Winning Business Plans – Market Manage and Grow

Writing a business plan is not the means to an end. Your objective should be writing one that wins investor interest, penetrates the market, makes money and grows your business. That said, it is essential to know what key elements, including marketing methods and business processes that are paramount to succeeding in any given market.

One of the best ways to start is by researching, examining and cross-examining every bit of information you can possibly find regarding your competitors methods of doing business. But keep this in mind. While there are many competitors out there, not all of them are truly succeeding in the market. Some are just staying afloat on a shallow stream of cash-flow. Others are slowing down, burdened from debt and about to sink. While a few may actually be on shore, well grounded, in the green and growing.

While there is something to be learned from each company your focus should primarily be on those who are actually successful. Study businesses that have a proven tract record for generating target income streams and revenue. Now the big question – How do you access another company’s business plan?

The Reliability Of Public Data

Once companies have gone public they must publish data analysis to investors and make them available through other public venues. Admittedly much of this information is fettered with generalities and inaccuracies. Relying on public data may not give you a true inside view of the company’s business process model or a real grasp of what makes it tick. But it is a start. There are four additional methods to getting to know the internals of a successful company’s business process:

1. Work for them

2. Work with them

3. Know someone who does one of the above

4. Get your hands on their initial business plan as well as any revisions.

Accessing The Plan

While the latter would seem to be the easier approach of the four, there is still the question of how to get access to the plan. Companies document, revise and share their business plans with staff, the media and in press releases. Parts of the plan appear in sales copy and human resource materials. That said, the data ends of readily available to the person who knows how to access it. There are business plan archives that take the time to gather business plan data from companies that have released data over time. The aim is to produce a complete business plan that is a mirror image of the company’s success, revealing proven methods that helped the company penetrate the market, win business and grow.

Learning Competitors Strategic Growth Techniques

The value of studying a pre-written and executed business plan that wins business is simple. You’re stepping into the shoes of business pros and successful competitors who know the marketing strategies that grow a business. You’re learning their strategy, technique and business process from the ground floor up.

Once you have the plan in hand read the mission statement and objectives. Familiarize yourself with the positioning of the company. Learn how the competitor strategizes in order to penetrate the market. Consider the established business process including the various departments, staff demographics, methods of documenting and communicating procedure, the cascade of information between departments and maintaining quality employee relations. Take time to examine the background, education, experience and other credentials of those on the team. Find out what makes that team tick and why the teams efforts work.

Seeing The Market Through The Eagle’s Eye

With your competitors business plans you get an eagle’s eye view of the market and a clear plan to both penetrate and capture various segments and niches. With an insider’s view of the business process you can examine the scale and dimensions of a working business model from which to engineer your own blue print. Designing your own business model becomes less abstract, less complex and much more comprehensive. In addition, understanding the inner-workings of the business process makes it that much more manageable.

So, before you write a business plan to help you market, manage and grow your business, take the time to access your most successful competitors winning business plan and learn the key elements that have lead to its success. In time you yourself will have a plan that wins investor interest, penetrates the market, makes money and grows your business.

Business Planning – Setting SMART Goals For Your Business

Getting your business off the ground requires a great deal of planning. You cannot reach your destination without the roads you will take being well mapped out. This is the same with your business.

In order to know where you would like your business to go, you will not only need to know what you want to achieve, but also what steps will be necessary to get there. In this case, you are wise to use the SMART goal setting system. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.

Let’s take a look at these 5 steps for business planning success:

  1. Be Specific: When you are setting your goals, you need to be as specific as possible in order to really plan them out effectively. Avoid using broad or generics when setting your objectives. For example, if your goal is to generate more sales, put a number to it. This gives you a much better target to hit. If it is 10% more sales, then calculate exactly how many dollars that represents.
  2. You Have To Be Able To Measure It. Setting an objective for your business is no good if you cannot monitor your progress to see if you are on target. Using the example above of increased sales, you can easily measure month-to month if you are meeting your goals or if you need to ramp it up a bit in order to meet your objective.
  3. Can You Achieve Your Goal? Being hopeful is all well and good, but having unrealistic goals is just being a dreamer. If you have a big plan, break it down into smaller, attainable increments. You will still get there in time, but you will not feel overwhelmed in the meantime. Your goals need to be realistic, setting the bar too high is setting yourself up for failure. Setting the bar too low and you will not reach your full potential. Finding the right balance can be difficult, but not impossible. Start small and work hard to meet your self-demands. If you find you reach them easily, then set the bar a little higher the next time.
  4. Make it Relevant to Each Person Involved. Communicating the objective to the various people who will be involved with implementing the action should be specific to their role within your business. Telling your staff that the company’s goal is a 10% increase in sales will mean absolutely nothing to them. Telling your sales staff that they each need to sell 2 more units per month or your production manager that they need to produce an additional 100 units each month is relevant and understandable and measurable to them. It gives everyone concrete objectives that they will have to put in place in order for you to attain the desired outcome.
  5. Set a Time-line. One of the surest ways to fail is to leave an open-ended time to achieve your goals. You have a tendency to want to do this because you are not accountable if you have all the time in the world to meet a goal. Set a date for the completion of your objective. This ties into the measurability of the goal. It also makes you work harder to achieve it if you know you only have a specific amount of time to do it in. Another reason you might be tempted to not set a deadline is if you believe your goal is unattainable. If you can’t bring yourself to set a date for completion, then perhaps you need to revisit the steps above and set more realistic objectives.

By having to set a deadline for completion, you can sit down on that date and review whether to objective was met or if you missed the mark. If it was met, then pat yourself on the back for a job well done and start the process over again with your next set of SMART goals.

If, however, you did not meet your objectives, this gives you time to reflect on where you went wrong in the planning process. Did you set your goals too high? What happened during the process that made it unattainable? Is there something you could have done differently?

It is only through this process of reviewing the outcome at the deadline that you can improve your business and push it to the next level. Without this analysis and review, your business will continue to operate without direction.

This whole process of setting business goals is the only smart way to push your business beyond what it is today. Making sure you set objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely will keep you focused on success.

Qualities of an Effective Corporate Planning Process

Corporate strategic planning is intended to provide both the direction (strategy) and the actions (execution) needed to achieve strategic goals. The combination of smart strategy and successful execution is the hallmark of a great planning process.

So what does this process look like?

  • It creates a hard link between planning and execution.
  • It reduces risk by eliminating variability and ambiguity in language, outcomes, and process.
  • It provides a customer-centered perspective.
  • It facilitates bidirectional communication.
  • It enforces accountability.
  • It empowers executives and staff with “business truth.”
  • It provides clarity and steps to achieve outcomes.
  • It can be applied in any context (internally, externally / business, technical).
  • It provides repeatable, predictable, measurable results.
  • It enables the organization to develop plans more efficiently with precision delivery.
  • It provides cost savings through a repeatable set of processes.
  • It creates minimal intrusion to the organization.

Yet, in recent years we have seen executives grow increasingly skeptical of traditional strategic planning exercises. Why is this? What’s gone wrong with the strategic planning process?

Consider that many planning exercises are carried out in one of two ways: At a fevered pace to set objectives very quickly; or over a very long period of time that has constant interruptions, short meetings, and is primarily focused on current or ad hoc issues that the organization is facing. Either way, we find that management staff is usually focused on short term goals and issues with the most financially significant concerns taking the most attention.

Additionally, in traditional planning, the people who will be most affected by the organization’s plans are often unaware of what the end goals are and have been given varying levels of information to carry out their goals. There is usually a team or set of teams that have been given the “go ahead” to carry out the plans but they often fall prey to office politics, cliques, and business friendships that all impact the ultimate success of the plan and more importantly, the realization of the outcomes that the business is trying to achieve.

All of this adds up to an ineffective strategic planning process that leaves organizations and executives bewildered and wondering why their plans don’t deliver the intended results. Meanwhile, organizations that have managed to create an effective strategic planning process are able to remain focused on delivering value to customers and gaining market share, while also moving toward defined corporate objectives. It is this ability to balance strategy and execution that gives advantage to today’s most successful organizations.

The Tea Room Business Plan – Basic Concepts

Business planning and the start of a new tea room venture is more of a process than an event. A new business is a separate entity that is very much like a garden: planning is required to start, certain mandatory steps are required and constant management and pruning must occur to produce a successful venture.

This plan addresses the basic steps as well as business structure and management steps that are required for success.

The Basic Concept

The basic concept of the business plan is simple:

o An Entrepreneur senses a market opportunity

o To capitalize on this opportunity the entrepreneur establishes a business entity

o The entrepreneur has a vision of the company for the future that foresees a healthy, growing, profitable company

o In order to reach that future vision, a roadmap is required that can be reviewed to determine progress to achieve the ultimate goal

Just like any important trip, a roadmap in the form of a business plan will improve chances of arriving on time and safely. An additional benefit of the business plan is the control function evidenced by the ability to measure progress against the plan.

The critical feature of any plan is not its complexity but its use. Since this document is focused on building a tea room business, a basic document should be prepared and used as the basic guide to the growth of the business, The business plan should be the business owner’s bible and should be read and consulted frequently to determine the mid course adjustments that are always required in the life span of the business.

TEA ROOM TIP: Believe that the business plan is your guide to success. The completion of the plan is only the start of the business. The plan will act as the guide to success and will constantly change as conditions require. The plan will never be complete but will always be useful.


Business planning is a universal discipline and there are as many plans as there are companies. The complexity of the business plan can vary from simple .to overly complex to Byzantine. A classic case study is the story of Compaq Computer, a multi billion dollar computer manufacturer that was launched based on a business plan written on the back of a cocktail napkin.

Many companies however focus on the tress of the planning process and overlook the forest of building a business. Often, the business plan becomes one more document for the corporate bookshelf or the drawer of the planning executive and is not used as it should.

Most effective business planners add only that detail that is informative and productive but does not distract the reader from the core ideas of the plan. Since each plan is a living document that represents a guideline to grow a business, changes can be made as often as required by business conditions. Excessive detail may become irrelevant in the light of new conditions.

TEA ROOM TIP: Start with a bare bones plan that can be expanded or enhanced as conditions warrant. Don’t attempt to create an overly detailed plan that may become obsolete as conditions change.

Are Business Plans a Waste of Time?

I recently attended a national entrepreneurship conference along with a number of other college instructors and well-known entrepreneurs. I found it interesting that two concurrent sessions offered conflicting points of view on business plans. One session featured a panel of successful entrepreneurs questioning the real world relevance of business plans. The other session focused on teaching students to quickly and correctly develop business plans.

I was intrigued by the panel discussion so that’s the session I attended. None of the entrepreneurs on the panel had ever written a business plan-at least to launch a business-yet they were all extremely successful. The revelation that they did not use written plans is not surprising, most entrepreneurs don’t. One reason given by the panel for forgoing a formal business plan is the natural tendency for entrepreneurs to cling to a business plan they wrote due to the investment in time and effort. The reality, they said, is that things change so much in the real world of business that the assumptions underpinning a business plan must often be altered or even abandoned to allow the business the flexibility necessary to survive. In addition, the entrepreneurs were adamant that a good plan will not make a bad idea work and a great idea probably will not be hampered by a poorly written plan-or no plan. Another concept discussed in the session was that what the entrepreneur is really selling to the venture capitalist or angel investor is the entrepreneur. One of the panelist remarked that, “If the investors believe in you, they will invest in your business.” The consensus from the panelists was that investors look for passion and vision in addition to the idea. They must be convinced that the entrepreneur is capable of persevering and making good decisions and adjustments to keep the business moving forward. Since there were college instructors in attendance, and most entrepreneurship programs require written plans, all entrepreneurs on the panel diplomatically agreed that requiring a business plan as part of a course or program of study was not a waste of time. They concurred that the process itself could offer valuable insight.

As a college entrepreneurship instructor I try to convey as realistically as I can the realities that entrepreneurs face. After attending this conference I realized that students may have difficulty reconciling the two seemingly conflicting points of view presented in the workshops. Certainly my students are aware of the statistics which suggest that most entrepreneurs enter a business without a written plan. To attempt to convince them otherwise would be disingenuous. If the panel was right why bother with a business plan at all? I believe that the answer can be found in the last nugget offered by the panel of entrepreneurs; it is the process that is most beneficial.

The planning process does not begin with the business plan. In fact, it is a mistake to write a plan too early. A feasibility analysis should be conducted prior to writing the plan so that the key assumptions underlying the plan are properly vetted. The research conducted as part of a feasibility analysis can also lead the entrepreneur to better understand their business. For example, if a focus group is used to better understand the target market, new insights can be gained which can lead to the development of a more competitive business model. The results of the feasibility study and the articulation of a compelling and competitive business model are the most critical components of a business plan. Coupled with a cash flow analysis these facts can be critical when procuring the necessary resources to launch a new enterprise.

Another point I like to make with my students is that the importance of a business plan depends on the type of business. A retail store with large capital requirement, inventory, payroll, etc. is completely different than a new venture in a technology driven industry that is rapidly changing and evolving. A business similar to Facebook, for example, has much less need for a formal business plan than the owner of a new sporting goods store.

In addition, the amount of borrowed capital required to launch a business will impact the need for a formal plan. Venture capitalist typically will want to review at least certain sections of a formal plan as part of their due diligence.

I believe that the entrepreneurs had a valid point regarding the tendency for business owners to become too attached to a formal plan. A critical time occurs when the business is launched and the entrepreneur begins receiving real feedback from customers. The decisions made at this juncture can make the difference between the success and failure of the venture. Should the entrepreneur hold to the assumptions of the plan or should minor or major adjustments be made? The entrepreneur needs to remember that the business is not on autopilot just because a polished business plan is in place. Adjustments must be made as conditions warrant.

The panel was not wrong when questioning the necessity of a formal business plan, but the planning process is distinct from the plan. A business plan, whether required or not, will enable the entrepreneur to better articulate their vision which may make writing a plan well worthwhile.

Integrative Business Planning – Managing Complexity


Business Planning is normally done when a business plan is needed for financing purposes or to use as a guideline on running and growing a business (as a start-up or for the next time frame). Many crucial features of a business need to be addressed and balanced in this planning process. Various options, problems and risks relating to these features will be considered.

Entrepreneurs often assume that one variable has a linear relationship with another (e.g. $x spending on marketing will create $y income in sales). Business is, however, seldom that simple. Many multi-directional relationships tend to occur between the various features. Sales would for instance also be influenced by product quality, price, etc. Sales on the other hand will influence future expansions. To cater for this phenomenon an integrative business planning process is required.

Crucial Issues in Business Planning

Every business is different and the crucial issues in one does not necessary occur in another. What is, however, important is that the business planners ensure that they analyse and plan for all the relevant features for their specific business. This would normally include the issues that is highlighted below.

  • The Business – It is essential to ensure that the opportunity, the business concept, its products, services and strategies and the industry that it operates in are sound.
  • Marketing – Marketing strategy needs to be considered. This include aspects such as pricing and promotion.
  • Market Research – This is a crucial issue that is often neglected. It is important to know and understand the customers, the market size and trends and who the competition is.
  • Development – All issues regarding the development of new products, services, markets and facilities need to be planned for.
  • Operations – All aspects regarding the what, where and how of operations must be considered.
  • The Team – The management team need to match the requirements of a business. It would be preferable to establish what skills/jobs are needed and then to link the people to it. Where there are a lack of skills, training programmes can be implemented and new people can be hired. The whole organigram and composition of board of directors, management teams, etc. need to be planned for.
  • Finances – Finances are the ultimate yardstick of the success of a business, but it can not stand on its own. Important financial issues would typically include investment-, financing- and dividend decisions and policies. It is also crucial to plan for turnover (sales), gross profit margins and cost control (of expenses). The relationships between these issues (financial ratios) need further planning to establish if the business will be profitable, liquid and solvent. Return on investment (ROI) and sustainable business growth would for instance be specific aspects to consider.
  • Risk Management – The various risks that occur need to be determined, analysed and catered for. Fatal flaws need to be eliminated. Operational- and financial risks can often be hedged. This would incur certain costs and strategies such as manufacturing in various countries and buying and selling futures and options in different currencies.

The Complexity of Detailed Business Planning

A quick review of the brief summary of the crucial issues that need to be considered gives a glimpse of the complexity involved in business planning. If we just look at the financial issues we will see that the price will have an impact on the sales (turnover). The lower the price the more the physical volumes will normally be (except if image requires a high price). Turnover and total profits will, however, not necessary be higher. There is normally a fine balance that exist between the price, volume sales, turnover and profits.

To complicate this even further the turnover, costs and profits and there timings have a direct impact on the cashflow of the company (a very critical issue). This whole aspect is then further complicated by the investment- (capital expenditure), financing- (equity or debt?) and dividend decisions. By spending too much on a plant, having too much debt and paying out too much to shareholders will have a negative effect on the sustainable business growth of the company and this will reduce the targets that are achievable. This scenario shows only a portion of the various aspects that need to balance within the broader financial sphere.

Unfortunately the complication of the example does not stop with the finances. The finances influence many other crucial aspects of the business. On the other hand many of the other crucial aspects also have an effect on the finances as well as on each other.

The financial decisions would for instance have a direct bearing on the growth of the business (e.g. geographical expansions and new product development), marketing spending and people employment and development. All these issues would similar have an impact on the financial issues and on each other.

An Integrative Business Planning Approach

The general tendency in business planning would be to tackle each issue independently and then to just add the pieces together and re-plan if something is not making sense. Business planning often starts with some projected turnover and profit figures in mind. Everything is then worked backwards from there.

A much better option would be to have an integrative business planning approach. In order to do this the following steps are needed:

  1. Determine all the salient features of the business.
  2. Determine the relationships between these salient features.
  3. Try and solve every feature by keeping the casualties and effects with other features in mind.
  4. Use “what-if” questions to create better holistic solutions.


The idea in business planning is not to optimise the one aspect of the business and neglect or ignore some of the others. The various relationships (causes and effects) need to be catered for in an integrative way. One crucial salient feature or relationship that is ignored can put the existence of the whole business in jeopardy.

Copyright© 2008 by Wim Venter. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

How To Rock Your 2021 Business Plan

The anxiety and angst of 2020 are behind us. It was a year that left its mark on thousands of businesses everywhere.

Due to the pandemic many companies adjusted their business strategies, readjusted and then readjusted again.

Those with strong operational foundations were able to survive. They were able to adjust to the ebb and flow of the marketplace.

Some even thrived and made significant growth in sales and revenue. Others were not so fortunate and were forced to trim production and staff.

As the COVID economy continues, business owners must continue to adjust and add to their strategic processes. This includes an analysis, evaluation and development of a plan that establishes proper direction and the discipline necessary to sail through the headwinds that will surely be faced throughout 2021.

Case in point. I was a member of the 1988 USVI Olympic Sailing Team. We sailed out of the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove, Florida. When we raced, the course was set up in a triangle. That means no matter which way the wind was blowing you needed to make your sailboat move rapidly and maintain speed.

The course required you to not only fight hard to sustain momentum but to watch out for other boats. You could not let a competitor literally “take the wind out of your sails.”

The race included a high level of strategy. Sails had to be set precisely to make the upcoming 300 degree turn without losing velocity. It was an all-out effort to cross the finish line ahead of the competition.

Your business plan should do the same. That is formulating a strategy that not only enables your company to maintain pace but actually is designed to win the race in the new year.

One example of a winning plan is the popular Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), used by thousands of businesses nationwide and worth echoing here. Like the EOS® plan, your strategy should focus on six key areas.

These include…

A solid vision. One where everyone in the organization is on the same page and rowing, if you will, in the same direction. The entire team must understand the direction of the business and how you are going to get there. Great progress can be made when employees have a clear vision of where you are headed and then spend the bulk of their time aligned with it.

Great people. Business owners need to surround themselves with excellent people from top to bottom. A great vision cannot be accomplished without a great team. Many business owners struggle in this area but the best companies have a strong group supporting them.

Data and metrics. Management must cut through all the personalities, feelings, opinion and egos. Instead a plan should be boiled down to a handful of objective numbers. This gives you an absolute pulse on where things are at any given time. These data points will help the team focus, engage and work toward your vision.

Issue resolvement. Issues can hold a company back. Most are solvable but left unresolved can turn a thoroughbred into a slow moving mule. These issues should be addressed at their root cause. When properly addressed they can be eliminated and/or their impact substantially reduced.

Processes. Companies have various business processes. Some are better than others and may be different for every employee. Management needs to document what these processes are and then simplify them to ensure they are followed by everyone in the organization.

Traction. Once companies enact these processes they hit a point in implementation where they are making great progress, never before imaginable. By identifying their top priorities, taking the time weekly to work through them and holding each other accountable, they are able to grow farther and faster.

Creation of the right strategic plan, with the proper processes for implementation, measurement and accountability, will enable a business owner to crush their numbers and rock their business plan in 2021.

7 Steps Effective Strategic Planning Process

This TQM article provides an insight of a typical Strategic Planning Process that was used in several organizations and proven to be very practical in implementation. the key processes of this typical Strategic Planning Process are lined up into 7 steps. Detail of each steps are illustrated below:-

Step 1 – Review or develop Vision & Mission

Able to obtain first hand information from various stakeholders (Shareholders, customers, employee, suppliers communities etc).

You may use templates to evaluate how the stakeholders think about your organization. To find out whether their action are aligned with the organization’s objectives.

To review or develop company’s Vision and Mission with the involvement of other stakeholders to ensure it is still current with the business changes and new challenges. Also use this session as a mean for communication.

Step 2 – Business and operation analysis (SWOT Analysis etc)

One of the key consideration of strategic planning is to understand internal (own organization) Strengths and Weaknesses as well as external Threats and Opportunities. These are commonly known as the four factors of a S.W.O.T. analysis.

Involvement from various stakeholders to provide their points of view about your organization is key. In the process, you will gain better buy-in from these implementers of strategies and policies.

Step 3 – Develop and Select Strategic Options

You may use templates to develop several key possible strategies to address the organization’s objectives. More important, these possible strategies are develop based on the inputs from stakeholders (step 1) and Business and Operation analysis (step 2).

It is often several possible strategies are developed and everyone of them seems important. Since it is quite normal that an organization would have several key issues to tackle, you will be able to use a proper tools to select a few from the possible strategies. You will b e able to apply several prioritizing tools as introduced in this step.

Step 4 – Establish Strategic Objectives

During this step, you will be able to view the overall picture about the organization and able to select a few strategic options objectively. Template may be used to understand various strategic options, set key measures and broad time line to ensure the selected strategic options are achieved.

While it is quite common that measures and timeline is given by top management, it is the intention of this step 4 that these measures and timeline is SMART . What it meant was Specific (S), Measurable (M), Achievable (A), Realistic (R) and Time-bound (T). when the strategic options are SMART, it will help to ease the communication toward the lower level of the organizational hierarchy for implementation.

Step 5 – Strategy Execution Plan

Many organization failed to realize its full potential of its strategies are due to weak implementation. In this Step 5, a proper deployment plan is developed to implement these strategies.

Step 6 – Establish Resource Allocation

Very often, management team assigned selected strategies to key personnel and left it to the individual to carry out the task. While most organizations operate with minimum resources, it often ends up work overloaded by individual.

Step 7 – Execution Review

One of the key success factors for an effective strategy deployment is constant review of its progress and make decision for any deviations to plan. It is vital to decide what to review and with who the review is done. New decision may be required as the status of the strategies progressed.

In summary: Follow this 7-steps in Strategic Planning will ensure various options are considered including its execution, resource allocation d and Execution Review. This 7-Steps form a complete cycle for new or existing Strategic Planning initiatives

Shamus Brown’s Top 5 Sales Presentation Tips

When its time to give your next sales presentation, here are my favorite tips for delivering powerful, charismatic, and engaging sales presentations.


How you hold your physical body during your sales pitch communicates a tremendous amount of information about you to your audience. Studies have shown a person will unconsciously interpret approximately 55% of the meaning of your message from physiological cues in your body position, stance, and facial expressions.

Deliver your presentation from a position of confidence. Stand with your feet squarely between your shoulders. Distribute your weight evenly between your legs, and plant your feet firmly on the ground. Keep your arms relaxed at your sides, until your are ready to make a gesture.

Shifting your weight from one leg to another communicates to the audience a lack of confidence. This comes across unconsciously in that if you were to ask someone, a typical response might be “he didn’t seem like believed in his company” or “I not sure that I can trust her”.

Try both the balanced and the unbalanced speaking postures right now, and see which one makes you feel more confident and ready for your next sales presentation.


It is your job to lead the audience. The reason they are there to get something from you. So you must lead them where you want them to go. If you want people to get excited about your product or to feel a sense of trust towards you and your company, you must first create this emotion within yourself.

How do you do this? Simple. Do whatever it takes to get yourself excited. Jump up and down. Clap your hands. Play your favorite music loud. High five your sales partner. You can do this where you won’t be seen by the prospect (in your car, in the customer’s stairwell, bathroom or outside the building). What do you think a rock star or an actor does to warm-up before going on stage?

The idea is to begin your presentation in an absolutely great state. Do this right and the audience will follow your where you want them to go.

Special tip: Use this technique before making important phone calls so that you are “on” when you make the call.


Another thing big rock stars do before coming out on stage is they have warm-up acts. The job of a warm-up act is to get the audience in a mood will be receptive of the main act’s energy.

You can accomplish this same effect by simply playing music before you start your presentation. Many laptops have CD players these days, or you can use a boom-box. The type of music you play will depend on your audience, and the emotional state that you want to warm your audience up to. Just think about how this will set you apart from your competition’s stale PowerPoint slide show.


The more rapport you have with an individual or a group, the more receptive they will be to your message. One way to build rapport with your audience is by asking questions of your audience during your first few minutes on stage.

Ask a question or two that most people can easily answer (but don’t put anyone on the spot too much). Questions such as “How far did you come to get here?” and “How long have you been working in this field?” easily get conversation going and begin creating a relationship between you and your audience.


You probably know you should do this. Now here’s why and how.

The more frequently you change the location of your focus, the more new information your brain is taking in. Your eyes are the visual sensory input system for your brain. Change focus fast enough and frequently enough, and you overload your brain to the point where you forget where you are at in the presentation. Aaaaggh!

Maintain your concentration on what you want to say next by fixing your visual focus for short periods of time. Do this by completing a thought or a sentence (whichever you find easier) while sustaining eye contact with one person. Move eye contact to a new person with each new thought or sentence.

© 1999-2004 Shamus Brown, All Rights Reserved.

Points to Analyse About A Business Loan

Businesses are now growing at a faster rate as compared to previous generations. And that’s where a business loan plays a crucial role in. In order for a business to keep operating, funding is something it requires of. It’s something that pulls them out of tedious situations and let the graph of their growth increasing at the same time. There are a few points that every business should analyse before taking a business loan.

The businesses have the idea about their needs and the amount required for their business. Sometimes, the businesses don’t have a clear vision why they need a loan or about the amount they need according to requirements. This a crucial decision that may decide the future of the business. In those cases, what a business need is advice. SMEs have been able to provide answers to such problems. The financial institutes are also providing advice to the businesses in order to fulfill their needs. Assessing their present scenario does also protect them from hideous situations.

Businesses are required to review their credit history before applying for a business loan as it’s something that every financial institutes reviews before giving any kind of fund. Have a look at your credit over previous times or have a credit report from different credit reporting agencies. If the business is a start-up, then have a look at your credit score. A credit score of about 700 is considered to be good and increases your chances of getting one.

After having a look at your credit ability every business should look at the options available to them. Sometimes the smaller financial institutes offer better options than that of a bigger one. Have a through review about the institutes and their financing procedures. You should have a talk with the loan officer and have a detailed idea about their terms and conditions. There are also different types of loans available such as micro finance etc. so have a view and select the best that suits your business.

Business plan is a crucial stage before having a loan. You must have a proper business plan. A business plan is something that a financial institute may view in addition to your credit ability. A proper business plan has detailed study of your past, evaluation of assets and project statements. It does also include an analysis of the market that your business serves and your growth over the years.

In order to have a security that, you will definitely get a business loan all you need to have is an appealing presentation. Fix an appointment with the loan officer and show them your presentation followed with a brief description. Do include your growth, market hold and assets in form of visual aids along with your application and required documents.

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