Business Plan Tips

Vision. Mission. Values. All of these bring passion to business. These are the qualitiespeople like me, a Vancity Business Specialist, look for in the Business Objectives section of your business plan. And, they’re what people who you hope willbe your customers -- are also seeking. You have to present your business in 30 seconds,and have your audience wanting more.


 What's my business objective?


When you do that, you’ll be sharing your business objectives. Let’s say you’re prospective business is a vegan cupcake shop. That may be factually correct, but it doesn’t tell people why you started the business; it doesn’t communicate your passion for what you do. But if you said…“I bake, delicious vegan and gluten free cup cakes because people shouldn’t have to sacrifice what they love due to their dietary restrictions. ”Now I know what you stand for. And I want to know more. “We’ve tried hundreds of recipes to find great taste and texture with alternative ingredients. ”I’m starting to get a better feel for what you offer.

What’s your mission?“Simple ingredients in tried-and- true recipes means everyone can enjoy home-style bakedgoods despite dietary restrictions. ” From “vegan cupcake shop” to a businessobjective that states your passion and purpose. That’s what we want to hear. If you’re struggling with writing your own business objectives, drop by your local Vancitybranch and ask the Business Specialist when the next interactive, business planning workshopsfor entrepreneurs will be delivered.

We offer these workshops free to both members and non-members, because at Vancity, we believe strong, small businesses reinvest in our local community. Find out more at vancity.com/businessplanor, visit a branch to talk to one of our business specialists who can help you with your business needs.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AevrZa5Q3aU

What's your cash flow projection

Did you know that one of the main causes of business failure is a lack of cash flow? Yes:cash flow. Now I know most entrepreneurs don’t share my passion for spreadsheets and numbers. And that’s okay. But its not okay to skip this critical piece in your business plan, or worse, make up numbers without proper research. Here are four quick tips if you’re struggling to do cash flow projections.

First, if you’ve been in business for at least six months, use your bank and credit card statements to create projections for your business’s future.

Second, if working with numbers is not yourskill set, then hire someone to work with you to develop your cash flow scenarios. And finally, if you’d like more help learning how to figure out your cashflow, and you livein Metro Vancouver or in Victoria, drop by your local Vancity branch and ask the BusinessSpecialist when the next interactive, business planning workshops for entrepreneurs willbe delivered.

We offer these workshops free to members andnon-members, because at Vancity, we believe strong small businesses reinvest in our localcommunity. Find out more at vancity. com/businessplan or, visit a branch to talk to one of our business specialists who can help you with your business needs.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAIUwn3T_dI

Developing your S.W.O.T analysis


Ever hear of a SWOT analysis? It’s a simple way of identifying business’s internal strengthsand weaknesses and its external opportunities and threats. As a Vancity Business Specialist, I know this is where many entrepreneurs struggle in theirbusiness plan. 

Developing a solid SWOT analysis is information gold for your business.  Here are some basic questions to help you get started: What are you really good at?What is unique about your business? Is it your management team?The energy that your staff brings? Your business’ ability to easily enter intoand exit from its market? Where in your business do you need to improve?What are your gaps in skills, in knowledge, in financing, in other areas?Who can you build strategic alliances with? What trends can you take advantage of?What changes to government regulations, like licensing, could interfere?

How do changes in technology, fashion or seasonality impact your business?Answering these questions will build a list of factors that will help you achieve businesssuccess and that could hurt your business.  Start by working on your weaknesses and threats;like anything in life, meet those challenges head-on to better overcome them.

If you’re struggling with identifying your business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, drop by your local Vancity branch and ask the Business Specialist when the next interactive, business planning workshops for entrepreneurs will be delivered. We offer these workshops free to both members and non-members, because at Vancity, we believe strong small businesses reinvest in our local community. Find out more at vancity.com/businessplan or, visit a branch to talk to one of our business specialists who can help you with your business needs. 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rtHvx3rjXE

What's your market potential?

As an entrepreneur, it’s important that you have full confidence in your business,but, it’s critical that you actually test the market potential of your business. As a Vancity Business Specialist I have met many entrepreneurs who skipped this sectionin their business plan and are desperate for cash to keep the business going while theyfigure out why sales aren’t what they expected.  Don’t be that business! Here are some basic research steps to help you understand your market potential:Make a list of everything you know about your perfect customer. 

Imagine just one personand describe him or her perfectly.  Now, find statistics that tell you how manypeople like your perfect customer live in your sales area.  Small Business BC is a great resource for this.  Hit the streets as a secret shopper.  Countthe customers who visit similar businesses.  This is real, concrete data!Talk to your perfect customers, either in person or through online surveys.  Give themyour 30 second pitch.  Then, ask them what would make them buy fromyou over your competition.  Ask them what problem your product or servicecould help them fix. 

Ask them how much they’d be willing to payand how often they’d buy If you can do even this small amount of research,you’ll have a better understanding of what is going to make your business a success. And, if you’d like more help learning how to figure out your market potential, and youlive in Metro Vancouver or in Victoria, drop by your local Vancity branch and ask the BusinessSpecialist when the next interactive, business planning workshops for entrepreneurs willbe delivered. 

We offer these workshops free to both members and non-members, because at Vancity, we believe strong small businesses reinvest in our localcommunity.  Find out more at vancity. com/businessplanor, visit a branch to talk to one of our business specialists who can help you with your businessneeds. 

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mdr64i8iubM
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