How to Create an Excellent Business Plan
See how to craft the 3 most important parts of a business plan: the financial plan, the marketing projections and the executive summary. Before that, you must understand the concept of the plan.
A business plan is a management tool that acts like a guide when you need to plan a new venture, a market action or even expand your business. With a business plan in hand, an entrepreneur is able to better understand the situation they’re in, and will be able to determine which strategies to adopt in which moments, primarily when planning out their future actions.
Where to start?
To start out with, there aren’t any rules that should be strictly followed when creating a business plan and the entrepreneur shouldn’t be worried about failing or succeeding. The starting point should be defining your venture. The clearer the foundation, the easier it’ll be to continue the work you just started.
In general, a business plan comes with the following structure:
- Details of the venture
- Business sector
- Products or services to be offered
- Target audience or potential consumer market
- Capital required
- Monthly revenue estimates
- Forecast of how long it’ll be before the invested capital can be returned
- Partners and entrepreneurs involved, their positions, and a description of their respective jobs
Business Plan and Business Model
A lot of entrepreneurs have a hard time understanding the difference between a business plan and a business model. To a lot of people, these two documents look like the same thing. However, they are fundamentally different. The business model is an objective document that aims to present a thorough analysis of a company’s concept, so as to evaluate the very idea’s viability.
The business plan, on the other hand, is a more elaborate document that comprises all the information, calculations, and analyses that demonstrate the business’ viability. It should include the steps involved and the investment required to set up the company – alongside expenses, revenue, and return on investment forecasts. The business plan is important because it’s the document that can be given to potential investors.
Both documents should be drawn up harmoniously and should reflect the same strategic planning, seeing as the information contained in one will directly influence the other.
Financial planning is another important point. With it, you can determine the expenses and investments involved in setting up and then keeping the business operational. You should also establish the working capital and where this capital will come from – you or a loan. In the financial plan, you should also include the profitability and the sales forecast, as well as the cost of production up until sale. These are indispensable to a business plan. They illustrate the financial situation of the future company.
One of the most important parts of the business plan is the marketing projections, because is in this section of the plan that you are going to show which ways your business will follow and how you ll manage to do that. For that to happen is important to have real data about you industry and is even better when you already have experimentations about sales and revenues per channel that you ll use.
If you want to make an excellent business plan, define the marketing and advertising strategy you intend to use. Evaluate your costs, which communication channels were chosen, and the return on each one.
The third most important part is the executive summary. I suggest that you make an effort to fit this entire section in just one page. The thing here is that you want to keep the attention of the reader on the business plan and make him eager to read and analyse the rest, so be succinct as possible.
The financial projection should cover a period of about 3 years. Beyond that point, it can be complicated to make realistic projections, especially in today’s rapidly changing market. If you’re in need of third-party investment, it might be necessary to create a plan with a larger temporal horizon (should the bank request it, for example). Even if the financial resources are coming out of your pocket, it’s still important to establish an initial strategy in order to make sure that the business functions properly and pays off your initial investment.
This post was written to present the reader with the basic concepts of a business plan. However, it’s important to remember that good ideas and a team that understands the business sector are essential to the success of your investment.
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How to create an invoice
Last Updated: 7 July 2016
If you re providing a tax invoice, there are some things you need to include on it for it to be valid. Ensuring your invoices are correct and complete will help you claim your full tax entitlement.
Custom designed invoices
Voluntary standards apply to the layout of tax invoices to help make it easier for your customers to locate important information. If you plan on creating a custom design for your invoice, it s recommended that you follow these voluntary standards as a guide.
Features such as business logos, paper colour, font style, advertising and other additional content on your invoices are not affected by these voluntary standards.
For regular invoices (not tax invoices), it s recommended that you also use these standards as a guide, though you re not required to do so.
What to include in a tax invoice
Tax invoices must include at least seven pieces of information to be valid. Depending on the value of the invoice and what was sold, there may be more requirements.
For sales of less than $1 000, the seven details are:
- The words Tax Invoice must be used preferably at the top.
- Your identity as the seller, such as your business name or trading name. Contact details are optional, but recommended.
- Your ABN or ACN.
- The date the tax invoice was created.
- A brief description of the items sold, including quantity and price.
- The GST amount (if any) payable. You can display GST for each item in a separate column, or within the total price. If you choose not to display it separately, use a statement such as Total includes GST as this is needed for the next detail.
- The extent to which each item sold includes GST. You ll meet this requirement if you either:
- show the GST amount for each item
- clearly state that the total price includes GST.
Tax invoices for sales of $1 000 or more also need to show the buyers identity or ABN.
Examples of tax invoices
Check out the ATO s website for examples of tax invoices, including examples for the following scenarios:
How can I send my customers their invoices?
The way that you provide your customers with invoices is generally your decision. Depending on the circumstances, you could choose to send your invoice via post, fax, email, printable web page or provide it face to face.
Regardless of which method you choose, sending the invoice at the time of purchase is recommended to encourage prompt payment. If your customer requests a tax invoice from you, there is a requirement that you provide it within 28 days of the request. Your method of delivery should take this into account.
The method that you choose must also allow for record keeping requirements to be met.
Record keeping requirements
By law, you re required to keep business records for at least 5 years. Whether you keep printed or electronic records is up to you.
You need to keep all invoices for income you ve received and payments you ve made to others. These will help you prepare your Business Activity Statement (BAS), income tax return and other tax obligations.
Check out the ATO s Manage your invoices, payments and records for more information on these requirements.
Dealing with unpaid invoices
There are a number of ways that you can deal with unpaid debts and customer disputes. Read our managing unpaid debt page for helpful tips and resources.
You can also check out our case studies on payment disputes for independent contractors.
What happens if the tax invoice is incorrect?
If the tax invoice you sent is incorrect or incomplete, it s not a valid tax invoice. You ll need to replace it with a complete and correct tax invoice.
If you receive a tax invoice with missing information, you can still treat it as a valid tax invoice if you re able to find the information within other documents the supplier has given you. Alternatively, ask for a new one with the correct information.
Tips for invoicing
By following some simple tips, you can help boost your cash flow and reduce the risk of unpaid invoices. Try the following when sending your next invoice:
- Include your payment terms on the invoice and ensure your customer is aware of them. For example, requiring payment to be made within 30 days of receiving a correct, valid tax invoice.
- Be timely and predictable. Being prompt when sending your tax invoice ensures that you re paid as soon as possible. If you need to send invoices on a regular basis, try sending them at the same time of day so that your customer knows when to expect them.
- Offer a variety of payment options and state these on your invoice.
- Try sending your invoices via email. It can decrease the chance of your invoice being lost in the mail and help encourage a prompt payment.
- Be detailed in your item description field. Being detailed and providing a full account of the product or service you provided can help reduce the chance of a dispute.
What to do.
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#free business software
Express Invoice Invoicing Software
Easy invoicing software to manage and track your billing on Mac or Windows.
- Create invoices, quotes and orders quickly
- Automate recurring invoices and templates
- Easily add multiple users and enable remote access
Express Invoice lets you create invoices you can print, email or fax directly to clients for faster payment. The reporting functionality allows you to keep track of payments, overdue accounts, sales team performance and more.
Streamline your billing process and support multiple tax rates for multiple businesses—all with secure mobile access to iPhone and Android devices. Compatible with Windows and Mac, Express Invoice is available for download today.
Get it Free. A free version is available for home users or businesses with fewer than 5 staff members. Download the free version here. which does not expire and includes most of the professional version features.
Invoicing Software Features
- Easily create invoices, quotes and orders
- Customize invoices including logo, heading text, notes and more
- Save or send invoices as PDF files
- Email or fax directly from the application
- Schedule recurring invoices
- Automatically send statements to customers with overdue payments
- Supports multiple tax rates for countries where required (e.g. Canada)
- Supports invoicing for multiple businesses
- Web access lets multiple users within the organization log in securely via the internal network or the internet
- Secure, mobile access through the web interface (e.g. iPhone, Android)
- Sync between your home computer, mobile phone, tablet or any device with the Express Invoice app
- Reporting includes accounting, salesperson performance, unpaid invoices and more
- Integrates with Inventoria to maintain inventory data across all aspects of your business
* The iPad and Android apps do not have the web access feature, instead install the desktop version for remote access and log in remotely using the Internet browser on mobile devices.
Invoice Program System Requirements
- Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10
- Works on 64 bit Windows
- For earlier versions see Win 98 and Win 2000
- Mac OS X 10.4 or higher
- iPad version runs on iOS 3.2 or higher
- Android version runs on 2.3.3 or higher
Download Invoice Software
Join Over 1.6 Million Users
“I have a small, freelance writing business and sometimes projects string out and I have to track my time and eventually send the invoice. I can do all that with this program, plus it will send bulk emails and print all the unpaid invoices when I want them or show me reports for a fast business overview. It does everything I need it to and turns out a nice, professional product.”
– JB, Small Business Owner
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- Purchase Express Invoice online here
10 Tips for Creating Successful Business Presentations
By Wendy Russell. Presentation Software Expert
Business is all about selling — a product, topic or concept. When making a business presentation, the most important thing is to know your material. If you do not know everything about what you are selling, it is not likely that the audience will be buying.
Keep your audience focused and interested. Making effective business presentations takes practice, but with a few tips up your sleeve, you are ready to take on the challenge.
1. Use Key Phrases About Your Topic
Jacobs Stock Photography/Stockbyte/Getty Images Note – These business presentation tips refer to PowerPoint (any version) slides. but all of these tips in general, can be applied to any presentation.
Seasoned presenters use key phrases and include only essential information. Choose only the top three or four points about your topic and make them consistently throughout the delivery. Simplify and limit the number of words on each screen. Try not to use more than three bullets per slide. The surrounding space will make it easier to read.
Continue Reading Below
2. Slide Layout is Important
Make your slides easy to follow. Put the title at the top of the slide where your audience expects to find it. Phrases should read left to right and top to bottom. Keep important information near the top of the slide. Often the bottom portions of slides cannot be seen from the back rows because heads are in the way.
3. Limit Punctuation and Avoid All Capital Letters
Punctuation can needlessly clutter the slide and the use of all caps makes statements more difficult to read and is like SHOUTING at your audience.
Continue Reading Below
4. Avoid Fancy Fonts
Choose a font that is simple and easy to read such as Arial, Times New Roman or Verdana. Avoid script type fonts as they are hard to read on screen. Use, at most, two different fonts perhaps one for headings and another for content. Keep all fonts large enough (at least 24 pt and preferably 30 pt) so that people at the back of the room will be able to easily read what is on the screen.
- Dark text on a light background is best, but avoid white backgrounds — tone it down by using beige or another light color that will be easy on the eyes. Dark backgrounds are effective to show off company colors or if you just want to dazzle the crowd. In that case, be sure to make text a light color for easy reading.
- Patterned or textured backgrounds can reduce readability of text.
- Keep your color scheme consistent throughout your presentation.
6. Use Slide Designs Effectively
When using a design theme (PowerPoint 2007) or design template (earlier versions of PowerPoint), choose one that is appropriate for the audience. A clean, straightforward layout is best if you are presenting to business clientele. Select one that is full of color and contains a variety of shapes if your presentation is aimed at young children.
7. Limit the Number Of Slides
Keeping the number of slides to a minimum, ensures that the presentation will not become too long and drawn out. It also avoids the problem of continually changing slides during the presentation that can be a distraction to your audience. On average, one slide per minute is about right.
8. Use Photos, Charts and Graphs
Combining photos, charts and graphs and even embedding digitized videos with text, will add variety and keep your audience interested in the presentation. Avoid having text only slides.
9. Avoid Excessive Use of Slide Transitions and Animations
While transitions and animations can heighten your audiences interest in the presentation, too much of a good thing can distract them from what you are saying. Remember, the slide show is meant to be a visual aid, not the focus of the presentation.
Keep animations consistent in the presentation by using animation schemes and apply the same transition throughout the presentation.
10. Make Sure Your Presentation Can Run On Any Computer
Use PowerPoint s Package for CD (PowerPoint 2007 and 2003 ) or Pack and Go (PowerPoint 2000 and before) feature when burning your presentation onto a CD. In addition to your presentation, a copy of Microsofts PowerPoint Viewer is added to the CD to run PowerPoint presentations on computers that don t have PowerPoint installed.
How to Create a Logo #how #to #create #a #logo, #create #a #logo, #how
How to Create a Logo
Your logo is a visual representation of everything your company stands for. Think of McDonald s golden arches or the Nike swoosh-these two impressive logos embody these companies well. But many companies still skimp on developing this key identity piece.
Ideally, your company logo enhances potential customers and partners crucial first impression of your business. A good logo can build loyalty between your business and your customers, establish a brand identity, and provide the professional look of an established enterprise.
Consider Allstate s good hands logo. It immediately generates a warm feeling for the company, symbolizing care and trust. With a little thought and creativity, your logo can quickly and graphically express many positive attributes of your business, too.
There are basically three kinds of logos. Font-based logos consist primarily of a type treatment. The logos of IBM, Microsoft and Sony, for instance, use type treatments with a twist that makes them distinctive. Then there are logos that literally illustrate what a company does, such as when a house-painting company uses an illustration of a brush in its logo. And finally, there are abstract graphic symbols-such as Nike s swoosh-that become linked to a company s brand.
Such a symbol is meaningless until your company can communicate to consumers what its underlying associations are, says Americus Reed II, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania s Wharton School, who s conducted research on the triggers that lead consumers to identify with and become loyal to a brand. But building that mental bridge takes time and money. The Nike swoosh has no inherent meaning outside of what s been created over the years through savvy marketing efforts that have transformed the logo into an identity cue for an athletic lifestyle.
Growing businesses can rarely afford the millions of dollars and years of effort required to create these associations, so a logo that clearly illustrates what your company stands for or does may be a better choice. Even a type treatment of your company s name may be too generic, says Placitas, New Mexico, logo designer Gary Priester, principal of gwpriester.com, the Web arm of design firm The Black Point Group. Priester believes customers should be able to tell what you do just by looking at your logo.
Before you begin sketching or learning how to design a logo. first articulate the message you want your logo to convey. Try writing a one-sentence image and mission statement to help focus your efforts. Stay true to this statement while creating your logo.
But that may not be enough to get you started. Here are some additional tactics and considerations that will help you create an appropriate company logo:
- Look at the logos of other businesses in your industry. Do your competitors use solid, conservative images, or flashy graphics and type? Think about how you want to differentiate your logo from those of your competition.
- Focus on your message. Decide what you want to communicate about your company. Does it have a distinct personality-serious or lighthearted? What makes it unique in relation to your competition? What s the nature of your current target audience? These elements should play an important role in the overall design or redesign.
- Make it clean and functional. Your logo should work as well on a business card as on the side of a truck. A good logo should be scalable, easy to reproduce, memorable and distinctive. Icons are better than photographs, which may be indecipherable if enlarged or reduced significantly. And be sure to create a logo that can be reproduced in black and white so that it can be faxed, photocopied or used in a black-and-white ad as effectively as in color.
- Your business name will affect your logo design. If your business name is D.C. Jewelers, you may wish to use a classy, serif font to accent the letters (especially if your name features initials). For a company called Lightning Bolt Printing, the logo might feature some creative implementation of-you guessed it-a lightning bolt.
- Use your logo to illustrate your business s key benefit. The best logos make an immediate statement with a picture or illustration, not words. The Lightning Bolt Printing logo, for example, may need to convey the business benefit of ultra-fast, guaranteed printing services. The lightning bolt image could be manipulated to suggest speed and assurance.
- Don t use clip art. However tempting it may be, clip art can be copied too easily. Not only will original art make a more impressive statement about your company, but it ll set your business apart from others.
- Avoid trendy looks. If you re redesigning your old logo, you run the risk of confusing customers-or worse, alienating them. One option is to make gradual logo changes. According to Priester, Quaker Oats modified the Quaker man on its package over a 10-year period to avoid undermining customer confidence. But don t plan to make multiple logo changes. Instead, choose a logo that will stay current for 10 to 20 years, perhaps longer. That s the mark of a good design. In fact, when Priester designs a logo, he expects never to see that client again.
Watch Your Colors
One thing you need to be careful of as you explore color options is cost. Your five-color logo may be gorgeous, but once it comes time to produce it on stationery, the price won t be so attractive. Nor will it work in mediums that only allow one or two colors. Try not to exceed three colors unless you decide it s absolutely necessary.
Your logo can appear on a variety of media: signage, advertising, stationery, delivery vehicles and packaging, to name just a few. Remember that some of those applications have production limitations. Make sure you do a color study. Look at your logo in one-, two- and three-color versions.
Hire a Designer
While brainstorming logo ideas by yourself is a crucial step in creating your business image, trying to create a logo completely on your own is a mistake. It may seem like the best way to avoid the high costs of going to a professional design firm, which will charge anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 for a logo design. Be aware, however, that there are thousands of independent designers around who charge much less. According to Stan Evenson, founder of Evenson Design Group, entrepreneurs on a tight budget should shop around for a designer. There are a lot of [freelance] designers who charge rates ranging from $15 to $150 per hour, based on their experience, he says.
But don t hire someone just because of their bargain price. Find a designer who s familiar with your field. and with your competition. If the cost still seems exorbitant, Evenson says, remember that a good logo should last at least 10 years. If you look at the amortization of that cost over a 10-year period, it doesn t seem so bad.
Even if you have a good eye for color and a sense of what you want your logo to look like, you should still consult a professional designer. Why? They know whether or not a logo design will transfer easily into print or onto a sign, while you might come up with a beautiful design that can t be transferred or would cost too much money to be printed. Your logo is the foundation of all your promotional materials, so this is one area where spending a little more now can really pay off later.
Using and Protecting Your Logo
Once you ve produced a logo that embodies your company s mission at a glance, make sure you trademark it to protect it from use by other companies. You can apply for a trademark at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site.
Then, once it s protected, use it everywhere you can-on business cards, stationery, letterhead, brochures, ads, your Web site and any other place where you mention your company name. This will help build your image, raise your company s visibility and, ideally, lead to more business.
Creating a logo sounds easy, doesn t it? It can be. Just remember to keep your customers and the nature of your business in mind when you put it all together. In time, you ll have succeeded in building equity in your trademark, and it will become a positive and recognizable symbol of your product or service.
Compiled from articles written by David Cotriss, Kim T. Gordon and Steve Nubie previously published on Entrepreneur.com, and from excerpts from Start Your Own Business .
How to create a WebStore
- Log onto ADempiere with Admin Role
- Go to the Web Store window and create New Record
For the purpose of our exercise, we will modify the following:
- URL – valid FQDN i.e. http://www.yourdomain.com
- Web Context – context root to web store i.e. /newstore
- Stylesheet – aesthetics of the web store can be changed by modifying the specified file in Cascade Style Sheet (CSS) format
- Price List – the range of products available to the webstore is restricted by the Price List and whether or not the product is
- Web Parameter 1 – Site Logo i.e. Adempiere120x60.gif
- Web Parameter 2 – heading on content page
- Web Parameter 3 – HTML code to customize the vertical side bar
- Web Parameter 4/5/6 – HTML code for footers
- Click on the Record Info button on the bottom right of the window. Make a note of the W_Store_ID as you will need it later to complete the setup.
- Shutdown the Application Server
The WebStore template is stored under the archive file $ADEMPIERE_HOME/lib/adempiereWebStore.war.
Creating the WebStore WAR files
- Rename the directory adempiere.ear under the path $ADEMPIERE_HOME\jboss\server\adempiere\deploy otherwise that can be overwritten during RUN_setup
- Run the silent setup (RUN_silentsetup ) to create WAR file for the New Web Store
- Rename the newly created EAR directory from adempiere.ear to something like adempiereNEWSTORE.ear
- Modify the new web context in file .\adempiereNEWSTORE\META-INF\application.xml
- Modify the web store ID in the file .\adempiereNEWSTORE.ear\adempiereWebStore.war\WEB-INF\web.xml to point to ID# 1000000 (in this example only)
- Run Adempiere Server
- Standard Adempiere Web Store
- Product images are definable from the Image URL field on Product window
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Even though SiteRightNow takes care of all of your website programming, we know that there are do-it-yourselfers out there who enjoy learning how things work. Learn about how to make a website using programming and the HTML language by checking out
The information on this site includes a very good overview of HTML programming for beginners and a convenient reference for experienced programmers!
Here is a great HTML and CSS reference website that comes in very handy: