For entrepreneurs, coming up with an idea or concept for a new business is easy. However, many fail to take the proper steps to ensure the success and longevity of their business. I have compiled a list of items that are essential to every new business venture. Yes, these items take additional time, and yes the items require some work, but it’s an absolute guarantee that completing these steps BEFORE you begin your business venture will save you the same valuable time, work (and headache!) in the end. Please do NOT set up your new business without these!1. Business PlanA business plan functions as a roadmap for your new business. Business plans can be very detailed. Detailed business plans can include target dates to track a company’s progress, financial projections for upcoming years, scheduled events, marketing plans, budgets, dissolution plans, and any other category of information that a business owner wants in their business plan. By the same token, business plans can be very general and may only contain key information that the business owner considers important.Whether detailed or general, business plans should contain enough information to keep the entrepreneur on track to achieve the goals and stated purpose of the business. The goals and purpose of a business are vital to a business plan because it helps the owner stay focused when developing new products and services, when undertaking new ventures, and when describing the business to others. This leads to one of the most important reasons to have a business plan- financing!Any bank that lends money to a business requires a business plan and a detailed business plan at that. The same is true for angel investors, lending institutions and private investors. These individuals and entities want to know what your business is about, what your business plans to sell, how your business plans to sell it, and how it will benefit them in the long run. If you’re not able to invest the time into a business plan, then your business will probably have a hard time finding an individual or entity to invest in your business.2. Qualified PeopleMany people start small businesses with the dreams of starting family empires. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it’s very important that the people you decide to align with your company- whether as a board member, officer, or employee- are qualified. If you plan to open a restaurant, this does not mean that everybody that is affiliated with your business should have restaurant experience… but it DOES mean that you should have people with business knowledge, some with experience in the food industry, and some people who are extremely well connected to give you an edge over your competition.Many investors give strong consideration to a company based on the team of individuals that comprise a company’s board of directors, executive team, and employees. When considering who will hold key positions within your company, consider the person’s reputation (both in general and within the specific industry), the experience the person has to offer, and the person’s connections within the community and the industry.3. AgreementsIt amazes me how many business owners start their businesses without having any type of agreement in place. A company should always have documents that establish Agreementsbetween officers, employees, vendors, and any other individual and entity that a company enters into a business relationship with. These agreements don’t have to be extensive, but should explain the expectations and the means in which the relationship begins and ends. Each business should also have a document that establishes procedures for important matters concerning the business, such as who maintains financial control of the company, the succession of officers for the company, and the addition and removal of officers. These documents are particularly important during situations where an officer leaves a company.No matter how simple the relationship is, agreements are vital to maintaining peace and order within a business. The agreements take the guessing game out of determining what each party understood with regards to a business relationship.4. Licenses/ Registration- Another behavior that I have noticed in many new businesses is the absence of the proper licenses and registrations. This is highly dangerous and the absence of these items puts both the business owner and the business into serious jeopardy.Every business must be registered with the state in which it intends to do business. Depending on the type of business established, this step provides a crucial level of protection, also known as the “corporate veil,” which separates the assets, debts, and liabilities of a business from its owners. Having the business registered with the state informs that state of the company’s presence and also lends credibility to the business when customers research the company. If somebody decides to sue your company (God forbid!), you want them to sue your company, not you as an individual. The failure to have the proper registration means that the business actually DOESN’T exist, therefore your personal assets are in jeopardy.Having the proper licensure for a business is critical, especially for new businesses. The costs associated with some licenses can be expensive, because some licenses are regulated by the federal government, the state of the business, and sometimes the county. However, the costs for not having the proper license can result in hefty monetary fines and may even be severe enough to create criminal charges for the company and its owner.To find out whether a business requires a license, its best to check the county and state licensing departments or the Division of Corporations and Business for your state.Starting a new business is a stressful process. These items require time, energy, and maybe even some cash but these are absolute necessities to a successful long term business.
Business Vision Statements – An InsightIf you don’t know where you are heading, how can the choices you make along the way help to get you there? The value in knowing your destination (big picture vision) is that you can make specific choices to lead you there and ensure all significant business activity contributes to your vision achievement. Your business vision statement is only the starting point, however creating a compelling vision statement is not easy. The investment you make here can help you grow your business faster and in a more consistent manner. A good business coach can help you lay great foundations for future business growth. Many companies in their pursuit of survival, increased turnover or profits, sacrifice their future for the here and now. They may fail to capture their “big picture” in a business vision people can really buy into or they may say one thing in their vision statement and do something else altogether in practice. A well devised and inspirational business vision statement acts like glue to bind your organisation together, driving “vision aligned” behaviours. A skilled business coach can make a valuable contribution, helping you with structure and ensuring you stay on track, step by step, to your chosen destination.The Business Reality – A Business Coach ViewSome business leaders may blame a lack of growth on outside events. They may point the finger at the economy, their clients, competitors or employees. Others may hold themselves to account or believe that their goals were too ambitious to achieve. The perceived and actual cause are often very different. The reality is traditional vision and goal setting is simply not enough to break through business growth barriers to make your business the very best it can be. A good business coach brings constructive challenge and fresh ideas to the table that will reenergise you and open up valuable new avenues of thought. Your big picture business vision statement is far less about what you want to achieve in the next few months and far more about what kind of organisation you aspire to create for the years ahead. Striking a balance between surviving today in order to be there tomorrow and striving for a better future is key.A Perspective on Exceptional Business LeadersExceptional business leaders hold themselves personally accountable for their company’s future. Talented high achievers are attracted to join them, thus bringing their vision closer to fruition. Your business coach has a key role to play in helping you create the compelling vision and environment for success. You can adopt the approach of many highly successful business leaders by creating and then implementing your compelling business vision – one that your people can live and breathe. By devising and executing your big picture vision you can take far better control of your ultimate business direction.Exceptional Business Leaders:
Think Big: Look beyond the immediate and easily envisioned future to a time many years ahead when their vision has been achieved.
Are Focused: They are able to visualise in a focused and very clear way what their big picture vision will truly look like in the future.
Engage Others: Surround themselves with like-minded people, seeking early contribution from other key players to share and tap into ideas and experience they might otherwise miss.
Leverage Core Strengths: Whilst passionate about evolving and growing, such leaders stay true to the core strengths of their business.
Take Time Out: Making strategy time for themselves and others to free up thinking space and encourage exceptional creativity.
Use All Senses: A vital element of visioning is to use all five senses as fully as possible, along with a good dose of intuition.
Are Well-Informed: They soak up information and ideas to help form their thinking and stay fully aware of the possibilities.
Suspend Disbeliefs: Great visionaries work on a higher level when looking at the future, leaving limiting beliefs outside the room.
Evangelise: Once they have their vision set in mind, they share it passionately, always remaining receptive to fresh input or ideas.Involving the right people in first establishing your big picture business vision and then in pursuit of it will enhance both the vision and the outcome. It pays to engage an experienced business coach to bring an external eye to help create, challenge, then evangelise and execute your vision. See also Business Vision Statements About the Author Harry Hayden is an experienced business coach. In his previous career he led multinational sales groups across Europe for several large corporates. He helps business leaders with the creation and execution of their compelling business growth strategies. Harry is MD of Perform Business Coaching
During these times when hospital bills and professional doctors fee are high, medicines are expensive, and temptations for foods, drinks and vices are everywhere, staying healthy is a must. While some are gifted with good and healthy body, others struggle to maintain a healthy body. And with the price of healthcare plan contributing to the expenses we already have, there is a great need and knowledge on how to somehow cut the cost of healthcare plan.Although you cannot do anything to bring down the price of your healthcare plan, you can manage to acquire significant saving by following these steps.Stay Healthy – Yep! The golden rule if you want to live longer. Skeptical? Well, nobody blames you but if you would like to give you body a great chance of living beyond your life expectancy, staying healthy is worth the shot. If you aim to get a cheaper healthcare plan, then this is also a great way to achieve it. Since healthcare plan companies base the price of their plan on the status of the health of the individual, don’t be surprised if some might get higher rate than others. If you are conscious about it, then maintaining a healthy life could spare you from high healthcare plan rate.Quit Smoking – Now that’s difficult! But if you are a kind of person who will do anything just to keep the healthcare plan rate to the minimum, you can always start by kicking the habit away. So what does it have to do with low healthcare plan? A person who smokes is more prone to healthcare claims than those who do not. And if you understand the business, you would realize that healthcare plan companies receive more claims from smoking plan holders. The tendency is to sanction higher healthcare plan rates to those who smoke. Think about it! If you quite smoking, you save from healthcare plan bills, spare you from the cost of your everyday cigarette consumption, and give you a better chance to live cleaner and longer life.Exercise and Lose Weight- If you are part of the growing number of Americans who can either be classified as overweight or obese, then expect to have a higher healthcare plan price. It is wise to keep a normal body size and maintain it with regular exercise so you can get a desired healthcare plan rate.Good healthcare plan selection – If it’s cheap, it does not necessarily mean it’s really “cheap.” Never let the price be your basis in taking a healthcare plan. As much as possible look for plan that gives you more benefits at the price advantageous to you.Maximize other existing plan – If you presently have health insurance plan, make sure that you avoid getting another one with an identical coverage. This would surely drain your pockets by having unnecessary benefits you can never use. Also avoid buying unnecessary healthcare plan if you already have enough plan.Know the type of plan you are buying – If you are buying healthcare plan for the first time, you should identify first the type of coverage you want. In this way, you can eliminate those unnecessary coverage you think you can never use. Remember that every coverage is paid so making sure that you can the healthcare plan that fits your need.