Tag: simple

Halloween Online – Your Guide to Anything and Everything About Halloween – 500 Articles,

simple business ideas

Simple business ideas

The latest Halloween ideas, information and articles from our staff.

Simple business ideas

Halloween Costumes, Halloween Masks and Makeup ideas.

Simple business ideas

Halloween decorations you can make or buy for the spookiest night.

Simple business ideas

Our cookbook filled with Halloween recipes, tasty tricks and treats.

Simple business ideas

Spooky Halloween games adaptable for both kid’s and adults.

Simple business ideas

Halloween Party ideas and planning for a successful party.

Simple business ideas

Simple business ideas

That’s right, 101 simple Halloween ideas, tips and suggestions!

Simple business ideas

Spooky Special Effects and Props for your Halloween haunt.

Simple business ideas

Pumpkin carving tips for carving Halloween Jack O’ Lanterns.

Simple business ideas

Suggestions for the best Halloween music and Halloween movies.

Simple business ideas

Halloween craft ideas and instructions for lots of Halloween fun.

Simple business ideas

Ghostly gadgets for the computer, cell-phone, Palm Pilot and more!

Simple business ideas

Simple business ideas

2016 Halloween Ideas, Costumes, Decorations and Props, Halloween Party Planning, Spooky Games and Activities and Pumpkin Carving articles since 1994! The great news is that the next three years will be great for our favorite holiday! This year, Halloween will fall on a Friday allowing both kids and grown-ups to stay out much later than a week night. Now celebrating our 21st year online! Since times really are tough financially right now, be sure to check out our budgeting and money saving articles for lots of great tips and suggestions for getting the most fright for your buck.

Simple business ideasFree Pumpkin Carving Patterns!

Looking for the very best selection of pumpkin carving patterns anywhere on the Net? Well, SpookMaster is the place to go!

With hundreds of unique and unusual designs, they have an incredible selection of top-rate pumpkin patterns. But the best news is. all of their carving patterns, templates and stencils are free, that’s right, absolutely free! Just head on over to their web site, download all patterns you want directly to your computer, print them out and start carving.

Some Things Really Are Free!

Simple business ideas

One of the most fun and fulfilling things you can do during the season is host a Halloween party for your friends and family. Whether it’s a children’s party or one just for grown-ups, there are so many great treats, games, music, atcivities and foods that you can lavish your guests with. Planning and decorating for your party should be an all out spook fest!

For those holding a Halloween movie party, be sure to check out our Movies and Television Guide for lots of spooky viewing suggestions. In addition to the classic Halloween movie franchise brought to us by John Carpenter, there are a slew of other horror movies just waiting to be watched. You’ll find a ton of stuff to watch in the Movie Guide section for kids, adults and everyone in between! Click Here.

Simple business ideas Halloween Decorations

Its never to early to get in the mood for Halloween. In fact, some of us are in that mood all year long! Now that Fall is finally here, its time to start thinking about how you will decorate your home A full size coffin prop such as the one to the right is a great addition to your Halloween decor.

Our decor section can show you some interesting and fun ways to decorate inside and out. Also try our crafts section for decorations that you can make on your own if you are a crafter. With the economy so bad, lots of stores are dropping prices just to stay in business and provide what the customer needs. Be sure to take advantage of all of these sales! Click Here.

Simple business ideasHalloween Games

Check out our selection of classic games like Bobbing for Apples and more modern games like the much asked for Hal O’ Ween game, and even a collection of printable puzzles that you can download. This gives you some fast game entertainment for any party. Just print out and play!

Party games will help your party fun and flowing smoothly. Sometimes it’s just as much for adults to play children’s games as it is for the kids and all of these games can be adapted for both types of party’s quite easily. If your party seems to be hitting a snag, just get a game of some kind going and it’s sure to perk your party up! Click Here.

Simple business ideasHalloween Costumes

One of the things that makes this such a wonderful holiday is that you can dress up and pretend to be just about any fanciful character you want and still be socially accepted. Be sure to try and order your costumes well in advance to give you plenty of time to make sure that your costume fits properly and you have time to accessorize your individual look.

Caution – Some online retailers are just affiliates and do not actually stock the products they sell. They pass the order to a distributor and the products are dropped shipped. The Costume Kingdom is one reputable online costume retailer that does stock and ship their products in-house.


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How to Start a Rice Dealership Business, Pinoy Bisnes Ideas, simple business ideas.#Simple #business

How to Start a Rice Dealership Business

Simple business ideasRice is an important primary staple food in many Asian countries especially in the Philippines. Indicating the high demand for this commodity, planning to put up a rice dealership business in your area is a wise choice. There is already an assurance that this business will succeed because buyers are already there. Of course, in any kind of business, conducting a feasibility study is always a crucial step to take. This will assess the economic viability of your proposed business.

Here are some important questions to consider before plunging into this kind of business.

1. Do you have enough capital or budget for your rice dealership business? With at least P60,000 to P100,000 as a starting capital.

2. Do you want to operate as sole proprietorship or corporation? Business registration guide here.

3. Do you have a big and safe storage room for the sacks of rice that will be delivered to you?

4. Do you have a good location for your rice dealership business? Research the area of your target market, the flow of traffic and their buying habits.

5. Do you have lists of rice suppliers in your area? Make sure you have a lists of several suppliers and make a good relationship with them.

6. Do you have necessary equipments like calibrated weighing scales, rice sacks etc., and a service delivery (optional).

7. What varieties of rice do you intend to sell? Make sure to have several varieties of rice, so that your customers will have several options.

8. How will you market your business? This is also an important aspect especially you are new in this kind of business. Make a good marketing strategy and make your business known to your customers. Make a good deal with restaurant owners, hotels, resorts and small carenderias in your place to be their rice supplier.

Here are Some NFA Rice Dealership FAQ

Q: Who are required to secure license from NFA?

A: All persons, natural or juridical, that are engaging or intending to engage in the rice and/or corn business whether commercial or NFA rice/corn.

A: Before the start in any of the business activity enumerated above, the proprietor or operator should first secure a license from NFA. For those already license, businessmen should renew their annual license on any day within their scheduled month allotted by the NFA

A: Application may be filed at the NFA office that has jurisdiction over the location of the principal business of the applicant.

Q: In case we have more than one (1) store/establishment for Rice/Corn business, should all be licensed?

A: Yes, owner/operator should file a license for all outlets at the NFA office where his principal place of business is located. Additional outlets are treated as branches.

A: For new applicants, follow these procedures:

secure application form from the licensing officer upon payment of application fee;

accomplish and file application with complete requirements to the licensing officer who in turn checks the documents and determines corresponding license fee;

pay license fee to the cashier and get copy of official receipt;

prepare the facilities/equipment requirements for inspection by NFA Investigators;

after inspection of establishments, present notice of inspection to licensing officer, official receipt and proof of compliance with deficiencies, if any;

licensing officer issues license if application is found to be in order;

applicants display license in their establishments.

Procedures for renewal applicants:

secure application from licensing officer upon payment of application fee;

accomplish and file application with complete requirements together with previous year s license to the licensing officer;

licensing officer checks completeness of requirements and determines license fee to be paid;

pay license fee to the cashier and present the official receipt to licensing officer;

licensing officer issues renewal sticker and stick it to appropriate portion of the license if application is found to be in order;

applicants display licensing conspicuous place in their establishments.

Q: For New Applicants, how long do we have to wait for the Approval of our License Application?

A: The establishments and facility requirements of new applicants are inspected by NFA Investigators within 20 working days after the filling of their applications. Those inspected are given inspection notices stating the date when they can return to the NFA to show compliance with any deficiency, if any. Otherwise, their notices state the date they can get their license. In all these cases, it should not exceed 20 working days after inspection.

A: Application fee is P50.00 for a single line activity and P100.00 for two activities or more. License fees depend upon capacity of the post harvest equipment used.

A: Documentary and facility requirements depend upon the business activity.

Q: Does the NFA requires only Licensing on Rice/Corn Business Activities?

A: The NFA also require the registration of the following facilities aside from the license on the activities mentioned earlier list.

motor vehicles used or intended to be used in transport/hauling of palay/ rice/corn whether for exclusive use or for hire except public utility vehicles franchised by proper government agencies not principally used for transporting rice/palay/corn;

warehouses,threshers and sellers for own produce;

mechanical dryers for owner s/operators exclusive use;

packaging machines for owner s/operators exclusive use;

institutions/establishments securing their rice/corn requirements from the NFA;

poultry and hog raisers securing byproducts from the NFA;

manufacturers/importers/dealers and distributors of rice/corn post-harvest facilities;

non-operating mills and other post-harvest facilities. In this case, registration is done only once.

Registration is done at the office of the NFA that has jurisdiction over the location of the principal business of the applicant.

Registration fees see separate from that of the license fees.

Q: In the event that I discontinue my business, what should I do with my License/Registration Certificate?

A: Surrender your license/registration certificate to the NFA office that issued it together with a written notice of discontinuance.

Otherwise, in case you reapply, you would be charged with the fees for the entire period that you have not applied for renewal.

Q: What do you mean by Bonded Activities?

A: Bonded activities mean third party stocks are deposited in your facilities, for storage, milling, threshing, corn shelling or mechanical drying. Operators/owners of facilities accepting third party stocks are required to post a bond as well as fire insurance to safeguard the stocks of the third party.


The 100 Startup, simple business plan.#Simple #business #plan


simple business plan

Simple business plan

Imagine a life where all your time is spent on the things you want to do.

Imagine handing a letter to your boss that reads, “Dear Boss, I’m writing to let you know that your services are no longer required. Thanks for everything, but I’ll be doing things my own way now.”

Imagine that today is your final day of working for anyone other than yourself. What if—very soon, not in some distant, undefined future—you prepare for work by firing up a laptop in your home office, walking into a storefront you’ve opened, phoning a client who trusts you for helpful advice, or otherwise doing what you want instead of what someone tells you to do?

All over the world, and in many different ways, thousands of people are doing exactly that. They are rewriting the rules of work, becoming their own bosses, and creating a new future.

Simple business plan

In The $100 Startup, Chris Guillebeau shows you how to lead a life of adventure, meaning and purpose — and earn a good living.

Still in his early thirties, Chris is on the verge of completing a tour of every country on earth — he s already visited more than 175 nations — and yet he s never held a real job or earned a regular paycheck. Rather, he has a special genius for turning ideas into income, and he uses what he earns both to support his life of adventure and to give back.

There are many others like Chris — those who ve found ways to opt out of traditional employment and create the time and income to pursue what they find meaningful. Sometimes, achieving that perfect blend of passion and income doesn t depend on shelving what you currently do. You can start small with your venture, committing little time or money, and wait to take the real plunge when you re sure it s successful.

In preparing to write this book, Chris identified 1,500 individuals who have built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that group he s chosen to focus on the 50 most intriguing case studies. In nearly all cases, people with no special skills discovered aspects of their personal passions that could be monetized, and were able to restructure their lives in ways that gave them greater freedom and fulfillment.

Here, finally, distilled into one easy-to-use guide, are the most valuable lessons from those who ve learned how to turn what they do into a gateway to self-fulfillment. It s all about finding the intersection between your expertise — even if you don t consider it such — and what other people will pay for.

You don t need an MBA, a business plan or even employees. All you need is a product or service that springs from what you love to do anyway, people willing to pay, and a way to get paid

Not content to talk in generalities, Chris tells you exactly how many dollars his group of unexpected entrepreneurs required to get their projects up and running; what these individuals did in the first weeks and months to generate significant cash; some of the key mistakes they made along the way, and the crucial insights that made the business stick. Among Chris s key principles: if you re good at one thing, you re probably good at something else; never teach a man to fish — sell him the fish instead; and in the battle between planning and action, action wins.

In ancient times, people who were dissatisfied with their lives dreamed of finding magic lamps, buried treasure, or streets paved with gold. Today, we know that it s up to us to change our lives. And the best part is, if we change our own life, we can help others change theirs. This remarkable book will start you on your way.

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Our partner site, UnconventionalGuides.com, offers additional paid resources.

If you re looking to set up your first (or your tenth!) website, InMotion is easy and cheap. They ve agreed to offer a 50% off discount for all $100 Startup readers.

Starting in New York City and going to the ends of the earth, we ll be hitting all 7 continents with the message of The $100 Startup.

Chris is currently on tour hiatus while preparing for the World Domination Summit and completing a new book. More tour dates will be coming later this year!

If you represent a group, organization, or bookstore, you can also suggest a future tour stop.

You can see dates of previous stops on the list at the right or the map at the bottom.


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How to Start a Rice Dealership Business, Pinoy Bisnes Ideas, simple business ideas.#Simple #business

How to Start a Rice Dealership Business

Simple business ideasRice is an important primary staple food in many Asian countries especially in the Philippines. Indicating the high demand for this commodity, planning to put up a rice dealership business in your area is a wise choice. There is already an assurance that this business will succeed because buyers are already there. Of course, in any kind of business, conducting a feasibility study is always a crucial step to take. This will assess the economic viability of your proposed business.

Here are some important questions to consider before plunging into this kind of business.

1. Do you have enough capital or budget for your rice dealership business? With at least P60,000 to P100,000 as a starting capital.

2. Do you want to operate as sole proprietorship or corporation? Business registration guide here.

3. Do you have a big and safe storage room for the sacks of rice that will be delivered to you?

4. Do you have a good location for your rice dealership business? Research the area of your target market, the flow of traffic and their buying habits.

5. Do you have lists of rice suppliers in your area? Make sure you have a lists of several suppliers and make a good relationship with them.

6. Do you have necessary equipments like calibrated weighing scales, rice sacks etc., and a service delivery (optional).

7. What varieties of rice do you intend to sell? Make sure to have several varieties of rice, so that your customers will have several options.

8. How will you market your business? This is also an important aspect especially you are new in this kind of business. Make a good marketing strategy and make your business known to your customers. Make a good deal with restaurant owners, hotels, resorts and small carenderias in your place to be their rice supplier.

Here are Some NFA Rice Dealership FAQ

Q: Who are required to secure license from NFA?

A: All persons, natural or juridical, that are engaging or intending to engage in the rice and/or corn business whether commercial or NFA rice/corn.

A: Before the start in any of the business activity enumerated above, the proprietor or operator should first secure a license from NFA. For those already license, businessmen should renew their annual license on any day within their scheduled month allotted by the NFA

A: Application may be filed at the NFA office that has jurisdiction over the location of the principal business of the applicant.

Q: In case we have more than one (1) store/establishment for Rice/Corn business, should all be licensed?

A: Yes, owner/operator should file a license for all outlets at the NFA office where his principal place of business is located. Additional outlets are treated as branches.

A: For new applicants, follow these procedures:

secure application form from the licensing officer upon payment of application fee;

accomplish and file application with complete requirements to the licensing officer who in turn checks the documents and determines corresponding license fee;

pay license fee to the cashier and get copy of official receipt;

prepare the facilities/equipment requirements for inspection by NFA Investigators;

after inspection of establishments, present notice of inspection to licensing officer, official receipt and proof of compliance with deficiencies, if any;

licensing officer issues license if application is found to be in order;

applicants display license in their establishments.

Procedures for renewal applicants:

secure application from licensing officer upon payment of application fee;

accomplish and file application with complete requirements together with previous year s license to the licensing officer;

licensing officer checks completeness of requirements and determines license fee to be paid;

pay license fee to the cashier and present the official receipt to licensing officer;

licensing officer issues renewal sticker and stick it to appropriate portion of the license if application is found to be in order;

applicants display licensing conspicuous place in their establishments.

Q: For New Applicants, how long do we have to wait for the Approval of our License Application?

A: The establishments and facility requirements of new applicants are inspected by NFA Investigators within 20 working days after the filling of their applications. Those inspected are given inspection notices stating the date when they can return to the NFA to show compliance with any deficiency, if any. Otherwise, their notices state the date they can get their license. In all these cases, it should not exceed 20 working days after inspection.

A: Application fee is P50.00 for a single line activity and P100.00 for two activities or more. License fees depend upon capacity of the post harvest equipment used.

A: Documentary and facility requirements depend upon the business activity.

Q: Does the NFA requires only Licensing on Rice/Corn Business Activities?

A: The NFA also require the registration of the following facilities aside from the license on the activities mentioned earlier list.

motor vehicles used or intended to be used in transport/hauling of palay/ rice/corn whether for exclusive use or for hire except public utility vehicles franchised by proper government agencies not principally used for transporting rice/palay/corn;

warehouses,threshers and sellers for own produce;

mechanical dryers for owner s/operators exclusive use;

packaging machines for owner s/operators exclusive use;

institutions/establishments securing their rice/corn requirements from the NFA;

poultry and hog raisers securing byproducts from the NFA;

manufacturers/importers/dealers and distributors of rice/corn post-harvest facilities;

non-operating mills and other post-harvest facilities. In this case, registration is done only once.

Registration is done at the office of the NFA that has jurisdiction over the location of the principal business of the applicant.

Registration fees see separate from that of the license fees.

Q: In the event that I discontinue my business, what should I do with my License/Registration Certificate?

A: Surrender your license/registration certificate to the NFA office that issued it together with a written notice of discontinuance.

Otherwise, in case you reapply, you would be charged with the fees for the entire period that you have not applied for renewal.

Q: What do you mean by Bonded Activities?

A: Bonded activities mean third party stocks are deposited in your facilities, for storage, milling, threshing, corn shelling or mechanical drying. Operators/owners of facilities accepting third party stocks are required to post a bond as well as fire insurance to safeguard the stocks of the third party.


A Simple 6-Step Process to Starting a Small Business #business #franchise #opportunities


#starting a small business

#

A Simple 6-Step Process to Starting a Small Business

Serial Entrepreneur, Mentor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com

A great small business always starts out as an idea, but you have to transform that idea into action. That s where many individuals can start to feel overwhelmed. It s understandable to freeze up at the deluge of things that are required to get a business started, but getting going is actually easier than you might think.

Like any big goal, if you start by breaking it down into smaller tasks, you ll be able to tackle enough of the actions necessary to get started. Here are six ways to break down the process and simplify getting started with your own small business.

1. Write a one-page business plan.

The key to a successful small business, especially in the startup phase, is to keep things simple and costs low. Costs don t just mean your monetary costs, but also your time.

Many would-be small-business owners fall into the trap of trying to create the world s biggest and most robust business plan. You re only going to need that if you re seeking investment or financing, and even if you will be seeking either of those things down the road, I always recommend small-business owners start out with by testing their ideas first before investing lots of time and money.

So to get started, create your own simple, one-page business plan that is a high-level overview of the small business you re about to start.

  1. Define your vision. What will be the end result of your business?
  2. Define your mission. Different to a vision, your mission should explain the reason your company exists.
  3. Define your objectives. What are you going to do — what are your goals — that will lead to the accomplishment of your mission and your vision?
  4. Outline your basic strategies. How are you going to achieve the objectives you just bulleted?
  5. Write a simple action plan. Bullet out the smaller task-oriented actions required to achieve the stated objectives.

That s it. It might be longer than one page, but it will surely be more organized and shorter than a full business plan, which could take weeks to write. If you need more information on the one-page business plan, or want to write out a full-blown finance-centered business plan, you can check out the book I co-wrote with my brother that has a robust explanation of both, Small Business, Big Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market From Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who did it Right .

2. Decide on a budget.

While I highly recommend you keep your costs as low as possible, you ll still need to determine a budget to get started and how much you ll be able to spend. If you re self funding, be realistic about numbers and whatever you anticipate your budget to be. I ve found that an additional 20 percent tacked on for incidentals is a realistic overage amount that helps you plan your burn rate.

Your burn rate is how much cash you re spending month over month. It s an important number for you to figure out to determine how long you can stay in business before you need to turn a profit.

You should set up your business with profitability in mind the first 30 to 90 days. It s possible. But have a budget reserve so you can survive if things go leaner than expected.

3. Decide on a legal entity.

Filing paperwork to start a business costs money. Often, depending on your state, it can be a lot of money. You ll need to account for city or municipality licensing, state incorporation or business entity fees and more. Do a thorough search ahead of time to determine what the filing fees are for your city, county and state before starting any business.

Often in the initial test phase for your small business, it can be wise to start as a sole proprietor, as it means less paperwork and up-front expenses. That can save you some big-time cash while you determine the viability of your business. Do be aware though that acting as a sole proprietor can put you at personal risk, so you ll want to weigh the benefits vs. risks and then speak with a local attorney or tax professional to decide which is smarter for your short-term vs. long-term goals.

You can always file for a business entity once you ve proven in the first three to six months of business that you ve got a viable, sustainable model.

4. Take care of the money.

Whatever business entity you decide on, keep the funds separate from your personal accounts. This is a big mistake that makes tax time and financials so confusing. It s really easy to set up a free business checking account with your local credit union or bank. All you ll need is your filing paperwork, sole proprietor licensing information and an initial deposit to get set up from most financial institutions.

Don t pay for an account or get any kind of credit lines yet, just get a holding place you can keep your money separated from your personal accounts. This should take you no more than hour at the financial institution of your choice.

5. Get your website.

Regardless of whether your business will be brick or mortar or online, you ll need a website and that means securing a URL. Popular domain sites such as HostGator and Go Daddy will allow you to search for the website domain address of your choice and purchase it for as little as $9.99.

If you re starting an online business, you can tie your domain to an online shopping cart and store front such as Shopify for a low monthly fee, or you can build a basic website yourself on top of your URL with do-it-yourself drag-and-drop site builders such as Weebly for a low fee. Both are less than $100 a month.

6. Test sales.

You have enough of a foundation now that you can start testing some sales. Try to spread the word in inexpensive and creative ways.

If you have a service-based business, get involved with your local chamber of commerce or small-business chapter immediately and ask what resources are available for you to speak, present or share information about your business. If you have a product-based business, test the viability of your product at local swap meets, farmers markets or other community events to test what the public really thinks (and if they ll purchase) from you.

Drive traffic to your website through simple Facebook Ads with capped budgets, or set up a simple Google AdWords account with a budget cap to test if traffic is going to your site.

You can follow these six steps by yourself for not a lot of money. It s a fantastic way to test the viability of your small business before throwing all your time and money into an unproven idea.


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Best investment options – 10 simple steps for a successful eBay business #cheap #business

#small scale business

#

10 simple steps for a successful eBay business

Overview about ebay
One of the ways to earn money through online is starting your own eBay business by selling products on eBay. This is one of the best investment option.

10 simple steps for a successful eBay business?
Follow the below steps to start the ebay business

  1. Create an eBay account Paypal account. Click Register with eBay which would take directly to registration form. Also paypall account is required for the receiving the payments. Click on this to open a Pay Pal account
  2. Get customer experience. Before you start selling any product, first try buying small items so that you get relevant experience on how the buyer expectation is.
  3. Sell the item you know. Sell the product, where you have good knowledge about this product. If you try to sell the product where you do not have much knowledge, you end up keeping them in your warehouse
  4. Try the option of selecting a buyer who would, directly deliver to customer. This is one of the good method where you would not own any product and save shipping charges
  5. Create a list of items you want to sell. Before you jump into business , try selling any unwanted items you are holding now. This would give an idea about the entire process of selling the product in ebay
  6. User your creativity and get good pictures of what you want to sell. You can purchase some good colored bulbs to take the photos of the product you want to sell
  7. List down the item: Once you have taken good picture of item you want to sell, list them on ebay. Ensure you give complete details of the product, else you end up answering the calls from buyers in providing the details.
  8. Clarify buyers queries about your product
  9. Ship the product immediately. Once your item is purchased by buyer, ship them as soon as possible. Reduce the the time taken to deliver the product. This would give good impression to buyer and they can give positive feedback
  10. Try selling popular products. See what are the popular products being sold on ebay. You need to even look for what competitor s price is to sell at lower price.

Readers, in your opinion, what are the other success ways of setting up a success ebay business? Do you have any creative ideas.

Have you enjoyed this post? Please provide your comments on this post. If you found good, share the link in Facebook/Twitter.

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Keeping Your Business Plan Simple #registering #a #business


#simple business plan

#

A Simple Business Plan

Entrepreneur, Business Planner and Angel Investor

When I first started working with business plans back in the late 1970s, the average plan was much longer and more complex than what I see today. That might be because business plans are more common than they used to be–they re used more and more often and by more people. It might also be a matter of trends among bankers and investors who read business plans. Or it could be because people have less time to waste wading through documents!

For whatever reason, the trend in business plans these days is to go back to the fundamentals, with good projections and solid analysis. An easy to read quickly format is more important than ever. If you want people to read the business plan you develop–and most people do–then my best advice to you is keep it simple. Don t confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or a lifetime task. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short.

But don t confuse simple wording and formats with simple thinking. The reason you re keeping it simple isn t because you haven t developed your idea fully. You re keeping it simple so you can get your point across quickly and easily to whoever s reading it.

With that in mind, let s get down to some specifics when it comes to simplifying your plan.

Rein in your prose. Effective business writing is easy to read. People will skim your plan-they ll try to read it while talking on the phone or going through their e-mail. Save the deep prose for the great American novel you ll write later. When you re crafting your plan, remember these tips:

  • Don t use long complicated sentences, unless you have to for meaning. Short sentences are fine, and they re easier to read.
  • Avoid buzzwords, jargon and acronyms. You may know that NIH means not invented here and KISS stands for keep it simple, stupid, but don t assume anybody else does.
  • Use simple, straightforward language, like use instead of utilize and then instead of at that point in time.
  • Bullet points are good for lists. They help readers digest information more easily.
  • Avoid naked bullet points. Flesh them out with brief explanations where explanations are needed. Unexplained bullet points can be frustrating.

Keep it short. The average length of most business plans is shorter now than it used to be. You can probably cover everything you need to convey in 20 to 30 pages of text plus another 10 pages of appendices for monthly projections, management resumes and other details. If you ve got a plan that s more than 40 pages long, you re probably not summarizing very well.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. I recently saw a plan for a chain of coffee shops, for example, that included photos of the proposed location, mock-ups of menus and maps of other proposed locations. The graphics made the plan longer, but they added real value. Product shots, location shots, menus, blueprints, floor plans, logos and signage photos are useful.

Use business charts. Make your important numbers easy to find and easy to understand. Use summary tables and simple business charts to highlight the main numbers. Make the related details easy to find in the appendices. Also.

  • Use bar charts to show, at a minimum, sales, gross margin, net profits, cash flow and net worth by year.
  • Three-dimensional bars look slicker, but two-dimensional bars are usually easier to read. Make sure the numbers are obvious.
  • Stacked bars make totals easier to visualize. If your sales divide into segments, stack the bars to show the total.
  • Use pie charts for market share and market segments.
  • Show tasks and milestones as horizontal bars with labels on the left and dates along the top or bottom. Most people call this a Gantt chart. Show only the major tasks and milestones, because too many details make these charts hard to read.
  • Always put the source numbers close to the charts in a summary table so readers can reference them quickly and recognize the numbers in the charts. And never leave a business plan reader unable to find the source numbers of a chart. That s frustrating.
  • Don t use a chart without referencing it in the text. If source numbers aren t completely obvious in the summary tables, make sure you specify which appendices contain the detailed numbers.

Polish the overall look and feel. Aside from the wording, you also want the physical look of your text to be simple and inviting. So take my advice:

  • Stick to two fonts for your text. The font you use for headings should be a simple sans-serif font, such as Arial, Tahoma or Verdana. For the body text, you should probably use a standard text font, like Century, Times Roman or Book Antigua.
  • Avoid small fonts. Only a few of the more readable fonts are fine at 10 points; most of them are better at an 11 or 12 point size.
  • Use page breaks to separate sections and to separate charts from text and to highlight tables. When in doubt, go to the next page. Nobody worries about having to turn to the next page.
  • Use white space liberally. Words crammed together into small spaces are uncomfortable to read.
  • Always use your spell-checker. Then proofread your text carefully to be sure you re not using a properly spelled incorrect word! Double check that your text numbers match those in your tables.

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How to start a cleaning company: 8 simple steps: Starting a business advice and

#cleaning business

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How to start a cleaning company: 8 simple steps

If you’re looking for a low-cost business idea that you can get off the ground fairly quickly with minimal outlays then starting a cleaning business could be the perfect option for you.

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However – bear in mind – because it’s a fairly simple business to start, competition is rife, with the industry dominated by lots of small organisations.

You’ll need to have a clear vision about where you plan to position your cleaning business in this somewhat crowded market and carve a niche for yourself to ensure your start-up stands out.

Read our eight simple steps to get your cleaning venture on the path to success.

1. Determine what type of cleaning business you’re going to specialise in

There are three main types of cleaning company:

  • Domestic – domestic cleaning will involve cleaning people’s homes (normally while they’re at work) and can be undertaken by you as soon as you secure some clients. You may eventually take on staff as your client-base builds.
  • Commercial – in order to clean commercial properties you’ll need a team of people (the properties will be tend to be large office buildings) and it may be that your role is more managerial than on the ground cleaning.
  • Specialised – there are lots of niches to explore, from window cleaning to schools to vehicle cleaning.

Bear in mind your skills set (are you prepared to clean every day or are you more suited to the administrative side of a cleaning business) and where there’s the best market opportunity in your desired area.

2. Research, research, research

As mentioned above – researching the potential market and local demographic will be key in determining the type of cleaning business you should start. If you’re planning on running a domestic cleaning venture you’ll need to ensure that people in the local area are financially able to pay for someone else to do their domestic chores, likewise for a commercial business are there enough viable contracts to win? Market research will also be key in determining your prices (try posing as a prospective client and ringing around the local competition to ensure your pricing point is competitive).

3. Decide on your business model (could franchising be an option?)

From the outset it’s important to think about your long-term plans for your cleaning business. If you’re looking for a business that you can grow slowly and organically and that you can keep control of in the long-run then going it alone is probably sensible. However, to hit the ground running (and if you’re nervous about some of the elements of setting up a business) you could consider franchising. There’s lots of franchises in the cleaning industry with average upfront costs of around £12,000.

4. Budget appropriately for your equipment

Cleaning equipment costs can vary considerably. For domestic cleaners, more often than not the equipment is provided by the households, but if you’re thinking of launching a commercial cleaning company there’s some basic equipment you’ll need to invest in:

  • Equipment trolleys: £250-£400 each
  • Professional vacuum cleaner – £100 upwards
  • Sweeping machine – £200-£2,000
  • Van – £3,000 upwards

It’s important that you ensure any outlays you have to spend on equipment will be counteracted in profits.

5. Create a marketing plan

As well as some initial spend on equipment – it may be necessary to allocate some budget for marketing. One of the hardest elements of starting a cleaning company (and in fact any service business) is building up a client list. Depending on the nature of your business some traditional advertising such as classified listings and flyers could be the best place to start – although it’s worth considering investing in some online advertising as well, such as pay-per-click. particularly if you are offering a niche service (and can therefore go for a specific search term such as ‘Brentwood carpet cleaner’). And don’t be afraid to go out and knock on some doors – cleaning can be a personal business and prospective clients may be more likely to sign up if they meet you face-to-face!

6. Develop a strong brand and build a reputation

Once your business gets underway and starts to gain momentum it’s important to build a brand that you can be proud of – as apart from any marketing spend – you’ll mainly be reliant on gaining customers via word of mouth and personal recommendations. To build a brand identity it’s a good idea to have a logo designed and to have a uniform for any staff with clear branding on it. Subscribing to trade organisations which have a compulsory standard for membership can also help create a professional reputation, as well as getting satisfied clients to provide testimonials. Try to create a USP that isn’t just about price – something that clearly defines your brand as a cleaning business that won’t be forgotten.

7. Managing cashflow and getting paid

As with any new business, cashflow can be sporadic initially – but particularly for domestic cleaners as clients can be somewhat unreliable in terms of how regularly they’ll want you, bearing in mind holidays, sicknesses etc. In addition you’ll need to work out a payment system with clients that works for you. Typically people expect to pay their cleaner cash-in-hand per job but for your cashflow you may want to insist on an advance payment system.

8. Training and regulations

You do not need a license to run a cleaning business but obtaining a criminal records check from the CRB can only improve your image (and that of your staff) as trusted professionals. Training is also not a prerequisite but some basic training such as an NVQ or Cleaning Operatives Proficiency Certificate could give your business credibility.

If you’re going to be taking on staff there’s a number of regulations you’ll need to bear in mind. Typically cleaning work is not well paid – it’s likely that your staff will receive the minimum wage (currently £6.31) so you’ll need to keep on top of annual rises. You’ll also be responsible for employer’s liability insurance and if you’re taking on commercial cleaning jobs you’ll need to adhere to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations – which state that when you take on a cleaning contract with an office or other business premises you must use their existing staff. Lastly, there’s a number of health and safety regulations to consider, as cleaning often involves working with potentially harmful chemicals.

For a detailed step-by-step guide on how to start a cleaning business read our comprehensive guide here .

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How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps: Starting a business advice

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How to start a dog walking business: 4 simple steps

With recent figures showing that Brits spent more than £4bn on their beloved pets in 2015, you’d be barking mad to think the recession has impacted on the UK’s pet spend.

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Marking a 10% increase on pooch spending from 2010, it’s not only large retailers benefitting, with many entrepreneurs realising there’s opportunities to be had in the pet industry.

The average dog walker now earns 20% more than the average UK salary. so it’s clearly a viable and potentially profitable business opportunity.

Of course you’ll need to have a genuine interest in dogs as well as a good knowledge of the various rules and regulations surrounding the industry – and it’s a fairly business marketplace.

However, with plenty of doting pet owners out there, finding a good niche can still present great opportunities.

Sound interesting? Then read our four simple steps to help you become top dog in the industry.

1. Experience is essential

While it’s not imperative to have a career background with animals, you should at least be confident around dogs and at the very least have experience in walking a family or friend’s pet.

The Kennel Club’s guidelines for people working with dogs advises “strong interpersonal and communication skills”, as well as “a high level of fitness” and, naturally, “an affinity with, and understanding of dogs” for anyone wishing to pursue a career with man’s best friend.

If you’re in need of experience in handling dogs, you might want to consider volunteering at your local kennels or rescue centre. They’ll often house a good range of dogs of various sizes, age and temperament, so you’ll be fit to face whatever comes your way.

Consider attending courses in animal first aid, pet medication or even animal psychology as gaining a diploma or certificate in any of these would showcase your commitment to the dog’s welfare and impress clients.

2. Remember, it’s a business

While any animal lover might feel like they’ve died and gone to doggy heaven, remind yourself that your dog walking business is just that – a business. As such, you’ll need to possess all the regular entrepreneurial skills required for founding and running a successful company.

Having a basic understanding of bookkeeping is important as you’ll need to be able to balance your own books and fill in your self-assessment tax return. Remember that this is your livelihood and not a hobby, your income should reflect this.

Similarly, a good understanding of marketing and self-promotion will be needed to get your business off the ground.

Finally, an ability to network and negotiate with both your customers and local animal industry is key. Never underestimate the potential for clients to try and negotiate price or you could find yourself working for substantially less than you might have hoped.

3. Be aware of the rules and regulations

Although there are relatively few regulations specifically targeted at dog walkers, businesses providing a service must get public liability insurance.

If this is the start-up business idea for you, be aware you may have to deal with dogs injuring other dogs or people while in your charge.

It’s vital to have the right insurance cover to deal with legal claims, should they arise.

They can help provide you with support and advice on dog walkers insurance and training, plus your membership will give your clients confidence.

To ensure you abide by key regulations, Narps suggest you should:

  • Meet owners prior to the first booking
  • Restrict the number of dogs walked to no more than four at a time
  • Keep records of all work undertaken
  • Protect clients’ personal information

All dogs in public must wear a collar with the owners name and address on it and you could be fined up to £1,000 if you fail to clean up its faeces.

While not the most exciting element of running your own business, it’s crucial you keep abreast of the latest rules and regulations to ensure you’re not jeopardising the safety of others or the reputation of your business.

4. Find a niche in the market

Given the popularity of setting up a dog walking business, it’s very probable you’ll have to find a niche to distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Above all else, carry out market research and see if there’s actually room in your area for another dog walker.

A simple google search or contacting NarpsUK will help a lot in this regard.

Consider offering pet sitting as well as dog walking. Much like babysitting, you’ll mind your client’s pets at their home while they are away, as well as feeding them and attending to any medical needs such as medication or fulfilling dietary requirements.

Having a diploma in pet medication would be advantageous in this instance as it would allow you to cater to a specific group of dogs.

Provided you are properly trained, you could also offer grooming services such as hair cutting or washing.

Offering one-to-one intense sessions with larger dogs could also widen your appeal.

Some dogs simply won’t be satisfied by a trip around the block and will require a more strenuous workout.

For more information on starting a dog walking business, take a look atour in-depth guide to help you prepare for the launch of your start-up.

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Writing a simple business plan #entrepreneurship #ideas


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Writing a simple business plan

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