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Posted 7/17/17 at 8:14 AM | Mark John

8 Tips for Successful Business Plan Writing

Entrepreneurs and small business owners often wonder what the key is to write a successful business plan. Obvious mistakes and omissions are quite common - especially for the first business business writer how to write a business plan they do not know. Fortunately, these mistakes are easy to avoid. Here are eight tips to help you write a business plan like a pro!

1. Start with the end in mind - In Alice in the country said the Cheshire Cat Alice: "If you do not know where you are going, a path will take you there." The same goes for your business and your business plan - If you do not have a goal, you do not need a plan.

You already know the importance of a business plan, so sit back and outline your goals before you start writing it. Where should the company be in five years? What is the mission of the company? Do you want a great company, or just live comfortably and pay bills? Would you like to be your company finally acquired? When answering questions like these, and beginning with the end in mind, you should focus your business plan in the right direction in the situation.

2. Learn about your customers through market research - You might think you know your customers, but are you actually sitting down to talk to them? You may be the coolest widget in the world to create, but if no one wants your widgets fresh, your business is going to be a failure. Talk to your customers. Surveys. Lead groups. Find out where customers fail to meet their needs and build a product that meets these needs. A little research can go a long way. FULL POST

Posted 7/11/17 at 3:15 PM | Mark John

4 Honest Ways to Increase Your Church's Attendance

Are the pews looking sparse on Sunday morning? If so, you're not alone. According to the latest Gallup poll, only 26% of Americans attended church once a week in 2016. It can be discouraging when you know you have a great message to share and not nearly as many people as you'd like to share it with.

Fortunately, you can solve this problem by developing a marketing plan. We know—it sounds a little weird to think of "marketing" your church. But just like a business needs good marketing to prompt shoppers to buy its products, you need good marketing to encourage people to visit your church. Here are four tools to get you going, and put more people in those pews.

1. Community involvement

Small businesses get out in the neighborhood for the same reasons as churches: working in the community helps people associate good feelings and develop loyalty to you when they find out all of good things you’re doing. You probably already are doing great work in the community, but it’s time to let people know about it. Design matching T-shirts with your church name on them, so people can easily spot you when you're out and about. You can also publish alerts in the newspaper or post flyers around town to let people know what projects you're working on and even invite them to join you. FULL POST

Posted 7/6/17 at 9:53 AM | Mark John

Why Networking is So Important in Business

Have you built up a network of business contacts that you can call on when you need to? If not, it's something you should consider doing as quickly as possible. Once you start reaching out to other like-minded people, you will start to notice huge differences in your business. Below are some of the main reasons why networking in this way is so important for a modern business owner.

Your Business Will Generate More Sales and Profits

According to business experts like Sam Ovens, many people already have some kind of network, but don't understand how to leverage the contacts they have, so that they can make more sales and profits. Sam says that “When you’re first starting out, don’t forget about your personal network of friends and family”. Many of these people may be interested in what your business has to offer or they can refer your business to other people and companies.

Monetising your existing network in this way could be the start of something much bigger. After developing your existing network, you can then look at approaching other individuals and businesses that are in a position to give your products and services much more exposure. FULL POST

Posted 7/5/17 at 5:52 AM | Mark John

Why Every Business Owner Should Have a Business Mentor or Advisor

Are you a business owner who often feels isolated and needs support from other professionals? Investing in a business mentor could solve this problem, allow you to run your business in a much more efficient manner, and reduce the amount of stress and anxiety you experience while doing so. Below are some of the main reasons why every business owner should have a business mentor or business advisor.

You Avoid Common Business Mistakes

If you go it alone in business, there's a good chance you'll make many of the common mistakes that are made by entrepreneurs. However, if you take the advice of a business advisor like Tai Lopez, you will avoid most of these mistakes and you can focus more on running and growing your business. Entrepreneurs like Tai have learned how to overcome many of the obstacles that stand in the way of progress, and he offers other business owners help in a personal capacity, through his blog, through his book club and through his podcasts.

You Get a New Approach to Business

If you have been in business for a while and you're stuck in a rut, you may need to become more flexible and change the way you run your business. This can be a difficult thing to do, especially if you have your own routines and your own ways of doing things. FULL POST

Posted 7/3/17 at 9:23 AM | Mark John

How to Overcome Adversity on your Business Journey and Give Something Back to the World

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, or so the old proverb says. The journey to business success is rarely easy. Most entrepreneurs experience all kinds of difficulties as they toil away. Even global success stories such as Gurbaksh Chahal, who dropped out of High School at 16 to pursue his dream of becoming an entrepreneur, have not always had it easy.

There are often big road humps on the path to success. Even starting a business is tough when you have no previous experience or your idea is revolutionary. Gurbaksh Chahal was the first person to recognize the importance of performance-based online advertising. Within 18-months of starting his first business, he had sold it for $40 million.

Clearly, most people are not lucky enough to make millions of dollars on their first business venture, but if you have a great idea and the capacity to work through the problems you are almost certainly going to encounter, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be as successful as Chahal.

Cash Flow

The biggest challenge that most entrepreneurs face is a lack of cash flow. Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business and if you don’t have enough money coming in, you can’t pay the bills. Bill Gates’ first business venture failed because of cash flow and technical issues. But, instead of throwing in the towel, he learned from his mistakes and went on to found Microsoft. FULL POST

Posted 6/27/17 at 1:45 PM | Mark John

Online Video Ads Are a Great Business Conversion Tool

If you are wondering what it takes to increase conversions for your e-commerce platform, you’re not alone. There has been a dramatic shift in the way that companies advertise their products and services to visitors over the years. In the days of old – before the Internet of Things – banners, signwriting, and billboards were the preferred advertising channels.

Companies would spend an untold fortune on prime real estate banner space in cities, highways, buildings etcetera. We still see traces of this today with signwriting, sandwich-style advertising, and the like. However, for most fledgling e-commerce platforms, this type of marketing is extremely expensive.

What Cost Effective Ads Can You Create?

As a new business, you want to utilise your advertising budget as effectively as possible by targeting people on their home turf. While banners and billboards are great for mass coverage, they do not drill down into specific market segments, demographics or clientele – it’s a shotgun-style strategy that targets anyone and everyone who sees the billboard. These passersby may have little or no interest in the products or services being advertised. From a cost-benefit perspective, this seems a little disingenuous. FULL POST

Posted 6/26/17 at 7:51 AM | Mark John

Trends in Sustainable Business Operations

The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is a primary objective of many corporations in the United States, and globally. Sustainability certification is available from the ISCC, which operates out of Germany. This non-profit organisation is geared towards providing a framework of compliance for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across Europe. For US companies seeking a foothold in European markets, it is imperative that the corporations gain the required ISCC certification. Indeed, companies seeking to operate their businesses and sell their products in states like California will soon be required to have this European certification as well. There are now talks underway between the European ISCC and California’s CARB (California Air Resources Board). In 2016, the European licensing agency set up an office in San Francisco.

How can US companies achieve the required certification to operate as sustainable businesses?

Ethanol production is a burgeoning industry in the United States, and globally. It is internationally accepted as an alternative fuel. What’s unique about it is that it is a fuel distilled from sugar, corn and biodegradable material. The use of alcohol-based fuels has existed for many years, and they are typically mixed with petroleum, and known as gasohol. When it is a blend of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol, it is known as E10. Oil companies across the United States and Canada, and globally are now blending their fuel products in much the same way. The rapid rise of shale oil producers in the US (WTI crude oil) has stopped Brent crude oil producers (largely OPEC countries) dead in their tracks. For environmentally conscious advocates, the use of ethanol is indeed the proverbial bright light on the horizon. FULL POST

Posted 6/21/17 at 6:40 AM | Mark John

3 Rules for getting the Best Price on Anything

Consumer debt is real because people usually borrow money to buy essentials and non-essentials. People who fund their lifestyle with debt can naturally expect financial troubles down the road. However, many people still end up struggling to get by financially even though they are not spending money on non-essentials.

If you spend more than necessary on the essentials, you'll always have a shortage of funds to cover your expenses. However, many people are not versed in the art of negotiations and they usually end up paying more than necessary. This piece covers three rules that can help you become an astute negotiator to get the best price possible on just about anything.

Know what you are talking about

The first negotiating rule that could help you get the best price on anything you want to buy is to know what you are talking about. You need to understand some important things about the product/service; otherwise, you'll be negotiating blindly. For instance, you need to know how much the competitors of your seller are asking for similar products/services. It could also help your cause to know have an idea of the cost price of the product in order to anticipate a selling price that still gives the seller a fair profit margin. FULL POST

Posted 5/11/17 at 4:42 AM | Mark John

Fun Ideas For Summer Bible Camp

Summer is fast approaching and thousands of churches across the nation will be gearing up for their annual Summer Bible Camps. For kids across the country, summer bible camp is often one of the highlights of the year. It’s important to make sure your camp is as fun and engaging as possible — it will ensure participants get the most out of the experience and come back next year hungry for more! This article will give a brief overview of a few ideas that will help make sure your Summer Bible Camp is as fun as possible.

Inclusive On-Stage Play

Elementary school children at your camp will love to feel involved in everything. Have camp attendees participate in a play (or series of plays) that will help kids be creative and inclusive with their fellow camp friends. Divide children up by age and have them choose their favorite Bible story — allow them the creative license to act and illustrate the scene the way they want to. Make sure the script has been organized, roles have been chosen, and the play has been rehearsed. Then have each group act out their play in front of the whole camp. By dividing children into groups you can ensure that every camp attendant plays an active role in their production. FULL POST

Posted 5/11/17 at 4:40 AM | Mark John

Cork Stopper Crafts Your Little Ones Will Love

School summer vacation is almost upon us and it’s time to start thinking about keeping your kids entertained throughout the break. One way to keep your kids busy through the summer holiday is to organize a craft day each week —make sure you have a unique and well thought out craft idea for each individual week. In this article, we will outline some awesome and affordable ways you can use cork stoppers to make creative crafts with your children this summer.

Little Creatures

This is one of the most simple cork stopper crafts on our list —it’s easy for you to prepare and easy for your child to make. You’ll want the following: cork stoppers, glue, cut up fabric, cotton balls, and soft paint. Choose a little creature that your child would like to make out of a cork stopper and paint it the appropriate color. You can then add on fabric using glue. Feel free to add any other small decorations you can think of such as glitter or artificial fur. Use a cotton ball to create a head for your creature —you can draw or paint on necessary facial features. One of the most popular little creatures to make is a bumble bee, but you can make any insect out of a cork stopper, including a grasshopper or a butterfly. People also enjoy making seasonal creatures such as penguins or snowmen. FULL POST

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