YHP http://yhponline.com Entrepreneurs In Depth | Be Inspired | Your Hidden Potential Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:16:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The 5 Core Elements of a Successful Startup Business Plan http://yhponline.com/2014/09/02/the-5-core-elements-of-a-successful-startup-business-plan/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-5-core-elements-of-a-successful-startup-business-plan http://yhponline.com/2014/09/02/the-5-core-elements-of-a-successful-startup-business-plan/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:16:15 +0000 http://yhponline.com/?p=36889 If you're starting a company, coming up with a solid business plan is obviously going to be high on your list of priorities. But a plan doesn't need to be a long winded PowerPoint presentation, and, in fact, it really … Continue reading

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Successful Startup Business Plan

If you're starting a company, coming up with a solid business plan is obviously going to be high on your list of priorities. But a plan doesn't need to be a long winded PowerPoint presentation, and, in fact, it really shouldn't be. If your business plan is going to be a hit with investors, then there are 5 core elements that you really need to focus on.

The Executive Summary

This is the section that can make or break your plan: it's the part that everyone flips to, the first part they read, and the point where they throw your plan into the nearest rubbish bin if they don't like what they're reading. Keep it brief. Imagine you're on a lift with your investors; you've got one minute to describe your business and convince them that they want in. That's what your executive summary is all about. Everyone knows you are going to use a recruitment agency like Randstat or CareerBuilder; you do not need to go into detail here.

The Description

The description is like a follow up to your executive summary. You've got them interested; they're willing to press the “door close” button on that lift, but only for another couple of minutes. The description isn't a time for wowing, it's a time to honestly state what your mission is (or your product) and what you aim to do to achieve that mission. If the summary is all about showmanship, the description should be letting the idea speak for itself.

The Target Market

Okay, so your investors are pretty interested, now is where you show that you really know your stuff. The target market section should basically be all the research that you've done. Who will buy this, why you picked this group, the growth potential of that group, what typical profits in that group may look like, and all the results of your customer interviews?

The Plan

This section is you telling your investors that you know how to get people to buy your product or service. It's your market share plan, how you're going to grab those customers. And yet, you need to be realistic here. You're looking at how consumers choose between competing products and how your business is going to affect this equation. Be warned that no matter how great your plan is up to this point, this section is where you could very well lose your investors. A great idea without a great method isn't going to convince anyone.

The Rest

Okay, so there are a few more sections. Traditionally you introduce the management team and explain why they're the best people for their jobs. You'll also want a cash forecast, how much investment you need, how much profit you expect to make. Investors take these cash forecasts with a grain of salt, they're not looking for accuracy per se, but more that you've put the work in and really thought things out. The chances of you fulfilling a cash-forecast are fairly slim.

A successful business plan should be as brief as it can be whilst containing all the information it needs to contain. Leave the long winded PowerPoint presentations for your shareholder meetings. With your start up business plan you're looking to convince investors, not send them to sleep.

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Being Self-Employed: How to be Compliant and Maximise Earnings http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/being-self-employed-how-to-be-compliant-and-maximise-earnings/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=being-self-employed-how-to-be-compliant-and-maximise-earnings http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/being-self-employed-how-to-be-compliant-and-maximise-earnings/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:35:11 +0000 http://yhponline.com/?p=36875 The term ‘accidental entrepreneur’ was first coined in America during the Great Recession, and it refers to a demographic of individuals who eschewed the traditional labour market in the pursuit of self-employment. While it took a little while for the … Continue reading

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Self employed

The term ‘accidental entrepreneur’ was first coined in America during the Great Recession, and it refers to a demographic of individuals who eschewed the traditional labour market in the pursuit of self-employment. While it took a little while for the same trend to reach the shores of the UK, this has now taken hold and there are now a record number of British residents who work on a self-employed basis. More specifically, there are now 4.6 million individuals working for themselves in the UK, with construction, taxi-driving and carpentry the most popular professions.

Working for Yourself: Compliance and Profitability

While self-employment may bring considerable opportunities, however, it also carries tremendous responsibility and liability. The two biggest issues facing freelancers are compliance and profitability, as they must operate within the boundaries of UK while also maximising their earnings over time. Consider the following: -

Compliance with Tax and Other Laws

In terms of compliance, it is imperative that self-employed individuals operate within stringent tax and alternative laws. Taxation arguably the most important factor, as freelancers must establish a working infrastructure that reduces their financial liability and also complies with existing legislation. They have the initial option to establish themselves as a limited company or a sole trader, for example, while they can also utilise the services of an umbrella service such as Network One to strike a balance between the two. Beyond this, it is important to partner with an accountancy expert you can help you to make regular repayments in full and on time.

Maximising Your Earning Potential

Choosing a taxation structure that suits your scope as a contractor will also help to minimise repayments, while also enabling you to avoid making VAT contributions if you earn less than the national threshold. You can also maximise your take home pay through other means, primarily by charging a viable price point for your services and networking aggressively to secure a regular stream of work. Without a proactive strategy to help win and retain customers, it is impossible to build a body of work or achieve your true earning potential over time.

The Need for Strategy and Tenacity

Aside from these practical steps, self-employed individuals must also display tenacity and an ability to think strategically if they are to succeed. While the former enables them to source, win and complete work on a regular basis, for example, the latter ensures that they are able to comply with national laws and stringent tax regulations even as they continue to evolve.

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Three Things You Need To ‘Flip Houses’ http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/three-things-you-need-to-flip-houses/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=three-things-you-need-to-flip-houses http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/three-things-you-need-to-flip-houses/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:15:32 +0000 http://yhponline.com/?p=36859 The principle of house flipping is very simple indeed, and there are many entrepreneurs all over the world that make a huge success of it even in tough economic times. Unfortunately, there are also a lot who are not very … Continue reading

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House flipping

The principle of house flipping is very simple indeed, and there are many entrepreneurs all over the world that make a huge success of it even in tough economic times. Unfortunately, there are also a lot who are not very good at it, and who ultimately lose out. With this in mind, here are three things that you need to have if you’re going to make a strong business out of flipping houses:

Time

Buying and selling houses is unfortunately never that fast. Wherever you are in the world, you’ll be well aware that there are numerous hurdles you need to be able to jump until you actually get through the process. It can easily take months, and that’s ignoring the amount of time it can take to actually find a property you think is prime for flipping. The problem here is that if things take too long and don’t make enough profit, you may well be better off just having a normal job. Companies like House Buyer Bureau can help you get cash really quickly if you’ve got an issue with chains and things like that, and the sale is taking too long.

Knowledge

It might look like a simple strategy; find a house that you think is priced low and needs renovation, spruce it up and sell it on. In reality, it takes a lot more knowledge and experience than that to get things right. You need to know the market inside out in order to be successful, or you can easily find yourself not only profitless, but in the red. Plenty of research is essential, and sometimes having the input of someone with experience is the only answer. Never assume that this is an easy business to run; analyse and be scrupulous with everything.

Skills

It really, really helps if you can do a lot of the renovation and decorating yourself. Every time you pay someone else to do work on the building, you’re lowering your profits. This isn’t to say that you should try doing things that you can’t, or skimp on things that really do need doing, but it’s something you should be aware of. It’s no secret that painters and decorators are often the ones that move into house flipping later in their careers and are successful at it. There’s nothing to stop you learning these things either, because it’ll help in the long run.

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What happens when interest rates rise? http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/what-happens-when-interest-rates-rise/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-happens-when-interest-rates-rise http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/what-happens-when-interest-rates-rise/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:13:25 +0000 http://yhponline.com/?p=36862 If you’re running a business enterprise of some kind – have you thought what is likely to happen to your business if and when interest rates rise? The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve have both indicated that interest … Continue reading

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interest rates

If you’re running a business enterprise of some kind – have you thought what is likely to happen to your business if and when interest rates rise? The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve have both indicated that interest rates look likely to rise at the back end of 2014 – albeit by only very small margins.

The warnings are, of course, a way of steadying the ship a little and sounding the smallest of warnings to economies in danger of over-heating a little, particularly when it comes to housing costs.

The fact that these mild warnings have been issued, though, is actually good news. It indicates that things are generally on the up and we’re heading back to more normal rates of a couple of percentage points or so above where they’re currently at...gradually. This will be no bad thing as long as it happens little by little and isn’t necessarily a short, sharp shock measure to stave off inflation. Debtors have had it all their own way for too long now and we’ve all witnessed the dire consequences. But savers prefer higher interest rates of course and in the UK a report on savings from HSBC has indicated that savings are on the up. Now, the average household in the country has close to £21k in savings accounts. This perhaps reflects a little nervousness given the financial crash of 2008, but it’s also a good sign as it’s sensible to have cash in reserve and it helps stave off crises.

But as business owner, you still need to think hard about the consequences of increasing rates. For example, with receivables, the cost of you carrying credit for your customers effectively increases given the opportunity cost of the interest they’re receiving and you aren’t. So now would probably be a good time to reconsider your receivables policy and the pricing thereof.

Similarly - how would a hike in rates be likely to affect your sales? You could see an increase as your buyers try to get credit quickly while it’s still cheap to do so. Anticipation of an increase in rates will probably see major capital purchases being brought forward – and your business may want to do the same if you have any big requirements for which you’re seeking good credit terms. Alternatively, you may wish to cut back expenditure now in anticipation of higher borrowing costs. This is something you will know better than anyone else.

On the other side of the fence - higher borrowing costs longer-term will cause purchases to slow down for non-essential and big capital items. So now may be a good time to look at your pricing policy and alter it accordingly before rate rises.

Perhaps the most important single consideration, however, is effective marketing. If interest rates are going to rise – how should your overall marketing strategy respond to this? Will you be able to discount now or later, or is your strategy to do the opposite – to move higher up-market?

All these considerations are valid ones to make – but the crucial thing is to make them now so you aren’t caught on the hop.

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Three of the Best Approaches to Training People for Leadership http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/three-of-the-best-approaches-to-training-people-for-leadership/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=three-of-the-best-approaches-to-training-people-for-leadership http://yhponline.com/2014/08/30/three-of-the-best-approaches-to-training-people-for-leadership/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 19:12:05 +0000 http://yhponline.com/?p=36864 With the unemployment figures in the UK lower than they have been for over half a decade, it’s clear that people are finding work easier now then they have done for a long time. With more and more people in, … Continue reading

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Key to Leadership

With the unemployment figures in the UK lower than they have been for over half a decade, it’s clear that people are finding work easier now then they have done for a long time. With more and more people in, more and more people are going to be looking to progress up the ladder, and apply for leadership rolls. If you’re tasked with the job of taking people from their current position to one higher up on the ladder, how do you do it? Here are three popular strategies.

In at the Deep End

As the old saying goes, one of the best ways to get somebody to learn something new, is to throw them in at the deep end. When it comes to leadership, this could mean simply asking the candidate to solve a challenging situation that requires a delicate touch, or to coordinate something with a lot of moving parts. Whatever it is, make sure that you ask the candidate if they’re comfortable with what you’re asking of them, as forcing them to act under unnecessary pressure could be traumatic and potentially humiliating.

Specialist Leadership Qualifications

If the idea of throwing your leadership candidate in at the deep end doesn’t sound particularly appealing, you could instead try a more constructive approach. Giving your candidate the opportunity to complete a subject-specific qualification in leadership means that the candidate will be able to track their own progress straightforwardly, and be rewarded by the end of the course. For example, if you work in the care sector, the Leadership and management of Care Services qualification offered by a provider such as TutorCare turn your candidate into perfect management material.

The “Slowly-Slowly” Approach

If both of those approaches don’t sound like the model, then a more careful, slow-paced method could be the best way to go. This could mean helping your candidate to slowly acquire the skills needed for leadership but without forcing them into challenging situations, or sending them on intensive training courses. A good way to proceed with this approach could be to provide your candidate with a book with tasks they must complete or concepts they have to understand before they can proceed to management or leadership roles. The key with this approach, however, is that it is not limited by time, so candidates can progress at their own pace.

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