A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. Your business plan should contain all of the following attributes.
- Executive SummaryYour executive summary is a snapshot of your business plan as a whole and touches on your company profile and goals. An effective, powerful business plan includes the following attributes:
- Company DescriptionYour company description provides information on what you do, what differentiates your business from others, and the markets your business serves.
- Market AnalysisEvery business is structured differently. Find out the best organization and management structure for your business.
- Organization & ManagementEvery business is structured differently. Find out the best organization and management structure for your business.
- Service or Product LineWhat do you sell? How does it benefit your customers? What is the product lifecycle? Get tips on how to tell the story about your product or service.
- Marketing & SalesHow do you plan to market your business? What is your sales strategy? Read more about how to include this information in your plan.
- Funding RequestIf you are seeking funding for your business, find out about the necessary information you should include in your plan.
- Financial ProjectionsIf you need funding, providing financial projections to back up your request is critical. Find out what information you need to include in your financial projections for your small business.
- AppendixAn appendix is optional, but a useful place to include information such as resumes, permits and leases. Find additional information you should include in your appendix.
- How to Make Your Business Plan Stand OutWhat makes your business unique? Determining this could help you stand out from the crowd and give you distinct advantages over your competitors.At i-Consulting Group we will help you design, develop and execute your vision, to put into high performing results.
Learn what this critical business term means and what you can do to establish one for your company.
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand.
Business marketing is the practice of individuals or organizations (i.e., commercial businesses, governments, and institutions) promoting and selling products and/or services to other organizations. These organizations resell or use these products and services to support their operations. Companies that act as suppliers or manufacturers may also integrate other business products into their own product offering to improve performance and functionality. Unlike a consumer, who makes a purchase based on his or her individual needs and desires, businesses appoint individuals who act on behalf of the organization.
B2B Promotional Mix
Like business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, business-to-business (B2B) marketing, or business marketing, relies on product, price, placement, and promotion to competitively position the product offerings, promote the brand, and efficiently use company resources. Similar to consumer marketers, business marketers must create an integrated marketing communications strategy to ensure products and promotional methods complement and support each other.
B2B marketing spans all types of businesses and industries. Because B2B sales tend to be much larger than consumer purchases, business marketers use different channels to reach their target audiences. Industry white papers, trade shows, corporate websites, and webcasts are often used as promotional tactics to build brand awareness and generate leads. A significant portion of B2B brands also employ social media, including podcasts, social networking, and blogging sites, to drive web traffic to their online channels and draw prospective customers to their brand.
Business networking is leveraging your business and personal connections to bring you a regular supply of new business. The concept sounds simple, doesn’t it? Don’t let that fool you, though. Because it involves relationship building, it can be a deceptively complex process.
Think about it. How many people do you know? How many of these people truly understand what you do? How many of these folks have directed prospects to you as referrals? And how many of those referrals have actually turned into business?
Business networking is much more than showing up at networking functions, shaking a
lot of hands and collecting a bunch of cards. For example, imagine two people attending an event, sizing it up and drawing an imaginary line down the middle. They separate, each taking half the room. At the end of the event, they meet again to see who’s collected the most business cards.
Have you met these people? Sure you have. We all have. What did they accomplish? They collected a lot of cards that will end up on a shelf, in a drawer, in the trash, or–worse yet–scanned into a computer so they can spam everyone they just met. Why? What does a business card represent? It’s a piece of paper, with ink and images on it. No relationship has been formed. This networking strategy, by itself, isn’t an effective use of time, money or energy.
Networking for business growth must be strategic and focused. Not everyone you meet can help move your business forward–but everything you do can be driven by the intention to grow your business. You have total control over whom you meet, where you meet them and how you develop and leverage relationships for mutual benefit. At i-Consulting learn how to maximize every networking opportunity. Learn relationship capital.
Optimizing a sales force hinges on the successful integration of sales and sales leadership. That’s the core of I-Consulting Group. Our approach addresses your organization as a whole, creating a clear line of sight between where you are now and the specific strategic processes, people, and capabilities needed to get you where you want to be.
Optimizing a sales force is like building a house. You need two levels of expertise: an Architect and a Builder. The Architect starts with a 30,000-foot view and continues to explore your vision all the way to ground level. The result is a blueprint the Builder uses to carry out your plan. The Builder must have excellent experience, great communication, and a commitment to your goal. Your builder’s employees must be properly trained in their craft, work well as a team, and share a consistent building process. The result of this multi-layered team approach is a house that meets your needs.
I-Consulting Group is the Architect and the Builder. Working with you we design, build, and integrate a comprehensive system that tells you which sales people fit which roles, gives leaders a cadence process for guiding sales performance, and provides sales people and sales leaders with the enablement tools and skill development they need to optimize results. Your entire sales organization is held accountable for selling to business needs, aligning with the way customers buy, and achieving your strategic initiatives. As a result, your organization sells at the optimal level your market demands.