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10 Tips To Optimize Your Insurance Agent LinkedIn Profile

Social media marketing is moving front and center when it comes to insurance agency web marketing strategies, which may encompass other terms such as insurance agency search engine marketing or insurance agency search marketing optimization. Agents and producers, owners and executives should be cognizant of this new frontier, perhaps changing the famous saying of “Go West, young man, go West” as popularized by Horace Greeley, to “Go Web young man, go Web”. As social media websites for business go, surely LinkedIn is one of the most preeminent, and one that insurance agents and agencies should leverage in their daily routine. Here are 10 tips to help better leverage your LinkedIn presence.

1. Professional Headline– Create a professional headline that explains your expertise and is keyword friendly. For example, I am an “Insurance Agency Marketing Expert” rather than a “Business Development Manager.”

2. Complete Education & Experience – Process can be accelerated by uploading a current resume from a Word document.

3. Request Recommendations – Request a minimum of 3 recommendations. We suggest a client, a colleague and someone else. Recommendations for previous work are also powerful.

4. Include Website Links – Add links to your website, your blog, and a personal website (if possible).

5. Integrate Twitter Feed – If you are using Twitter, add your Twitter ID.

6. Summary – Create a 1-2 paragraph professional summary that explains what you do and why it is important. Make sure to include your areas of expertise and leverage your SEO keywords.

7. Specialties – A short list of specialties that should look very much like your Top 3 SEO keyword phrases.

8. Blog Application – Under the “Applications” menu, select “Get More Applications.” Choose the WordPress application and enter the blog address. Select the options to display the blog on your homepage and profile.

9. Other Application(s)– If possible add 1-2 more applications that you feel would be of interest.

10.Make Regular Updates – Post regular profile updates. What you are working on, webinar invites, blog links and announcements are all great updates. Make sure to include your SEO keywords in the updates as well.

LinkedIn’s website states they now have over 90 million members around the world as of January 2011. Most of these members are business centric, as LinkedIn seemingly becomes the Facebook of business. Every insurance agent should have a presence on LinkedIn, and every insurance agency should have a company page on LinkedIn. Does that mean agents should ignore Facebook and other social media sites? Insurance agents and producers, should embrace the major social networking sites. However, if you are a B2B oriented agency or broker, LinkedIn should be a top priority as a social media marketing venue.

The Basic Components of a Business Plan for a Catering Business

Creating a business plan for a catering business may not be as tough as some of us consider. Moreover, developing a business plan is very important for all of us that are interested in starting their own catering business. A catering business plan helps lay the foundation for the main components of your business. It also serves as a vital tool if you are seeking funding for your start-up; since all lenders will request your business plan. Keep in mind that starting a small catering business is also a start-up option which may only require the use of some of your personal savings.

The benefit of a catering business plan includes allowing you to focus on the mission and goals as well as identify the basic components of your company.

Let us look at the basic points of a business plan for a catering company.

Description of your company.

In this section you need to describe your catering business in a clear and enlightening manner. You will need to include the name and location of the company, owner(s) background and experience, and the type of catering services that will be provided. Note that you would want come up with a business name that accurately represents your business.

Unique Selling Position also known as your USP

Your USP is what makes you different from the competition. When someone is looking for a caterer why should they select you? It goes without saying that you will provide delicious dishes and professional and friendly services; these days that just is not enough. How are you going to stand out from the competition? When writing this section I would recommend that you focus on determining how you will create a memorable and exciting experience for each of your clients. The goal is to have every client think of you when they are in need of catering services.

Organizational Structure

As the business owner you cannot single handedly take care of every aspect of your catering company; this means that you will need staff to assist you in running the business. In this section you will need to list the key people that will be engaged in your catering business. You not only want to include the names of key people but specific information about their background and experiences, and the role each of them will play in your company.

Competition

You need to know what the competition doing because this is what could possibly keep you from getting clients? You will have to do some research to determine which services may be directly competing with your catering business. In this section you will need will need to see how your compare to the competition. What are your strengths and weaknesses; and are there any opportunities or threats that can have an impact on your business?

Marketing

The first step is to determine specifically who you will sell your catering services to; this is called your target market. You may initially think that you plan to offer your services to everyone, which is fine but it is best to focus on your ideal clients. Taking this approach will also assist in focusing your marketing budget on specific clientele.

Finances

Be prepared to include how much money will invest in your catering business and how much income, expenses and profits you plan to generate in this section. Optimism is great but the best approach in this section is the realistic approach. Often times section this can be challenging for the preparer; and you are not alone. Seek help from the Small Business Administration and other agencies like SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers.

The Best Selling Item On eBay!

What is the best selling item on eBay you ask?

I'm not going to play you out with lame ideas for eBay businesses that do not work, or tell you to go out and research everything yourself. Nope, not here! All you need to know right now is that sunglasses are an easy money machine selling in eBay. Even with summer ending soon, sunglasses remain popular year round. I know you've probably seen a lot of articles like these throughout the years, but this is not your typical fake out. I'm going to tell you everything that I've done (recently) this past summer to buy a car, get my own place, and conquer eBay.

When people ask me "what is the best thing to sell on eBay", I usually do not tell them. I've decided to spill the beans on here now because I have moved on from eBay, and have started my own company. Why waste good advice when I can offer you (the people) great eBay tips for selling and the ability to make money?

So here's what you do. Create an eBay account. If you do not have one already it's easy so I will not explain it here. Now while creating your eBay account think of a business name you want to go by. Something catchy like shademebaby or whatever. It's not a big deal if you do not like it, because eBay lets you change your name after a month anyway. Also, most customers on eBay do not care about your name and will not repeat shop with you anyway.

Now I'm going to give you an eBayer ID I want you to look at, and copy as much as possible. They sell the most sunglasses on eBay, and are good at it. They sell like 10,000 pairs of sunglasses on eBay a month. The name is "SHARPKO". Search for it on eBay and check out how he sells sunglasses, and see what his listings look like. This is going to come into play later when I tell you how to create your listings effectively.

Some other notes about your eBay account you should take into consideration is the following: setup your paypal account and link it to eBay. You're going to need to create an eBay store at some point so look into that. It costs 16.00 a month.Don't buy it yet though. If you're not familiar with your eBay account you should be by now.

The next obvious step we have to take is to look for inventory to sell. Well, instead of sending you off and wishing you good luck on your search I'm going to provide a link to the best sunglasses wholesaler out there right now. Olympic Eyewear has the best quality sunglasses out of any other wholesaler website out there. Trust me, I went through this process already so I know first hand. If you want to search for your own wholesaler feel free. Simply type in wholesale sunglasses on Google and you'll find plenty. Be warned though, other quality of sunglasses out there suck balls.

So now that you're at Olympic eyewear's website we need to focus on 3 brands. The DG sunglasses, XLoop sunglasses, and Aviators. These are the three most popular brands of sunglasses on eBay. Do not bother with most of the other brands unless you see something you really like. Now depending on how much money you have, will depend on how much stock you buy. The average cost is around $ 30 a dozen per box. But, wait! Guess what? You can sell your sunglasses without buying them first. Here's how …

Pick a group of 5-10 sunglass styles you like. Now right-click and save the images for the sunglasses. Now when you go and create listings on eBay, just use the stock images the website provides and "act" like you already have the sunglasses. Now, when you start selling them you can use the money other people pay you and use that to buy your inventory. Since Olympic Eyewear accepts paypal it makes it even easier. Words of caution though … you are not going to sell all 12 pairs of a certain style before you have to purchase them. So you're going to have to pay some of it. Also, look at Olympic eyewears shipping times and see how long it's going to take to arrive to your house. You do not want to keep your eBay customers waiting or they will leave you negative feedback and ruin your eBay account. It took like 4 or 5 business days to reach me. As soon as they came to my house I shipped them out and it was never a problem.

Of course that is the risky way to do business. The proper way would be to pick 5-10 styles and purchase them upfront. Do not worry you will sell them eventually. A word of advice is not to go overboard on the styles you choose. Stick with 5 to 10 styles of the brands I mentioned above. If you discover a certain style sells a lot, I recommend buying multiple dozens. The only flaw olympiceyewear.com has is that their sunglasses sell FAST. They run out of stock quickly, so if you find a good seller buy as much as you can afford. It sucks when you sell out of a style and go to purchase more and they have run out … trust me I've been there multiple times.

Oh, one more note. Try to purchase in bulk. If you only buy one or two dozen at a time you're going to get killed with the shipping costs. The best way to do it is find what sunglasses sell first, and then spend over $ 500 on an order at a time. I frequently spent over 1k on sunglasses. The positives to this are that you do not have to worry about stock for awhile, and olympiceyewear offers discounts the more you buy. I think I saved like 10% on my order for spending over a thousand dollars, so that paid for the shipping costs right there.

Now that you have your sunglasses picked out and ready to sell, you have to find shipping supplies! Forgot about those did not ya? Do not worry I have the hookup. Purchase your tape from Walmart. You're going to need a lot of it so buy 3-4 rolls at a time. Also, I recommend buying "stuffing" for your boxes so that the sunglasses are more secure. It's not necessary but I found that the customers liked it better this way.

It does not matter what sunglasses you buy, they all fit into 6x3x3 shaped boxes. I scoured the internet for the cheapest box prices and formed a relationship with mobe packaging you can find here. I know there website looks a little bad, but the prices are great and shipping is SUPER fast. I received my boxes within 2 days every time! Here is the exact page to get the boxes. I always bought white corrugated boxes because I thought they looked better, but you can get brown if you prefer. They are pretty much the same price. So for 50 boxes it costs 9.75, and the shipping is also a great deal. Make sure you select the FedEx option for shipping. I would recommend buying at least 100 boxes to start.

Okay, now that you have the shipping supplies and sunglasses it's time to start listing them on eBay. I hope you know HTML / CSS because it makes it a lot easier to create listings on eBay that look good. If you do not, no worries. I'll post the outline that I used to list my sunglasses. I'm not expert in this area, so feel free to design your own outline. Think of eBay listings as a one-page advertisement for your product. Did you look at SHARPKO eBay profile yet and his listings? You want your listings to look like his.

Anything that looks like the above example is what we are aiming for. It does not have to be exactly the same. For more ideas look at other eBay'ers selling sunglasses and what their listings look like. Make sure though that you come up with an outline you like, and use it for all of your listings! You want all your listings to be identical except for the sunglass images. It makes it a lot easier for you and your potential customers to identify you and organize your listings. When you have over 1000 listings up at a time, you want to make it as easy as possible for you to make changes.

Designing an outline is going to take a day or two. It's probably one of the biggest details you have to pay attention to. It's not as easy as slapping up an image with a simple description anymore. If you need help designing an outline there are a few programs and websites out there to help you. Simply type in eBay outlines or designs on Google, or search eBays forums for help and advice. If you know someone who can design a sweet outline for you, then you'll have a huge advantage over the competition.

Okay, so now that you have your stock, shipping supplies, and listing outlines ready to go, it's time to post them for the world to buy. The single, most important aspect of selling on eBay is your posting strategy. Here are some questions you need to take into consideration before posting anything. How much are you selling for? How many listings are you going to have? Are you going to sell auction or fixed price format? What days and times should you post your listings? How many days should your listings run for? How much should you charge for shipping and handling? etc.etc.

I can not answer all of these for you, but I'll focus on the more important ones in this article. Shipping costs. I know exactly how much it costs to ship sunglasses, and lucky for you, I'm nice enough to share it with the world. Sunglasses (including the box) weigh around 4 ounces. Sometimes you'll have them weigh a little over that depending on if the sunglasses are heavy, but no worries. You are going to ship via the USPS (regular post office). Each box going out anywhere in the USA is going to cost you a little less then $ 2.00. Packages leaving the US are around $ 4 depending on exactly where. All you need to know is how much the box weighs because you're going to be printing all your shipping labels from home.

Before all of this though, you need to decide how much to charge customers for shipping. I recommend charging more then the actual cost. People do not know how much it costs for you to ship so take advantage. I was charging 2.99 per package, and 4.99 for international. I made an extra dollar every time. Some people charge more, some people charge less. Play around with whatever works for you. You also have to take into consideration the price you charge for the product vs the price for shipping. If your selling sunglasses for 6.99, you can get away with charging more for shipping. If you sell for 9.99 a pair, you probably want to charge only 1.99 shipping. It's all relative. Find your sweet spot.

If you're not familiar with printing your own shipping labels, it's really easy. Make sure you have a printer. It can be any old printer, nothing special. If you're shipping a lot of sunglasses though, you're going to need to buy ink a lot. After someone makes a purchase from you on eBay, you go to it and find the link that says print shipping label. Fill out whatever information it asks for, and it will create a label for you that you print. Since you know the sunglass packages weigh 4oz, the label will automatically calculate the cost. After you print the label, cut it down to size, and tape it to your box. Now you can walk right into your post office, and drop the boxes off without waiting in line. It was funny walking in the post office when there was a long line, walking past everyone, and setting my boxes on the counter and walking away. Oh, and you pay for the shipping labels through your PayPal account so its really easy. They just deduct the cost right from there for you.

How much to sell for? This question is really up to you. Like I talked about with the shipping costs, you have to find what people are comfortable paying for. I will tell you that people prefer a lower overall price vs the higher one (obviously). I charged 7.99-8.99 per pair with 2.99 shipping and it worked great. You may want to charge 9.99 w / 1.99 s & h or even higher then that. I will also tell you that the eBay average selling price is 10 bucks for a pair of the sunglasses you're selling. So work with that and develop a winning price strategy.

Remember, selling sunglasses is about VOLUME! You're going to be making around 4-5 dollars per profit per pair. The more you sell, the more money you make. Since they are so easy to sell, it should not be hard for you to grow into a power seller.

How many listings should you have? My advice is A LOT. As many as you can afford. The more listings you have up, the better chance you have of selling something and attracting attention to your store. It's a numbers game, and if you want to compete you're going to have to put up big numbers. It's okay if you start small though. Focus on growing your inventory so that you have at least 200-300 listings up at one given time. I know a lot of sellers that have 1k + listings going at once, and I know that SHARPKO usually has between 4-5k listings rotating around the clock. Think more listings = more exposure = more customers = more money!

How should I list my items? This is the big question you need to answer. Will you sell auction style or fixed priced? Well before you can answer that question you need to see how many items you have available to sell? You see the problem lies in how eBay lets you create listings. You can not post duplicate items when you sell via the fixed price format. So every fixed price listing has to be a different color sunglasses. eBay will remove duplicates real fast. Auction style listings though let you create as many duplicate listings you want. So it would make more sense to sell auction style then right?

Well, yes and no. Auction style lets you reach the front page, sell duplicates, and more. However, auction style costs more overall. Its 25c to post an auction style listing. If you purchase the basic store, and post a fixed price listing, it's only 20c. However, the big difference is fixed price listings can be set to the "good till 'cancelled" duration. Auction listings can only be set to 7 days max. Huge difference here.

If I have 200 pairs of sunglasses and decide to list them at fixed price it's only going to cost me $ 40 a month, plus the selling fee. If i take those same 200 sunglasses and list them auction style its going to cost $ 50 + selling fee, and only last 7 days until I have to repay another $ 50 to list them again. The fees will begin adding up really fast. Yes, you will sell more using the auction style because you'll receive more exposure, but in the end, eBay fees will kill you.

The best method I found to work is this. List all of your sunglasses via the fixed price method and set the duration to "good til 'cancelled". Also list the quantity to more then 1 (even if you only have 1 of them, you can buy more). This way, your listings never end and you will not be paying crazy fees. You can test the auction style waters if you'd like, but be warned, the fees do add up fast.

What times / days should I create listings? It really does not matter what day you have your listings end for. You would think that the weekends would be a good time right? Well, after months of thinking that, I came to find that I sold more on Mondays or Tuesdays then the weekends usually. With that said, Saturday still seems like the best day to have your listings end. There are programs on eBay that can give you information on how many people are searching for your listings and things like that. You can use those to your advantage since most of them are free. One of the eBay apps I used was outright. It shows you how much money your making vs spending. It's a great tool to see if what you're doing is working or not.

Make sure when you create listings that you spread the time out a little. Do not have all your listings end at the same time. I would use a timer (you can Google timer), and set the timer to 2-3 minutes at a time, and every time the timer goes off post one of the listings. If you're going to use the fixed price format, it really does not matter because they run for a month. Setting your listings by time is a strategy you should use when listing by auction format because it makes sure you have listings on the front page of eBay every time someone searches for the word sunglasses. This helps get your listings more exposure, which leads to more bids.

Well, that's all I got for now. There's a lot more I could probably go into, and I might in a future article, but my fingers hurt right now – Thanks for reading and I hope you can make as much money as I was selling sunglasses this past year! It's really not that hard, trust me.

Business Needs: Importance of Social Media Analytics

Social media analytics, the process of analyzing social media content as well as data to provide insight from the millions of conversations. It is primarily useful for brands that wish to know about what the market or customers are saying about them on social media. Undoubtedly, it has immensely changed the way of using marketing to promote several offers and businesses. With the help of it, we now have an unprecedented opportunity of disseminating targeted messages through a plethora of channels and tools, in a cost free manner.

Let's discuss about a number of ways of keeping the track of your data in order to get the most out of your campaigns.

This is such an amazing concept with the help of which you collect all kinds of information related to your social media pages. Obviously, you can not keep a record of each and everything, so you have to plan well regarding the data that is more important to you, ignoring the ones that are least important.

A few advantages of analytics are mentioned below that can extremely help you out with your marketing.

· Examine the results along with the reach of your posts

· Analyze followers

· Save time

· Identify influencers

· Compare platforms

· Improve your ROI

Gathering a huge amount of data from social networks will not help you. It is essential to choose a tool that can help you get acquainted with the information available to you. In simple words, you require something that can show you the economic impact of your marketing efforts have on your business. You can begin by taking the advantage of tools that are located right within the social media networks themselves.

Twitter analytics will tell you at a glance about your number of tweets, profile visits, tweet impressions, mentions as well as followers. Facebook insights gives you page post metrics like the number of people posts, reactions and clicks. LinkedIn provides analytical data related to company pages for example measuring your posts, engagement together with supplying information about your follower's demographics.

Refer below the lists of major social networks:

Google+

YouTube

Instagram

SlideShare

Pinterest

Vine

Vimeo

Tumblr

Blogs

Compare the effectiveness of all your social media accounts for your business. Statistics that are collected will help you out in tracking the latest trends, industry standards along with the interaction and engagement rates of it.

It is essential to track your data so as to produce better results through your campaigns. If you do not track the data then you are definitely wasting your time on missing or hitting type campaigns. Social media analytics is mainly the difference between success and failure for obtaining the desired results.

Reasons for Globalization

Most companies move their business operations to foreign countries by going global. They take their business overseas for different reasons. These companies adopt the reactive or defensive approach to stay ahead of the competition. A few of them take the proactive or aggressive approach to accomplish the same purpose. A majority of them choose to adopt both approaches to avoid a decrease in their competition. In order to remain competitive, companies move as quickly as possible to secure a strong position in some of the key world or emerging markets with products customized for the need of the people in such areas in which they plan to establish. Most of these world markets are attracting companies with new capital investments with very good incentives. Some of the reactive or defensive reasons for going global are:

(1) Trade Barriers

(2) Customer Demands

(3) Globalization of Competitors

(4) Regulations and Restrictions

In the case of trade barriers, companies move from exporting their products to manufacturing them overseas in order to avoid the burden of tariffs, quotas, the policy of buy-local and other restrictions that make export too expensive to foreign markets. Companies respond to customer demands for effective operations and product assurance and reliability, or / and logistical problem solutions. Most foreign customers, who seek accessibility to suppliers may request that supply stay local in order to enhance the flow of production. Companies usually follow that request to avoid losing the business. For the globalization of competitors, companies are aware that if they leave companies overseas too long without challenge or competition, their investments or foreign operations in the world market may be so solid that competition will be difficult. Therefore, they try to act quickly. Most companies 'home government may have regulations and restrictions that are so inconvenient and expensive, thus limiting the expansion, encroaching in the companies' profits, and making their costs uncontrollable. Hence the reason for the companies moving to different market environment with few foreign restrictive operations. The proactive or aggressive reasons for going global are:

(A) Growth opportunities

(B) Economies of Scale

(C) Incentives

(D) Resource assess and Cost Savings

Many companies will prefer to invest their excess profits in order to expand, but sometimes they are limited because of the maturity of the markets in their area. Therefore, they seek the overseas new markets to provide such growth opportunities. So, these companies, in addition to investing their excess profits, also try to maximize efficiency by employing their underutilized resources in human and capital assets such as management, machinery, and technology. Companies seek economies of scale in order to achieve a higher level of output spread over large fixed costs to lower the per-unit cost. They also, want to maximize the use of their manufacturing equipment and spread the high costs of research and development over the product life cycle. Some of the developing countries that need improvement and development through capital infusion, skills, and technology voluntarily provide incentives such as fixed assets, tax exemptions, subsidies, tax holidays, human capital, and low wages. These incentives seem attractive to these companies due to their increase in profits and reduction of risks. Caution: The repatriation of profits and foreign exchange risks due to instability in leadership of these developing countries should be put into consideration in negotiation. Access to raw materials and low operational costs in financing, transportation, low wages, lower unit costs, and power are attractive in terms of resource access and cost savings. Most companies move their headquarters to overseas to avoid their respective home countries' high taxes and other costs associated in business operation in those countries.

Companies need to develop strategies, design and operate systems, and also work with people, different companies, and countries around the world in the form of strategic alliance to ensure sustained competitive advantage. Global management and management functions are usually formed by the prevailing conditions and ongoing stable and unstable developments in the world. A few countries take advantage of these companies, but when companies become aware that they are being used, they should then learn how they can be useful in that different cultural environment in order to make a lot of profits.

Coffee Shop Business Plan – The Basic Points You Must Cover

Many coffee shop owners do not realize the importance of having a good coffee shop business plan. A business plan is basically a document that list down your competitive strategy and execution during the operations. Having a compelling strategy will inspire you to great heights in business success and having a good execution business plan will ensure that your castle is not built on clouds. It forces you to dream big and at the same time to come out with operations to make this dream a reality.

Having a well thought out business plan will give you an advantage over your competitors. It give any your potential bankers and investors a big boost in confidence in your vision. They realized that most of the coffee shop owners can not put down their strategy into paper; mush to execute them well.

In general, the language in the coffee shop business plan should be factual and business like. You can use any prospectus of a listed company as a reference. You may say that you are not going for listing! You must realize that the investors are really looking for good deals and there is no better way to show them you mean business by having a world class business plan. Use graphs and government statistics to back up your research and this will give you instant credibility. A good business plan will basically cover two things, your business strategy and execution.

A. Strategy
A strategy is the goal you want to achieve in your business in the short run, which is the first one year and for the long run, which is 5 year. As this is a big topic by itself, I shall cover the few critical components briefly.

i) Target market
The first thing you must cover is your target market. This includes the demographics, where they eat and how affluent they are. Then you need to estimate the market size. This will depend on how big an area you think you can realistically cover.

ii) Competitions
No business exists by itself. If there really is none, that is a sign of no demand in the market. You must list down your nearest competitor in your chosen niche and their strengths and weaknesses. If you can, list down their revenue per month and estimated market share as well.

iii) Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP )
Your USP is how you position you business differently from other competitors. It answers the question of why your customers must be crazy not to do business with you compared with your competitors. It could be your quality food, your service, your cozy environments or your pricing. Give them a compelling reason why and they will flock to your coffee shop.

iv) Target location and rationale
The location you choose to start your business really depends on your USP. You may choose to do an upscale coffee shop and naturally, a nice and relaxed environment is important. The renovation costs and may skyrocket but you can charge more for your products. You may want to pick a shopping mall to cater for students or workers who wants to relax. If you choose to compete on speed and delivery, you are catering more on the morning crowd who wants a quick sip of coffee and quality food.

v) Management team / investors
In this section, you must list down who is in your management team or investors. An experienced manager or investors with more than twenty years running a coffee shop is more valuable than a new one. So, it makes sense to have someone who knows the operations well.

vi) Risk factors
All business carries some inherent risks. This may be the changing taste and demands, technology changes, legal and regulatory changes and new entrants. You must anticipate them and take the necessary actions to mitigate them.

vii) Exit strategy
You may provide some plan for exiting in two scenarios. First, you made a lot of money and plan to open more chains. Then, you need a lot of investor financing by selling some shares to them. Second, if the business fails, you may want to negotiate to shorten the lease on the shop and find ways to sell off the coffee equipments.

B. Operations
This part covers the detailed aspects of the day to day running of your coffee shop business. This is where the rubber meets the road and you must successfully execute to get your business off the ground.

i) Startup costs
These are the costs to get your business off the ground. These include renovation, coffee shop layout, cost of buying or leasing equipments and legal costs like license and permits. How much you need to spend depends on your USP you have targeted.

ii) Monthly revenue and expenses
After estimating the market size in your niche, you can estimate how many customers you can have as you monthly revenue. You can then estimate the monthly operating costs, which includes leasing, staff salaries and utilities. You must estimate how much cash you need to sustain for the slow months, especially in the early months of operations.

iii) Operations
This covers the day to day operations of you coffee shop such as operations hours, how many staffs are in the kitchen and serving customers as well as the type of furniture you need to buy. You may also detail down the types of kitchen utensils to buy and when the equipments need to be serviced.

iv) Marketing
You marketing methods will depend on your USP and the image you want to portray. If you plan to do an upscale type, you can send postcards or flyers to your local areas. You can also organize special events like birthday parties or meetings. You company logo and staff uniforms also must reflect this upscale image.

If your niche is speed and price, you may advertise in a billboard near any busses or transit railways. You may want to give out special discounts for regular customers.

v) Funding needs and sources of funds
You may start by using your own funds but as your business grows, you will need more financing. If the interest rate is favorable and you have been in business for over a year, you may approach banks for borrowings. If not, look for investors who are wiling to take some risks. Even if all else fails, you can still get your supplier to finance you in the form of discounts or longer repayments. See if you can qualify for any small business grants from the government.

Conclusion:
After finishing the first draft, you may want to get someone experienced such as a lawyer or accountant to give a second opinion. It may take you a few more draft before it is ready to be presentable to the investors. You are advised to revise this at least yearly to see if it is still applicable.

Growing Flower Bulbs For Profit

Flower bulbs are the perfect crop for any grower. They're fairly easy to grow, and can bring you big profits. They can also multiply rapidly with the right amount of care. That's one of the many things that makes them so appealing. So how can you make good money growing bulbs? Here's how:

Flower growers make, on average, $ 20 to $ 30 an hour. It's simply a great business for anyone looking to turn their backyard nursery into a garden of profitable plants. In particular, bulbs continue to be top sellers. Marvin Joslin makes over $ 100,000 a year selling bulbs and flowers from the garden he started out in the country. He focuses on lilies, because they're hardy perennials that can grow in all four seasons. Plus, lilies grow into long-lasting cut flowers that are always top sellers.

In addition to lilies, there are many other bulbs that have something you probably did not know about them:

* Daffodils – They're virtually immune to pests and disease.

* Iris – There are around 200 species in a variety of color and form.

* Tulips – These were once a holy flower in Turkey and Iran.

* Hyacinth – These are known for their delicate scent.

Plus, bulbs can be forced to grow outside of their normal season, which can be especially profitable. "Forcing" can cause bulbs to grow months before the normal cycle by simulating the natural conditions. Some popular bulbs for forcing include:

* "Paperwhite" daffodil for Christmas

* "Olaf" tulip for Valentine's Day

* "Anne Marie" hyacinth for Valentine's Day

* "Peerless Pink" tulip for Mother's Day

When you're ready to sell your flowers, you have many places you could try, such as the local farmers' market. These events continually draw big crowds eager to buy from local growers. Set up a stand or booth and get ready for the big profits. It's also a good idea to put out a mailing list that your customers can sign up for. That way you can keep in contact with your customers and let them know when and where you'll be selling your flowers next.

Or how about selling to hotels and restaurants. Many hotels and restaurants buy flowers to make their tables and entryways look nice. It's a simple way to bring class to any room. Plus, these restaurants and hotels will want to keep their tables and entryways looking classy, ​​so you could see a lot of repeat sales.

Mail-order sales work well for many growers. The more exotic or unusual your bulbs, the better they will sell with a small classified in gardening magazines and newsletters. You can be growing flower bulbs for profit in no time. They're easy to grow, and can provide some beautiful results. Soon you could be making $ 20 to $ 30 an hour, or more, from growing flowers for profit. Learn more To, Growing Flowers . Read for Profit, available at Http://profitableplants.com

5 Tasks Your Online Home Business Can Do On Autopilot

When you run an online home business time and money are limited. So you ensure that you can devote as much time as possible to tasks that generate income. The most successful online businesses use automation in some form or another. You just can not keep up with everything if you try and handle them manually. Here are 5 ways you can automate tasks for your online home business.

1. Blog Post Publishing

To rank well in the search engines and stay relevant you need to post new and high quality content onto your website a regular basis. The best way to do this is to set up a blog. When you have a blog post ready to publish, you do not want to have to log into your website and carry out this task manually. All of the top blogging platforms, like WordPress, have built-in scheduling capabilities. This means you can write several posts at once, and schedule them for specific publishing dates in the future.

2. List-Building

One of the most important tasks for your online home business is developing a list of email subscribers. Whenever someone visits your website, offer them a free resource or product in return for their email address. Your autoresponder software can then send them your freebie on autopilot. You can literally schedule a year's worth of email delivery ahead of time. This improves the relationship you have with your audience.

3. Social Media

Social media allows you reach out and connect with your target audience. The online world has become very social and your customers are using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Your online home business needs to be on social media too, but it takes a lot of time to log-in to all the social media sites every day. There are plenty of social media automation tools which can schedule your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram posts.

4. Comment Moderation

Your website content can become a magnet for internet trolls and spam. Akismet software saves you time by filtering incoming comments that are nothing more than click-bait, trash and self-serving backlinks.

5. Website Research

Google Alerts will send you a notification every time a relevant search term or topic appears somewhere on the web. For example, if your online home business is about childcare, you can set up a Google alert for "child car-seat guidelines". Ensure your search terms are included in quotes or you could be bogged down with the amount of notifications you receive.

PHP Web Development, A New Approach To Work / Life Balance & Success

Secrets to productivity are your web presence, why not then cash the benefits of PHP web development services. Are you a business visionary, an entrepreneur who wishes to showcase his creativity, offerings to the world – choosing PHP web application development services is the option open to you.

At whatever point starting a new site, the primary thing to check is which constructed language is less demanding for you to utilize. Building up your site with PHP windows development can be a decent alternative. As this server-side scripting language is generally utilized for creating progressive & novel websites which are comprehensible as well as easy to use. In this exceedingly competitive world, every single person in addition to associations needs an inventively composed one-of-a-kind site for better connection with their clients & to steps forward in front of their rivals. PHP is loaded with multiple inbuilt frameworks, plug-in extensions and so on. Thus, can be effectively integrated with other programmings like HTML & Flash. Thus, helping the PHP programmers in making the distinctive sites from long range interpersonal communication (social networking) sites like Facebook, Twitter, corporate or government and so on. The majority of familiar & recognized CMS such as Joomla, Drupal, Zen-Cart & so on depends on PHP programming language making the substance of the site simple to modify.

Furthermore, the upsides of PHP web application development services are more than what examined. PHP web resolutions have a solid security backing so the potential outcomes of having any issue with the software after establishment are less.

Making one of a kind and creative site with PHP web development services for any individual's sites is not troublesome as with codes and systems the site can be outlined and additionally tweak as indicated by his necessity. As one does not need to pay a license expense and just needs to pay the hire dedicated PHP programmers free which are extremely moderate.

PHP MySQL development & PHP windows development has various supremacy which is the reason of its precedence too are as follows:

I. PHP is an open source, thus require no installation fee to be paid.

ii. The scripting is simple to code as well as easy to understand, just hire a PHP web developer to develop your site and rest you can do it yourself.

iii. A cross-platform support language, PHP functions on all major OS frameworks like Linux, Mac OS and so forth. It can be utilized to create web applications for personal sites to e-trade / e-commerce apps and group / community portals sites such as discourse discussions, online journals, blogs and so on.

iv. The elements of PHP are easy to comprehend and sites made with the PHP functionality have high information handling speed.

v. PHP web application development services are steady and profoundly compelling for your site.

vi. It is compatible with every single significant server.

vii. PHP web development helps the PHP programmer to redo the sites as per thoughts and prerequisites of their customers.

viii. The multi-lingual component has expelled all language boundaries and has expanded its utilization among the worldwide web group of onlookers.

For your forward-looking business, you require an avant-garde web innovation to coordinate your business. PHP's adaptability, cost viability, and straightforward yet compelling capacities have made it exceptionally responsive in the PHP web application development world. The dynamic site made with PHP development will give your business a noticeable web presence in the online business sector.

The 8 Parts of a Business Plan Equal One Big Success

How ever you count them up, the basic parts of a business plan are pretty similar from plan to plan. Here they are.

1. COVER

Is the cover of the business plan really part of it? Good grief, guys.

Yes, it is. Just as the cover of any magazine is part of it. Or the cover of any annual report. It is absolutely true that the same chocolate eclair can be inside a plain box, but I will pick the box that says "Scrumptious, made just for you, utterly delicious French chocolate eclair."

2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This is the one page masterpiece that tugs at the reader's interest. Include important contact information, as well as the nature of the loan / investment.

3. TABLE OF CONTENTS

Most people would not consider this a real part of a business plan, but it is. Without it, the plan looks very amateurish.

4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY ITSELF

There is a bunch of factual information that needs to be included, such as

  • When was it formed?
  • What kind of company is it?
  • If it is a corporation, how many shares are issued? To whom?
  • If it is a partnership, who is involved?
  • Who formed the company?
  • If you are not the founder, how did it come to be yours?
  • Who is presently involved? What is the nature of their involvement?

There is also a good dollop of information that is not really "factual", but it does need to be included. That is The Story of the Company. Why was it founded? What are the dreams of the owners for this company? Why do the owners want to devote their lives to this business rather than to any other business in the world?

It is The Story that will grab the lender. Lenders see facts and figures all day long. Rarely do they hear a compelling story. Make yours good. Make it real.

5. INFORMATION ON THE INDUSTRY

Here is where a good statistical source is worth its weight in gold.

  • Show how the industry is growing.
  • Show how your company fits into the industry.
  • Include charts to visually show strength of industry.
  • Include demographic information.

Bankers and lenders like figures and statistics. It is easy for them to compare and analyze. It is a whole lot harder to analyze your character.

So give them solid figures. They will see these stats whether you include them or not. They have got their own sources. So include them. And show them off in a manner that benefits you.

6. BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION ON PRINCIPALS

While venture capital companies consider the strength of the management team the most important component of the business, this section by itself is not necessarily the most important. They will see the strength of the team in the Industry Information, the Marketing Plan and the Financial Summaries. This section is to give them a notion of who they are talking with.

Most business plan writers tell you to write a paragraph on each officer. I do not. I tell you to write a page on each principal. That page is not a bio. It is a summary of accomplishments. If you have not got a page of accomplishments, maybe you have got the wrong management team.

7. MARKETING PLAN

So what makes you think you can promote this idea or product or service? How will you go about it? What will it cost? What are other doing, and how can you compete with them?

If you have a history of successes, this is the place to shout about them.

8. FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS

For existing companies, the rule of thumb is that you summarize by year the past 5 – 10 years, depending on your industry. Then project as for new companies. For new companies, project quarterly for the first year or two, then annually until the loan is comfortably paid back, or the investment has made a profit.

The more you can put into charts for easy reference, the better.

Then make it unique. All the parts of a business plan need to look sharp, be concise, and provide all pertinent information. Putting all of that together in a convincing presentation is what separates one business plan from another.