Business Plans

A Business Plan is roadmap for your business setting out your business goals with a detailed plan of how to achieve them

It may also contain background information about your Company on how you plan to accomplish those goals.

 Business plans use to be long, formal documents but these are rarely produced anymore. They are only required in a huge amount of detail if you’re seeking investors or obtaining funding, etc. This is potentially good news as the prospect of preparing a business plan becomes less daunting.

 A plan starts with an idea, and most ideas are generally written down on a scrappy piece of paper with a few tasks written down. This is the basic elements of one! Usually, most business plans are longer than the tasks written on the initial piece of paper, but it is useful to write all of your main points on one page to focus on the strategy of the business.

 Business Plans contain:

  • An Executive Summary

  • A Company Overview

  • Information about your products and/or services

  • Your Marketing Plan

  • A list of Company milestones

  • Information about the Management team and roles within the Company

  • Financial Plan

  • Review Schedule

 The most important aspect of any plan is the Review Schedule as this is the part of the plan that sets out your processes, where you record results and actions which need to be reviewed regularly and revised if necessary.

 A business plan is only correct on the day it is produced as the review schedule will constantly need revising as this is vital to the growth of your Company.

Inbound & Outbound Sales

Many people believe sales consists only of making cold calls, when in reality there are two types of sales Inbound and Outbound:

Inbound

Inbound selling focuses on the individual buyer rather than selling to the masses.  Inbound sales encourages the buyers to hand information to you, so you don’t have to guess what their needs may be.  By establishing a buyer’s actions in a systematic marketing inbound process, then your sales team will be able to configure their approach to the buyer’s specific needs.

Gaining knowledge about your potential customer is of exceptionally high value. Once you have obtained an understanding of your customer’s needs, you will be able to provide them with the tools and information in order for them to become a Client.

When your lead engages with relevant content and information, you can start to build a digital picture about them. Building a digital picture is a cumulative of all the actions they have engaged with on your website, including what content they have spent perusing and also what personal data they may have submitted via various online forms.

So before you telephone your prospect, ensure you understand their digital picture, know the products or services they are interested in, be aware of listening for key words and empathise with their business struggles which has led them to researching your Company.

Outbound

Outbound selling refers to the process of tele-marketers or sales people making telephone calls to prospects. There are usually two types of calls; cold calls and warm leads. Cold calls are when you contact a potential buyer who hasn’t expressed an interest in your product or service and warm lead is when the potential buyer has expressed an interest. These require two very different sales techniques.

Ultimately outbound sales will only be truly effective, when you have established a true picture and understanding of your potential buyer through inbound marketing processes.

Marketing Strategy

All businesses need customers and an effective Marketing Strategy to bring in new business.  A Marketing Strategy comprises of nine elements:

Marketing Plan – This is important for developing a promotional strategy as it helps your business identify its target markets and to set measurable goals. It is vital to the success of your business as it allows you to focus and aim for growth and positive change.

SWOT Analysis – This is an extremely useful tool for understanding and decision-making for all sorts of situations in business. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. The point of a SWOT analysis is to help you develop a strong business strategy by making sure you’ve considered all of your business’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats it faces in the marketplace.

Target Market – Trying to satisfy a wide range of different consumer needs is rarely effective. Splitting your customers into different groups of similar people will enable you to market your products or services specifically to the ones that will be most profitable to you.  You can start doing this by examining your existing customers and identifying similar characteristics. Consumers are often segmented by age, gender or income, whereas business customers can be broken down into different industries, turnover or location.

Product Marketing – In an ideal world, you would use market research to find out what your customers want and then design products to suit them. In reality, product management starts with existing products and ways in which to improve them with limited cash and resources. But the principle still applies – good product marketing looks for ways to adapt and promote products to match customer requirements. Product features, design and quality can all be tailored to the needs of your target market, so too can its image and the customer service that you provide.

Branding – At the heart of a great business is a first class product or service and every business wants to be a customer’s ‘first choice’. Building and managing a brand can play a large part in making this happen and if you want to strengthen and manage the perceptions of your business, then a strong brand is needed. Good branding elevates and differentiates your like-for-like products or services and gives your customers reason to choose you over your competitors.

Pricing – How you set your prices can have a host of implications for your business. Not every price you set needs to maximize your margins. Many small businesses use price to compete, change market share or create different revenue scenarios. Understanding how pricing affects your business model, not just your bottom line, will help you better choose price levels.

Recruitment – Employing the right person for your business might be the most important part of your venture. An effective recruitment and selection process will ensure you employ the right candidate who is reliable and carries out the objective you plan in providing quality services and goods to your customers.

Retail – Retailers operate in a competitive environment and because of need to be aware of the need to seek market opportunities and develop long-term sustainable relationships with partner companies. In order that a retail organization develops a sustainable competitive advantage, it is essential that a partnership arrangement is viewed as necessary and is based on trust.

Cost Effective Marketing – Too many business owners look at their marketing budgets as just assemblies of expenses but shouldn’t be viewed as an expense but an investment because your business will fail unless you have the necessary processes in place. However, you need to do this in the most cost-effective way as possible. You don’t want to use a shotgun approach and hope something hits the target because this approach guarantees to fail. Instead, you want to target your marketing and utilise strategic marketing campaigns and strategies that are low or have little cost.

Exporting – Exporting can open up new opportunities, fuel growth and dramatically boost your takings and profits. Selling your goods and service abroad can massively increase your customer base – and your profits. But successful exporting relies on understanding where good sales opportunities lie and how best to take advantage of them. A good distribution strategy will identify the best sales channels for your firm and tell you how to exploit them.

Once you have identified and implemented the relevant processes which are applicable to you and your business, it is only then you will be see a ROI (Return On Investment).

Operational Departments

Operations is a key part to every business when it comes to designing and controlling the process of production for their customers needs.

Operational departments focus on the day to day tasks and systems of the business of the Company, maintaining effctive work practises, ensuring consistency and effective running of the business. In short, it is responsible for getting things done and we strive for a concept known as Best Practice.

 Best Practice often focus on the ability of a method or process to consistently show superior results. However, we believe best practice is about using approaches that not only deliver superior results but also to consider effective and ongoing development of the approach.

 Are your operational systems and staff focused on relevant key areas?

 Have you got the best practices in place to ensure the timely delivery of your product of service?

 Are you struggling to introduce effective processes to cope with delivering a potential increase in products or services?

Finance Teams

Finance teams are responsible for managing and posting all the day to day business transactions

There are a few roles within a finance team and your needs will be dependent on the requirements and size of your business.

 Finance teams can consist of a Bookkeeper, Accounts Assistant, Finance Manager and/or Finance Director.

 A Bookkeeper – processes and generates the invoices, processes and matches purchase orders and invoices and enters them onto the accounts software, filing, managing credit control, checking bank receipts and making payments via the bank.

 An Accounts Assistant – produces cash flow forecasts, produces profit & loss accounts and analysis, pays suppliers via the bank, produces weekly profit sheets, journals, payment and accruals. They can also process wages (if applicable).

 A Finance Manager and/or Director – Oversees the P&L (Profit & Loss) accounts and Balance Sheet analysing the findings, which help focus on producing long term financial strategies.

 The benefit of having a finance team at your business allows your senior personnel to concentrate on the key areas of the business allowing you to produce strategic plans to focus on reducing costs and increasing your revenue, enabling you to achieve the growth you desire.

 Here, at Breslins we offer many finance solutions tailored to your specific needs. We can provide Bookkeepers to manage your day to day business entries off site or we can supply mini finance teams who are based at your offices.