Business Information – SWOT it For Benefits

In most situations, business decisions are prompted by information that has come into your possession. Sometimes this information comes from the information system within your business but often it is from external sources.

An interesting thing to do is to quickly apply a swot analysis to new information. If you are not familiar with the term “swot”, this stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The idea of a swot analysis is that you objectively try to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your business and also the opportunities and threats. The strengths and weaknesses are aspects of your business that are particular to your business. These are internal issues. The opportunities and threats are matters that are external forces that impact on the enterprise. It is a good idea to conduct a swot analysis from time to time.

On the assumption that you have conducted a swot analysis and therefore have objectively determined your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, you can apply the results of this analysis to new information that comes to you. Let us focus on information from external sources.

For example, you visit a trade show for your industry. At that trade show you observe a new technological advancement in a particular aspect of your industry. You then apply the results of your swot analysis to this new information.

As an example, you may have identified that one of your strengths is low overheads. Due to this, your enterprise is flexible and can change quickly. Accordingly, you might conclude that you could quickly adopt the new technology and steal a march on your competitors. So, off you go to your bank or other sources of capital to get the funds to adopt the new technology – and you know that this won’t be a problem because of your low overheads.

Alternatively, you might have identified the heavy capital investment in your company as a weakness. This means that it is difficult to alter the production process without very significant cost and disruption to customer requirements. When you see the new technology and realise that your competitors might be able to adopt it faster than you, perhaps this will prompt you to the decision – albeit difficult – of reinvesting in a new production process involving the new technology.

Let’s say you have identified rapid changes in technology as an opportunity for you. This maybe because of a particular set of skills that your people have. Because of their training, experience or knowledge they are able to rapidly understand the new information and apply it in a profitable way. So, you are alert to any changes in technology. You seize on this new development and give it to your people.

And, of course, if you see advances in technology as a threat, hopefully you will take action to minimise this threat.

Applying your swot analysis to every new piece of information would be too tedious. But it is a very useful practice to apply it to important information that you come across. The more regularly that you do this, the more alert you will be to developments in your industry and the more quickly you will be able to turn new information into profits or other benefits.

Catering Business Information – An Ideal Venture for You

Do you want to earn extra income? Then start a catering business now. Creating a catering business might not be too hard but it is definitely risky. Venturing in this kind of business needs your skills to capture the taste of countless people and discovering the fine art of preparing food. Like any other types of business, of course where you invest your hard earned money, you hope to make the business grow. It is indeed necessary that you got to be prepared and wise from the very beginning of the business venture. You cannot just go through the business venture lacking any preparations and knowledge of being a caterer.

There are some things that need to be considered in opening a catering business so that it will succeed in the long run. Besides hiring a caterer, you must device a business plan to be your guide. It would be better to put into writing the ideas which are playing in your mind the moment you think of opening a catering business. This business plan must include goals classified into short term and long term and also the activities and plans that you want to carry out.

The business plan must also have manpower, investment needed as the marketing initiatives. This will be your reference and guide in making your catering business successful. Whatever plans you have for the business, it would be of help if you include the feasibility and profitability of your plans. The initial cost should be taken into consideration before putting up the catering business. The costs include salaries for the chef and first few employees; cost for the utensils and the industrialized kitchen you will work with. The next thing to focus is the definite regulations and rules of the local health department.

It is important to check the local health department and check the regulations that apply to you. You might need to check out laws governing your business and might need to get permits. This might save you from any problems that may occur later on. It might be of help if you will hire an expert to manage legal matters. Aside from the business plan, marketing strategy is a must for the business. You must know how to capture the taste of the potential customers with no spending lavishly on the ingredients. It is also to think of ways on how to reach the target market. In addition, you have to make a way in keeping a good business relationship with them.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to market and promote your catering business. Therefore, you have to make it a point to make a goof impression on every customer that comes to your business. Another thing to promote your business is through networking. Never miscalculate the power of having connections. Other people go for charity and volunteer works or organize fund raising events. Clients will come to your business and there is a possibility that they will be your regular customers. Printed coupons and flyers can also be effective in promoting your catering business. In the opening, discount can be given to the first few customers so they can become loyal customers.

In opening a catering business, one must be ready for all the risks since all business ventures come with risks so make sure to be well-prepared when starting your business. Being ready and prepared increase your opportunity of creating a profitable business. Business people know that it’s hard to gain potential customers but it is even harder to keep the loyal customers to continue and stay to support you. However, these risks can turn into something profitable as long as you have expert and friendly caterer and the business plan and marketing strategy are prepared well.

Small Business Information

So you have had it with the 9 to 5, your sick of your boss always looking over your shoulder, and the idea of you doing all the work so the executives can reap all the benefits makes you sick to your stomach. So you have decided to go out on your own and start a new business. That is a great idea and I am here to help you with some of the tougher questions that may come to mind.

What’s next? Well you need to decide how you will structure your business for tax and liability purposes. If you do nothing, and start the business alone, you are considered a sole proprietor. If you do nothing and start the business with someone else, that business will be considered a partnership. You can also form a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). The last two options are a bit harder to set up, but the liability is passed on to the business and not yourself or your partners. You should seek the advice of an accounting expert before making this decision; once the decision is made it is difficult to change the company type and it’s an accounting nightmare.

Sole proprietorship and partnerships are taxed on your normal 1040. You figure out how much money the business brought in and how much was spent on the business. This is the number you add to your 1040. This option is very easy for taxes very easy to run. The main problem with sole proprietors and partnerships is you can become personally responsible for all debt and damages. For example, if you run into credit problems with your suppliers they can come after you and your partners for payment. Also, any damage that your company may cause and is unable to make restitution for could become your personal financial obligation. This includes liens on personal property.

To distance yourself from personal liability you need to form a corporation (INC, C, or Corp) or a limited liability company (LLC). Both of these allow the business to become a separate entity for tax purposes and liability. The downside to these types of businesses is the extra paperwork needed to stay compliant and start up costs. You can search the internet for companies that will form your corporation or LLC, but you need to make sure they are reputable and not online scams.

If you start a corporation or LLC you will need a tax expert that specializes in small business and good accounting software. The government will send you an Employer Identification Number. This is the company’s unique id number, think of it like your social security number. This number needs to be used on all documents pertaining to the company, as well as all tax forms.

All parts of the business must to be kept separate from your personal life. You need different bank accounts, different phone numbers, and different credit cards. Next to making a profit this will be your biggest and most important challenge. If you mix funds or you are sloppy with book keeping, the corporate veil can be pierced and that means you can become personally liable for the company and its actions.

I recommend a good CPA and a lawyer. These can be found online within your area and are well worth the upfront money. After you are set up it is possible to do all the taxes and accounting yourself with powerful accounting software, but this is time consuming and may not be worth it to some. Remember starting a new business can be fun and rewarding; just stick to the rules and laws.

Online Home Business Information Overload

When starting an internet online business it seems there is just so much information to digest. For most people this becomes overwhelming and causes them to believe they will never be able to get started in the online business.

The “experts” do not help. It seems that once you start looking at internet businesses your email inbox is filled to bursting point everyday. Usually these emails are offering a “one time only” special secret which will make you a fortune.

This makes it very difficult to remain focused on what you want to achieve. Because you are constantly distracted by the latest “unique previously unreleased” method of making your fortune with an online business. So let us look at some structured methods you need to apply before you get going.

First and probably most obvious is what product you will sell. This is normally referred to as your Niche. You need to spend some time on this and you need to understand your product inside out. If you don’t really believe in your product you will not convince anyone to buy it.

Will you sell digital products (reports, books, training videos etc.) or will you sell store type products (this can include anything you like) Will you hold inventory (stock) or will you use a dropship supplier. Dropshipping is where the supplier sends the product directly to your client on your behalf. This means you do not require holding any inventory.

Or you could choose to become an affiliate. An affiliate simply put, is a salesperson who sells products for other companies. Once a sale is completed the affiliate gets a commission. The commission can be substantial 50-70% is common.

If you are just starting out the affiliate route is probably the easiest. Being an affiliate means you do not even need a website and can get started straight away. It is a good way to get the money coming in whilst you develop your long term business strategy. You just simply send clients directly to the landing page of your affiliate company and once they buy you get paid.

To make money long term and to build a business with some value, you will need to eventually have your own website. You want to capture the details of your clients. You can use this information in the future to promote other products and make extra sales.

This information should be enough to get you thinking in the right direction. In my next article I will cover: GETTING TRAFFIC, GETTING SALES, OUTSOURCING, RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS DAY TO DAY.