How to Write a Business Plan That Works

Key components in and organisation's success will depend on a great degree on how well you; can gather and interpret information adapt to change manage staff and resources promote your business look after customers and more. This is where forward planning can help you. A colleague once told me that 'even a bad plan is … Continue reading “How to Write a Business Plan That Works”

Key components in and organisation's success will depend on a great degree on how well you;

  • can gather and interpret information
  • adapt to change
  • manage staff and resources
  • promote your business
  • look after customers and more.

This is where forward planning can help you.

A colleague once told me that 'even a bad plan is better than no plan at all'. A bad plan at least shows that you have given some thought to the direction you want to go in.

A good plan takes time and effort, especially the first time you do one and many business owners or operators think they do not have the time, or do not see the value in it. But believe me … it is worth the time and effort!

It is an opportunity for you to build solid foundations for your business, based on known facts and these allow you to:

  • be very accurate in your plans and future projections.
  • avoid unforeseen pitfalls and crisis situations
  • spend your money and / or other resources in the most effective way
  • stay ahead of the market
  • make the most of every opportunity
  • be pro active and choose your own course rather than be reactive and follow everyone else
  • stop wasting time, effort and resources on inefficient processes and more

Good business planning involves:

  • looking at what you've done in the past few years
  • looking at where you are now
  • drawing conclusions from the above two points
  • based on that information determining your objective for the coming year / s
  • setting key strategies to help achieve the objective

Analysis of Past Performance

In this section of a business plan you look at the past year (or two) to take a good look at what worked and what did not. Where you came from is every bit as important as where you are going. You need to look at:

  • What promotional activities did you run – for example did you have any discount deals, special offers etc?
  • What worked? What did not?
  • Why did the activities work so well, not so well – find the reasons
  • Advertising campaigns
  • (Again) What worked? What did not?
  • Why did the campaigns work so well, not so well – find the reasons
  • What mediums did you use? (Ie Newspapers, magazines, radio. List the actual companies you used as you may have used a number of different ones.)
  • How much did you spend on them?
  • Which ones generated enquiries and which ones did not?
  • Did you keep track of the enquiries, if so, what were the results?

Keeping statistics on where enquiries come from can help you to use your advertising budget in the most effective way. There's no point in spending a lot of money on advertising on television, for example, if most of your enquiries come from newspaper ads or word of mouth. Asking customers where they heard about you and keeping a record is the best way of determining advertising effectiveness.

  • Were there any noticeable or unusual increases or decreases in your business? If so, why did they happen?
  • Were the increases / decreases at any particular time of the year, or did they affect any particular product or service. If so why? Do a detailed analysis of product and service sales. How many of each individual product or service did you sell? Break these figures up by month (as shown in the graph above) as this will, again, show up regular high and low periods which will then allow you to forward plan. For example in high sales periods you know that you will have to order more stock and put on more staff whereas in low demand periods you order less. You can plan for these peaks and troughs in advance … because you have statistically shown that they are coming. An example of a detailed sales analysis is shown on page 15.
  • Did your competitors do anything that impacted on your business? If so, what was it?
  • How did it affect you?
  • Are they likely to do it again?
  • What did you (or could you) do about it?
  • Budgets – income and expenses. This is extremely important and we will look at this in detail later in the document. Over the years these statistics will build an extremely accurate picture of your expenditure habits and sales that will show trends. With this information you can anticipate what is going to happen and proactively avoid any pitfalls or take advantage of upcoming opportunities. You can forecast – with a fairly high degree of accuracy – how much you will earn and spend in the coming year. While you might have an accountant to look after the "book keeping" for you, it is essential that you know exactly where your money is being spent and what your income is made up of.

The answers to these and any other questions relevant to your particular industry and business will give you a solid base upon which to build your plans for the future. Knowing how you got to where you are now can show you where you went right … and where you went wrong and gives a clear

Conclusions

Looking at the above information – what conclusions can you draw? For example:

  • What will you do again next year and why?
  • What will not you do again next year and why?
  • What will you do differently and why?
  • Were there any lessons to be learned?
  • What were they?
  • Did you spend money on areas that were unsuccessful / unsuccessful?
  • How much?
  • Was this money well spent? Why / why not?
  • Which products sold well / not well?
  • Will you expand your product line?
  • Are there any products you should discontinue?

Overview of Current Situation

It is very important to have a firm grasp of your current business environment. This is where you look at what is happening around you right now. Things that are happening that could potentially have an impact on your business. This will:

  • give you a clear idea of ​​any issues that might get in the way of your plans in the foreseeable future
  • give you the opportunity and the time to take proactive action on any of these issues. This is much better than having to "react" to a change or problem that you did not anticipate.

It's like having a high powered torch in a tunnel as opposed to a match!

A good overview of your current situation will involve looking at:

  • the business environment in which you are operating
  • your strong and weak points
  • what your competitors are doing.

Business Environment Analysis

What exactly does "business environment" mean?

At its widest view point it can mean the sum total of a number of external and internal factors that affect you and the organisation you work for.

External factors could include such things as:

  • Political issues. The stability of the Government can have a dramatic affect on the country's or state's economy.
  • Legislative issues. New legislation can have an impact on your particular industry.
  • Economic Trends. Are people spending money? What are they spending it on and so forth.
  • Social Trends. What's in .. what's not? Safety & security issues as well as environmental protection issues etc are considered here.
  • Competitors. What is your competition doing and how does that affect your business?
  • Technology. This is an area that is constantly changing and can have quite an impact on the way business is done.

Also known as a PLESCT Analysis this is a thorough look at the world around you and the influences various issues may have upon your customers, suppliers and therefore your business. Doing this type of research means that you should not be caught unawares by new legislation, trends, changes or advancements. PLESCT stands for: Political, Legislative, Economic, Social, Competitor and Technology and looks at each of these sectors and how they may affect you positively – or negatively.

Doing a PLESCT Analysis

Some of the issues to consider when doing this analysis can include such things as:

Political issues. Here you should look at the general political stability of the country or state.

  • Is there an election due? People get nervous around election times and are cautious about spending / investing their money
  • Has there just been an election? In which case is the new government likely to make changes to the status quo – and if so, how will this affect you?
  • International economic and social environment – how stable is the situation?

and so on ….

For example changes in government often have an impact on businesses dealing with health, education and employment as existing programs are often changed or discontinued after an election, or new programs are introduced. International economic crises often have a big impact on our own market as does the increasing threat of terrorism or conflict situations.

Legislative issues

  • Have any new legislations been passed / or amended that affect your industry?
  • If so, what will you have to do to comply with them? How will these changes affect:
  • staff?
  • resources?
  • policies and procedures?
  • costs?
  • Do you need to obtain any licenses or permits?

For example all staff working in the childcare industry, or dealing with under 18's, must have a Blue Card, while industries dealing with tobacco or alcohol have very strict licensing laws.

Economic issues and trends

  • What is the current economic climate?
  • Does the current international climate have an effect on us?
  • Are people spending more / less money?
  • What are they spending it on?
  • Are they likely to spend it on your product or service?

For example, the cost of living is currently rising faster than wages – things such as petrol prices and interest rates are increasing rapidly and people are thinking twice about spending their hard earned money.

Social issues and trends

  • People will often be influenced in their purchase decisions by "what's IN", or may wish to keep pace with friends
  • Environmental issues such as water saving, conserving energy and so on can have an impact on people's purchasing decisions and so need to be considered
  • Cultural issues also need to be considered – people from different countries and backgrounds have views and customs that may dictate how they make their purchasing decisions.

Competitor information – This is a very important part of your business environment analysis – you need to know as much as you can about your competitors. Questions you need to ask are:

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they located?
  • How big are they (compared to you)?
  • Do they have any affiliations?
  • What are their promotional activities?
  • How do they advertise?
  • What do they advertise?
  • How does their product range compare to yours?
  • How do their prices compare to yours?
  • How does their service compare to yours?
  • What impact do they have on your business?

The answers to these questions will give you an overview of how you compare to them and what you can do to improve, and therefore win extra business.

If practical, a product / price comparison grid is an excellent way of keeping an eye on how you are faring against them.

It's also a good idea to also do a SWOT Analysis on your main competitors (next section) – you need to be able to:

  • counter their strengths
  • take advantage of their weaknesses
  • take advantage of the same opportunities and
  • maximise their threats.

Technology –

  • Is there any new technology available that will have an impact on the way you do business?
  • Is it viable for you to adopt this new technology from a cost point of view?
  • Can you afford not to adopt this new technology from an efficiency point of view?
  • What impact does the internet and electronic means of communication have on your business?

Internal influences also need to be taken into considerations and could include:

  • The overall economic state of your business. Is it doing well or not?
  • Change of ownership or management of the business. This could have a big affect on the internal workings of the company and the company morale.
  • Change of direction for the business. Are you offering new services or products?
  • Updating or upgrading of the business. New premises, new equipment etc.
  • Down or Upsizing. Are you laying off staff or hiring more?

Looking at the PLESCT Analysis and your internal influences in detail will give you a firm understanding of what is going on around you, and will help you:

  • avoid unpleasant surprises that could be costly and damaging to your business
  • stay a step ahead of your competitors
  • help you take advantage of new opportunities quickly
  • minimise the impact of negative trends …..

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis allows you to have a deep down, honest look at your organisation in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and to look at ways to make you stronger.

Strengths

What are your organisations strong points? For example:

  • Do you have a great location?
  • Is it easily accessible?
  • Is it a long established company?
  • Does it have an excellent reputation?
  • Does if offer anything unique?
  • Do you have a lot of repeat business?
  • Are your prices the best?
  • Are you a market leader?

and so on.

Weaknesses

What are your organisations weaknesses? For example:

  • Is it a newly established business and not yet well known
  • Is the infrastructure in the surrounding area poor making it difficult for customers to get to you?
  • Are there any problems with suppliers or staff?

and so on. A point to remember is that not all weaknesses are negative and could be viewed as opportunities for improvement.

Opportunities

What opportunities are there that you could take advantage of? For example:

  • New legislation opening new markets to you
  • New housing or business developments bringing new customers into your area
  • New technology that will make your production or processes more efficient
  • Introduction of new product or service lines that will increase revenue

and so on.

Threats

What things could stop you from achieving your goals? For example:

  • A new competitor in the marketplace
  • A change in legislation that will mean major changes to your business practices.
  • Re-zoning of your area or roadways changing and taking customers away from their current routes (where you are located)

and so on.

Conclusion:

When looking at your SWOT Analysis what areas need to be addressed?

  • Strengths – what can you do to capitalise or maximise on them?
  • Weaknesses – what can you do to minimise or negate their impact. Which of them can be turned around to become a strength?
  • Opportunities – what do you need to do to take advantage of these opportunities? How can you ensure you get your slice of this opportunity?
  • Threats – what can you do to avoid or minimise the impact of the threat?

The answers to these questions will form part of your business plan.

Objective for Next Year

Having looked at your past analysis and current business situation you should now have a solid grasp of your business and where it needs to go to remain successful. Your endeavours to date will now give you a clear direction – or objectives – to aim for in the next one to three years.

One overall objective will have a number of Key Strategies – each of which will, in turn, have a set of tactics designed to help achieve each strategy and therefore the ultimate goal.

  • Your objective is WHERE you want to be in a given period of time (ideally 1 – 3 years0
  • Your Key Strategies are WHAT you need to do to achieve the objective and
  • Your Tactics are HOW you are going to go about actually making it work

Key Strategies

The objective, as stated, is where you want to be. The key strategies are the issues you need to address in order to achieve the objective; WHAT needs to happen. For example if your objective is to increase your revenue by 10% over the previous year, then typical key strategies could be:

  1. Introduce a new product range to fill an identified market need
  2. Decrease expenditure by 15%
  3. Increase your customer base by 10%

All of which would work towards achieving the overall objective.

Obviously strategies will be determined by your own business and industry needs, so think about the things you need to do to achieve your goal.

Tactics

Each strategy will have a series of tactics (or steps) that need to be taken to make that strategy work. As mentioned, these will outline HOW you will go about each strategy. For example.

Key Stratey 2: Decrease expenditure by 15%

2.1 – Review all current suppliers to ensure we are getting the best product for the best price

  • 2.1.1 Offer tender opportunitities to new suppliers
  • 2.1.2 Research new suppliers via web, phone calls etc
  • 2.1.3 Review all suppliers on an annual basis.

2.2 – Introduce new procedures regarding unnecessary printing of emails and other documents to decrease amount of paper being used

2.3 – Re-use single sided documents as scrap paper / memo pads to save paper

2.4 – All electrical equipment and lights to be turned off when not in use

2.5 – Review discounting policy and determine if this could be replaced in a more cost effective manner

2.6 – Review consumable usages

and so on.

Once again, the tactics will depend entirely on what strategies you need to fulfil and should be as detailed as possible. These tactics will form part of your action plan. If there is a cost involved, or extra resources, then detail them here.

Sales Forecast for Next Year

Forecasting is neither as scary nor as complicated as it sounds – if you keep accurate sales records!

Sales forecasting means making an "educated" guess on how much revenue you will earn in the coming year and for this reason accurate records are essential and indispensable. You need to know where your sales came from – by product or service and even by month or week of sale. This may seem overkill but eventually this data will give you a complete and detailed picture of exactly how your business is performing. For example spikes (up or down) in sales figures do not happen for no reason – detailed statistics can show up these spikes which might be due to such things as:

  • Promotional or advertising campaigns
  • New trends
  • New products
  • Competitor initiatives
  • Seasonal fluctuations
  • Economic climates and so on ….

For example – the Tourism Industry is very much affected by high and low seasons. They usually know well in advance when demand will increase or decrease. Travelling to Europe in their winter is low season and demand is not as high as going in their spring or summer time. Knowing this tourism operators can plan for these periods by developing specific products designed to increase sales and take advantage of increased demand in high season. They can also accurately forecast revenue because they have a solid knowledge of who their customers are and when they travel on a month by month basis.

The same may well apply to your own industry.

A review of past years sales statistics can give you an excellent idea of ​​how your sales happen on a month by month basis. You can read the trends like a story – allowing you to estimate with a large degree of accuracy what sales you can expect to make and know how much you will need to spend in the next year.

But what good does all this do you in forecasting? When you have collected this data for a number of years you can start to build up a picture of:

  • peaks and troughs in your sales
  • popular and less popular products,
  • popular times of the year
  • effects of advertising and / or promotional campaigns and so on

Sales figures rarely drop (or increase) for no good reason .. the trick is to be aware of what is going on around you so that you know why increases or decreases happen. This is where your PLESCT and SWOT prove valuable.

Armed with all this accurate and well researched information you should be able to make a reasonably accurate prediction on how many of each product you will sell in the coming year.

Action Plan

Points for your action plan will come from the tactics. By putting them into an actual action plan, detailing what needs to be done, by whom and by when, you can ensure that each task (or tactic) is done on time and will therefore take you that step closer to reaching your objective.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is basically it!

By following these logical steps you can:

  • gain a greater awareness of the environment in which you operate
  • avoid major pitfalls that may come your way
  • realise your strengths
  • overcome weak points
  • take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you and much more

A building for the Templates better business plan can be found on Www.lptraining.com.au

Make Money With My Computer – It's Your Slave – Put it to Work!

I get asked the question a lot " How do I make money with my computer?" Well the answer to that question is very simple … you just put it to work for you! Seems straight forward does not it? It really is that easy, the problem that we are faced with is what type of work do we get it to do?

Before I answer that question I want you to know that my answer to this question is not the only answer, what I mean by that is there are literally hundreds if not thousands of different ways that I could make money with my computer and on top of that there are millions of different products and services that you can then use to make that money.

So how then can this article help you in your quest to make money with your computer? Well what you are going to have to do is some research and reading to see what method you want to use to put your computer to work for you. In the mean time my opinion might be a good place to start. So let's get to it.

If you talk to one of my business partners Bob Proctor he would probably tell you that if you want to make money you need to have multiple sources of income. In fact he would probably tell you that you need multiple sources of income that generate revenue even when you're not working them, you set them up once and let them keep growing on their own.

This is the philosophy that I also subscribe to and in my opinion works very well. You are going to want to set up as many as you can … start with one and move on to another and then another. Now some of them will produce small incomes and others will be big, do not worry about that as they feed into the same account and the sum total is what you are after.

For me, I make money with my computer using many different techniques, again some of them produce small and other big, but they all produce.

I started with a network marketing company and the reason I did this is because I wanted lots of free training to help me get my head around selling and marketing. You could do the same or you could also go out and just find some experts, a lot of them give courses away for free on how to make money with using your computer.

Another big one that I would recommend is affiliate programs, I sell other peoples products or services in return for an affiliate commission, I would encourage this method of making money as it does not require you to have to have your own product and often times they will pay you commissions upwards of 50%, so it works well. On top of that once you start driving a lot of traffic to a certain product and since you have the traffic secrets that their market is looking for then you may decide to create your own similar product … I am an affiliate to many products because it is easy and free to do so.

I also offer other products for free, now this sounds funny but in fact it is very smart since then you can build lists that you can market products to forever … now this one is a little more difficult, because you do not want to spam people and you do not want to just send out adds. You actually have to offer them something of value and then recommend products that you use and endorse. For this NEVER market a product or service that you would not use … It is your reputation on the line.

Again there are many methods for making money with your computer. What ever method you choose to use for making money the key is to be able to drive traffic to your sites.

So while you are looking for something to sell or some audience to market to, you will also want to stay on the lookout for different ways to drive traffic to your sites because traffic is the key to making money … once I learned how to drive traffic to I started to make a lot of money with my computer. That is a topic for another day.

How to Use Instagram to Market Your Business

Photo sharing has been given a major social upgrade thanks to introduction of Instagram. The Instagram platform has become hugely popular with more than 80 million users, who enjoy altering their photos with special effects and cool filters before sharing them with friends and followers.

Businesses can start using this new type social media as a way to market their company and build up a following. People love strong visual images, so posting pictures of products and even employees will make them feel closer to you. This type of marketing is what helps forge brand loyalty.

So how can your business use Instagram for marketing? Here are some examples:

Geotagging

In Instagram's latest update, users now have the option to tag a specific location with their images, which are saved to a personal photo map. These can be shared with your followers.

This is great if you have a physical location or even if you travel around the city, state or country. If you have booths at local craft fairs or other vendor events, then you can snap a photo and tag your location to let your followers know where you can be found.

Inside Look

The whole idea behind social media is sharing. Your fans and followers are giving you a chance to reach them on a more personal level so make sure you are giving them the same. Take pictures of the staff in the office. Snap shots of upcoming products to give them a sneak peak. If you're on the road, take some pictures along the way. Give followers a real sense of how things are behind the scenes to help them feel like a part of the brand.

Use Hashtags

If you use Twitter, you know how effective hashtags can be at sharing. You can use the same on your Instagram photos. Use hash tags that relate to your business or industry to make it easy for people to find you. For instance, if you make jewelry, you can use hashtags like #rings, #customjewlery, or #necklaces. Look up popular hashtags that are being used by similar brands and add them to your images.

Encourage User Images

People who are already using your products should be encouraged to snap a photo of themselves using it and tag it with one of your hash tags. This will show people how to use your products and show how many people are happy with your company.

Hold Contests

People love a chance to win prizes and using Instagram to hold a photo contest is an exciting way to give them what they want. You can ask fans to send in a picture of them using your product and then choose a winner from among them. You could also go a different route by asking them to send in a picture that demonstrates something more abstract, like what represents summer to them.

There are any number of ways to get creative and get more followers by holding a contest using Instagram. Your followers will share with their friends who will also want to join in the fun.

Market Your Events

If you are going to be at a trade show or convention, take pictures and tag your location to let your followers know what is going on for your business. If you are holding a big sale, snap a shot of your sales flyer for your followers to see. This is also a good way to make your followers feel more special because you can offer them a VIP discount that only Instagram users can get. Get creative with them!

Instagram was acquired by Facebook for $ 1 billion about. That is a sure sign that this is an important part of social media. When you implement it in your marketing strategy, it is one more important tool to have.

People love getting involved and sharing with the businesses they love. Take part in this era of sharing and you can broaden your reach and strengthen your branding with a few snaps of the camera.

Are you signed up with Instagram yet? What are you doing to market your business with the latest social app?

9 Reasons Why Business Owners Should Go for PHP Web Development Services

Business – small or large – now flourishes online. This has called for website development that can offer a dynamic interface. To stay on the top in search engine ranks, websites have to change their content (graphics, videos, text and more) frequently. From static to dynamic, websites have now come of age, thanks to PHP web development services offered by PHP developers and programmers.

PHP first appeared in 1995 and since then, it has garnered tremendous popularity. Probably the fact that Harvard University and Facebook have been developed on PHP has shot up its popularity and credibility. A PHP development company prefers this server-side scripting language because websites can be maintained easily.

Let us now check why business owners should opt for PHP web development services for their websites.

1. It is FREE!

This is the biggest advantage for any business. PHP is an open source. All you need to do is hire web developers, who possess extraordinary skill in languages ​​like C and Java. They can do wonders for your website and consequently, your business.

2. Better Returns

Any businessman would expect high returns on investment. In a highly competitive business environment, you need to capture the attention of visitors; once they regularly visit your websites, you need to convert them from visitors to customers. Since PHP offers dynamic website creation, you get more visitors on your website. This means high returns on your investment.

3. Huge Supply

There is a striking balance between demand and supply of PHP web developers. PHP web development is in great demand so is the supply of PHP developers. If you want to hire web developers, who are expert in PHP, you can easily hire them from a large community. Similarly, for PHP developers, there is huge opportunity to get hired or work as a freelancer.

4. Quick Development

A website developed on PHP does not prove a burden on the server. Since PHP uses its own memory space, it reduces the loading time. It processes everything fast and therefore, web applications like e-commerce, CRM, CMS, and forums are developed on PHP.

5. Measurable Results

You can easily measure results of your marketing campaigns with multiple extensions offered by PHP. Your PHP developer can show you results, which are measurable. You can easily calculate your ROI, which gives you an edge over your competitors.

6. Support

If you have a basic knowledge of PHP, you can easily enhance your knowledge with the help of guidelines and references available online. Have a chat with support groups, ask questions on forums and contact PHP support teams on the Internet. Moreover, you have full access to the online library to gain more knowledge on PHP web development services . And remember, this support is available in different languages.

7. Security

The online world has one major drawback: virus and malware. PHP gives you multiple layers of security for your website so you can easily protect your website against malicious attacks and virus threats.

8. Tried, Tested, and Trusted

As mentioned earlier, PHP has been used since 1995 and thousands of websites have been developed on this platform. And the biggest testimony can come from Mark Zuckerberg. You can blindly trust this platform if you are hiring any PHP Development Company.

9. Supports All Major Web Browsers

There can be millions of users browsing your website, and they may be using different web browsers. PHP supports all major web browsers like Windows, MacOS, Linux or UNIX.

The above-mentioned reasons are enough to convince any businessman that s / he go for PHP web development services for his / her new or established business.

Stripper Business Plan – Get Paid to Hang Out With Strippers

It sounds like a dream come true for most guys, does not it? Is it really possible to get paid for hanging out with strippers? Well, the author of the Stripper Business Plan, Mike Steele, knows so. He knows so because he has lived the life and been there and done it and written it down so you can copy his business plan and start your own business doing the same thing.

The Stripper Business Plan is a multimedia package that will explain to you how you can quickly start your own business as the manager of exotic dancers and strippers for bachelor parties and the like. When someone in your local area is looking for a stripper for a birthday party or a bachelor party you could be the one they go to. Plain and simple.

The author goes over many details of how to start up your own stripper business claiming that you can begin making money very quickly. In his book Mike Steele goes over where to get business, what kinds of women are necessary for your business, how to organize your stripper business and many insider secrets that are said to be proven methods of maximizing your cash flow.

Also included in The Stripper Business Plan are three podcast coaching sessions that are said to help you to get you on your way to being profitable quickly and a separate book full of advanced trade secrets. Everything including what is necessary to get your stripper business up and running and getting the girls is laid out for you in an easy to understand step by step method.

Just like any business though, your success is dependent upon how hard you work. That really was not meant to be a pun but it's a pretty good one though, is not it? The idea of ​​starting a business as a manager of strippers and exotic dancers does seem like a good one though given that the demand is there and the need to fill that demand is pretty obvious. It is actually such an ingenious idea that we wished that we had come up with it and are surprised that we never thought of starting a stripper business.

The opportunity to learn from someone like Mike Steele does make The Stripper Business Plan a very attractive package. To have everything explained to you by someone that has operated a successful business that you are thinking of starting is simply a good move and should save you a lot of time and aggravation. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that you'll be hanging out with strippers every day and getting paid for it … not that this would be the sole reason for starting such a business, right?

Program Review – Jason Tan's Only in Malaysia Mah

Not much is known about the people behind this so called made in Malaysia online money making program. The program's mini site purportedly reported that it is being run by an ordinary Malaysian Chinese that goes by the name of Jason Tan living somewhere in a posh condo in Damansara Perdana, Petaling Jaya. I'm not quite sure when actually this program surfaced here in Malaysia but based from reports that I had received, it is somewhere in the early of 2007.

A lot of people have been asking for my review on this program but with very little input, I would try my best to accommodate their requests. Apparently, a lot of people here in Malaysia are curious about the program. They do have genuine interests but hesitates upon fearing that this program might be just another online scam. In my capacity as the Principal of Sahabatul Ventures, I am not at the liberty nor authorized to say which program is genuine or otherwise. However, I would try to help out nonetheless by analyzing this program with the help of my years of experience in tinkering with various online money making programs.

OK now, let's take a look at what we know about this program other than the program's initiator, Mr Jason Tan. He began with his claim that he has consistently making up to Malaysian Ringgit $ 38,000 per month on a less than 2 hours of work done on a week! Quite extraordinary! He also claims that he had received an ordinary looking email on the 8th of August 2006 that changed his life forever. So basically his success story starts there. He also claims that he made Malaysian Ringgit $ 1,000 on his very first week on trying out his secret money making formula. As like any other money making gurus, he did showed off screenshots of his savings and PayPal accounts complete with all that nice daily deposits of cash. He was so successful at it that he made the decision to quit his 9 to 5 job within a month!

After reading Jason Tan's mini site from top to bottom, I do think that I knew a little bit about his secret formula. As he had said, his program got nothing to do with MLM, foreign currency exchange or any one of those PTR (Paid-to-Read) programs. Since he said that his program runs on autopilot, requires zero start-up capital and made use of Google AdWords; I immediately knew what this is all about. Jason Tan is making money through affiliate programs and no doubt he is relying upon ready made tools provided by online retailers of digital products such as Clickbank! In another word, his money making program is quite similar with Chris Carpenter's Google Cash highly successful online money making formula. The similarities are there and I would bet my last dollar that it is more or less the same!

My gut feeling told me that Jason Tan is not talking nonsense here. I have faith that this is not a scam; at least 80% of me said so. He has invested a considerable amount of money to setup his mini site, fully equipped with AffiliateMonster's affiliate software module. He really meant business here! His program is surprisingly well organized for someone who only made money online in less than a year. I do believe that he is not running this program all by himself. I am sure that he has a well oiled team to look into this program from A to Z and that should gave anyone some level of confidence in his online money making program. Apart from sharing his formula, he also gives away a few noteworthy bonuses as well. You would have lifetime subscriptions to his eBooks, starting with a few that would help you launch your online money making mission. Jason Tan is also giving out 60 hours of free consultations and he tops it all by giving out a free fully optimized website ready for immediate use!

Even though Jason Tan has done well in his preparations to go public with this program, I do have reservations about his experience. Making money online requires experience to survive and experts such as Michael Cheney, Joel Comm and Chris Carpenter knew this all too well. Hence, I'm giving Jason Tan's Only in Malaysia Mah! online money making program a 4 stars rating mainly for his incredible value for money. He is currently willing to part with his secret formula for an incredible low price of Malaysian Ringgit $ 90.00. Let's say roughly that US Dollar $ 1.00 equals to Malaysian Ringgit $ 3.50. That would mean he is selling his formula for only US Dollar $ 26.00! That is insanely low! Similar formulas found in the market today would normally cost more than US $ Dollar 50.00!

I would highly recommend the I Jason Tan's by Only in Malaysia Mah! program for every Malaysians. Having a fellow countryman as your mentor might come in handy in the near future. Setting up actual meetings and group discussions among members of this program with their mentor Jason Tan is more than possible and that is a big advantage!

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a completely new, but vital part of online marketing that has taken off in the last few years. A brief definition of it is the process of increasing traffic to your site or gaining attention online though social media sites.

What are social media sites?

These types of sites are ones that rely on human interaction to work, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They all require social actions that differ in the way they work such as Twitter gives you 140 characters max to say something or through a video or picture, whereas Facebook also you unlimited characters and the chance to add many photos at a time, join events or share updates.

What is social media important?

Social media marketing is very important to enhance and support search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts as once a page of a site or a link is found by social media users, it can then go 'viral' pointing many links back to the website which in turn is seen as a sign of popularity to the search genies and giving a boost in rankings to the said site.

Taking a look at the big three, as mentioned above Facebook, Twitter and YouTube we can have a look how each of these social media sites helps your marketing efforts.

Using Facebook is probably the easiest and most common social media site that people have heard of. Although Twitter has millions of users, many people only use Twitter to follow celebrities or directly for their business. The average Joe will not always be found on Twitter, whereas with Facebook as it's all about you, then a lot of people use it.

Both small and large businesses rely on Facebook to help promote offers they have at the time, as well as using it to post photos and videos. It's also a great was to get people to interact as users can share updates from businesses, meaning that social media marketing is made all that much easier.

Having a page of Facebook is the way to go for businesses and encouraging people to like it through incentives such as competitions and prizes means that people are willing to tell others about your page, and then subsequently about your business.

Twitter as mentioned above is not as all consuming as Facebook because of the type of people using it, but if you are using Twitter to interact and make relationships and network then it is even more effective than Twitter. This is because people do not have to trawl through a page to see what you are about. What you say and do is limited to the 140 characters so you have to be clear and concise in your actions and words, therefore making it easier to impress people (or annoy them!)

Twitter takes some hard work where social media marketing is concerned as you have to build up a flowing before you can even start to influence flowers and getting that following is the start of the battle. People will not want to follow you if you constantly tweet promotional tweets or are always retweeting others messages. You have to make sure you are worthy of following and that what you say will engage people.

Once you have achieved this, then you rinse and repeat and keep writing what you have been writing that attracted your followers on the first place. Your message and business can then be spread across Twitter giving you invaluable links.

YouTube is also so commonly known that, like Twitter, you have to be very focused to successful use it in your social media marketing campaign. YouTube works more for educational websites and those selling things that could benefit from demonstrations. Using the right tags and descriptions also adds to the campaign so people can find your videos using the tags.

The videos have to be well made, and if you take the time to compile theses videos and people like what they see, it can take a matter of hours for your videos to go viral, again giving you national and even international exposure!

5 Reasons to Use Magento ECommerce

There are many ecommerce solutions on the market. Magento is quickly becoming a very popular choice for many companies. Magento is an open source ecommerce content management system which is famous for being the best shopping cart software that meets the goals of businesses worldwide. Magento developers recommend this software to all their ecommerce clients and it has been highly admired for a variety of different reasons, below are the 5 top.

Multi-Site or Multi-Store Functionality

Magento is designed with the intention of accommodating more than one online business. Magento is a powerful platform where there can 2 be, 10 or even 20 online stores running simultaneously from the same admin panel. Orders can be placed and managed from one site instead of switching between different sites. And even then, reports can be easily prepared separately with unique details.

Guest Checkout Option

Another good feature of Magento development is its 'Guest Checkout Option'. It is a very small feature but helps a lot to keep the visitor on the website. In online businesses, the visitor has to register before making a purchase and sometimes this diverts traffic from the site which results in less conversion rates and high bounce rates. In Magento, to fight this situation, the visitor may control whether they have to register or can optionally checkout as a guest to help save time.

Search Engine Friendliness

Magento development is very SEO friendly and this feature makes it very easy to manage by web developers. Magento's built-in tools help to boost business in search engine ranking.

Built-in SEO tools:

1. Search Engine Friendly Rewrites or Canonical URLs
2. Control over Meta Tags for each Webpage, Product and Category
3. Auto-generated XML Sitemaps
4. CMS pages

These features can significantly help to improve a websites viability online and is a great reason to choose Magento.

Huge Collection of Extensions

Magento ecommerce solution is 100% customisable. PHP developers love this feature. If you are looking to alter the way in which products are being displayed or trying to improve the loading time of your website, there are thousands of extensions in the Magento Connect store.

Here is a quick list of our top 3 Magento extensions:

1. Fontis WYSIWYG Editor
2. Fooman Google Analytics Plus
3. Royal Mail Domestic and International Shipping

Reorder Facility

It's always good to retain old clients because they are always less costly than acquiring new clients and hence, it also lowers the cost of business attainment and increases your gain. Magento development helps online businesses by keeping their last order information available on their account page. So, if your customers / visitors want to make the same order again then they are just a click away. This feature makes the order facility just a click away.

Use a 30-60-90 Day Business Plan For Job Interview Success

Candidates are always looking for an edge in job interviews, and they try to gain that edge in different ways: crafting a killer resume, dressing for success, practicing interview questions and answers, researching the company, building a brag book, or even practicing positive body language. However, one thing candidates often overlook, or never even consider, is creating a business plan for interviews. Simply put, this type of plan is a short one-to-three page document that states in as little or as much detail as necessary what a candidate will do in the position that he or she is interviewing for.

To write a personal business plan correctly, you have to take the time to think out the position, your goals, and the company's goals. You have to research the company and your specific desired position in it, analyze what it takes to be successful, and write what is, essentially, a "to-do" list for yourself. This list should take the form of incremental goals, ideally organized into a 30-day plan, a 60-day plan, and a 90-day plan. It is a lot of work to do before you even know if you're hired, but this kind of effort will set you apart from other job seekers and absolutely get a hiring manager's attention. Not only that, but it will increase your chances of success once you do get the job … because you've already mapped out how to be successful.

The 30-day part of the plan is the easiest to put together. In your research of the company and your discussions with the recruiter you are working with, you should discover what the company's training plan looks like-how long it takes and where you receive it. So most of the items in your 30-day plan should be along the lines of attending training, mastering product knowledge, learning specific corporate systems, traveling to learn your territory (if you're in sales), meeting other members of the team, or reviewing accounts.

The 60-day part of the plan usually includes more field time, customer introductions, reviews of customer satisfaction, fine-tuning your work schedule, and getting feedback from your manager.

The 90-day part of the plan is the "getting settled" part of your new job. It should include things that take more initiative on your part: landing your own accounts, scheduling programs, or coming up with new ways to get prospects' attention (again, if you're in sales), as well as continuing to get performance feedback and fine-tuning your schedule.

Keep in mind, these examples are extremely generalized. The more specific you can be in your plan, the better. Research the company and the position, even if you've done the same kind of work for years. Your business plan does not have to be long and complicated, but it does have to show that you've done your homework, analyzed this job, and thoughtfully considered how you can best serve this particular company. That's the edge that will get you hired.

Training Business – Determining How Much to Charge For Your Training Services

If you're in – or want to get into – the training business, you're going to face the challenge of determining how much to charge for your training programs. It can be a frustrating and intimidating process. Keep in mind that professions like physicians and attorneys, and yes, even plumbers, have widely varying rates. The training field is no different. You could get some guidelines from a professional organization like ASTD (American Society of Training and Development), or you could probably find some information online.

But here are some considerations and guidelines to keep in mind. First of all, fees are based on a number of factors:

  • your training subject ( "commodity" training, like teaching a computer program, is cheaper than "soft skills" training, such as leadership development, that add polish and marketability to executives)
  • your experience and reputation (someone in the business a long time, with an established client list, and other credentials, such as a published book, will simply be able to charge more than a "newbie")
  • the perceived value of your training results, such as whether your training delivers a measurable improvement in performance, such as mastering a new skill, versus just some book learning or "feel good" outcomes
  • what the client will pay (corporations with deeper training pockets will not flinch at a fee that might turn away a smaller business)

While there are no set industry standards for fees, here are some guidelines you can use:

  • If you're going to charge by the hour (probably not the best choice unless you're going to do a lot of consulting or individual coaching), fees range from probably $ 50 to $ 500 an hour, based on all the factors listed above. You might offer a "quantity discount" for multiple-hour projects.
  • If you're going to offer public seminars, where people register on their own to attend your program (in a hotel meeting room or your own classroom), then you'll probably charge per person. Your goal is to fill seats, so your prices need to be perceived as a "bargain," so lots of people will sign up. Common prices for these types of programs are usually something like $ 99 or $ 129 a person.
  • If you're going to do your business with companies, it is probably the most practical to charge by the workshop. Depending on the nature of the program, the intensity of its learning environment, the audience it's intended for, and the other criteria above, it could range anywhere from $ 500 to $ 10,000 a day. I'm guessing that $ 2,000 to $ 5,000 is the most typical. There are always some fixed costs in a workshop, no matter what its length, so a shorter session is going to appear proportionately more expensive. As well, the charge for a longer session will be proportionately less since the fixed costs are spread out over a longer time. So, for example, say you $ charge 2,500 for a day-long program. For half a day, you might charge $ 1,500 (more than half of the $ 2,500). For a two-day session, you might charge $ 4,000 (less than twice the $ 2,500). By the same token, if a client wants to contract for you to deliver your one-day program more than once, then you'd probably discount your charge. So using the same $ 2,500 example, if your client wants you to deliver that program five different times, then you might charge a total of $ 10,000 or even $ 8,000 instead of $ 12,500.

Two other cost issues to keep in mind:

  • One is a materials charge. If you prepare materials for the participants, such as handouts or course workbooks, it is appropriate to charge something per person for those materials. You have a couple of options: you charge what it cost you to prepare them, in which case, you'd include the printer's bill as an expense receipt with your invoice. The other option is to mark the materials up, so you can make a little profit. The amount of the mark-up is up to you. You just want to do whatever makes the per-person fee reasonable. One client might think $ 20 a head is unreasonable, another client might not flinch at $ 100 each. You have to know your client and the perceived value of your materials.
  • The other cost issue is expenses. It's standard business practice to pass through to the client any bona fide expenses you incur as a result of delivering this training, such as travel expenses, meals, mileage, parking fees. Be careful though. Many things you may have purchased for your program would not be considered appropriate pass along expenses. This would be items that are an essential part of your training, such as name tents, candy, notepads, pencils, etc. It's understood that your fee includes those types of costs.

Whatever you charge for your training and materials fee, make sure it's been agreed to upfront in writing.