Posts Tagged Discussion forum

To be a successful business, you need a business plan


A business plan is a crucial step for any successful business venture but is all too often forgotten or put on the back burner.

Many owners see business plans as merely a way of acquiring funding. They do not recognise the power of the business plan in steering your business forward many months or even years down the line.

What’s the point of a business plan?

A business plan serves a critical purpose in any organisation. It focuses your efforts,
enabling you to spot potential pitfalls. It also allows you to set realistic targets and to trace your growth.

Good business plans enable you to structure and monitor your business, as well as recruit the right level and calibre of staff.

However, even when written, most business plans tend to end up in someone’s drawer. This completely defeats the original purpose and will not serve any benefit to your
company.

Entrepreneurs need to communicate their business plans to their organisation and to their staff so that everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. The document should
not be reserved for the eyes of management only – all employees should understand the opportunities and the threat to the business.

Businesses which are well-established tend to use a business plan every month to
realistically analyse whether or not they are on track. A business plan allows you to consider detailed market research in relation to your competitors so you can fully understand where your business is going.

The benefit of having it written in black and white is it focuses your mind. It’s also
extremely motivational to write. More importantly in a recessionary period it allows you to say no to certain opportunities which come your way.
If an offer is not exactly in line with your business plan you should say no as you can become sidetracked.

That said, no business plan is good if it’s too static or inflexible.

A business plan is a good way of making people in your business accountable. Business plans can be as simple as a single sheet of paper to focus your mind or as comprehensive as a 70-page report dealing with all strategic issues in a business.

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Business Exposure Group events are providing valuable business advice

Last month’s Business Exposure Group meetings around the region were excellent and again generated some quality suggestions.

With 9 groups now operating across Manchester and Yorkshire, the main issues across several discussion groups included: –

–          Is there a need for a business plan, particularly during a recession?

–          Is social media a scary problem or a great business opportunity

–          Whether to rely on freelancers or employ full time staff

–          Techniques to control sales staff and make them accountable

–          Methods used to get your business message out to a new market

–          The value of purchasing a competitor in distress, purely to use it’s strong  brand

–         How to let go and have the confidence to allow your business to flourish

The high value of the group advice was commented on by the majority of the members.

Are you a Business owner or Director around Manchester?

Please let us know by return if you would like us to reserve a place for you around the table at our next meeting in Manchester city centre on the afternoon of Monday 4th July 2011.

The numbers are limited to 15 and this groups is getting full.

Outside the Manchester area, there are groups in Leeds, Bradford, Wetherby and Sheffield. Please let us know if you would like to attend any of these events during July.

Please email philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk for more information.

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Do you understand the new rules of marketing?

The world of marketing is changing rapidly and a ‘one size fits all’ policy has no place in today’s business environment.

Following the current recession, businesses need to appeal more to the nervous buyer and provide reassurance of their value and credibility. Testimonials, reviews and news of the awards we have won can all help to portray reliability and establish trust which will ensure those people in the mood for buying feel comfortable with you.

It’s much more cost-effective to market your business to the people you already know and your current client base can be the key to future referrals, which is currently big business.

Direct marketing techniques are increasing as a result of the economic climate, possibly for pricing tactics. Businesses are reducing the thresholds for discounts and pricing smaller packs more aggressively.

The current M&S ‘dine in for £10’ deal is a great example of clever marketing, which reflects the economic hardships most families find themselves in.

It’s not so much that £10 is cheap for a meal for two it’s the fact that it’s good value in comparison to a meal out. It’s all about putting the right message across and how to get that message to your customers.

Customers look to brands to reassure them when times are tough.

Gimmicks have no place in a recession. It’s all about reliability, durability and safety.

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Manchester – Business Discussion Forum Event

The next meeting of the Manchester 1 Premier Business Forum is on Monday 6 June at 1.30 – 5.00pm – please ask us for details.

Please let us know if you would like to attend any of our groups in Leeds, Sheffield, Wetherby, Manchester or Bradford over the coming weeks..

Last month’s meeting was excellent with some good quality discussion and suggestions from the guests that attended.

With 9 groups now operating, the main issues across several discussion groups
included: –

–          Increasing customer engagement, when your product range is limited.
–          Outsourcing to increase competitiveness.  The advantages and pitfalls.
–          How to build a pipeline of business based on listening to the issues your customers
are facing.
–          How to motivate senior staff when there has been no salary increase or bonus for 2
years.
–          The value of ‘competitor knowledge’ when building a robust business
–          Do I grow or do I stick?  – The fear factor.
–          Should the business employ more sales or more support staff, as a way of
increasing the size of the business?

The high value of the group advice was commented on by the majority of the members.

Please let us know by return if you would like us to reserve a place for you round the
table at our next meeting on the afternoon of 6 June 2011.

The numbers are limited to 15 and the groups are now getting full.

If you would like to attend, please contact Philip Drazen by email at: philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk

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Discussion summary from our March events

          Selecting personnel who will make you a profit and not just provide a service.
          Techniques to close a sales order after finding the buyers ‘pain’ and real reason for purchase.
          Creating a business organisation that knows how to sell.
          Our changing approach to marketing and communication in the current climate (spend and tactics).
          How social media can be part of your business and customer development.
          Group feedback with regard to this years salary reviews.
          Systemizing your business to make it scaleable and attractive to a purchaser.

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Discussion summary from our January events

We now have 9 Business Exposure Group forums in Leeds, Wetherby, Manchester, Sheffield and Bradford.

This month’s January meeting went really well and the issues across several discussion groups included:-

  • How to make your business offering in 2011 stand out.
  • What techniques are we using to get past the” gatekeeper “and arrange meetings with new prospects.
  • How to offer discounts running alongside normal trading terms, without down- valuing your core business.
  • How to make your staff feel passionate about your customer service.
  • The value/cost of a pay per click campaign.
  • Business opportunities arising because of the recession and how to finance them.

The high value of the group advice was commented on by many of the members.

The dynamic within each of the groups is maturing well.

The next meeting of the Manchester Premier Business Forum will be on Tuesday 1st March at 1.30pm, at the Forsyth Centre, The Triangle. Exchange Square. Manchester.

Please let us know if you may be interested in being invited to one of our groups by emailing philipdrazen@bxgroup.co.uk

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