Tag: new

Want a New Business Start in 2015? Steal One of These Ideas #local #business #listings

#new business ideas

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I started thinking up potential large businesses to start a few years ago. It was, for lack a better term, a teaching tool.

I was looking for a way to communicate that the place to begin, if you are thinking of trying to start a company, is with a market need-and not a new idea.

Ideas are too easy. My guess is you could come up with 10 new business concepts before lunch, if you had to.

The problem is once you come up with that idea–say you are going to construct real housing out of Lego blocks, something that has always struck me as a cool idea==you then have to go and figure out if it is feasible, and if anyone-other than an 8-year-old-would live in if it were.

If you have identified a market need, then you are assured that you have a market–the people who have the need.

But is starting with the market need the only way to start a business?

Obviously not. You could start with the idea. And therein lies a potential benefit for you.

Each of the following ideas are yours for the taking. (All I ask is you make a large contribution to the charity of your choice should they make you rich.)

1. Personal shopping for the masses

This one struck me over the holidays. It has been a long time since I had to go shopping for 8-year-olds. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a personal concierge you could call who could walk you through what is popular and/or appropriate? High end department and clothing stores already have this service. This would make it available for the rest of us. (And if mass market stores like Target and Toy “R” Us wanted to offer this service to me, I would be happy to pay them for it.)

2. No more, “For customer service, please hold.”

I am usually willing to trade (a little bit of) money for (a little bit) more time. And while you can do mundane things while waiting on hold when you call the cable, phone or electric company, it really is a) annoying and b) the classic waste of time. Your charge? Figure a way that I can pay a couple of dollars a month in exchange for the various companies letting me jump the line when I need help. I don’t think it would be that hard. It really is just a different form of caller ID.

3. A place where you can sell your killer recipes

There are literally millions of great cooks out there. (My wife among them.) And invariably a great cook comes up with a great recipe–or 10. There should be some sort of marketplace to sell them. This idea already exists in other places. For example, people who crochet can sell the patterns they create on Etsy.com

As I said, I am not going to be doing anything with these ideas. I hope they make you a fortune. (As I said, just play it forward once you do.)





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Boston Business Journal names new publisher – Talking Biz News #micro #business #ideas

#boston business journal

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Boston Business Journal names new publisher

Carolyn M. Jones has been named publisher and market president of the Boston Business Journal, effective Wednesday. Jones has been publisher of the Albany Business Review since 1998.

A story on the Boston Business Journal website states, Jones replaces Gale Murray. who will be rejoining American City Business Journals’ national sales organization in a senior management role. ACBJ is the parent company of the BBJ and the Albany Business Review. Murray has been publisher of the Business Journal since June 2014, and will remain based in Boston.

I want to personally thank Gale for leading the BBJ through a period of great change. Her accomplishments were many, in a short period of time, said Michael Olivieri, executive vice president at American City Business Journals and a former publisher of the Boston Business Journal. We have asked Gale to return to our national sales operation in a management role where the pace of change is excelling and where Gale has had a significant impact in the past and will in the future.

Over the past 17 years, Carolyn Jones has led the Albany Business Review to consistently be one of the best-performing business journals in ACBJ, Olivieri continued. Carolyn’s thoughtful leadership approach will be a great addition to Boston’s business community. Carolyn is also passionate about the important role the Boston Business Journal plays in helping the region’s business executives and entrepreneurs grow their business, advance their career, and simplify their professional lives.’





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The 8 Essential Elements of an Annual New Business Plan #start #up #business #loan

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The 8 Essential Elements of an Annual New Business Plan

The job of an agency new business professional is akin to organizing chaos dictated by demanding pitch schedules. Compounding this, Q4 often brings a flurry of pitch activity known to ruin many a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday.

And while all this activity helps to fill the pipeline, the timing is unfortunate because it distracts you from the type of reflection and planning that are so important to setting you up for success for the next year or quarter.

I know. It’s tough to add another project to your already overwhelming to-do list, but I urge you to make time to write your new business and marketing plan for 2016. Here are some reasons why it’s well worth squeezing it into your 12-hour days:

  • It’s the best way to measure your success. And I’m referring to the collective “you” here because it takes the entire agency to make new business efforts effective. An annual plan not only sets expectations for you but also for others at the agency who need to contribute to the agency’s success.
  • You’ll learn a lot! It gives you an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and accurately set projections for the year ahead.
  • It sheds some light on what the heck you do at your agency. For those who are not routinely involved in new business, it can seem like a black hole of mystery. Sharing your plan — whether to an executive committee, department heads, or even the entire staff — adds clarity and gives everyone something to aim for.
  • Your boss will be impressed. Don’t wait to be asked. Get on your CEO’s schedule to review your outline and discuss your intentions for putting this plan together.

Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, so I’m going to get the ball rolling for you by giving you a basic outline to follow.

8 Elements to Include in Your New Business Plan

1) Executive Summary

This has to be written last, but it should always come first. By starting with a smart, concise summary, you’re showing the same kind of respect for your audience’s time and attention as you would if this were a RFP response.

2) The Team

Define the new business and marketing ecosystem at your agency. Who’s on your team, and what do they do? How did you grow this year, and how are you planning to grow next year? Do you need to hire to achieve your new goals? What kind of operational efficiencies did you introduce?

3) Performance

Analyzing the past year will help you better forecast the year ahead. Where are your opportunities coming from? How many pitches did you participate in? Were they the right ones (in terms of revenue, cultural fit, creative opportunity, etc.)? Did you wait for requests to come to you, or were you more proactive? As you answer these, you’ll start to see a profile emerge that will help you make better decisions about what to pursue and what to decline next year.

4) The Marketplace

What kind of trends are you seeing? Think about things like the trend towards project work versus AOR assignments. How does your agency need to adjust to stay competitive? Who are your competitors now? What agencies do you want to be competing against a year from now?

5) Revenue Goals

Crunch the numbers. Based on your historical win rate, how many pitches do you need to be in to meet your numbers? How much can you rely on organic growth? How much do you need to focus on proactive prospecting? Don’t do this in a vacuum; spend time with your CFO and CEO to make sure you are managing their expectations as well as integrating corporate financial goals into your plan.

6) Meeting Those Goals

This is a biggie and probably where you’ll need to sink most of your time. Dust off your selection criteria, and start doing your research. You want to determine the categories you’re best suited to pursue (and why) or refine your ideal client profile. and then use that to define a super-targeted list of prospects. Another important point to include in this section is the level of support you expect from your colleagues in other departments such as strategy, research, and design. What’s it going to take to make a compelling pitch to your prospects?

7) New Business Tools

What tools are you lacking to meet your goals? If you’re planning on doing a ton of personal outreach, you’ll want to invest in a good contact management database or CRM. an email program, a marketing automation tool, or other solutions. Maybe this is the year for a website redesign. Or, if you’re getting invited to the pitch but not making it past the first round, maybe you need to learn how to tell your story better and invest in rewriting your case studies and credentials.

8) PR and Marketing

How will your agency’s positioning serve you? Is it strong enough to differentiate you from your competition? Is it meaningful enough to inform your messaging? What kind of events should you attend? Speak at? Or do you create your own event? What kind of awards shows should you enter? Besides getting you mentioned in the usual suspects such as Ad Age and Adweek. what can your PR team do to get you exposure in vertical trade publications or at conferences?

This may seem like a daunting amount of work. That’s why you need to start planning it out now. It’s a little more daunting if this is the first time you’ve ever created a plan so know that it gets easier and easier each year.

I can’t promise a last-minute RFP won’t ruin your holiday season, but now it’s a lot less likely that your new business plan will.





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Hot new business ideas, how does comcast internet work #business #yellow #pages

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New Ways to Invest in Small Businesses #small #business #administration #loans

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New Ways to Invest in Small Businesses

When nonprofessional investors are able to put money into small businesses, everyone can benefit.

I met with Paul on Tuesday. He is the CFO of a business start-up. He s not sure if the next phase of his company s financing is going to go through. Although he believes in the business model and the mission of the company, some days he thinks he won t have a job in three weeks.

I met with David on Wednesday. While he s a great saver and earns a decent buck, he isn t wealthy. He wants to invest in small companies so much that we ve set up a fun money account, which is 10% of his otherwise well-diversified, passively managed portfolio. Fun money is specifically set aside so that he can make individual investments he believes in.

Because of the way small business investing is structured in this country, the likelihood of Paul and David connecting has been infinitesimally small.

This drives me mad.

It s not just these two who are missing out. Because small companies drive job and economic growth, the economy of the country loses when Paul and David don t connect. And because the current system of funding is biased, some small businesses are a lot less likely to get funding despite their worthy ideas.

Recent developments could change all this.

To raise their initial start up money, small business owners typically first use their savings, and then appeal to their friends and family. Next, they go to banks. If they get big enough and have certain ambitions and contacts, they can get venture capital funding or private equity funding, which is what Paul was waiting on.

These sources of capital are all enhanced if you are affluent and well connected. Do your friends and family have extra money to invest in your business? Do you know anyone you can talk to at a bank? What about impressing people in the venture capital world? A lot of people with good ideas are shut out.

Enter the Internet. Raising money got a lot easier.

The Power of Reward Sites

With reward sites, startups with good ideas raise money in exchange for rewards.

Sesame, which opens doors remotely from smartphones, raised over $1.4 million on Kickstarter.com. The reward here was a chance to order the device.

Then there is Lammily. Barbie s realistically proportioned cousin, whose designer raised almost $500,000 through Tilt.com. The reward for funding Lammily was the chance to pre-order the doll, and sticker packs with stretch marks, cellulite, freckles, and boo-boos.

The reward sites show that companies can raise large amounts of money through small contributions from a large number of people. Research suggests that Kickstarter.com reduces company funding gender bias by an order of magnitude and reduces geographic bias as well. Reward sites cater to consumers who love new products and want to support new ideas.

You may get first dibs on a cool new doll, but sending money to a reward site isn t investing.

The Risks of Private Equity

Traditionally, to get private equity funding, you have to sell to accredited investors the richest 1% of the population, roughly speaking.

Accredited investor regulations were set up in in the wake of the 1929 crash, when a lot of people got ripped off because they invested in dubious enterprises. The idea was that people with a high level of wealth are sophisticated enough to understand investment risk. Unfortunately, this leaves the Davids of the world investors who are sophisticated but wealthy shut out of these types of investments.

Private equity placements are not always a great deal. When I ve looked into them for clients, I ve concluded they are expensive, risky, and difficult to get out of, even if you die. The middlemen who offer these and the advisers who sell these seem to be the ones most likely to make money. The best deals I ve looked at weren t hawked by sales people or investment advisers, but came through clients friends and family.

The rise of Internet portals set up to connect small companies with accredited investors has the potential to cut down on intermediary costs. Still, the sector remains small.

In 2012, President Obama signed the JOBS act, which directed the Securities and Exchange Commission to devise rules opening up small business investing to non-accredited investors.

Some organizations didn t wait for the SEC to issue the rules. Instead, they dusted off exemptions in the securities legislation that most of us have ignored for 80 years.

States Get Into the Act

Some states have picked up on crowdfunding to boost their economies. Terms vary, but generally investors are subject to investment limits and companies are subject to a cap on raising money. Each individual, for example, might be limited to investing $10,000; each company might be limited to raising $1 million. Both investor and company are generally required to reside in the state.

This is music to ears of people who want to invest locally. The first successful offering using this type of exemption was in Georgia in 2013, where Bohemian Guitars raised approximately $130,000 through SparkMarket.com.

Village Power is another example of raising money using an exemption. This intermediary helps organizations set up and fund solar power projects. Village Power coaches their community partners to use an exemption in the SEC rules, which allows for up to 35 local, non-accredited investors.

New Rules Open Doors

New rules issued March 25 by the SEC removed a lot of the barriers for companies raising money and for non-accredited investors.

Companies will be able to raise up to $50 million. Non-accredited investors are welcome to invest, sometimes with limits 10% of their net worth, say, or 10% of their net income.

Although Kickstarter has said that it won t sell securities, other fundraising portals, such as Indiegogo. are looking into it.

And if all goes well, Paul, David, and I can start looking for the new opportunities in June of 2015.

Bridget Sullivan Mermel helps clients throughout the country with her comprehensive fee-only financial planning firm based in Chicago. She s the author of the upcoming book More Money, More Meaning. Both a certified public accountant and a certified financial planner, she specializes in helping clients lower their tax burden with tax-smart investing.

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Coming Soon: New Instagram Business Tools – Instagram for Business #business #loans #bad #credit

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Welcome to the Instagram for Business blog. See how businesses of all sizes around the world are inspiring people with their stories, and get the latest news from Instagram HQ.

Instagram is a place where people can turn their passions into livelihoods. For instance, handmade accessory business JACKSON AND HYDE started an account a year and a half ago to raise awareness of its wares. Instagram has been critical for brand exposure, dialogue with new and potential customers and being discovered by partners and retailers, Genevieve Monroe, the CEO and co-Founder tells us. And other companies, like eCommerce business Caeden. are taking advantage of Instagram advertising to expand beyond their current following and find new customers.

With so many companies using Instagram, and many people on the platform interacting with them, there was a desire from our business community to do more. So we listened. And, after hundreds of interviews with businesses, three key needs became clear stand out, get insights and find new customers.

First, businesses want the ability to stand out on Instagram. Many companies, including a furniture store in San Francisco, shared that it would be easier for customers to email questions because comments are hard to track and take time to sift through. Second, businesses want a simple way to get insights. A retailer in Austin explained that many analytics are overwhelming and hard to apply to its marketing. And third, businesses want to reach even more customers. A do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City mentioned it s always looking for quick ways to fill seats in class.

With these insights in mind, we set out to make Instagram work even better for businesses. So today, we re excited to unveil our new Instagram Business Tools.

Business profiles are a free feature for accounts wanting to be recognized as a business on Instagram. With a business profile, businesses can choose how they want their customers to get in touch with them: call, text or email with a tap of the contact button as well as get directions. Business profiles also unlock access to insights and the ability to promote.

Insights on Instagram give businesses actionable information about who their followers are and which posts resonate better than others all from within the mobile app. By learning more about the behavior and demographics of your audience, you can create more relevant and timely content.

The ability to promote lets you turn well-performing posts into ads right within the app helping you connect with even more customers. Simply pick a post you ve already shared on Instagram and add a button encouraging people to take action. You can select a target audience or allow Instagram to suggest targeting for you. After that, your post will be promoted as an ad for any length of time you choose.

With these new business tools on Instagram, the furniture store in San Francisco can receive emails from customers saving valuable time responding. The retailer in Austin can better understand its audience, tailor its content and refine its marketing strategy even beyond digital. And the do-it-yourself craft shop in New York City can quickly fill a seat, move a product or get people into its store with ads on mobile.

These business tools are just some of the ways we hope to make growing a business on Instagram that much easier. Business profiles, insights and the ability to promote will be rolling out in the US, Australia and New Zealand in the coming months, and will be available in all regions globally by the end of the year.

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Personalized New Job Gifts At Things Remembered #office #depot #business

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Personalized Gifts That Inspire

New Job Gifts

California Supply Chains Act

The company takes no action in engaging in verification of product supply chains to evaluate and address risks of human trafficking and slavery. The company takes no action in conducting audits of suppliers to evaluate supplier compliance with company standards for trafficking and slavery in supply chains. The company takes no action requiring direct suppliers to certify that materials incorporated into the product comply with the laws regarding slavery and human trafficking of the country or countries in which they are doing business. The company takes no action maintaining internal accountability standards and procedures for employees or contractors failing to meet company standards regarding slavery and trafficking. The company takes no action providing company employees and management, who have direct responsibility for supply chain management, training on human trafficking and slavery, particularly with respect to mitigating risks within the supply chains of products.

Site Map Things Remembered 2016. All rights reserved.

Buy One, Get One 50% Off

Buy one item, and get one item of equal or lesser value at 50% off. Offer is valid on merchandise purchases thru August 22, 2016 only at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Fossil�, Bulova� watches, Seiko�, Howard Miller� and Willow Tree� products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. $14.99 Shadow Box Frames with purchase are excluded from the offer. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

$14.99 Shadow Box With Any Purchase

Get select Shadow Box Frame(s) for $14.99 (regularly $25) with any purchase at Things Remembered retail locations and ThingsRemembered.com for a limited time. Mix-and-match Shadow Box Frame styles, no limit. Shadow Box Frame with purchase is subject to availability. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Personalization, taxes, and shipping and handling are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Discount taken at checkout. Offer cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

$20 Off Wedding Essentials & $10 Off Wedding Gifts

Get $20 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Essential item when personalized, and $10 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Gift item when personalized, August 5 through August 7, 2016, 11:59 p.m. EST at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Discount(s) is on total transaction and not individual items or personalization. Personalization, taxes, and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the discount. Willow Tree�, Fossil�, Bulova� watches, Seiko� and Howard Miller� branded products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Discount may not be combined with other offers, coupons or discounts, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Things Remembered 2016.

Flash Sale Buy One, Get One Free When Personalized Men’s Women’s Leather

Buy one item, and get one men’s or women’s leather item of equal or lesser value free when items are personalized. Offer is valid on select merchandise purchases made August 17, 2016 at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Exclusions may apply. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

Flash Sale Buy One, Get One Free When Personalized Women’s Gifts

Buy one item, and get one women’s gift item of equal or lesser value free when items are personalized. Offer is valid on select merchandise purchases made August 18, 2016 at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Fossil�, Bulova� watches, Seiko�, Howard Miller� and Willow Tree� products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

Flash Sale Buy One, Get One Free When Personalized Frames

Buy one item, and get one frame of equal or lesser value free when items are personalized. Offer is valid on select frame purchases made August 19, 2016 at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Exclusions may apply. Personalization, taxes, clearance items and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the offer. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.

$20 Off Wedding Essentials when personalized + $10 Off Wedding Gifts when personalized

Get $20 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Essential item when personalized, and $10 off total transaction with purchase of at least one (1) select Wedding Gift item when personalized, July 22 through July 24, 2016 11:59 p.m. EST at Things Remembered retail stores and ThingsRemembered.com. Discount(s) is on total transaction and not individual items or personalization. Personalization, taxes, and shipping and handling fees are excluded from the discount(s). Willow Tree . Fossil . Bulova watches, Seiko and Howard Miller branded products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Discount may not be combined with other offers, coupons or discounts, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. Things Remembered 2016.

Give To Louisiana

Things Remembered is matching monetary donations made through its retail locations and ThingsRemembered.com, up to a total donation of $5,000. 100% of contributions made through its retail locations and ThingsRemembered.com will be donated to NOLA Pay It Forward Fund, which was set up by the Mayor of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Foundation to provide resources, early relief and rebuilding efforts to the people, families, outside parishes and communities affected by recent floods. You can also make a donation directly to the NOLA Pay It Forward Fund at www.gnof.org/nolapayitforward/.

Our Best Gifts Free With Purchase When Personalized

Buy one personalized item, and get one of our select items (Best Gifts) free when personalized at ThingsRemembered.com and Things Remembered retail locations thru September 5, 2016. Both items must meet minimum personalization requirement (one initial/one monogram/one word for $10, each additional word is $3). Personalization, taxes, shipping and handling fees, and clearance items are excluded from the offer. Fossil . Bulova watches, Seiko . Howard Miller and Willow Tree products are excluded from the offer, and other exclusions may apply. Offer may not be combined with other coupons, discounts or offers, and cannot be used for prior purchases. Business Class large-order discounts may not be combined with this offer. Discount taken automatically at checkout. Offer is subject to change or cancellation without notice. No rain checks. No price adjustments. No cash value. Not transferable. Associates of Things Remembered and its affiliates are not eligible. Things Remembered 2016.





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Investment News for financial advisors in New Zealand #online #business #loans

#investment news

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Investment News

Auckland-based fund administrator, MMC, has notched up its second KiwiSaver registry client in the space of a month. MMC, which already provides fund accounting and unit pricing services to a range of KiwiSaver schemes, confirmed the rapidly-growing NZ-owned provider Generate as its second registry client last week. Earlier this month MMC revealed the start-up low-cost KiwiSaver provider, Simplicity, as the inaugural client for its newly-launched registry system. The addition of the $275 million Generate scheme represents “an enormous vote of confidence in MMC and our KiwiSaver registry offering”, according to MMC managing director, [Read More. ]

Recent New Zealand Investment News

After almost 35 years of intellectual input to New Zealand’s actuarial and investment consulting industry, Mark Weaver, has called it quits. Weaver, the last remaining founding partner still working in the triple-titled consulting firm Melville Jessup Weaver (MJW), will hand in his final regression analysis at the end next month before embarking [Read More. ]

It would be up to the police to decide whether KiwiSaver schemes, or other NZ investors, are breaking the law by investing in pooled global equity funds that have exposure to cluster munitions manufacturers, according to Commerce Minister Paul Goldsmith. As well as the Cluster Munitions Prohibition Act 2009, NZ investors could face similar [Read More. ]

The complete set of managed investment scheme (MIS) managers list should tally to about 70, according to the latest figures supplied by the regulator. A spokesperson for the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) told Investment News NZ that 42 managers have already been granted a MIS licence with a further 18 “in various stages of assessment”. The [Read More. ]

New Zealand Superannuation Fund has carved out NZ$600 million from its NZ$4.9 billion passive global equities mandate with Northern Trust Asset Management for two new factor-based mandates with the same manager. The NZ$30 billion fund, which is seen as a bellwether among super funds in the region because of its transparency and innovative [Read More. ]

Almost five months after incumbent, Anthony Quirk, announced his imminent resignation, Milford Asset Management has a new head. In a release last week, Milford confirmed Australian Troy Swann would take over Quirk’s role as at October 31 this year with operations chief, Bryce Marsden, continuing as interim chief executive. Quirk officially [Read More. ]

Macquarie Investment Management has been slapped with a A$400,000 fine after a New South Wales court ruled it had failed in its duties to monitor the now-defunct van Eyk Blueprint International Shares Fund (VBI). In a decision released last Wednesday, the NSW Supreme Court found Macquarie had breached its duties as a responsible entity (or RE – [Read More. ]

Here’s an irony. Link Group last month held a ‘virtual AGM’ for its NZ share registry client Xero. Just over 80 per cent of shareholders ‘attended’ online. But Link is not allowed to do the same for its Australian clients, nor itself. Xero, the successful cloud-based accounting systems firm from Wellington, NZ, provided a glimpse into the future [Read More. ]

Michael Thawley, Australia’s former and highly rated ambassador to the US, has re-joined the funds management industry – and his old firm – taking up the role as senior vice president for Capital Strategy Research at the big equities shop Capital Group. Thawley, who started in the job last week, is based in Los Angeles but will be heavily [Read More. ]

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Financing your new business #business #school

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You need to have a viable business idea. You must also have what it takes to make it work. You also must have enough money.

If you’ve got what it takes to start your own business, and you’ve done your research, forming a business is the next exciting leg on the journey.

Many people struggle with the financial side of managing their small business. Not everyone has a head for figures or wants to become an accountant.

If you want to run a legitimate enterprise, you must pay tax. It’s worth understanding your tax obligations before you start up to factor them in.

Many people, including some leading business representatives, argue that small firms are over burdened by the weight of business law.

It might be a cliché, but it remains true – planning without action is futile, while action without planning is fatal. You need a business plan.

Marketing matters. Marketing drives sales for businesses of all sizes by ensuring that customers think of their brand when they want to buy.

Premises provide the second-biggest overhead for many businesses. If you can start your business from your home, it will be much easier to break even.

The success or failure of a business can often rest in the hands of its most valuable asset – its people. But managing them can be a challenge.

There can’t be many firms in the UK, however small, that don’t use IT in some way. Many businesses simply couldn’t exist without IT.

Half of all new businesses fail within five years. So how do you survive and thrive? Find out how to scale up and become a high-growth business.

Financing your new business

Chartered certified accountant Raphael Coman of Coman Co explains the key start-up funding options

Finance is important to any business – especially at launch and during times of growth. Success can often depend on having access to the right finance, since many profitable businesses fail simply through a lack of cash. The following explains 12 common sources of start-up and development finance.

  1. An overdraft is the amount you owe on your account to the bank. Bank overdrafts can be repaid more quickly than formal loans and have no early repayment penalties. Banks often prefer to grant or extend an overdraft rather than make a loan.
  2. A loan is a more formal debt. Bank loans cannot be recalled, unlike overdrafts, and they can improve the certainty of cash flow forecasts and budgets.

Banks will ask for security on larger loans and this is often your home. This is known as a personal guarantee, and is a high-risk option.

You may secure loans of between £1,000 and £1 million under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. Under the scheme you pay a 2% annual premium on the outstanding balance of the loan and the government guarantees to pay the bank 75% of the loan value if you default.

You should have a business plan ready to show to lenders and investors and agree the terms of the financial arrangement in writing.

  • Obviously, you can invest personal savings in your business. The interest you forgo on savings is normally less than the interest you pay on borrowings. Interest received on savings is normally liable to tax, whereas interest paid on business borrowings can help reduce taxable profits.
  • You could ask family and friends to lend you money, provided they understand the risk of loss if the business fails.
  • Limited companies can issue shares. although this can dilute your ownership and control of your business.

    The British Venture Capital Association and the British Business Angels Association can introduce you to possible investors. A venture capitalist can bring skills and networks to strengthen your business, but they will normally want to be a director and will push for growth.

    The Venture Capital Trust scheme and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) both provide tax incentives for investors wishing to buy shares in growing businesses.

    Under the EIS scheme there is scope for you to raise finance by purchasing your own company shares and deferring any capital gains you have made in the past three years.

    If a company disposes of more than 10% of its business under the EIS scheme, it will also be exempt from tax.

  • Organic growth through retained profits does not require any borrowing commitments or dilution of control. Reducing stock and debtors will improve cash flow.
  • Factoring enables you to obtain an upfront payment for the money owed to you by your customers. Commonly, factoring companies will lend up to 85 per cent of the amount outstanding.
  • Hire purchase allows you to pay for equipment in instalments, but it can be costly.
  • Leasing can enable you to use the latest equipment or machinery without actually owning it.
  • A small company pension scheme can be used to buy certain assets, such as commercial property, for use by the business and can borrow up to half of the finance required.
  • Government and local authority grants and loans on favourable terms may also be available.
  • Getting it right

    Raising finance is always challenging, especially for small businesses and particularly in a recession. In deciding on the best source of finance, you should take account of a number of factors, such as taxation, the long-term plans of the business and its ability to meet its repayment commitments.

    Financial planning is important, particularly when considering whether the business has the resources to manage expansion. A business plan is usually necessary for borrowing from a bank or other lending institution. It is also useful for focusing your mind on your objectives.

    Written by Raphael Coman of Coman Co.





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    The 8 Essential Elements of an Annual New Business Plan #creative #business #cards

    #new business plan

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    The 8 Essential Elements of an Annual New Business Plan

    The job of an agency new business professional is akin to organizing chaos dictated by demanding pitch schedules. Compounding this, Q4 often brings a flurry of pitch activity known to ruin many a Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday.

    And while all this activity helps to fill the pipeline, the timing is unfortunate because it distracts you from the type of reflection and planning that are so important to setting you up for success for the next year or quarter.

    I know. It’s tough to add another project to your already overwhelming to-do list, but I urge you to make time to write your new business and marketing plan for 2016. Here are some reasons why it’s well worth squeezing it into your 12-hour days:

    • It’s the best way to measure your success. And I’m referring to the collective “you” here because it takes the entire agency to make new business efforts effective. An annual plan not only sets expectations for you but also for others at the agency who need to contribute to the agency’s success.
    • You’ll learn a lot! It gives you an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months and accurately set projections for the year ahead.
    • It sheds some light on what the heck you do at your agency. For those who are not routinely involved in new business, it can seem like a black hole of mystery. Sharing your plan — whether to an executive committee, department heads, or even the entire staff — adds clarity and gives everyone something to aim for.
    • Your boss will be impressed. Don’t wait to be asked. Get on your CEO’s schedule to review your outline and discuss your intentions for putting this plan together.

    Sometimes the hardest part is getting started, so I’m going to get the ball rolling for you by giving you a basic outline to follow.

    8 Elements to Include in Your New Business Plan

    1) Executive Summary

    This has to be written last, but it should always come first. By starting with a smart, concise summary, you’re showing the same kind of respect for your audience’s time and attention as you would if this were a RFP response.

    2) The Team

    Define the new business and marketing ecosystem at your agency. Who’s on your team, and what do they do? How did you grow this year, and how are you planning to grow next year? Do you need to hire to achieve your new goals? What kind of operational efficiencies did you introduce?

    3) Performance

    Analyzing the past year will help you better forecast the year ahead. Where are your opportunities coming from? How many pitches did you participate in? Were they the right ones (in terms of revenue, cultural fit, creative opportunity, etc.)? Did you wait for requests to come to you, or were you more proactive? As you answer these, you’ll start to see a profile emerge that will help you make better decisions about what to pursue and what to decline next year.

    4) The Marketplace

    What kind of trends are you seeing? Think about things like the trend towards project work versus AOR assignments. How does your agency need to adjust to stay competitive? Who are your competitors now? What agencies do you want to be competing against a year from now?

    5) Revenue Goals

    Crunch the numbers. Based on your historical win rate, how many pitches do you need to be in to meet your numbers? How much can you rely on organic growth? How much do you need to focus on proactive prospecting? Don’t do this in a vacuum; spend time with your CFO and CEO to make sure you are managing their expectations as well as integrating corporate financial goals into your plan.

    6) Meeting Those Goals

    This is a biggie and probably where you’ll need to sink most of your time. Dust off your selection criteria, and start doing your research. You want to determine the categories you’re best suited to pursue (and why) or refine your ideal client profile. and then use that to define a super-targeted list of prospects. Another important point to include in this section is the level of support you expect from your colleagues in other departments such as strategy, research, and design. What’s it going to take to make a compelling pitch to your prospects?

    7) New Business Tools

    What tools are you lacking to meet your goals? If you’re planning on doing a ton of personal outreach, you’ll want to invest in a good contact management database or CRM. an email program, a marketing automation tool, or other solutions. Maybe this is the year for a website redesign. Or, if you’re getting invited to the pitch but not making it past the first round, maybe you need to learn how to tell your story better and invest in rewriting your case studies and credentials.

    8) PR and Marketing

    How will your agency’s positioning serve you? Is it strong enough to differentiate you from your competition? Is it meaningful enough to inform your messaging? What kind of events should you attend? Speak at? Or do you create your own event? What kind of awards shows should you enter? Besides getting you mentioned in the usual suspects such as Ad Age and Adweek. what can your PR team do to get you exposure in vertical trade publications or at conferences?

    This may seem like a daunting amount of work. That’s why you need to start planning it out now. It’s a little more daunting if this is the first time you’ve ever created a plan so know that it gets easier and easier each year.

    I can’t promise a last-minute RFP won’t ruin your holiday season, but now it’s a lot less likely that your new business plan will.





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