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AffiniPay Named to Austin Business Journal – s List of Fastest-Growing Companies in Central Texas – AffiniPay #business #for #sales
#austin business journal
AffiniPay Named to Austin Business Journal s List of Fastest-Growing Companies in Central Texas
Company climbs rankings in Austin Business Journal’s Top 50 fastest growing companies in Central Texas.
Austin, TX – July 1, 2014 – AffiniPay LLC. the premier payment provider for associations and the legal industry, has been ranked #19 by Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 for 2013. AffiniPay has increased revenue from $1.6 million in 2009 to $6.7 million in 2012, a growth rate of 304% The Company has also been named to Inc. magazine’s Top 100 financial Service Companies, on top of being ranked No.1328 on Inc. 5000’s annual ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies in America.
“AffiniPay is honored to be recognized as one of the fastest growing companies in Central Texas.” Said Amy Porter. CEO of AffiniPay. “Our team has worked incredibly hard to support our clients and provide a service that has quickly become the standard for payments in the association and legal industries. I am also extremely proud of what we have accomplished through our LawPay program, and we expect even more growth in the upcoming year.”
Austin Business Journal’s Fast 50 has been used to highlight Austin’s fastest growing companies for more than a decade. The rankings are based solely upon each company’s revenue numbers, and the competition is split into two groups, small and large companies.
“If you’re in the market for what they’re selling, consider giving them your business. If you’re a job seeker, these companies are right up your alley. If you’re looking for a stout strategic partner, deep-pocketed client or your next competitive threat, there’s a good chance they’re a click away.” states Colin Pope, one of Austin Business Journal’s most experienced business intelligence editors.
Complete results of the Austin Business Journal’s Fast-50 can be found here.
About Austin Business Journal
Austin Business Journal is the source for local business news, research and events in the Austin Area. Their mission is to provide their audience with the most accurate and useful information possible in print and online while serving as the primary facilitator of business events in the Austin area.
About AffiniPay LLC
Based in Austin, Texas AffiniPay is a full-service merchant account and online payment gateway provider. AffiniPay was created in response to demand from local, state and national organizations to work with a payment processor that understands the unique needs of association payment processes. Eventually AffiniPay’s Association Partners asked them to extend their custom payment solutions and friendly customer service to their members. Not only are AffiniPay’s services used and recommended by over 1,000 professional and trade associations across the US, they are the processing leader in the legal industry. AffiniPay’s unique LawPay program is endorsed and recommended by over 80 state and local bar associations. For information please visit https://www.affinipay.com/.
Our team of Certified Payment Professionals has the latest knowledge on payment solutions, PCI Compliance, and merchant account best practices for your association.
#new business ideas
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.)
Learn how to transform your life for the better with 16 of the Web’s favorite entrepreneurship and leadership articles from this year. Guaranteed to encourage and inspire, these popular posts are absolute must-reads.
1. Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid
Mental fortitude is essential for entrepreneurship, and in this wildly popular Forbes article, Cheryl Conner discusses what makes a mental strong individual and the 13 things they avoid at all costs (with tips from psychotherapist extraordinaire Amy Morin).
2. How to Turn Small Talk Into Smart Conversation
In this TED Ideas post, Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker break down how to transform an ordinary conversation into an extraordinary one. This pithy piece shares how to substitute one-line answers for stories, swap mundane response mirroring for absurd (but astute) observations, and how to get the most out of the often-mangled art of conversation.
3. Richard Branson to Young Entrepreneurs: ‘Just Do It’
In an Inc. piece by Oscar Raymundo, famous entrepreneur Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire (Virgin Airlines, Virgin Mobile, etc.) explains why risk is an inherent aspect of entrepreneurship. Sometimes you just have to go for it, no matter what others day. Richard did and I’d say thing are working out pretty well for him.
4. Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe
In this powerful TED Talk, Simon Sinek suggests that great leaders are those whom others feel they can trust–good leaders make people feel safe. Learn how to create a secure environment for your co-workers and employees while understanding that, while this undertaking is no easy task, the rewards and trust you’ll earn is invaluable. (A transcript is available too, so you don’t need to watch the video if you’d rather read.)
5. The Top 5 Reasons Why ‘The Customer Is Always Right’ Is Wrong
Alex Kjerulf of the Huffington Post explains why this classic maxim is a major mistake. Companies need to be willing to go to bat for their employees, and suggesting that the customer is always right can be detrimental to worker moral. Instead, show employees the respect they deserve and they’ll return the favor with superior customers service and more company pride.
6. Why You Hate Work
This New York Times article by Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath explains the modern employee’s psychological needs and how they aren’t being fulfilled. The article details an interesting study in which workers rated their fulfillment at their workplace, based on several different components (time for creative thinking, opportunities to do what you enjoy, a sense of community, connection to your company’s mission, etc.).
This article isn’t doom and gloom though–it will help companies understand what they need to do in order to improve their workplace and create happier, more fulfilled employees (who also work better).
7. Think You’re Too Old to Be an Entrepreneur? Think Again. (Infographic)
Despite the trend in Silicon Valley, entrepreneurship ain’t just for the young. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs don’t even think about launching a startup until they are in their 30s, 40s, and even 50s, after gaining more work experience. This infographic from Entrepreneur shows successful individuals who took their own sweet time to find their calling. “Not all who wander are lost” indeed!
8. 10 Reasons You Have to Quite Your Job in 2014
James Altucher sees the writing on the wall–the middle class is vanishing and it’s time to take real control of your life. James writes, in this philosophical yet painfully acute LinkedIn piece, why your life needs to be more than a paycheck and how to use entrepreneurship to create a better future.
9. 6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How to Recognize Them in Yourself and Change Them
Kathy Caprino points out several toxic behaviors you may be harboring, sometimes without even realizing it! Adjusting these bad behavioral habits will make life exponentially better for you and for those around you. See if you’re guilty of any of these.
10. 50 Signs You Might Be an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs are a certain kind of individual and they display their aptitude with a number of traits. See if any on this list by John Rampton sound like you–if more than a few ring a bell, you’re likely to be an entrepreneur (and if you’re not yet, maybe it’s time for a career change)!
11. How to Become a Millionaire by Age 30
Dreams do come true–or they can, if you follow advice from Grant Cardone in this Entrepreneur article. Learn what you need to do to make the big bucks before you turn 30.
12. Why Google Doesn’t Care About College Degrees
In this article by Venture Beat, Gregory Ferenstein explains why Google cares less about college degrees and more about the quality and character of their hiring candidates.
13. How Things Change
This succinct story by Tech Crunch’s Greg Kumparak is a just a few short lines and tweets. Telling the tale of Brian Acton’s personal experience (creator of WhatsApp), it sweetly and simply shows how when one door closes, another down the hall opens. And it opens into a swimming pool of Jello, talking zebras, and saxophone-playing dinosaurs. Or something close to that anyway.
14. How Quitting My Corporate Job for My Startup Dream F*cked My Life Up
In this story, Ali Mese reveals the unexpected difficulties that come with abandoning the corporate world for the startup dream. You may have planned on financial burdens, but have you considered the social distancing? The anxious parents? The frustrated fianc? Mese reminds us that entrepreneurship isn’t all sunshine and puppies–but is it worth it all in the end? I won’t spoil it.
15. 7 Things Remarkable Happy People Do Often
Inc. magazine’s very own Jeff Haden explains in this article why happiness is a choice, and how we can take small actions every day to make ourselves happier. It may not seem like rocket science, but it’s all too common for people to overlook the tools and techniques they can use to take joy in the world around them. Get started on these exercises and begin a better outlook.
16. The Day I Stopped Saying ‘Hurry Up’
In this touching article (probably considered corny by some), Rachel Stafford shares the day she choose to erase the word “hurry up” from her vocabulary. Whether in the workplace or in family life, this touching Huffington Post piece reminds us that life is something to be enjoyed and savored, not rushed through.
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The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
#business card design
16 of the Most Creative Business Card Designs From Agencies
The business card isn’t dead yet.
As long as there are parties, industry events, and networking opportunities, there will be business cards. And it’s important that yours isn’t thrown to the bottom of the pile because of a lackluster design.
Whether you work at a bigwig agency or as a freelancer, your business card should make a memorable first impression. To help you out on the inspiration front, we’ve compiled a list of 16 top-notch business cards from agencies and designers around the world. Ranging from artistically elaborate to decidedly simple, these examples are certain to inspire your next business card redesign.
16 Inspiring Business Card Design Examples
Featuring a botanical illustration of tropical blooms and a clean sans-serif font, these business cards from Aurora certainly make a stylish first impression. The South African studio specializes in whimsical artwork and design, so it’s fitting that their business cards reflect their unique skill set. The cards were designed in-house and include gold embossed details.
In a literal interpretation of the company’s name, London-based agency Chomp designed business cards with a bite-size chunk missing from one corner. The shape of the card stock mimics the detail of their logo — which also bears teeth marks.
3) Matheus Dacosta
Brazilian designer Matheus Dacosta puts an artistic spin on traditional business cards, adding kaleidoscopic, hand-painted designs to every individual card. Each miniature work of art is sure to make a memorable impact — or at the very least, make the recipient reluctant to simply toss it.
Nymbl. a 3D design and virtual reality studio, wanted to project a more accessible, playful image in their new marketing materials. To get the job done right, they turned to UK-based agency Big Fan. who spun up a bold, two-tone business card design concept as part of their new branding. The cards feature paper cut-outs on royal purple stock.
This video production agency may get its name from a spooky folk creature. but the quality of their business card design is far from terrifying. Designed by the talented folks at The Distillery. these unusual cards put the focus on meticulously detailed, embossed illustration: a feather, a piece of wood, and a beastly skull can be seen behind the contact information. A pair of interlocking antlers — presumably from the feared Wendigo itself — form the “W” in the agency’s name.
6) Katsy Garcia
Illustrator and graphic designer Katsy Garcia whipped up this simple but effective business card concept for her own personal branding. Instead of displaying her contact information in the usual straightforward format, Garcia serves up a fresh twist, displaying hers in an instantly recognizable text message composition. The resulting effect is equal parts charming and sharply clever.
In a nod to their native L.A. Omelet created business cards centered around sleek city imagery. The photographs are artfully silhouetted by their company logo — which if you look closely, is actually an ambigram .
8) Counter Creatives
Designed to resemble a classic take-a-number ticket, this inventive business card was devised for Dutch agency Counter Creatives by designer and art director Valery Overhoff. The compact format and unconventional shape called for a creative use of space, and Overhoff manages to feature multiple typefaces and both vertical and horizontal text.
9) IS Creative Studio
Thanks to airy swipes of neon spray paint, these otherwise minimal business cards from IS Creative Studio make a big impact. The Peru-based agency has developed three iterations of these award-winning cards, increasing the breadth and intensity of the color pallette each time. This most recent version highlights everything from electric pinks to vibrant greens.
10) Confetti Studio
These business cards from Confetti Studio combine two powerful elements — punchy orange card stock and gold embossed metallics — to a create a mesmerizing and modern effect. One side of the card is completely covered in gilded speckles, while the other side displays the agency’s logo and contact information — also gilded. They fittingly call the end result “cardfetti.”
Buenos Aires-based agency Tricota found an interesting way to highlight the two sides of their business: perforated cards that split in half. Once side features information for their communications and graphic design services, while info for their illustration services appear on the other side. Each half includes a variation of their “T” logo: a typeface “T” for their communications side and and an hand-drawn “T” for their illustration side.
When this design studio wanted to give their corporate identity a facelift, they turned to fresh card stock in yellow, smokey blue, and azure. Using minimal text against a sophisticated color palette yields sleek results.
13) Claire Bruining
Graphic designer Claire Bruining developed these playful business cards for her own personal branding. Splashes of overlapping patterns and colors appear on one side, and Bruining’s contact information appears on the reverse in a clean sans serif font. The dark blue text and border adds an unexpected pop to the basic layout.
14) Don’t Try Studio
Monge Quentin, the Parisian illustrator behind Don’t Try Studio. created these lively and colorful business cards to promote his design work. Thanks to an embossing technique, the face of the cards are embellished with confetti-like brush strokes and shapes in a muted orange and blue color scheme. His name appears in a handwritten print.
The logo on these business cards for digital production studio Bespoke is so large, it actually wraps around from the front of the card to the back. A fellow New York agency — Studio Newwork — designed these cards to be both minimal and unexpected.
16) Atelier Irradié
At first glance, the face of these Atelier Irradié business cards look like otherworldly color swatches. In stark contrast to the metallic, jewel-toned gradient on the front, the back of these cards don’t even use ink — just simple, imprinted text displaying their contact information.
The biggest challenge today s burgeoning companies face is understanding the difference between sales and Business Development (BD). Many companies think they are the same, and as a result they struggle with embracing the BD mindset. In fact, corporate executive titles such as VP of Sales and Business Development clearly demonstrate that some companies do not know the difference, as they have salespeople attempting to manage their BD effort. They treat it no differently than a sales effort and build their operations and incentives as though BD was a sales function. That is why their efforts always have failed results. To be successful at BD, keep the following points in mind.
1. In a BD Deal, Everything is Different
The first step is to acknowledge that there is a difference between sales and BD. While BD helps accelerate sales, BD is not sales.
In sales, there is a transaction—goods are exchanged for dollars. There is no transaction in a BD deal. In BD, you are not selling tangible products and services to another company. You are proposing a partnership in pursuit of bigger untapped opportunities. In fact, BD is the polar opposite of sales.
The BD mindset is about selling a vision of the future to an industry giant—your sumo partner—with whom you wish to collaborate. It is about defining what you and your partner can do together that neither of you are doing today in order to better serve your current and future customers. In turn, this means exponential revenue growth for both companies.
The biggest difference between sales and BD is in the dynamics that exist around selling (which is focused for revenue growth today) versus BD (which is focused around growing your revenue through strategic relationships for tomorrow). Since BD is not sales, your interaction with your potential sumo partner is not governed by a sales transaction—you are not fighting for a signature on an invoice because there is no exchange of goods for money.
2. Clarity in a BD Deal Can be Your Biggest Downfall
Marketing communications experts tell you that in business, the clearer you are about your message, product or service, the more successful your company will be. While this may be true in a sales environment, the exact opposite is true in BD.
In BD, the right amount of ambiguity can be your greatest strength. Strategic ambiguity is your goal during the BD pitch process and throughout most of the negotiation phase. As you are presenting your vision for a partnership with your potential sumo company, the last thing you want to do is to be overly specific about what you are proposing. You may think that this contradicts everything you have heard from sales and marketing gurus. Exactly! That s because BD is the polar opposite of sales.
Remember, in BD it is about identifying how the two companies come together to create the greater opportunity. Ambiguity is critical when positioning the sumo for the deal because it accomplishes two goals. Ambiguity entices your potential sumo to want to learn more, and it protects your BD strategy. By withholding specifics in the courting process, it minimizes the possibility of your potential partner to say “no,” and it protects your company from collateral damage should your potential partner go to your competitor. They cannot use your BD strategy against you if they do not have all the details. That’s why clarity can be your biggest downfall at this stage. Ambiguity, however, holds everyone’s attention. By holding back information, rather than disclosing your coveted BD plan, you keep them engaged.
3. Reel in the Big Fish
Think of the BD process in fishing terms. When reeling in a big fish, you want to attract its attention with some bait—something very attractive. Once the fish decides to take a nibble, your goal is to get it on the line without breaking the line. If the line breaks, you have a “no.”
Keeping the line intact takes sharing bits and pieces of details about your deal’s potential. In fishing terms, this process of drawing the fish near is called “chumming.” You need to let up a little to give your sumo partner (or fish) time to go away and assess what this deal would mean for their organization. Then you check in and drop another detail that piques their interest, all the while driving them toward the boat where you’ll catch them in a net. What you don’t want to do is put some tasty bait on the line and then start reeling in the line as fast as you can before they’ve even come close enough to sink the hook. That’s a sales approach, not a BD strategy.
Partners need enough information about the proposed project to be interested, but if you overwhelm them, they will start swimming in the opposite direction. Then you are left with nothing and the fish is still in the water and is still hungry—and still open to tasting bait dangled by other anglers. The only thing worse than a sumo walking away from your deal is that same sumo deciding to partner with your largest competitor. That is why you need to keep your BD strategy close to your chest. If you unfold the details early in the game, then your sumo can shop around to the competition. So keep the information vague until you have the fish on the line, virtually swimming toward the waiting boat as you lead it along.
Use the BD Effort to Grow Sales
While sales and BD are polar opposites in terms of how each achieves its goals, BD helps grow sales by giving the sales effort a unique and distinct advantage. In BD, there isn t a transaction that governs the relationship, nor is BD governed by an invoice or a contract. However, the BD deal will monumentally grow the revenue of both companies far beyond that of what any gorilla sales effort alone can achieve.
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#small business insurance
Insurance coverage is available for every conceivable risk your business might face. Cost and amount of coverage of policies vary among insurers. You should discuss your specific business risks and the types of insurance available with your insurance agent or broker. Your agency can advise you on the exact types of insurance you should consider purchasing.
General Liability Insurance
Business owners purchase general liability insurance to cover legal hassles due to accident, injuries and claims of negligence. These policies protect against payments as the result of bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, the cost of defending lawsuits, and settlement bonds or judgments required during an appeal procedure.
Product Liability Insurance
Companies that manufacture, wholesale, distribute, and retail a product may be liable for its safety. Product liability insurance protects against financial loss as a result of a defect product that causes injury or bodily harm. The amount of insurance you should purchase depends on the products you sell or manufacture. A clothing store would have far less risk than a small appliance store, for example.
Professional Liability Insurance
Business owners providing services should consider having professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance ). This type of liability coverage protects your business against malpractice, errors, and negligence in provision of services to your customers. Depending on your profession, you may be required by your state government to carry such a policy. For example, physicians are required to purchase malpractice insurance as a condition of practicing in certain states.
Commercial Property Insurance
Property insurance covers everything related to the loss and damage of company property due to a wide-variety of events such as fire, smoke, wind and hail storms, civil disobedience and vandalism. The definition of “property” is broad, and includes lost income, business interruption, buildings, computers, company papers and money.
Property insurance policies come in two basic forms: (1) all-risk policies covering a wide-range of incidents and perils except those noted in the policy; (2) peril-specific policies that cover losses from only those perils listed in the policy. Examples of peril-specific policies include fire, flood, crime and business interruption insurance. All-risk policies generally cover risks faced by the average small business, while peril-specific policies are usually purchased when there is high risk of peril in a certain area. Consult your insurance agent or broker about the type of business property insurance best suited for your small business.
Home-Based Business Insurance
Contrary to popular belief, homeowners’ insurance policies do not generally cover home-based business losses. Depending on risks to your business, you may add riders to your homeowners’ policy to cover normal business risks such as property damage. However, homeowners’ policies only go so far in covering home-based businesses and you may need to purchase additional policies to cover other risks, such as general and professional liability.
#boston business journal
The importance of workplace culture
The importance of workplace culture
An employer’s perspective, as shared by William K. Bacic. New England managing partner, Deloitte LLP
It’s no secret that workplace culture has become one of 2016’s hottest topics for business leaders. Research shows that workplace culture drives not only behavior, but also plays a major role in innovation, and customer service. In terms of specific numbers, 82 percent of the respondents to the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016 survey believe that culture is a potential competitive advantage for employers. Equipped with that knowledge, it is nearly impossible to overstate culture’s importance, especially when thinking about not only recruiting and retaining talent, but also in meeting business goals.
Knowing just how crucial of a role culture plays, we, as business leaders, should consider doing all that we can to help foster a culture where professionals thrive. A step in the right direction may require that business leaders recognize the importance of culture, and give it the attention and investment it deserves. Executives should consider working with HR to help take responsibility for culture, and support it through both a measurement process and infrastructure.
However, that challenge, like many others, is often easier said than done. To start, we leaders should visibly prioritize culture in our organizations. That means clearly understanding the values of our companies, and how they affect business strategy. We should help shape the company’s value and make sure that we are leading by example, and reinforcing the desired culture. For example, at Deloitte, we are committed to making an impact that matters in the communities where we live and work. I enjoy taking an active role in my community, whether that is serving on nonprofit boards, hosting events in our office, or volunteering.
As executives, we should also consider examining the current culture at our organization, and determining whether or not that is the culture we desire.
That means taking a close look at our organizations and not only identifying those practices that align with the desired goals, but also taking note of practices that may require some change.
From there, it is up to leaders to help ensure this new culture becomes permanent. We should serve as an example of the new culture, and become cultural ambassadors for our organizations. Whether that means volunteering in your free time, avoiding email on weekends, or remaining offline while on vacation, leaders should consider embodying the culture of the workplace.
I encourage you to embrace the culture challenge, and own it at the highest level. Our actions tend to drive culture, just as they do other issues that reinforce business strategy. For more information on workplace culture, including tools for measurement, take a look at Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends Report .
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to Deloitte LLP, the US member firm of DTTL, and its subsidiaries where certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.
#new business plan
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?
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.
Quizzing in India: What are some of the best business quiz questions you – ve seen? #business #web #hosting
Personally, my favorite questions are those which have me wide-eyed and wondering –Seriously? – when the answer gets revealed. Two that come to my mind:
1. What will be offered by Kashi Vishwanath temple in association with Shri Prakash Raghuvanshi?
This was asked by Pickbrain at Tata Corporate Crucible, Gurgaon in Sept 12. Now I have spent the last 4 years in Banaras (location of the temple) and I honestly thought this question lame (I mean could be any offering- clothes, jewellery, left-over temple flowers, exotic sweets). Until the answer was announced:
Ans: PACKAGED MANURE (1)
2. X has had over 43 pets including 21 dogs, 12 horses, 3 ponies, 6 cats, a parrot, a chimpanzee, a panda, a lion cub, a giraffe and a zebra.
AND… 80 careers everything from a rock star to a paleontologist to a presidential candidate.
Question asked in a school quiz in Dubai several years ago. The guesses ranged from Arnold Schwarzenegger, some Arab Sheikh, Elvis Presley. One team actually came very close to the actual answer with Sarah Palin! (2) Of course, the answer was:
Hard to pick one, but here are some of my favourites:
1. In 1928, AT T s Western Electric established a division for the specific purpose of installing and servicing their loudspeakers and electronic products for motion picture use. Called E.R.P.I. (Electrical Research Products, Inc.), it was purchased as part of a consent decree in 1936 by a group of E.R.P.I. executives, including George Carrington, Sr. and Mike Conrow. They changed the name to All Technical Service Company .
How do we know this company today?
Ans. Altec ( All Tech ) Lansing.
2. A person with ___________ is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.
What modern-day product takes its name from the above mentioned philosophy mostly because it is based on the same principle?
3. Started in 1945 by two friends Burt X and Irv Y. with the merging of their respective individual shops, XY has since become one of the leading companies that sell Z. It is distinctly recognized by its logo which contains a number – signifying the number of varieties of the product it sells.
Its new logo, revealed in 2005, is hailed by many as one of the most innovative logos of all time for its clever inclusion of the above mentioned number into it.
Ans: Baskin-Robbins (X-Y) and if you don t know what they sell, I suggest you go out more often.
A few questions which I really liked.
1.After India became independent in 1947, the Planning Commission was entrusted to oversee and direct the development of the nation. India grew rapidly in the 1950s, and in the late 1950s the Commission started facing difficulties in finding suitable people for the large number of enterprises that were being established in India as a part of its industrial policy. To solve this problem, the Planning Commission in 1959 invited Professor George Robbins of the University of California. What resulted?
2. The name of this website stems from a Hindi phrase used on anyone who attempts to achieve the impossible. Started by Wharton graduate Allwin Agnel in 2003, its mascot is named ‘Monsieur Green’. Which website?
3. The following table gives the exchange rates of a certain currency in three different denominations. Identify what has been blanked out.
4. In what way is this photo of Lord Pethick Lawrence and Mahatma Gandhi, taken on April 18, 1946 significant to this day? (Question Courtesy: Navin Rajaram )
5. As a part of the Windows Vista makeover what did Microsoft add to the game Minesweeper (blanked out in the pic shown below) and why?
6. Shown below is a character from an unique language which caused an outrage from a certain group when it was dropped from Wikipedia’s official logo in 2010.Which Language?
7. This is Hannah Steller photographed by her older brother, Dustin Steller. The photo was originally uploaded to iStockphoto in August 2005 as a result of which, it made her immensely popular all over the world.
How/what is she known as?
8. It was discovered that defects in the sphere from knicks and scrapes of normal use, could provide it with a truer flight than a pure sphere. Thus,makers started creating intentional defects in the surface by hammering to give it an evenly dimpled shape which would cause it to have a more consistent flight. Funda behind what?
9.This is a letter sent to ‘Lady Gaga’ by the firm she had previously threatened to sue for a certain product. What was the product and the controversy?
Further to our letter of 9th March, we note that we have not heard back from you or from your client Lady Gaga despite your demands that we respond to your letter by 4.00pm on 9thMarch.
In fact you have not even confirmed receipt of the letter which was emailed and delivered to you by hand.
As you will have noted from the contents of that letter, the product your client described as ‘nausea-inducing’ and ‘possibly unfit for human consumption’ was given a clean bill by the authorities last week.
We are therefore seeking your permission to re-launch our ______ in a way which will not offend, upset or distress your client in any way. As such we are holding a ‘Name the Baby’ competition and asking for the approval of one of the following names.
10. In an interview to Walter Issacson, when asked about life and death, Steve Jobs said Sometimes I don t. It s 50-50. But ever since I ve had cancer I ve been thinking about it more, and I find myself believing a bit more. Maybe that s because I want to believe in an afterlife, that when you die it doesn t just all disappear. The wisdom you ve accumulated, somehow it just lives on.” He further added that he implemented this philosophy in his products. What feature or rather minimalism was implemented in Apple products because of this?
(Please answer in comments. I hope that the answers can be can be worked out by a combination of knowledge and by a few assumptions. I would add the answers after a few people have attempted)
I would also like to add the biz questions (Twitter, Campbell s Soup, Ambergris and Kit Kat mail) from my answer to What are some of the best quiz questions you ve seen to this list as well.