Friday, July 23, 2010

How to Monitor your Business Plan

You already have your goal. You are also able to create your sub-objective. But then, how do you monitor them? How can you determine if you are making any progress?

Your sub-objectives should lead you to your main goal. Think of a ladder. The last step of the ladder is your primary goal. Each step towards that last step is your sub-objective. Each sub-objective should lead you to your main goal. For example. If I want to make my business successful, I should be able to connect to my consumers. That is one step. Therefore, that is one of your sub-objective.

A successful outcome of your sub-objective should have a visible result in the operation of your business. Maybe not a success in whole. However, it should be significant enough that you would already feel the improvement. It would be great to make a board in your office. Perhaps near your table. Or a place in your office where you will always see the board. Make a chart. Your chart could be in the form of column, line or pie. Depending on what most appeal to you. The chart should signify each of the sub-objective. The ones achieved should be marked. It is better if you could make a notation beside each accomplished mark. 

Chart is useless if not in use. Therefore, compare your chart with the corresponding  Balance Sheet and Income Statement. Make a check and balance. The improvement notated in your chart should match with the figures. In figures I mean money. If  the improvement in the chart is not directly proportionate to your income sheet, there should be some angle in your business operation that shows significant improvement. 

Make a habit of checking and counter checking if your operation is going according to your plan. If your actual report is showing that you are ahead, that is great. However, if your actual figure is behind as compared to the chart, this means you should check your plan. Determine what happened in the operation. Where is the flaw? Why are you not hitting the target. Once you determined the flaw, you can already work from there. 

If nothing is wrong with the business operation, check your plan. Verify if you need to do some modification. Observe the business trending. Compare it with your strategy. Make sure you are on the loop. Make sure your business plan is in line with your income sheet. Reconcile your plan with your actual balance and income sheet.

A business goal coupled with a great business plan is an assurance of your success. However, such success will remain an idea unless you are able to strategically take the action plan from the paper into the actual business field.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to Create Your Business Goal

Do you want to know the feasible steps in order to plot your business goal?  Then, this is the page for you. We talked about the essence of goal in one of my posts entitled "What is it in a Goal?". But then, a goal will remain an idea if it is not realized. In order for a goal to be truly meaningful, there should be a strategic plan aimed on fulfilling such objective. This said, let us now talk about the possible ways to put that goal in reality.

Determine your Goal. First and foremost, determine what you really want. Usually, the main objective is profitability. Money! But for me, i would go for stability. In my mind, stability impregnates itself to further benefits like security and monetary reward.There could be a good income today but if the business is not well secured,  there is the probability of losing the monetary status. Also, I have a peace of mind knowing that my bread and butter is well secured. Therefore, stability of the business is the most important goal for me. How about you? There is no right or wrong answer here. What matters is that your goal is strong enough to hold on to when the need arises.

When creating your goal, make it feasible. Remember that a goal should be tangible.  Also, take note that a goal should be reachable. If your objective is to shoot the moon in broad day light, then go ahead and re-think your goal. A goal could be wild. It could be difficult. But it should be reachable. 

Create Your Planning Steps.  Once you have your goal. create a plan. Remember in my post entitled "What is in Goal"?. I mentioned that we were asked to create a road map. Think of the things that you must do in order to reach your goal. If  there is a need to create a corner in order to reach a goal, then go ahead. These corners are your sub-goal. These are the sub-objectives that you should be able to accomplish in order to reach your big objective. Again, make sure that these goals are possible to reach. This means your resources can cope in order to sustain your goal.

There are specifics on each corners in order to get your primary prize. The important step at this point is that you learn to create your plans towards your objective. That in itself is already a way of working towards your dream.

Monday, July 19, 2010

What is in a Goal?

In everything we do, goal is of primary essence in order to be successful. This is also true when it comes to business. Why? What is it in a goal that could make us successful?

According to Merriam Webster, goal is defined as "an area or object toward which play is directed to score". Interpreting what this means, a goal is the target on which your effort is directed into. Well, at least that is how I interpret the definition. A goal is synonymous to the word "objective".  This said, a goal is our objective. Our aim. Our purpose. 

In a business point of view, goal  is our visualization of what we want  to happen in our business after a certain period of time. This is the end result. While I was training in one of the prestigious call center company, one of our training was to create a road map. We are asked to determine what we want to be.  What would we want our position to be two to five years from now?  Then, we are asked to think of the steps in order to reach that final goal. We created a road map. We draw a road with a stop-over on each corner. The end of the road is our final destination. Each corner is the steps necessary to reach that goal. One advantage of having a goal is that it guides us in our journey as we walk on that road. With a goal, we are walking with intent and precision. We are not walking aimlessly. Just imagine operating a business going nowhere? What do you think will happen to the business?

Business is dynamic. It is very challenging. Business trending fluctuates, so to speak. This is one of the reason why business is risky. If you are walking in a rugged path where nothing is permanent except change, a goal is the best motivation to keep you going. Without a goal, it is very easy to sway away especially during  trying moments. Goal keeps us firm and steady in the midst of the storm.

Whether in our personal life or in business, goal is essential. The key is to find your goal and hold on to it. After all, your objective is one of the key point in order to reach the final destination.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

How to Finance your Business

Do you want to start a business but can not proceed because of proper funding? Hopefully, this post could help. There are numerous ways to fund your business. Even if you do not have the proper funding at this time, you can still start with your business. Here are the options available for you.
Apply for a loan. Depending on your location, there are companies who can provide you the revolving capital you will be needing to start with your venture. It will take some time and paperwork, but with patience you will be able to pull it through. There are a list of organizations who could give you the loan you need;
  • Business Lending Institution. These type of lending organization can cater even medium business organization. The requirement for these lending organization is your business plan. Proper documentation is very important in order to get your loan approved. If you are in the Philippines, there are cooperative organization that could actually lend a helping hand. In fact, it gives the necessary loan even for small business. 
  •  Bank Loan. Bank is one of the big institutions that could help you finance your business. However, you will be needing a collateral in order to get your loan approved. The authenticity of your collateral will be scrutinized. The documentation of the property will be thoroughly inspected. Your monthly income should be declared as well. Note that there is a corresponding interest once your loan is approved. It is mandatory that payment is constant once the payment period starts. Failure to do so would mean losing the property that is pledged to the bank.
  • Credit Card Loan.  You should have a good credit record before your loan would be approved. Further, the amount that you can borrow will be based on your credit limit. Therefore, if your credit limit is only up to 50,000, that is the most that you could borrow. But then, there are occasions when you could request the increase your credit limit. Such request is still for approval, of course. The good aspect of the credit card loan is that you do not need to pledge a collateral. There is, however, a corresponding interest rate that will be added to the principal amount of your loan. Some credit card companies gives 3.5% interest.
  •  SSS/GSIS Loan. If you are in the Philippines, we have an institution where we could loan in case of necessity. SSS could help for private companies. For employees who are in the government, GSIS can help in getting the funding you would need. For SSS, there is also a corresponding interest rate that will be added on top of your principal loan. The amount that you could borrow will depend you your contribution and if you were already able to pass a successful loan before.
Partnership. This is one of the options to get your business kicking-in. A person or an entity who could join in to your venture can make your business stronger. This is applicable for medium to big business concept. Having a partner could help you finance your business. It could also contribute to a more input and ideas in order to boost your business. For sure, your partners will have the concern that you are expecting from them because they are also part of the business. If the business goes down, they will go down with you. If the business booms, your partner will gain the profit as well. The downside is that you are not the sole owner anymore. You will not have the whole profit anymore. This said, the voice is not unilateral anymore. This is because you share your business with your partners. But then, as you share your profits, you also share your responsibilities and the challenges that goes with the business operation as well.

Sell Your Shares/Previous Business. If you have stocks, liquidate them. If you have a business that is stagnant, sell them. This is not applicable as an initial step to get the business funding. It would be better if you would be able to get your business going without sacrificing your other investment. If you will opt to this option, make sure the new business has a very promising concept.

A business man once told me, do not let go of large amount of money in one sitting. If you will go into business, it is advisable to start small. Nurture the business and start from there. Letting go of large amount of money for one venture is very risky. Unless you have the proper foundation and sound business plan, start SMALL.

I am also looking into a business venture. I am hoping that this will be realize on the soonest.Just like you, one of my challenges is the funding. Capital seemed to the one of the factors in starting a business. Just as a colleague told me, there are big business that started small. Between planning and capital, it would be better to focus on the strategic plan in operating your business. Exhaust your resources and play the most out of what you have right now.

Picture courtesy of  walcoo

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Start a Small Business

I had been wanting to start a business of my own. However, my main problem is how to start a business. I had been researching but seemed that I could not really find the first step in order to proceed. What I did was to gather all the information that I was able to get. I asked around. I seek the advice of people who have knowledge about business. Most importantly, i seek within. I asked myself, "how can I start?" I am able to get a few steps on my own. I would like to share them with you.

Know your passion. This is a million dollar question for me. I mean it. What is it that I love doing? I had been trained in office works. I know I can write. I wanted to write. However, what business can I enter into that is in line with writing?  The bottom line is that you must be able to determine what is it that you really want to do. Looking on the bigger picture, it is good. You will make your passion as your source of income. When you love what you do, you will not be feeling like working at all. Every thing will come out naturally.

Write down your plan. Sit down. Think and focus. Ask yourself, what will I need to realize this dream. Had you planned a party? or an excursion? I am sure you asked yourself, what will I be needing? This is a situation that will happen in the future and you are pre-planning.  In fact, you might be listing the things that you should be able to accomplish. This is the same with business. Make a plan. What are the steps that you have to do? What will you need? How do you go about meeting these needs? How much is your capital? Make sure that your plan is realistic. Something that you can really do. This means that your plan can be executed with the available resources you have at the moment.
Research. Ask around. Ask opinion of the experts in business. This is going to be your guide. You can not afford to walk blind folded, right? The opinion and advice of experts will guide you in order to reach a sound plan and strategy.

Create Your Goal. Our goal is the flame that drives us. It gives us the path in order to reach our destination. Without a goal, we will be going in circles. With a goal, we will be moving in a straight, assured steps towards our objective. With a goal, we have something to hold on. With a goal, we are looking into a solid and real destination. Goal is pertinent in order to reach our objective.

So far, that is what I have in mind. My mind is actually exploring. It is searching and continuously looking for answers. As I walk my journey through my aspiration, I will share with you every bits. With the hope that I would be able to impart some information for you as I go on. With an expectation that someday, some how, any information will be useful for you as well.

Friday, July 9, 2010

How To Study

Education is very important for the new generation. One way to create a good academic standing would be for the students to consider studying seriously. However, students have to enjoy their youth and their friends as well. Hence, as much as we have to study harder, we also have to learn how to study smarter.

  1. Set Priorities. We have to know our goal and plan on how we could achieve them.
  2. Have a specific study habits regularly. Most students study only when there is an examination. However, to be able to acquire better grades, it would be better to study regularly. This could minimize the stress during major examinations. Set at least an hour or two every day exclusively for studying. There is always time for pleasure and there is also time for studying.
  3. Choose a good study area. Study area does not need to be fancy. The goal is to make sure that on our regular study area, nothing could steal our focus.
  4. Ask questions. No man is an island. One person can not know everything. It would be nice to be resourceful and to ask questions to classmates, teachers and the internet. It would be nice to be in the loop.
  5. Do not be absent. Make sure you are present in class everyday. How will you study a lesson you are not even around when it was discussed? sure you can surf regarding the subject matter. Sure you can also ask your friend. However, nothing substitutes physical and metal presence.
I wrote this article this year and had been published in Quazen.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How To Handle Money

In this promiscuous life, we all have necessities in order to survive. We have to pay our bills like electricity, internet service, cable television and so on and so forth. On top of all these, we need food to eat as well. We can go on and on with our every day needs. The question would be-How do we sustain these needs? What do we need to pay our bills? How about to buy our foods? I believe there is one answer in our mind. MONEY.

Most of us worked so hard to earn money. Especially for those who have depended. I, for one, included. Unfortunately, less people worked as hard to keep that hard earned money. In most situations, money just passes in our hands. Once we receive that pay check, the next stop would be paying those bills and debts. We end up scarce and we hopelessly wait for the next pay check.

Some may be luckier to have a higher pay. However, the more pay we got, more expenses kept on coming in. So, with this situation, how do we work as hard to keep our hard-earned money?

First, let us analyze and classify our expenses. Which among these expenses are necessities. Which among these expenses can we not do without? Which are just a tingle of self-gratification? Last month, I note down each expenses I incurred each day. These expenses were categorized as "transportation", "Cable", "Food", and so on. I realized that I spent significant amount for food expense. The food expense I am referring into are those expenses I incurred from eating to different restaurants, malls, chocolates and junk foods. These are not even the expenses intended for every day viand. When I went to the details, I realized I spend an amount that could have sustained me for two days in just one sitting in a fancy restaurant. And I asked myself "for what"? Deep inside the answer is only one. Instant gratification. Is it worth it? If we will really analyze and think about it, we may have spent so much for the things that we do not really need. And we may had spent so little for those that we really need.

Second. Let us save an amount on a regular basis. We are accustomed on this formula:

Salary - budgeted Expense/Bills = Future Savings.

How about changing the formula a bit? Try this:

Salary - Future Savings = Budgeted Expense/Bills.

I know it is hard, One might think it is not feasible. But then, think about this. If our primary source of income will not cover everything after analyzing the "real" expense, then how about a part-time work? With great demands nowadays, may maintains two jobs.

I suggest we start thinking "How can I multiply my money?" instead of What will I buy with my incoming money?"

I wrote this article last Dec,09 and had been published by Triond.