Tag Archive | "business"

Common Mistakes Business Owners Make

Tags: , , ,

Common Mistakes Business Owners Make


While every  business is different, business owners share many common traits.  As a result, they often make the same mistakes as they work on their business plan.   Here is a list of the ten most common mistakes :

  1. No Plan – It is easy to put  off writing a business plan until you have no choice because your banker, investor, or potential landlord requires it. Unfortunately, that is the worst time to try and write a plan.
  2. No Clear Audience – Why do you need a plan? Are you writing for the banker in hopes of getting a loan, or a potential investors or simply to guide your business.  While the outline is the same, the amount of detail required in each section varies depending on the audience.
  3. Too Much Detail or the Wrong Type of Detail – Can you boil down the description of your business to a simple message without getting bogged down in the details?  Limit your product description to an overview, focusing on the problem your product solves and its unique features/  Remember to leave out the jargon and industry slang.
  4. Poorly Defined Customer – Everyone is not your customer. With a clear, specific definition of your target customer, it is easier to write a clear, specific plan.
  5. Limited Market Research – Just because you love your product or idea, it does not mean anyone else will.    (By “anyone,” I mean anyone other than your mom, spouse, or best friend.) Who are these people, and what will make them buy?
  6. Underestimating your Competitors – Everyone has a competitor. Even truly innovative products must deal with competing products or services which may or may not solve the same problem, but ultimately will compete for the end customer’s available resources.
  7. No Meaningful Goals and Milestones – What will you accomplish?  Be specific.  How long will it take you and how will you measure your progress along the way?
  8. Activities Not Tied to Goals – Your goals form the basis of other decisions. Use the planning process to eliminate activities which do not move you closer to your goals.
  9. Unsupported Financial Projections – Unrealistic financial projects with a hockey-stick-shaped growth curve, set up a business for failure when owners spend too much too soon without enough cash reserves to help the business through the startup phase. As you develop financial projections, consider two scenarios: a best case and a worst case.
  10. Inadequate Consideration of Pitfalls – Stuff happens! Things go wrong. When the worst happens, will you be prepared? Having an adequate assessment of risks is not being negative — it is being prepared.
  11. Failure to Communicate – I know, I promised a list of the ten most common mistakes, (but don’t you like getting the little extra from time to time? ) While not directly a part of your document, poor communication will have a detrimental affect on your business. As you write your plan, involve others.  Seek advice from people you respect. Talk to employees, family members, business partners, and advisers, such as your accountant and lawyer.

Need help getting your plan started?  You can download a free copy of my business plan outline

Posted in Business Loans, Managing Your Business, Starting a BusinessComments Off on Common Mistakes Business Owners Make

Every Business Needs a Plan

Tags: , , ,

Every Business Needs a Plan


As you are in the early planning stages of your new venture, now is a good time to ask your self what direction you will take your business.   Your business plan is a road map, making it  easier to arrive, because you have specific directions and a clear map to  your destination.  Whether you  are looking for external funding, or simply want to get your ideas organized, a written business plan will keep you  on track.

WHAT SHOULD YOUR PLAN CONTAIN?

As you write your business plan, keep your audience in mind! If you are hoping to use this plan to solicit funds be sure to include information which will prove the value of your ideas.

  • Demonstrate Market Focus. Can you clearly describe the needs of potential customers, rather than simply being infatuated with an innovative idea.
  • Evidence of Customer Acceptance. Investors like to know that your new product or service is proven. Provide evidence that your product will sell or is already being used, even if only on a trial or demonstration basis.
  • Believable Forecasts. Entrepreneurs are naturally optimistic when explaining the future prospects for their businesses. Are your forecasts reasonable? If you have no sales, consider including compelling research information which supports your sales forecasts.

Do you need a boost getting started? Download our free business plan outline

Posted in Starting a BusinessComments Off on Every Business Needs a Plan

What state should your business incoporate in?

Tags: , , , ,

What state should your business incoporate in?


Martin Zwilling over at Startupprofessionals.com has a nice post regarding why start-up busineses should consider incorporating / organizing their business in their home state.  The post can be found here, but here is a brief summary:

  • Don’t automatically flock to incorporating in Delaware.  Sure there might still be some advantages to doing so, but they don’t really apply to start-ups.
  • In Indiana, where I practice law, the filing fees for incorporating a business are inexpensive and the process is relatively straightforward – not the case in popular states such as Delaware and Nevada.
  • Attorneys in your home state, if you are using an attorney (hopefully you are), will be more familiar with your state incorporation laws.
  • Your company may qualify for an intrastate securities law exemption in the event it offers securities for sale.
  • There is no need to register as a foriegn entity in your home state – and added expense if you incorporate elsewhere.

As he points out, there are many other concerns that should be addressed when determining in what state you should incorporate – concerns you should address with a corporate attorney in your home state.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Posted in Choosing a Business TypeComments Off on What state should your business incoporate in?


Powderkeg Conference
The Speakeasy - a place for Indianapolis-based entrepreneurs, startups, and the folks who support them to work, play, and collaborate
Launch Fishers

  • Latest
  • Popular
  • Comments
  • Tags
  • Subscribe
IndianaStartup.com on LinkedIN.com