Consulting – 5 Maximum Ways to Advance With Consulting

This article aims to offer you with general tips that you can use in any field of consulting.

1. Be an expert. As you need to be a great source of information to your clients, you need to make sure that you are extremely knowledgeable on your chosen niche. Go with a particular consulting field that you have relevant experience, education, and trainings on so you can offer your clients with expert advice that can bring huge difference to their lives or to their careers. Let me give you an example; if you want to sink your teeth into business consulting, you need to have a degree in business management, accounting, or commerce. You must also have a proven track record in running a successful business and you must have at least 5-10 years of relevant experience to become eligible.

2. Keep your ego in the pocket. As a consultant, you need to understand that it’s always the client who has the last say. Even if you are pretty sure about your suggestions, let your clients go to other route if he feels like doing so. Getting head-to-head with these people will not benefit you. You’ll more likely to make your clients feel better if you make them feel that they are always right.

3. Be genuinely interested with your clients. If you are the kind of person who is just after the money and doesn’t really care about bringing difference to the lives of your clients, there is no way that you are going to make it big in this field. If you want your clients to come back and if you want them to recommend you to other people, you must be willing to go out of your way just to make sure that they are 100% satisfied.

4. Improve your communication skills. One of the pre-requisites to become successful in the field of consulting is to have exceptional communication skills. As this job will require you to communicate with your clients on a day to day basis, you need to know the most effective ways to articulate your thoughts, ideas, and recommendations. You must not struggle to find the best words just to get your message across and you must be able to communicate in a very easy to understand manner.

5. Be cordial. It is very important that you are a team player and that you can easily work with different people to excel in this field.

How to Sell Consulting – Uncover 5 Nifty Secrets to Sell Your Consulting Services

Being knowledgeable on your chosen niche is not enough to make money through consulting. If you want to easily get your prospects to do business with you and if you want to improve your sign up rate, you need to effectively sell your consulting services. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Be more visible. You’ll easily be able to promote easy recall if you make yourself more visible in your chosen niche. Let me give you an example; if you are into environmental consulting, you must involve yourself on activities that are related to the environment. You must also create a campaign against elements that can hurt mother nature. By doing so, people can easily associate your name to the kind of service that you provide making it easier for you to convince them to sign up to your services.

2. Share a piece of your knowledge. Your prospects would surely want to know if you are really good on your chosen niche. Give them an idea as to how in-depth your knowledge is by sharing a slice of your expertise. You can write and distribute articles online, host free but short teleseminars, or go with forum posting and blog marketing. The more in-depth and hot information you share to your prospects, the higher your chances of earning their trust.

3. Build your own website. Wouldn’t it be much easier if you have your own place over the internet where your prospects can get as much information about the services that you offer? Create your own website to make the process of selling your consulting much easier. Start by choosing a very descriptive and keyword-rich domain name. Make it speak volumes about your expertise by making it informative and content-rich. Don’t forget to make it easy to navigate, easy to download, and visually appealing to convince your visitors to stay a little longer.

4. Advertise. Take advantage of the power of the internet when promoting your consulting service. Aside from talking about it on your website and blog, you can also promote it using PPC ads, search engine marketing, paid links, and banner ads. Using these effective tools will help you become more visible in the search page results so you can easily connect with those people who need what you offer.

5. Offer free trial. If you are just starting out and if you find it challenging to get people to do business with you, I recommend that you offer free trial. The idea here is to convince your clients that you can offer them exactly what they need so you can get them to sign up in no time.

Strategy Consulting – Uncover 5 Fresh Secrets Jump Start Your Strategy Consulting

Strategy consulting is a type of a business service that is usually being offered by management consultants who have in-depth knowledge or expertise in designing and implementation of different business strategies. A strategy is defined as a well thought-out course of action specifically designed to achieve a business’ specific goal.

Strategy consultants are more in-demand these days as the business world has suddenly shifted from local to global markets. Due to the existing demand and due to the attractive salary that this profession can offer, more and more people are trying to sink their teeth into this endeavor. Are you one of them? Then, here’s how you can get started in the field of strategy consulting:

1. Experiences, educational background, and trainings count. If you want organizations to hire you, you must convince them that you are truly knowledgeable in the field of business and that you can offer them with expert advice about their business plans. You can do this by creating an impressive portfolio. You must have a degree in business management, accounting, commerce, or any other related fields. You must also have 10-15 years experience in running a business, and you must have attended relevant trainings.

2. You must have great presentation skills. Obviously, your job will include presenting your ideas before business owners and top management. As such, you will need to develop great presentations skills. You must be able to communicate the gist of your content without causing confusion. You must also be able to use presentation tools to your advantage.

3. You must be result-driven. Organizations are paying you huge amount of money for one good reason; to help them achieve their goals. Give these people great value for their money by making sure that your action plans are failure-proof. You must use your experiences and your in-depth knowledge in creating effective plans that can help your clients grow their business exponentially.

4. Be organized. As a consultant, you must know what you need to do and when. You must know how to properly manage your time and you must know how to plan ahead. Being organized can surely make your more effective in this field.

5. Advertise your services. Increase your chances of getting your prospects to sign up by properly advertising your services using several online or offline marketing tools. It would also help if you can solicit for referrals from your most satisfied clients to boost your client base without wasting enormous time and money on an aggressive marketing campaign.

Different Focuses – Client Vs Consultant

Clients and consultants often have unique and different focuses during business hours. This can lead to issues throughout IT engagements.

The Consultant

As a consultant, my focus at a client site is singular when I am engaged to implement a new system, write reports, train a course, etc. When on site to implement a new system, I usually don’t have a “day job” that would divert my attention in the event of a problem with a client’s current applications. Even if I did, many times I wouldn’t know where to start. Issues such as these are often well beyond my scope or ability to handle:

I don’t know how to resolve an accounting issue in a client’s legacy system because I have never worked with it before.
I can’t extract data from a mainframe because the extraction tools are antiquated and I have no experience with them.
Let’s assume that I do have the knowledge of a client’s legacy systems and can pitch in. Let’s also assume that the organization is comfortable the “all hands on deck” approach. From an insurance and liability perspective, however, I may not be able to do this for two reasons:

The statement of work typically does not cover my working on applications with which I am not familiar.
From Sarbanes-Oxley perspective, I may not legally be able to get involved.
In the end, for the consultant willing and able are often not the same.

The Client

Clients, on the other hand, are constantly balancing (or trying to balance) present and future priorities. The former almost always defeat the latter, causing

Project delays
Cost overruns
Critical oversights
Minimized knowledge transfer
This problem is particularly acute at understaffed organizations. Heaven forbid that one of the following scenarios occurs:

An organization loses a key contributor unexpectedly.
That end-user’s responsibilities are not (sufficiently) documented, much less understood.
The organization is confronted with an emergency requiring the immediate and undivided attention of current end-users.
The project has a “hard stop” for budgetary and/or date reasons.
The end result is that the organization is more susceptible to major problems, oversights, and project failures.

With more than a decade of experience, Phil Simon assists organizations in all phases of systems consulting including vendor selection, project management, business needs analysis, gap analysis, system testing and design, end-user training, interface and custom report development, and documentation. The result: providing his clients with superior systems, increased ROI, and a healthier bottom line.

Phil is the author of the book Why New Systems Fail and a seasoned independent systems consultant. He started his company in 2002 after six years of related corporate experience. With his extensive knowledge of both well-known and homegrown applications, he has cultivated over twenty clients from a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and the public sector.

Sales Consultant – Discover 3 Nifty Methods to Become a Better Sales Consultant

Sales consultants are those people who have great selling skills and relevant experience in marketing who help clients in selling their products and services. There are many types of sales consultants and their responsibility varies. There are those who help business owners in growing their sales by promoting product awareness and there are those who offer expert advice as to how their clients can make their offerings more suitable to the needs and demands of their target market.

The number of sales consultant have grown exponentially in the last decade as more and more business owners and organizations are trying to boost their sales and get ahead of their competitors. If you are part of this growing number, you need to know how you can survive the cutthroat competition in this field so you can easily convince your potential clients to sign up to your services. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Gain an in-depth knowledge on the product or services that you are promoting. As a sales consultant, it is extremely important that you know the products that you are promoting inside out. You must know how they work, how they were made, the materials used, their limitations, what set them apart from the rest, and their major selling points. The more information you know about the product, the better you’ll get in promoting them to your target market.

2. You must know how to present your products as the best solution to the problems of your target market. It is not enough that you have an in-depth knowledge on the product that you sell. In order to help your clients boost their sales, you must know how to position their products as the best solution to the problems being faced by their target market. Let me give you an example; if your clients are offering fitness equipment, you can do some sort of demonstrations to convince your prospects that this particular products is all that they’ll ever need in losing their unwanted fats.

3. Target human emotions. As a sales consultant, you must be aware that most buyers make a purchase based on impulse and not on logic. Thus, you will need to know how to target their emotions when you are convincing them to buy from you. Learn how to create marketing communications that can help you get your clients to feel certain emotions that can drive them to swipe their credit cards.

Writing a business plan – A Systematic Way to Handle your Routine Workflow Whilst Achieving the Set

Writing a business plan is done with the intention to evaluate your business from all the aspects which includes description and analysis of the business. Creating a business plan is an essential step for an entrepreneur. Business plan can prove use..

Writing a business plan is done with the intention to evaluate your business from all the aspects which includes description and analysis of the business. Creating a business plan is an essential step for an entrepreneur. Business plan can prove useful in many ways like:- It will clearly lay down your business objectives based on factual information.- It can be used as a medium to sell your idea or business.- You can help you overcome the drawbacks in your business strategies.- You can get lot of valuable opinions from it.Business plan comes with a different format that enables to know the different factors of your business. You can include the following while writing a business plan to enhance its effectiveness: – Vision statement – it helps to outline your business purpose and goals.- Business profile – describes and defines your business. Try to focus on the market you intend to focus on or have interest in.- The people – You are the cog in your wheel of success. Learn through your experiences of past and make changes in your future plans of business. Try to be factual while writing a business plan as it will be followed keenly by the people you have business relationship with like investors,Guest Posting lenders and vendors.- Economic assessment – provide a complete assessment as business will be a part of your economic environment. Explain that your business is applicable and is appropriate to regulatory agencies which you will be dealing with in future.* Include cash flow, marketing plan and expansion plans too.Business plan is good way to test your understanding about the market and also the goods or services before you start the business. You must avoid certain things while writing a business plan. Stick to short term objectives and modify the plan as it is necessary. Don’t write long term planning because the reality of the business can be different. While explaining the issues, use simple language which can be easily understood by all. Avoid optimism; be extremely conservative in predicting sales and profit of the company. Do not ignore the strategies of your business.Business plan acts as a roadmap to the course of your business. But you cannot predict the changing condition that will surface. So after starting your business it is necessary to make a periodic change and update in your business plan. The six steps to a successful business plan are – writing the main business concept, gather all data feasible to your business concept accurately, outline the utmost important concept in your business plan, make it a compelling plan which will help you to focus while also being a valuable tool for business relationship.Business plan should be accurate, precise in containing the information of the business. Business plan should include mission statement, vision, and business plan outline. The procedure of good business plan includes:- Preparing a complete business plan.* Researching to find business plans.* Package of your business plan.* Changing or updating the business plan according to the changing environment.A good business plan helps to get a complete insight of your business and the way you are dealing with it. Writing a business plan proves to be very helpful to the entrepreneur to run the business successfully in the competitive working environment.

“Solo” 401(k) Plans Offer Big Tax Deductions: Tax-Deferred Investing to the Max

Major changes to the tax laws now allow small business owners to … 401(k) plans more easily than ever before, and benefit from bigger 401(k) plan … than they’ve ever seen. These 401(k

Major changes to the tax laws now allow small business owners to establish 401(k) plans more easily than ever before,Guest Posting and benefit from bigger 401(k) plan deductions than they’ve ever seen.
These 401(k) plans have been dubbed “solo” 401(k) plans because of the new rules’ popularity among single-owner businesses. Yet, it is possible to have more than one owner and maintain a “solo” 401(k) plan, as noted below.

To obtain the benefits for the 2003 tax year, however, you must act before December 31st. (For more about the types of investment services our investment affiliates offer, please visit In contrast, SEP IRAs can be established at the same time your individual income tax return is filed (i.e., April 15 of the following tax year).

This report highlights some of the significant benefits of a solo 401(k) plan.

A solo 401(k) plan allows a small business owner and his or her family to defer and invest tax-deductible (pre-tax) retirement contributions at a fast rate. The importance of maximizing retirement plan contributions cannot be emphasized enough. Over time, compounding tax-deferred investing can significantly increase one’s wealth. (For “A Case For Professional Money Management,”and more about this important aspect of growing wealth, please visit

How you might benefit from a solo 401(k).

Eligibility. While a small business owner could establish a 401(k) plan under prior law, the administrative hassles might have discouraged you from doing so. Recent legislation makes establishing a 401(k) plan much more attractive for small business owners. Now, a business entity whose only eligible participants are business owners, partners, and/or spouses of owners or partners may establish a 401(k) plan easier and with greater deductions than ever before. Children, parents, and grandparents may also participate as long as they earn income from the business. (However, specific plan administrators may have their own guidelines or limitations regarding participants.) Nearly all forms of business entities and ownership are eligible for a Solo 401(k). Sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations (including S-corporations), LLCs, and LLPs may all establish Solo 401(k) plans.

The good news: As long as the eligible 401(k) participants are limited to those mentioned above (“eligible solo participants”), the solo 401(k) will not be subject to all the administrative, recordkeeping, and investment monitoring regulations that traditional 401(k) plans must follow. Full-time employees who are at least age 21 and have one year of service must be offered the opportunity to participate in any 401(k) plan. However, for these purposes, a part-time employee working less than 1,000 hours per year can be disregarded and will not affect the solo 401(k)’s legal compliance. It may be a good idea to set up a solo 401(k) now, even if you may add an employee who is not an eligible solo participant in future years. At that time the solo 401(k) plan can simply be suspended or terminated.

Key benefits. Under the new law, you may deduct up to $40,000 for each participant in a solo 401(k), as explained in more detail below. Even more appealing, if you and your spouse are actively involved in your business and have sufficient business earnings, you and he or she may be able to contribute – - and deduct – - up to $80,000 for retirement.

Another benefit under the new law is that you can reach the maximum deduction of $40,000 at a faster rate than ever before – - with as little as $112,000 of income in 2003. In contrast, at that income level, other retirement plans allow much lower contributions (e.g., a SIMPLE IRA would generally allow about a $11,360 deductible contribution, and a SEP IRA or Profit Sharing Plan would generally allow about a $28,000 deductible contribution. See the comparison chart below.)

If I have a side business, will a solo 401(k) benefit me, even if the business doesn’t make much income?

Yes. In fact, a side business is a prime candidate for a solo 401(k). A traditional employee, if he or she has a side business, may now make additional deductible retirement contributions very rapidly via a solo 401(k) plan. With just $20,000 of income, you may be able to deduct up to $17,000 and only pay income taxes on the remaining $3,000. The rapid deductible contribution rate (in this case, 85%) can be very appealing to those wanting to save more for retirement, particularly if the income generated from a side business is not required for their immediate needs. What’s more, if the participant is 50 years or older as of January 1st, “catch up” provisions allow even higher contributions for that year ($2,000 in 2003, and increasing by $1,000 each year to a maximum of $5,000 in 2006 and later years).

What other benefits does a solo 401(k) offer?

Solo 401(k) plans also offer several other advantages:

Roll over other plans. Once your 401(k) plan is established, you may roll over other retirement accounts into it.

Loans. You may borrow up to 50% of your account balance (up to a $50,000 loan) and repay it over five years (or over 10 years, if the loan is used for a principal residence).

Brokerage accounts. The plan may include a self-directed brokerage account, allowing maximum investment flexibility.

No tax return. No tax returns for the plan are necessary, as long as assets remain under $100,000.

Simplified tax return. If assets exceed $100,000, a simplified tax return may be filed if the plan covers only you (and your spouse) or one or more partners (and their spouses).

No FICA tax. The employer contribution portion is not subject to FICA (Social Security) or self-employment taxes (but any salary deferral portion is subject to tax. See “Comparison of Contributions” below for description of methods of contribution).

Extended contribution date. Employer contributions may be made after year-end (by your tax return deadline, including extensions). However, salary deferrals must be made by December 31st, and may only be made from income earned after the 401(k) plan is established.

Creditor protection. Retirement assets held in a 401(k) plan are generally protected from the claims of creditors. Creditor protection provides peace of mind that your wealth will continue to build despite any potential hazards on the way to retirement.

(To learn more about some aspects of these advantages of a 401(k) plan, see “Borrowing from Your Retirement Account” please visit and see “Exactly What Does Marc J. Lane & Company do?” please visit

Comparison of Contributions: Solo 401(k) vs. Other Plans

Recent legislation increased the maximum deductible contribution under many retirement plans to 25% of compensation, up to a maximum contribution of $40,000. Since a 401(k) plan, uniquely, has two methods of contribution (i.e., an employee salary deferral and an employer contribution), it is able to take advantage of these new limits and defer retirement contributions at a very rapid rate.

For 2003, the maximum salary deferral generally allowed is $12,000 per participant (unless the participant is at least 50 years old, as noted earlier). Additional contributions may be made by the employer; however, employer contributions must be made for each eligible participant and at the same rate (i.e., 25% of compensation). Salary deferrals are ignored when determining “compensation” for purposes of computing the employer contribution. Therefore, the contribution rate (i.e., 25%) is applied toward the participant’s compensation before salary deferral. However, the “compensation” amount used in the calculation is less for unincorporated businesses than for corporations because of a reduction for self-employment taxes.

The chart below compares the maximum contributions available in 2003 for several popular retirement plans. The chart presumes that the business is incorporated, and reflects both the maximum employee and employer contribution components.

Comparison of Retirement Plans: Maximum Contributions (2003)

Business Owner Wages for 2003 SIMPLE IRA SEP IRA SOLO 401(k) $ 20,000 $ 8,600 $ 5,000 $17,000 $ 40,000 $ 9,200 $10,000 $22,000 $ 60,000 $ 9,800 $15,000 $27,000 $ 80,000 $10,400 $20,000 $32,000 $100,000 $11,000 $25,000 $37,000 *$112,000 * $11,360 $28,000 * $40,000 * $120,000 $11,600 $30,000 $40,000 $140,000 $12,200 $35,000 $40,000 $160,000 $12,800 $40,000 $40,000

Maximizing Your Solo 401(k): A “Side Business” Example

Bill is an employee of a corporation at which he has been contributing the maximum amount to that company’s 401(k) plan (currently, $12,000). With the stock market’s bear market from 2000 to 2002, he knows he either needs to contribute more toward retirement savings or get by with less income in his retirement years. (Note: Bill will probably opt to contribute more toward retirement savings since he is not a $20 million lottery winner) (To see “Case Studies,” please visit

Bill is also the sole shareholder of a corporation that he created five years ago for a side business. That business currently generates $40,000 of income, and since it is a side business, Bill doesn’t need the income to support his family’s routine expenses. If Bill establishes a solo 401(k) for the corporation, he can contribute $22,000 toward his retirement in 2003:

Salary deferral (maximum) $12,000 Employer contribution (25% of $40,000) $10,000 TOTAL solo 401(k) contributions $22,000

With these additional contributions, Bill can nearly triple the total amount he contributed to retirement plans in 2002 (i.e., $12,000 in 2002 with his primary corporate job, and $34,000 in 2003 with both his primary job and his side business). Bill will only pay income taxes on the remaining $18,000 of the $40,000 of income earned from his side business.

However, Bill can do better. If Bill’s wife, Betty, is involved with the business and earns a salary of $10,000, she can contribute her full compensation as salary deferral. The total contributions for Bill and Betty would be calculated as follows:

Salary deferral (Bill) $12,000 Salary deferral (Betty) $10,000 Employer contribution – Bill (25% of $30,000) $ 7,500 Employer contribution – Betty (25% of $10,000) $ 2,500 TOTAL solo 401(k) contributions $32,000

Bill and Betty will now pay income taxes only on the remaining $8,000 (20%) of income generated from their side business and they’ll avoid current income taxes on $32,000 (80%) of the business income. Combined, they will contribute $44,000 toward retirement in 2003 ($32,000 from the side business and $12,000 from Bill’s primary job)!


A solo 401(k) plan now offers small business owners a practical way to rapidly contribute toward retirement, reduce taxes, consolidate retirement plans, and provide liquidity via 401(k) plan loans, if necessary. While everyone may not qualify for a solo 401(k), those that do enjoy the benefits of the plan for years to come. If you have questions, or if we can install a solo 401(k) plan for your business, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help you. ____________________________

Retirement planning is an important part of your overall financial plan. How often should you review your financial goals? To learn more see “Start 2003 With a Review of Your Financial Goals and Strategies.” please visit

Interested in tax-focused planning? We can help. To learn more see “Wealth Retention Through Tax-Focused Planning: The Next Financial Challenge.” please visit

When should someone consider professional money management for a retirement – - or other investment – - account? To learn more see “A Case For Professional Money Management.” please visit

The Game Plan – The Difference Between Small Business Success and Failure

The Game Plan – the … Between Small Business Success and Failure It is an American dream to own a … But sadly, … to the U.S. … of … only 1 in 5 … is

The Game Plan – the Difference Between Small Business
Success and Failure

It is an American dream to own a business. But sadly,Guest Posting
according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, only 1 in 5
businesses is still in business 5 years after it opens.

A business needs a great business plan, but it doesn’t give
management enough information to have a successful,
profitable business. You dramatically increase your chance
of success with a game plan. According to a
PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey, over half of the fastest
growing firms not only have business plans, but also have
separate game plans to keep them focused on what must be
done day to day.

A business plan gets you in the game. A game plan keeps you
in the game. To use the sports analogy, it’s easy to see how
you are going to win the game in from the locker room. Most
businesses don’t have a working plan that takes into account
what actually happens on the field once play starts.

A business plan is a sales brochure and a game plan is an
instruction manual. You send a business plan to potential
investors and others to excite them about the business. A
business plan is about strategy. You create a business plan
at a management meeting. A game plan is about tactics and is
created by and for the people on the front lines. A game
plan talks openly about the good, the bad, and the ugly in
the business and is used by people in the business to make
decisions every day. It talks about what to do in a crisis.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

The CEO takes a look at his balance sheet and decides that
his company has too much of its cash tied up in inventory,
so he gets his managers together and creates a new corporate
objective for the year – to reduce inventory by 25%. If they
do that they will all be entitled to a bonus. The managers
aren’t stupid – they know the only way to reduce inventory
is to sell what they can and not replace it. So they put on
a special promotion for their hottest selling items, they
reduce the inventory of those to almost nothing, and they
get their bonus. But what has really happened here. The
CEO’s company is now left with the inventory of the items
that weren’t selling, and they don’t have adequate inventory
of their best selling items. The CEO didn’t really lead, the
employees cared more about their bonuses than doing what was
right for the company, and there wasn’t a plan of action
that was tied into a meaningful company objective.

A game plan focuses on these things: creating big goals that
matter, giving individual employees responsibility to carry
out their portion of those goals, creating a budget and a
reward system that supports the goals, and tools to allow
employees to measure their own progress.

Steps in the Game Plan Process

The game plan requires a series of steps, beginning with the
CEO getting in touch with his or her desires for the
business. Then, the management team must delve into what is
real for the business today – understanding the business
model (how the company makes money), having a handle on what
is happening in the market, and finally, knowing what is
happening in the company culture. With all this background
work done, the actual creation of the game plan begins. At
best, it is a facilitated process of discussions matching
what is real today with what is possible tomorrow, in the
long run and in the short run.

A game plan only looks out a year at most, but within the
context of a much longer period of time. The company might
decide where they want to be in five years – the game plan
is just the next series of steps toward that longer-term
goal. There is no point in setting objectives for which
there aren’t adequate resources, so objectives and budget
are discussed in tandem. Another challenge of the game
planning process is to define success for each objective and
decide how it will be measured.

This is a time for healthy argument as sales wants more
resources to increase revenue, product development wants
more of the objectives to be toward R&D for the company’s
future, and the operations manager wants more staff to
improve quality. This is also the time for managers to
consider the implications for all the decisions. And it is
the time for the CEO to create a connection between the
objectives and each of the managers so that there is
personal commitment to the success of the company. If
managers are not committed, they will never be able to
expect commitment from other employees.

Turning Objectives Into Actions

When the company objectives and budget are ironed out, about
half the work is done. A second series of steps takes the
objectives set at a corporate level, and creates specific
action items for each employee that support the department
and then company objectives. Just as the CEO and the
managers hashed out the process of give and take between
what is today and where they would like to be tomorrow, each
manager must go through the same process with the
departments’ employees. Each employee must have a series of
actions, but most importantly, each employee should know
where they stand at any time they wish to check.

For instance, if the objectives for a customer service
employee are to keep call length to an average of 2 minutes,
have sales of an average of $50 per customer who calls, and
to return all calls within 24 hours, then you want that
employee to be able to find the measurements for those
objectives as often as he or she wishes. The goal is for the
employee to have access to just as much information about
his or her performance as the manager. An employee who can
assess his or her own progress real-time will correct
performance deficiencies without a manager’s insistence.

The Plan Isn’t a Secret

The final piece is constant communication about the plan and
the company’s progress to the employees. The game plan is
not only communicated initially, it must be kept alive
throughout the year with meetings focused on measuring
progress toward the goals. Successes should be celebrated

In my own company, we used something we called a Game Plan
Circle to illustrate our plan each year. It was a six-foot
circle with our vision in the middle that radiated out to
cover company objectives, department and individual
objectives. It served as a visual we could refer to in
meetings to keep us on track.

The Bottom Line

Don’t let your business become another failure statistic. A
business plan is a great first step in starting or
fundamentally changing a business. The next step is a game
plan – a translation of that business plan to each
employee’s actions every day.

You Need a Business Plan for Inernet Success

Find out the basics for beginning your own online business and the web site you will need to succeed. Find you what you need to start online.

Get rich quick on the internet. How many times do you see that phrase or something like it as you surf the web? There are so many schemes out there to accomplish that goal. But how many people actually get to that dream?

Very few. And why is that? The biggest mistake that most beginning internet marketers make is not going into their project with a “business mindset”. They’re looking at an internet business as a “get rich” scheme. They doom their success from the get go.

To start an internet business you first need a plan. With a brick and mortar business this business plan is usually made to attract investors or secure a bank loan for start up money. But the internet is different territory. An internet business still needs a plan to focus its efforts.

The business plan in this sense is to subject your ideas of selling online to a vigorous scrutiny and see if your plans meet the test of what you will need to actually make it online. Your business plan is your game plan.

Without a true business plan or a true plan of attack,Guest Posting all the software, product development and marketing strategies are just hit and miss exercises. That’s why you need a good business plan from the start. Without a business plan your chances of failure are greatly increased. Your business plan should include what you are going to do to succeed as well as what you will do if things fail miserably. All angles should be covered.

Business plans force you to do the research that most internet businesses fail to do before they start. This is vital to the success of your business. If you already have a product, then you’re one step ahead of the game. Most of us don’t though. Here’s where making a business plan will allow you to think about your interests and passions that might make good niches to market products in.

You can begin to research keywords revolving around your interests to see if there are opportunities for developing products that will meet the needs of the people surfing those keywords. Search for those keywords that have high traffic and then search for related keywords that are also in demand. This type of research will become the basis of your internet business plan.

Out of your keyword research you should come up with a product or service idea you wish to market on the internet. You must precisely describe what it is. What is needed to develop this product? What makes it unique? This marks the first phase of your business plan research and leads into the next.

Researching markets goes hand in hand with product research. And it isn’t looking for those pre-made websites that don’t cost you a dime and that make someone else rich. It’s looking for relevant keywords around which your business theme and business web site will be built upon.

This has to be a solid foundation so that your online business will succeed. It’s the old cliche: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. It’s a known fact that 95% of those that start an online business will fail. Why not plan to succeed? And when you’re planning, don’t plan to become rich overnight. That’s what so many online gurus keep telling you what’s going to happen.

Have you noticed? All those gurus have these large lists they mail to every day, every week, or whenever. They keep telling you about the latest business opportunity that will make you rich overnight or in just a few days. But the next day, they email you again with the newest way to make money online and it’s a whole new program you have to join. Soon, you’re spending all this money on programs that are going to do it for you online but no money is coming in.

The only people that get rich on those schemes are the people starting them and the large list owners that are promoting them. Yet there are thousands taking these gurus up on these types of “businesses” every day. Believe it or not, an internet business doesn’t materialize overnight and make you rich. An online business is like any other business, building slowly over time. You just have to stick with it.

You want your online business to endure time. Remember, most of those gurus promote business programs that are fly-by-night. They’ll be here today, gone tomorrow. That’s why they’re always dangling a new business scheme in your face, hoping you’ll bite on it an make them some money today. Tomorrow they’ll have to promote a new one because they’ve made their money and have left you out on the line to dry.

Your web site is your store front. It must be carefully designed to attract visitors. Without people viewing it, you will have not sales. The web site’s objective’s and design must be taken into account in your online business plan. Make sure your plan is specific in your objectives and the web site meets these. Here again, the web site should grow to meet the needs of your business and be enduring. A site that people come back to time and time again because it’s loaded with new and pertinent information.

Your web site should reflect where you want to make your income. If you want to make your income from Asense ads, then you need lots of informational content. If you’re making income from affiliate programs, then you want a site that sells the affiliate program. If you are selling your own product, then your site should center around the benefits of that product and ultimately send your visitor to a sales page that clinches the deal.

All of this should be considered when making your online business plan. The plan is the pivital document which your business is centered. A business plan makes you think about all of this and centers your business. It is all inclusive and done before you jump into the internet side of things. Don’t just jump in. Have a true plan for your online business. Think it all out before you make your leap.

With a well thought out plan, your online business will succeed. Without forethought and planning, you’re bound to fail. Go into the internet as you would with a brick and mortar business and you are marching into success.

Planning for a business transition

Business transition planning is preparing for the handover by sale, but-out, or take-over following the demise of the owner. This is accomplished through corporate governance documents like an operating agreement or partnership agreement.

What is a business transition A business transition can be defined as any change in the ownership or management of a business. This can occur when the stock of business is bought out. This commonly occurs when the buyer wants to obtain licenses held by the business as opposed to obtaining their own licenses or permits. This transition can also occur upon the retirement or demise of the owner or owners. With multiple owners the surviving owners may inherit the ownership but this is not a foregone conclusion. Without proper documentation addressing this situation the survivors of the owner such as a spouse,Guest Posting children, parent, or other beneficiaries may inherit the ownership through operation of a Will of by law if there is no Will. Having family members or other beneficiaries suddenly become part owners may not be intended or preferred thus addressing this possibility should be pf paramount importance to the owners and can easily be accommodated in the corporate governance documents. There is an applicable famous saying that the failure to plan is a plan to fail. Particularly when a business owner dies without any documents to address the transition of the business that saying appropriately addresses what happens. In such case like passing without a Will, the business owner can leave a disaster for those who survive. An easy solution is to have an experienced business lawyer prepare a simple document to allow a surviving spouse, employee, or other beneficiary to instantly take over and run or wind up the business. This allows the survivor to take advantage of the value of the business at the time of the owner’s death for the benefit of whom ever the owner desire like family or charity. Corporate governance documents are the key for business transition The limited liability company is the most common business entity used today in Florida. For the LLC the document that achieves an efficient business transition and alleviates problems caused by the death or incapacity of the company’s owner is an operating agreement. This is sometimes referred to in common parlance as a partnership agreement but the LLC is technically not a legal partnership so the proper term is an operating agreement. Even if the LLC has only one member or owner, the operating agreement can act like a Will for the business. My article titled Do I need an operating agreement for my Florida LLC on LLC operating agreements is a quick read and contains helpful information about Florida operating agreements. Corporations are governed by their bylaws and shareholder agreement. For the Inc. those should contain continuity provisions specifying who will take over in the event of the demise of the owner. In Florida, the LLC has eclipsed the Inc. as the preferred business entity because only one governing document is needed as opposed to two. Also, the protections afforded to owners between the two are the same but the management and documentation requirements are less for the LLC. My article entitled Which is better the Inc. or the LLC discusses the differences between these two types of entities in more detail. What can you do to prepare for a business transition In addition to having properly drafted corporate governance documents like an operating agreement prepared by your corporate lawyer, a prudent measure is to also develop a transition plan. The operating agreement will say who takes over but the internal transition plan will serve to tell that person what to actually do. This transition plan is similar to what you would prepare for any disaster response. But this transition plan must be balanced against the needs of the business to protect its proprietary information. To put it in other terms, the operating agreement is like telling everyone concerned that person X gets everything in your safe. The transition plan would tell person X how to open the safe. What is a business transition plan and what should be in it A business normally has clients, vendors, and may have employees or independent contractors. The client and vendor information may be confidential or even a trade secret. The business may have other trade secret information, trademarks, and a virtual presence like social media and e-commerce accounts. The owner or owners may not regularly share all of that information with employees and contractors. The employees and contractors may also be subject to confidentiality, non-compete, and/or non-solicitation agreements. Therefore the business owner or owners can prepare that information but need not share it with anyone until a triggering event occurs. As long as the person tasked to take over the business or another trusted person other than the business owner knows of the existence of the business transition document then when the triggering event occurs the document can be easily retrieved and activated. The business transition plan can be paper or digital. The location of the business transition plan can also be defined in the operating agreement or other writing. Ideally it would contain information about the operations of the business and how to contact important parties like vendors and clients.The transition plan should also include passwords and log-in information for all business online accounts or the location of those so the party tasked with taking over the business to run it or wind it up can more easily do so. Whether to continue to operate the business, to sell it, or to wind it up may be up to the person into whose hands the business owner placed the business in the operating agreement. Depending on the circumstances that decision could be made by that person alone or together with others. How does a business transition plan apply to single member and multi-member LLCs If the LLC has multiple members it is a multi-member LLC. In that case the operating agreement will normally contain a provision for the disposition of the deceased or retired member’s shares. For example in those cases the shares may automatically revert to the company upon the death of a member imposing a purchase obligation on the business to pay the named beneficiary or beneficiaries under an agreed formula over a specified period of time. The surviving member or members may already know how to fully operate the business. But where the deceased or retired member had some specific knowledge of certain operations in the business, a transition plan will ensure the continuity of the business. Cross training between members will also promote the success of the business they worked hard to build. When the company has only one member it is a single member LLC. In that instance the operating agreement and transition plan become even more important to allow for a smooth transition. The plan can even be useful where the owner does not die but just decides to sell. That transition plan can add to or take the place of a post-sale management agreement where the owner stays on to show the buyer how to run the business. When used in this manner, the transition plan can add great value to the purchase price akin to selling the business with a user manual. As to what every business owner needs to know before selling their business my article on that topic is accessible by clicking the highlighted text. What is a business wind up As mentioned above the person identified in the business transition plan and operating agreement tasked to take over the business must often decide whether to sell it, run it, or close it. The closure of the business it called the wind up. When a business decides to close or is forced to close it undergoes this wind up process. The corporate governance documents like the bylaws and shareholder agreement for a corporation and the operating agreement for a limited liability company normally address this wind up process. Corporations that have no corporate governing documents are regulated in this regard by Chapter 607 of Florida’s Statutes. The wind up of a limited liability company without an operating agreement is handled by Chapter 605. Those statutes instruct business owners how to properly wind up their business so that the owner or owners are not exposed to liability from the business after it closes. The basic concept for the wind up of both the Inc. and the LLC is to amass the assets, provide notice to creditors, and pay them before insiders. If a business owner simply takes all the money or assets to the detriment of the creditors and closes the business, the owner can expose him or herself to the claims of those creditors and may lose the protections that the business provided. A business can cease to exist in one of three ways. First, it can be administratively dissolved if it fails to file its annual report. In that case without a proper wind up the owner or owners can still be exposed to liability. Secondly, it can be judicially dissolved if the governing document allows for that and the parties file a lawsuit. That lawsuit in common parlance is called a corporate divorce and takes the place of the wind up because it is done within the lawsuit. The third method of closing a business is a voluntary dissolution. In that situation the owner or partners meet and vote on articles of dissolution. The operating agreement may address how the wind up will occur and the votes needed for dissolution. It can also address what happens if some partners want to dissolve the business and others do not. Conclusion The business has a choice of not having any governing documents like an operating agreement or partnership agreement and of accepting what the Florida legislature has deemed appropriate under the applicable statutes. Or the business can take control of the situation with its own governing documents. As an experienced and seasoned business litigator who has tried corporate divorces with and without operating agreements, bylaws, shareholder agreements, or partnership agreements in court I believe that it is always prudent for business owners to protect the assets they have worked hard to develop by having an operating agreement. Sophisticated business owners will embrace the idea of a business transition plan and prepare for that possibility so their diligent efforts to build a successful business will benefit whomever they decide should take over that business if they are incapacitated or perish. An experienced and seasoned business litigator can help your business in preparing these and other important business documents