Deadly Principles Of Business Planning. You Must Know These

Whether you are running, or planning to run, an offline or online business the traditional basics of achieving business success apply. For instance, it is well-known that a business that has no plan is almost certain to fail. No matter how small a business is, it needs a plan. A business plan compels you to think before you act. It compels you to find out about your business area before you start; i.e. to research your business area or to establish its groundwork.

A business plan forces you to think hard about your competition and how you are going to beat them in the market. It forces you to establish whether your business idea is worth pursuing. Why start a business that is going to fail? Isn’t that stupid?

A business plan forces you to establish the expected costs and revenues of your business, and hence to determine profitability. Why run a business when, at any time, you cannot tell whether or not the business is succeeding? If you don’t know your costs or your revenues you cannot compare them together to tell whether your business is succeeding or failing.

An online business is no different from an offline business, when it comes to business planning. It needs a business plan! Yet, how many newcomers do we see trying to make it online without even understanding the concept of business planning? Is it then a surprise that too many fail?

This article discusses 12 fundamental principles that you must understand and use in your business planning if you are going to run a successful business. The principles are as follows…

1. The Requirements Principle

A business plan must comply with the requirements of funding bodies. This is particularly key when you are applying for funding, but is also necessary when you are not applying because the compliance act itself makes the business plan rigorous. Funding bodies always have requirements that a plan must meet, and some of these are: technological innovation, presence of technical risk, and presence of commercial potential.

2. The Objectives Principle

A business plan must have clearly defined objectives and it must accomplish those objectives. A business plan is a strategic business document, and fundamental to any strategic planning process is the need to have objectives which the formulated strategies must aim to accomplish.

3. The Motivation Principle

A business plan must have clear motivations which highlight its importance. The motivations of a business plan are the reasons for completing the plan. These reasons tell us why the plan is important.

4. The Background Principle

A business plan must be the work of someone with a relevant background (the founder, for a start-up business), and the plan must comply with its authors background. A business plan should be prepared by the person or team who is going to run the business. For a start-up business, this is critical because the planning process prepares the owner for running the business. If the planning is delegated to someone else then it is unlikely that the owner will understand the plan sufficiently to be able to implement it. In these circumstances, the owner abandons the plan and does his or her own thing with deleterious consequences for the business.

5. The Detail Principle

A business plan must be sufficiently detailed to inspire confident action when executing the business; yet it must be flexible. A detailed plan is easier to implement than a superficial plan. A detailed plan suggests that the plan has been thoroughly researched and thought over. Detail inspires confidence in the owner of the business (assuming that he or she prepared the plan). A detailed plan should be flexible to accommodate changing times.

6. The Conservatism Principle

A business plan must be conservative. This means that it must always underestimate revenues while overestimating expenses. The reasons for this are underpinned by risk. A business is always executed under uncertainty… we never have all the knowledge we would like to make business success certain. An immediate consequence of this is the tendency to underestimate cost, only to find that we run out of money at critical times of a business’s execution. We also have a natural propensity to overestimate revenues… to dream!

7. The Cash Balance Principle

A business plan must always have a positive cash balance. A negative cash balance means that you plan to run out of money… to be insolvent! If you cannot realistically get the cash balance positive, without padding figures, then this is a sign that the business idea is not worth pursuing.

8. The Insolvency Principle

A business plan must guarantee against insolvency… against running out of cash. There are four ways to do this: conservative estimates so that the business always outperforms its plans, detailed cost identification to minimise omitted costs, contingency planning to accommodate forgotten items, and a positive cash balance throughout the plan.

9. The Risk Management Principle

A business plan must manage risks by convincingly dealing with uncertainty, reducing it to as close to zero as possible. This is simply stating that a business plan must be thoroughly researched, including desk research and field research. The more thoroughly a plan is researched the more it rests on sound facts, knowledge, and understanding, and the less the uncertainty and risk associated with the plan.

10. The Evidence Principle

A business plan must rest on supporting evidence, and guess work must be minimised. Sound evidence increases the reliability of a business plan and reduces the risk associated with it. And the less risky a plan is the more likely it will guide a business to success.

11. The Rigour Principle

A business plan must be rigorous complete, correct, and reliable. This means that the plan must be derived from a systematic process that attends to all the issues that must be addressed. In particular, the plan must not be rushed. The issues must be sequenced and dealt with, each at the right time.

12. The Collaboration Principle

A business plan must be founded on collaboration (not confrontation) it must satisfy the collaboration principle. This means that a business plan must be based on the works of others. It must not be opinionated. It also means that a collaborative, rather than a confrontational spirit, must exist in any business planning team if the results of that team are to be worthwhile.

Final Remarks

This article has discussed 12 killer principles of business planning that any plan must satisfy if it is to be taken seriously. Five of such principles are: requirements principle, objectives principle, motivation principle, background principle, and detail principle. These principles are a must for anyone running an offline or online business. If your business is failing it is more than likely that your failure to comply with one or more of these principles is to blame.

Reduce Costs And Get Smooth Business Processes With Sap Integration On Your Devices

By SAP, we mean Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing. Designing and development of this platform was done during 1970s as standards based software alternative to custom built ERP software, SAP has grown a long way since. SAP has taken the forefront of ERP business software ever since. ERP product development can be possible through SAP and can be used by companies to manage their enterprise. This can include managing their day to day operations, finance, logistics, quarter end, month end, annual activities, HR, reporting etc. Although, there may be certain ERP vendors who would do the same, the key difference for SAP lies in the way that is easier to use and at the same time it gets sophisticated for including all activities that are necessary for proper management of a business enterprise.

In almost all industries, youll find that SAP ERP is expert to customize and accomplish both mid scaled and large business software needs. Entrepreneurs need SAP integration software for meeting the requirements of their company. The departmental and operational classifications structurally remain designed by SAP. These can include SAP ERP Logistics, SAP ERP human resource management, and SAP ERP Logistics.

You must make sure that enterprise application software modules that are needed for SAP implementation are supplied from same vendor. Additionally to this, your firm should install the expert system. Users are facilitated for integration of different modules. These features can be obtained through SAP implementation methodology that can surely provide simple treatment to business website on the internet. Having an experienced, professional, and intellectual SAP consultant, mid-scaled businesses can simply opt for SAP ERP systems heavy grade integration for grasping simple customization features.

SAP implementation, more importantly, is helpful for data processing to simplifying business management, process automation solutions and other processes. SAP stands for System Applications and Products providing management process. Different individual modules can be available that you must purchase.

SAP Sharepoint is another collaboration tool for Microsoft that links and empowers business owners with its integrated set of features.

You get better search abilities and can easily enable users to deliver quick response for changing business needs by making data driven decisions and deploying customized solutions.

It can lower maintenance and training costs and does increase productivity.

This statement really reflect its real capabilities.

Managing content becomes easy with information lifecycle.

Large enterprises got increased complexity over the time often resulting in fragile and inflexible systems. Retaining business agility in a world of mobile internet, SaaS, API, enterprise service integration can be crucial. Businesses get higher which enables better decisions with accurate information when needed.

Business process management platform is viable enterprise technology in the current demanding marketplace. You look in for many factors in business process management to make sure that you get the right solutions for your business.

Businesses operate 24×7 online with the help of portable internet devices. So, SAP mobile application lets you easily handle many tasks that help your business. SAP integration has been proved great for data processing to simplify business solutions, management and other enterprise processes.

Riding Your Motorcycle Home On A Business Tax Saving

You will be happy to know that the treatment of your motorbike, within your business affairs, for tax purposes is much more favourable than your motor counterparts and whilst owning a company car is an expensive business, owning a company motorcycle isnt. Javeed Baig of Gower Accountants in Leicester explains why.

Assuming you are VAT registered, you can claim upto 100% of the VAT paid on the purchase of your beloved bike. This is on the basis that you use the motorcycle only for business purposes. With a car, no matter how much you use it for business you cannot reclaim the VAT.

Motorcycle Tax Benefits

Having purchased your motorcycle, you can claim a deduction against tax for the full purchase price in your year of purchase using part of your Annual Investment Allowance of 50,000. A car typically would attract an annual writing down allowance of only 20% per year. In corporation tax terms, for the small business, this represents a saving of 21%.

Assuming the VAT reclaim and the corporation tax relief thats a whopping 36% off the purchase price of your motorbike. So you could choose to take the saving, or maybe trade up and get that mean machine that you have always promised yourself.

As with a car it is unlikely that you will use your motorcycle only for business and therefore a private use element will occur. Take the assumption that 75% is used for business and 25% is used privately. This 25% is the benefit you have derived from using a company asset and as a result a Benefit in Kind charge will arise on both the company and on you as an individual. How this benefit is calculated is where the magic lies and its where motorcycles ownership thrives and company cars dive.

The basic differences are as follows:

MotorbikeCar
Base ValueMarket Value or Purchase PriceList Price When New
% for Cash ValueFixed 20%Between 10% & 35%
Fuel BenefitFixed 20% of UsageBase 14,400 fixed

Heres an example of the potential tax benefits:
Motorcycle costs 8,000. 25% private & 75% business.
Cash Value of benefit in kind : 1,600
Reduction Due to Business Usage : 1,200
Taxable Benefit : 400
400 represents your cash value of the benefit from using the company bike. If you are a basic rate taxpayer you will pay 80. The company will pay a further 51.20 National Insurance on this.

The equivalent tax position regarding a company car is as follows:
Car Cost 8,000 List price 16,000. Some private use assumed. CO2 = 20%
Cash Value of benefit in Kind : 3,200
Reduction due to Business Usage : N/A
Taxable Benefit : 3,200
Tax At Basic Rate : 640 Company Charge : 410

Moving back to motorcycles you can see the savings on purchase would far exceed the annual cost of owning your bike through a company.

Additional Tax Benefits

In addition all safety equipment, insurance and fuel can all be paid for by the company with the Benefit in kind calculated in much the same way.

The article has been written for information purposes only and does not constitute formal advice. The rates are those prevailing at the time of writing and are subject to change.

Is It Better To Buy Or Lease Commercial Space For My Business

Your business location should be tailor-made to fit with your company budget, spacing requirements and ease of operation. For some business owners, leasing affords a sense of freedom and relieves the financial burden of a down payment, yet may be too restrictive for some kinds of operations. The decision to buy a piece of commercial property offers its own set of risks and rewards, and should be considered carefully before entering into a mortgage contract.

Leasing Commercial Space

1. Cost Effective

Leasing a commercial space will usually require a one to two month move-in deposit, making the rental space a cost efficient way to do business. New business owners may be strapped for cash, and by leasing, rather than purchasing, your storefront or office is cost effective to set up shop with minimal funding.

2. Flexibility

Leasing a commercial space gives the entrepreneur plenty of room to grow, downsize or change locations. Although once you sign a lease, you are locked into a fixed amount of time to make the lease payments, the terms may be only a matter of months to be released and start over in another location.

3. Freedom

Setting up shop without the burden of a mortgage to pay allows a sense of financial freedom. Albeit, a purchased piece of commercial property could be leased or sold to another, there could be months before the owner receives any income from the property. A hefty mortgage may also interfere with business profits and may demand downsizing of personnel.

4. Maintenance

A leased office or shop has a landlord to lean on, taking away tedious responsibilities with the plumbing, electricity and security. In a leasing situation, any repairs or legal liabilities are left in the hands of the building management team.

5. Subletting

In some situations, you may sublet your leased office space to another. However, this must be cleared in writing from the management office, and careful attention given to their rules and regulations for renting out the space.

Buying Commercial Space

1. Secured Location

Buying a piece of commercial property adds assurance that the space is secured and cannot be given to someone else. In a leasing situation, when the lease expires, the renewal process may not have the same initial terms, thus proving unfavorable to renew. However, when you purchase, your prime location is secured.

2. Equity

As with a residential piece of property, a commercial owner may take out cash against the mortgage. In an emergency financial crisis, having a mortgage to borrow from lends a sense of security and provision of funds. Most commercial purchases will require 20 to 25 percent down on the purchase price, giving instant equity to the business owner.

3. Remodeling

When you have bought a property, it is your to do with as you wish. Remolding, expansion and reconfiguration are yours for the taking. The ownership allows the business structure to be molded around the enterprise for a perfect fit and usage of space.

4. Tax Deductions

The interest on a commercial loan is tax deductible, with allowances for deducting any depreciation.

5. Lease Your Excess Space

If you own the property, you may lease your excess space without any restrictions from a third party over your head.

The Benefits Of Having A Mobile Business

Some people like working nine to five, leaving the house at the same time every morning, and arriving home at the same time each evening. They enjoy this routine because it’s stable. However, it’s hard to take vacations with this type of job, as you have to schedule time off. It’s also hard to run errands or make appointments when their working hours are the same as yours. Basically, there’s not a lot of freedom in this type of job. If you had a mobile business on the other hand, you’d be able to go anywhere you want, do anything you want to do, and more.

All you need to run a mobile business is your laptop and an internet connection. As long as you have internet access, you can conduct business anywhere, anytime. You could go work down by the beach. You could take a vacation on the fly, and you could even move on the fly if you wanted to. With a mobile business, you’re never tied down, and can earn income wherever you choose to go.

There are various types of mobile businesses. E-commerce websites where you sell services or products online, advertising / marketing jobs, writing jobs and much more. As long as you keep on top of your orders, and ensure your clients are satisfied (and this is of paramount importance, especially with online business where you don’t meet the customer face-to-face), you can run a successful business from wherever you may find yourself.

Mobile businesses are becoming increasingly popular. People like the idea of mobile business because they can travel and pretty much do what they please, according to their own schedule. In addition, these types of businesses are also great for single parents. It’s hard for a single parent to go to work each day, pay for day care, and all the other worries that come with raising a child on your own. With a mobile business, the stay at home mum or dad can work away at their online business and watch over their own child at the same time.

If you don’t like the daily grind, 9-5 structured job, and you’d like more freedom in your life, you should consider a mobile business. Find out what you like to do, and research the type of business you would like to run. As long as you have a laptop, an internet connection and a passion for your job, you can be as successful as you want to be, and you won’t be tied down like you would be with a regular job.