off guard and make wrong decisions that causes their business to fall into peril.

However, it is all by your own personal choice, whether you are the type of person who makes long term plans or just go with the flow, then go ahead. If you are a soloist and you plan to expand your business, you will need to attract more investors or partners for you to be able to expand and you can only do this if you have a business plan ready for them to assess. A business plan is the foundation of your business and potential partners or investors would want to know what you plan to do and fopr them to also give their judgement on your plan.

Having a foundation or framework for your business will allow you to be more creative and cook up new ideas that can help your business improve more. In order to do this, one should always have a good and clear starting point. As you make a plan for your business, just make a list and then do it. You don’t have to spend all your time creating lists, take action and everything will fall into place.


What Your Business Plan should reveal?

Making a great business plan can assure you of great benefits. Here are some of the most important benefits that can be delivered if you make a great business plan.

Busy? This is not the secret to success!

A lot of business owners say that they don’t have business plans because they are loaded with too much things to do. Urgent priorities tend to tyranize the minds of business owners and because of this, they lose focus on the things that they should concentrate on, such as making a business plan. Having a business plan assures you success and at the same time, you will be more confident in making decisions because yoo have a well laid-out plan.

According to recent studies, some business owners don’t have a clear starting point which causes procrastination. That is why it is important to have a very clear and organized approach. Aside from this, don’t just focus on the investments. This is also one reason why business owners fall into ommision when it comes to making their business plans because most of them tend to focus more on how much their company can earn and other business opportunities that can bring more money to their business.

To put everything in a nutshell, it’s always great to have a plan because this will help prevent abrupt results.

Boost business value

This is one benefit that you can get from having a business plan. Setting value goals and having the ability to delimit your progress will enhance business value. Business value is considered to develop during the late stages of the business. Consider the comprehensive value at the time of sale, there will be no enough time to increase the value of your business. You should value the growth of your targets and at the same time your objectives as this will allow you to track the progress of your business, not just the cash flow but the comprehensive value of your business.

Remember that the value of your business will determine what will happen today and in your future once you exit your business. Having a business plan for how the creation of value will take place and you’ll be able to adjust your business with the objectives you set.

More business partners and funding

All businesses need to draw more funding and partners for the business to grow. In order for investors to consider your business proposal, you should be able to present your business plan which has a realistic path to success and with your own definition of success when it comes to financial and imperative value.

Having a distinctive business plan will show potential investors that you have the right kind of attitude, motivation and discipline that made you come up with such a plan with recapitulation on how you connote to achieve your business objectives. You can also use milestones to break down your plan into a more feasible and fathomable proposition.

If you don’t have a plan, it will be difficult for possible investors or partners to give you a significant assessment. Having a plan to present them will give them the chance to give you an analytical review of your plans such as your approach, strategy and business model.

Coordinate strategy with action

The high-level of strategy for your business develops when you are making your business plan. Having a plan will let you think of many strategies to work on your business for it to grow more and draw more potential investors or partners that can do good to your business. Making a plan will allow you to have recourse to your resources that are limited.

Better decision making

Once you have a business plan, you will be able to avoid complications and you will be able to come up with the right decisions that will do good for every aspect of your business.


Will backyard studios work?

I am not quite so sure I am so amenable anymore to the idea of having the house as an office at the same time. In the new place where we just moved to now looked like a cramped cage with not much space to move around. Imagine having to compete for space with the girls with all their whining and raised voices. I almost feel desperate already that I am beginning to entertain the idea of moving my office to a backyard studio, but I have no idea whether it will work

According to the latest survey published in Understanding Micro Business, 2008 survey showed that 69% of the people work home based. But there is no clear indications just what part of the house are they having as their office.
During weekends I even try to look for backyard studios or cubby houses just to weigh my options and to see if it suits my taste if ever indeed I’ll turn it into an office. I even take the liberty of trying to paint a picture in my mind of how exactly it will look like; complete with all utilities of comfort and entertainment. I even began adding details to my imaginary picture. I have already decided what kind of style it will take after, the cladding material, flooring materials among other things. All the more, I found out that backyard studios are not as expensive as I thought it would be, and as I began contemplating on these things, some questions emerged from my consciousness, like:

• Is it really worth to separate my office from home?
• Will it bring comfort or the other way around?
• Will things run differently from before?
• Will I enjoy the change?
• Will I be able to see the benefits rather than the shortcomings?

I’m quite sure there are a number of choices other than backyard studios. The choices just seem so endless where the options could be as tamed as the usual cubicle of a normal job and could also be as exciting as on the porch of a beachfront house.

I will really appreciate your input. Please let me hear your story especially if you have gone through the phases of working in a cramped space shared by your loved ones and if your office is somehow a little unusual. Your ideas will really help me see things in an entirely new perspective. I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Common misconceptions of book writing

When you write a book, you could dramatically revolutionize your business, and consequently enhance you profile and augment your profits. In this article, I am about to correct the common misconception that any new author should know and think about.

1. The real money is not in royalties

Sometimes when we think of authors, we think of success, fame and adoration. Consequently, when we think of book writing, we imagine fortune, huge amounts of crisp bills. We love to think of all the things royalty checks can buy, but honestly if it is just royalty you are after, well, you can only buy so many. If only you knew just how little your cut is in every book sold, you’ll be surprised to learn that it’s just a penny compared to your mind’s creation. For a book sold at $20 dollars, you will only get a measly 80 cents, is it not heart rending? Did it break your heart huh? Well, this only shows that the real money in book writing does not come from royalty, it comes somewhere else.

2. Publishing contract is not necessarily needed

If you are a fiction writer, then you might need the resources of an established publishing company to ensure your success, but if you think about business development, your book’s publisher will not even count. I mean in business development, who would even care to know who printed the book. The target audience here are not teenagers but mature business individuals who are more interested in the context of the book than its publisher. I’ve been around the circuit of book writing and I found this principle to be exactly true over and over again. There is no clear indication that when you published with a known publisher, the outcome of developing your business is more dramatically influenced than when you chose to publish in a lesser known company. In the advent of the new technology in publishing, people could already publish to order through print-on-demand which is more practical in terms of usage, cost and artistic effect. Books published through print-on-demand (POD) technology have basically the same features as with the ones published traditionally.

3. You do not need to be a best seller

You are not under any obligation to be a best seller. Forget about selling your books “like pancakes”. As far as I know, I have a friend who sold out only as little as 200 books but has an equivalent impact of a million bucks. Your book could be your introductory guide and your avenue where you could freely introduce your ideas and products.

4. You do not have to be a naturally gifted writer.

Writing needs skill, for that I agree. But skill alone does not guarantee success especially if you intend to make a positive impact on your business. What you need to have is just being able to write it in a marketing point of view. Your book does not necessarily be of the same quality as that of poetry, as long as you know how to use it as a marketing tool to launch and jumpstart your own business.

Writing a book does not automatically make you rich, but its impact will resonate into the realm of businesses and change your life forever, for the better.


Six practical guides to a successful importing from China

The following are easy-to-follow guides that will get you through when you are in the business of importing trade from China. These will help you get a clear picture of the actual process so you could make the necessary preparations.


Your top priority must be the product development of whatever it is you wish to import. You already must have established the needed designs of the product and its other necessary details. It will also greatly help if you already have enough information on the profile of your local competition. How you play your decisions will greatly impact your schedule during this phase. Moreover, the actual process in manufacturing your products and its packaging will also be the factor to determine the length of your timing.


In any import business, choosing the right suppliers is really very critical; it could very well affect the performance of your importing. Among the hundreds of suppliers out there, you need to choose the one who knows the importance of strict compliance to the given timeframe of the products they are expected to manufacture. It might be useful to tap local professionals to help you find screen the suppliers that you need, this way you could save a lot of time since the professional has a firsthand knowledge about the people and its local custom.
Remember that you only need to look and interact with any of the suppliers after you have been finished with your product development; it simply defies common sense to be talking with your suppliers without even having a detailed specifications and design of your product. Once you already have the suppliers that you will be agreeable with, and then you can already start negotiating the trading, shipment, payments and all the other necessary terms to avoid conflict in days ahead. Give an allowance of 2 to 4 weeks for this phase to come through; however, it may vary depending on the behaviour of other contributing factors.


Sampling basically is the next step after you have already done the first 2 things mentioned above. Every supplier knows this, so this should go about without much hitch. Sampling cost could vary depending upon the interference of any contributing factor such as design complexity among others. Sampling usually takes 2 to 4 weeks. You might want to extend an allowance for any unexpected hitch along the way.


The next best thing to do is to draw the purchase order and have it delivered to the supplier. This is to be your sacred agreement and will help you crystallize the extent of the terms of the trade. The whole thing could take up to 4 weeks depending on the speed of the other contributing factors.


10 Ways To Have An Effective Home Office

There seems to be a number of cases which prove that indeed working from home works. Having a home office may not be for everybody, but for some who are doing it, the possibilities are boundless. You get to do more work with efficiency due to the absence of the unnecessary interruptions inherent in any regular offices.

There are countless advantages of having your office in the comfort of your home. You get to work at your own pace and manner while at the same time spending quality time with your family. The arrangement is a lot easier compared to working in a regular office with regular 8 to 5 job.

The real challenge with this set-up is in coming up with clear boundaries between office hours and family time. There must be a distinction of the two for it to work. Otherwise you might be caught up with the common loopholes most people make. Below are 10 of the practical ways to have an effective home office:

1. Make it a point to set your office physically separated from the comfortable places of the house. It is much easier to make a distinction between office and home if you will dress up your office in its appropriate tone.
2. Dress as if you’re not working from home. Working in your Pajamas will certainly not work. Act like you are actually working in a regular office.
3. Draw a clear line of the separation of your office, make it known to your family and loved ones and ask that they respect it for what it is.
4. Avoid the pitfall of overwork. Do your activities in a normal pace, without overworking or procrastination.
5. Set up decent furniture so as to create a comfortable, professional and conducive environment.
6. Acquire the best essential facilities and amenities for your office, ones that could help you become more efficient with your work.
7. Your home office must have its own communication facilities and make sure it is used only for official transactions.
8. Meet your clients somewhere else. As much as possible, do not schedule a meeting in your home office.
9. Do not hide in your office all the time; spend time outside every now and then. It keeps you refreshed and active.
10. Make sure to facilitate a proper storage for all the documents and any other office materials. This will help you keep an office with a touch of order in it.

A home office works if only you know how to make it work.


My Franchise Needs Help!

“No man is an island” as the famous cliché goes. You might have the same thought especially if your business is on the brink of falling into the danger zone. Right now, you might have something in your head that pushes you to think of a source that could help save your business.

“You are not alone”, I often give this statement of truth whenever business owners who bought from franchises would inquire for my professional advice. This is the main justification. Whether a franchisor is a giant like 7 Eleven or a new baby and starter such as Donut King, they equally play a role as urgent proponents whenever a location of their own starts to wane from what is desirable. Apart from analysis, this is what venturing business owners hold onto rather than building and starting on their own business.

From the given facts above, you might be considering to become a franchisee. But before you head start on the said livelihood, it is advisable to cross examine some current franchisees about how their mother company provides and supports their needs and requests despite this challenging economic status. Having to ask an established franchisor about its obligation to the franchisees can also be a part of your to-do list. If you are already a starting franchisee and in this phase you are experiencing downfalls, do not hesitate at all to propose for support from your franchisor. Remember, you are not alone.

Provided below are some of the citations on how franchisors benefit their franchisees:

Initial Training. A franchisor in the beginning phase has the initiative of providing basic education and advanced sales training as part of their support relations and business dealings. If for instance a franchisee has been experiencing distress on the sales, it is but a way of the franchisor’s support to dispatch its own staff members for the troubled. The staff members assist in gathering more customers and help the franchisee to cope through practical training.

Because of authority, the franchisor can also implement mentoring programs to boost the practical knowledge and skills of the franchisee. Furthermore, a franchisor can also hire business experts from outside sources to impart expertise. As a parent company, a franchisor would want to bring the best out of a franchisee. Setting this kind of practice, both of the parties are mutually benefitting from each other.

Marketing Strategies. Marketing gives a stand out factor for consumer product franchises. It is through the power of marketing that a business can captivate many, many customers especially if the strategy is about adding more value and cutting the expenses for them. Creating changes and updates in their advocacies for advertising, even if it is a major risk, set a franchise company to stand out among others despite of the economic hardships.

Some outstanding franchise companies are capable of giving support supplies in order to uplift the franchisees’ sales. Others also develop marketing campaigns for the franchisees’ advantage in order to leave a mark of great publicity to the general public.

Cost Reduction. In order for a business to continue thriving in economic recessions, one strategy a business can employ is to reduce its overall costs as much as possible. Established franchise companies can help their franchisees by negotiating more reasonable prices of the materials from the suppliers, competitively biding for the materials to be used to dramatically reduce their prices and ensuring that spoilage and wastes are kept at a minimum when handling them. The sum will result to a more effective operation.

Direct Monetary Assistance. In some circumstances, the mentioned supports still are not enough to keep a franchisee out from failing. Because of these circumstances, a franchisor can give a direct monetary assistance until the market conditions will recover. An example of which is the reduction of franchise-fee payments and waiving royalties. A franchisor can also extend the terms when the franchisee will buy needed materials and supplies from its mother company. And sometimes, can help to negotiate better terms for the franchisee’s current business loans or leases.

These supports and help are not mandated by the contract between the franchisor and franchisee. It is actually beyond on what is expected from a franchisor under normal market circumstances. It can be because for the best interest of the entire company. And as the years will come, all the efforts will give more profit for the company.


Headaches with Franchises

Here is the scenario. Investing with a franchise is what you have been thinking for quite a time now; however, there is just one thing that you do not want to compromise with. You affirmatively do not want to be tormented with employees. Existing franchisees confirmed this. Earning good and trusted employees is like one in a million. They are hard to find and yet it is more challenging and resource-exhausting to retain them. This issue has been an argument for the past 15 years for most franchisees.

Consider the aforementioned scenario to be more of a challenge with a readily available solution. If you do not want to deal with employees, then you can purchase a franchise that does not necessitate any of them. On the other side, this scheme may not be capable of embodying your dream business, the business that can reflect your joy and passion. It only embodies basic and typical sales roles. Another downside of it is that it can obligate you to possess specialized skills where only you can fulfill and perform satisfactorily.

I might say that it is not feasible and rational, for practicality’s sake. There are unveiled truths in order to keep you from being tormented by your employees.

  • Initially, decide what franchise companies you will be concentrating on to confine the number. This will lead you to companies that will most likely decrease employee hassles. Distinguish the kind of products and services they render, the number of employees it will need to progress effectively and efficiently and the degree of difficulty to recruit and hire them. Consider the accessibility of the local companies for you to inquire about the current number of employees. Furthermore, take into account the overall appearance of the business environment that can maintain your employees to continuously work there than other comparable business environment.
  • Next is to contemplate on the type of business where the average employees can celebrate on better compensations and benefits. The business should also foster a working environment where the employee skills learned are exclusively for the chosen, and not for the masses. A combination of both factors will give you higher luck on better employee recruitment and retention. Moreover, the cost of recruitment and retention will be lesser as you keep happy and experienced employees in the long run. Most of all, you will gain their loyalty.
  • Lastly, you have the freedom to ask queries from current franchisees about the issue on employee hassles. Take the advantage while you are still performing your investigation. You may question about the number of employees and the ways they maintain them and the compensations associated. You may also ask how they resolve employee dilemmas and if the going gets tough, the estimated finances it require them to recruit new employees. The way they supply you the answers can help you discern whether this type of business can control the problems.

In the event that you emerge as a new franchisee, keep in mind that the related experiences will be on a mainstream first. If existing franchisees are experiencing employee dilemma and if you selected the same franchise, then it will be more probable that you will share the same commonalities as them. If otherwise, then you can hope that neither you will encounter such.

A spark of hope will hit you when you know that a few years back, franchisees do not treat such issues as extensive and burdensome. Yet being ignorant about it the can lead you more harm than desirable, so do some thorough research and discussion about this issue before you venture on a type of business franchise.


Some Considerations before Subleasing any Office Space

Getting office spaces don’t always have to be a long-term commitment. Subleasing is a very good option, most especially if you are running a small business that’s transitioning from being home-based to brick and mortar. Most rates today are very attractive given any amount of space that you need. Here’re some things you need to know on subleasing before signing that contract.

Consider How much You Need to Pay

A business or company that’s subleasing their space to you is free to charge any amount for rent, theoretically. Technically though, there might be some clauses in their contract with the landlord that might limit their rights to charge for rent. This, however, is not much of a concern for a subtenant such as yourself. In any case, you will be paying less than what the tenant is paying for the space. Moreover, in most parts of the country, the demand for space is so low that a tenant can provide lower rates for rent and are getting more consideration from their landlords. Whatever the case may be, always make sure to look around the market first and keep on negotiating until you get rates that will most suit your budget.

Consider What’s Part of the Package

Aside from the amount of space and sublease terms, another thing that you might want to consider before taking on a contract is what things are included in the package. These can range from parking spaces, use of facilities like the office break room, meeting rooms, and even the use of office equipment.

Another important consideration is that you would need a clear understanding on what your responsibilities are when it comes to repairs. Most of the time, you will be responsible for minor repairs like replacing light bulbs, but the major problems like cracks on the walls, leaks on the roof, or peeling paint are often left to the landlord.

If part of the package also includes a separate entryway leading to your office or a formal divider between offices, always check and make sure that everything in your area of responsibility adheres to all building codes. If there are no separating fixtures, always make sure that there is an understanding of what common areas or equipment you or your employees have access to.

Most of sublease offers also covers other features like security systems and Internet services. This is always to your advantage as you don’t have to set-up your own services or contract other companies or providers to set-up your business for you. Most sublease offers are already ‘plug and play.’

Before Taking on the Offer

Always make sure that you have a lawyer who’s knowledgeable in real estate law. You can have this lawyer review the lease agreement between the landlord and the tenant to ensure that  the tenant has the proper right to offer a sublease agreement to you. Moreover, make sure that you are protected against eviction because once the original tenant gets evicted, you also go along with them.  Through a real estate attorney, you can find out what can happen if the property becomes foreclosed due to the landlord’s inability to pay the mortgage on the property.