Top Twelve Tips For Business Planners by toriola1


									Presented by Daniel Toriola
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Top Twelve Tips For Business Planners By Dan Boudreau

Are you thinking of starting or growing a business? Here are twelve tips that will help stack the cards in your favor if you're hoping to borrow money to launch your plan. 1. Tidy up your personal finances before applying for a business loan. Pay down loans, clean up any bad debts, collect some business-related equipment and save some money. 2. Bring some equity to the table. Save money, sell some toys, borrow some love money, create something for your business, or get a second or third job for a while. 3. Prove your business case to yourself and to those who will read your business plan. Persist in your market research efforts until you become 'the expert' for your business. Talk to people, ask questions, search the Internet, take courses, read books, listen to tapes, and subscribe to trade publications. You will feel more confident and have an easier time convincing your readers that you know what you are doing. 4. Listen and learn. Listen to those who agree with you AND to those who do not. Listen to all who shoot holes in your business idea, they might just be pointing you toward success. When you think you've heard it all, listen harder! 5. Be honest... and thorough... and accurate. Missing information or inaccuracies definitely invite questions and send the wrong message. Putting in wrong information or conveniently leaving out some of the less obvious, non-flattering financial information (like unpaid long overdue taxes) is a sure way to turn off potential investors. 6. Answer the basic business questions. Who? What? Where? Why? When? How? A proper business planning system will provide you with a framework in which to place the confusing array of information you will gather. Choose a system and use it. 7. Provide a professional presentation. There is no reason in these times, for a poor presentation. Use a proper business planning system, ask a friend, or pay someone to proof. Get someone to keypunch the plan if you need to, but do a professional job on it. Demonstrating that you care will increase the odds that a lender might care also.
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Presented by Daniel Toriola
8. Keep your language clear, simple and to the point. If you must use technical jargon, provide an explanation of potentially confusing terms. 9. Write in the third person. It is important to separate your business from yourself and to think and write about it as a separate entity. 10. Use charts, graphs, pictures and bulleted lists where appropriate. Make sure your numbers match what is being stated in the narrative part of your plan. Keep the business plan brief, 20 pages or fewer, but be sure to make pertinent information available in the Appendices. 11. Be realistic in your expectations. No matter how lofty your financial aspirations might be, know that businesses are rarely profitable in the first few months or even years. Estimate your sales conservatively and your expenses a bit higher than you think they will be. Keep that cash flow realistic and be sure to include ALL expenses and some contingency money. 12. Get into a business about which you know something, preferably a LOT... It is critical to have a base of knowledge about, and experience in, your business. Knowing your business will increase your confidence and enhance your loan options.

Dan Boudreau makes business planning achievable, fast and fun. Want to learn more about how to do your own business plan? Subscribe to the RiskBuster Newsletter and instantly download a free copy of Dan's popular fast-track business plan template at n

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Why You Should Fire Your Financial Planner By R. Firmin

If you’re like many Americans, the whole topic of financial planning is more than a little daunting. There are professionals for that, right? Well yes, and no. There is an entire profession devoted to financial planning and those in it want you to think that you need them. But do you? All it takes to become a financial planner is a few business licenses, a short five-day course, a few fees, a test, some sales training and the ability to sell, sell, sell. Few financial planners are certified and even certification is no guarantee of competence. To further complicate matters, there are some excellent financial planners who carry no certification. My financial planner isn’t certified but he leaves no stone unturned in being informed. Perhaps his best skill is that he listens to what his clients have to say. Most financial planners never really learn financial planning strategies. They don't have time because they have to reach their sales quotas. Most financial planners are actually insurance salesman. They get their biggest fees and commissions from selling insurance policies. Certainly, insurance has its place in a portfolio, but financial planners often recommend their clients put way too much of their money into insurance products. And many times the client doesn’t even realize that what he’s buying is actually a repackaged universal life or variable universal life policy. One of the most important questions to ask a financial planner is how he or she is compensated. It’s certainly within your right to know if they’re working for your interest, or theirs. The incentives that financial planners receive to sell an insurance company’s policies are often so lucrative that the shine of gold can alter their judgment. Do you get excited when your financial planner wins a fantastic vacation to a beautiful resort because he was able to convince you to buy a product that may or may not be the best for you? While no one objects to a professional being fairly compensated for services rendered, you can be sure that the less you understand and the less you are informed; the more it will cost you. You need to be sufficiently educated so that you can make responsible decisions with a financial planner and not leave the decision of how much and where to invest solely in their hands. You don’t have to have an economics degree to learn the basics of money management and investing. If you spend most of your life working and earning money, doesn’t it make sense to spend some time learning how to manage it? That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t utilize the services of a financial planner, it means that if you choose to work with one, you have enough knowledge to know if what he’s offering is in your best interest. Remember that a financial planner works for you. You hire him or her to execute your wishes and advise you. No one has more interest in the success of your retirement account or other investments than you do. You are the only person who has no conflict of interest in choosing your investments. Download a free financial worksheet and financial calculators at Ron Firmin has been President & CEO for companies in the financial services, real estate and mortgage banking industry. He now runs 2 companies and coaches others on how to manage their money.

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