How to Build Your Business Plan

    I decided to get a deeper into how to build business plan – not any business plan but good one. First reaction: I can’t do that, that’s too complicated but the bigger problem was –> where should I start? How to embrace everything and not forget about important factors? And at the same time how not to lost yourself along the way?
    business plan

Lets start from Wikipedia definition of business plan:

A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons why they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.

Business Plan is a road-map to the future. Well written business plan is a dynamic, evolving, living document. Business Plan is one of the steps to entrepreneurship:
idea –> research –> business plan –> funding –> start up –> money

11 steps of typical business plan:

  • title page –> don’t forget to add contact details
  • table of content
  • business description, service/product description
  • business model –> how will your company make money? Mission – your reason for being/Vision – what you strive to accomplish/Values – all principles that guide you
  • market analysis + your competition + your customer –> you need to know who is your direct competitor and who is your client. Do you know what your customer want? Who is your customer? Where to reach them?
  • marketing, target, sales strategy
  • organization –> management strategy, operational plan (how, when, what, where will do)
  • goals and objectives –> details regarding your goals. What do you expect to accomplish + how you will measure your goals.
  • financial planning –> where you will get the money for your business? etc.
  • action steps –> time frames
  • executive summary –> it’s your “business plan elevator speech”. Just few pages of summary
    We need a business plan to validate whether all the money, time and efforts we want to invest in our business will give us any return from investment. Well, I really would like to do such analysis before I start investing my money or time.

While creating business plan don’t forget to ask yourself few questions:

  • Why you?
  • why your business?
  • What benefits will your customer get choosing your business?
  • What should your customer remember about your business?
  • What is your image/brand?
  • What kind of relationship do you want to build with your customer?

Every time when you think “business plan” think also SWOT analysis. What’s SWOT? It’s a strategic planning method used to evaluate:

  • Strengths –> internal characteristics of the business or team that give it an advantage over others in the industry
  • Weaknesses –> internal are characteristics that place the firm at a disadvantage relative to others
  • Opportunities –> external chances to make greater sales or profits in the environment.
  • Threats –> external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business.

involved in a project or in a business venture

    SWOT Analysis youtube video (10min):

Few additional links you might find useful:

New Way of Shopping?

Do you like shopping? Wait a second, don’t answer that question yet…if you have a chance to shop in a “friendly shop”:

  • without standing in a long line to cashier’s desk
  • without trying to find a place to park your car

wouldn’t be easier to answer “YES” to my question?

We can all those on-line stores, whether it is Walmart, Bestbuy, ebay.

Did you buy something on on-line stores? What do you think are obstacles of buying on-line?

  • clothes/shoes –> how to make sure is the right size, etc?
  • test –> how to test item before making decision whether to buy it or not
    Companies are trying to shorten the distance between customer and store by opening on-line store but we know that’s not enough anymore. So what to do?
    Here are some ideas what companies are trying to offer their customers:
  • Home Plus is Tesco’s Korean branch decided to create “virtual supermarket” on one of the subway stations. They posted wall-size posters of stocked shelves onto subway walls. Customers were able to scan products’ QR codes and by doing that they were able to purchase items which later were delivered to their homes.

    Just think how many people are using public transportation (in cities) like subway. 2x a day they are becoming potential clients (on the way to work and getting by home). Simple click-click (scanning QR code) and gallon of milk is on the way home.

  • applications for 3D cameras –> which will create two-way mirrors on computers

almost 38 percent of women don’t buy online, according to Forrester Research, because they want to be able to see and touch items before they hand over a credit card.

    payvement via facebook

I’m wondering what’s next?

Are We Wrong About Being Wrong?

human error1

  • Do you make mistakes? –> Who doesn’t?
  • How do you feel when you know you are wrong? –> I guess … not so great
  • Do you like to admit that you were wrong? –> noooo way
  • What will you do to avoid being wrong? We all know that people make mistakes but somehow when comes down to “us”…ok, when comes down to “me” (as individual) – I don’t want to make mistake.
    I found on TEDtalk a video – Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong. Kathryn is a wrongologist and talks about human fallibility.

To err is human. Yet most of us go through life tacitly assuming (and sometimes noisily insisting) that we are right about nearly everything, from the origins of the universe to how to load the dishwasher. If being wrong is so natural, why are we all so bad at imagining that our beliefs could be mistaken – and why do we typically react to our errors with surprise, denial, defensiveness and shame?

    Here’s the video from TEDtalk:
    Is there something wrong with us because we don’t like to admit that we are wrong? I don’t think so, according to Kathryn, we would like to insist that we are right because it makes us feel smart, responsible and SAFE. Of course I don’t want to admit that I’m wrong…it’s hard to do that but at the same time – I know I can make mistakes, and that’s the part of my life (my learning process).
    I am really glad that Kathryn mentioned that – our capacity to screwed up is not a defect. It’s fundamental to who we are. That’s good to know, because we are making a lot of mistakes. ohh and one more thing – we learn the lesson (sometimes) after making mistakes. And as St. Augustine said: “Fallor ergo sum” = “I err therefore I am” – I only hope that every time I make a mistake I will learn the lesson.

Kathryn asked what does it mean to feel right? It means that your believes perfectly reflect reality. Well, for me it means that I feel gooood, because I’m not wrong.

3 unfortunate assumptions, according to Kathryn, what we do when someone disagree with us:

  • The ignorance assumption –> we assume their are ignoramus

if that doesn’t work, even if they have the same facts as we do and they still disagree with us then …

  • The idiocy assumtion –> we assume they are idiots

if that doesn’t work, even if they are pretty smart and have the same data as we then …

  • The evil assumption –> those people disagree with us maliciously. They know the TRUTH and deliberately disagree

this attachment to our own rightness keep us from preventing mistakes when we absolutely need to and cause us to treat each other terribly.

The miracle of human mind isn’t that you can see world as it is and that you can see the world as it isn’t.

I have been wondering about that for a moment and after a while I thought “wow!” human mind is really cool thing ….just imagine 4 people looking at the sky by night, every each of them might see something different although all of them have been looking at the same sky. But they could see something like that:
sky by night

if you really want to discover wonder you need to step outside that tiny terrified space of rightness. And look around at each other and look out at the vastness and complexity and mystery of the universe and be able to say “wow, I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong!”

    …so next time when you look at something, think how others might see it
    tweetme

TV Commercials and Social Media

Have you ever watched TV commercials during Super Bowl or the Oscars ?

If you did – have you every tweeted on Twitter or posted a comment on Facebook about that? If the TV ad is really good/or really bad – people will tweet and watch at the same time. Which means that some of those commercials go viral, that’s why companies need to connect with viewers on multiple platforms.

Here are some of those TV commercials:

  • Volkswagen: Darth Vader Kid (2011)
  • Chatter.com: Black Eyed Peas (2011)

Do you remember that (it was a lot about that via social media) that many people watched Super Bowl only for TV commercials? That’s incredible! I guess that’s why some companies are willing to pay $3 million for 30sec. commercial. After all, the buzz about their TV ads will be all over social media.

Here’s TV ads which directly connecting off-world with social media:

  • carnival cruise lines
  • Macy’s Million Dollar Makeover – Casting Call
  • 2011 Toyota Venza Commercial – Social Network

…sure, this is living! ohh and that ad was created by Saatchi & Saatchi.

Do you remember

It’s not enough to promote product/service on TV ad, it has to be connected (somehow) to social media. I am wondering what’s next? What TV commercials will look like in a future. There are hundreds of TV ads with short info at the end “you can find us on Twitter/Facebook” and it was “cool” and “new” few years ago, right now I am not sure if we even pay attention to that info. TV ads will have to be more interactive inviting viewers to interact with the brand/company.

As Edward Boches wrote:

Brands will create more complex forms of advertising. If we’re all to engage and talk about the advertising, it can’t be boring or limited to outbound messages. We need more interactive, conversation-inspiring ideas that invite our participation. Think Frank Rose’s The Art of Immersion. More and more ads will include hashtags, start conversations and seek true consumer involvement, extending the story beyond the thirty-second spot.

…so do you watch TV commercials? I do, and I even like some of them.