A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts.
A business plan helps you to:
- clarify your business idea
- spot potential problems
- set out your goals
- measure your progress
Approximately a third of all SME’s in the UK don’t have a Business Plan, that’s about 1.5m businesses, so if you don’t have one, here are some reasons why you should prepare one….
- Research by Exact Software shows that SME’s with Business Plans make 20% more profit
- Having a business plan doubles your chances of increasing profits, increasing revenue, attracting new clients
- A well-researched business plan which includes the right figures and realistic forecasts will reassure potential investors you are a sensible investment opportunity
- A Business Plan will help you set out and achieve your goals
- It will help you set goals for your managers and staff
- The Business Plan will help you plan your cash flow and forecast Capital Expenditure
- A Business Plan will help you secure Business Finance and Loans
- You can plan your succession strategy or prepare the business for sale
- A Business Plan tests the feasibility of your business idea
- It will help you plan for the recruitment of Staff
Peer to peer lending is a simple transaction between an individual that wants to lend money and an individual or business that wants to borrow money without the use of a third party facilitator, like a bank or a lending company, to manage the loan. It started in the USA in 2006 with Prosper.
Peer to peer lending is becoming more popular as banks limit lending and consumers find themselves facing difficulty obtaining traditional financing. Banks, trying to fix their balance sheets, have introduced much more stringent requirements for personal loans than what was required in the past and fewer people have the qualifications to obtain these loans. Small business owners have been hurt by the contraction in lending as well. The reduction in traditional lending to small businesses has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of business owners interested in obtaining peer to peer loans.
Sounds brilliant but the problem has been that the potential borrowers turn to P2P after they have failed to borrow from other sources and this can make the borrowers high risk.
If this issue could be over come and P2P could become mainstream, I think it could become very popular, the lenders get a good return and the borrowers get a fair interest rate and terms. Even one is a winner.
To see how it works in practice take a look at http://www.fundingcircle.com/
Also here is blog http://stevegrice.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/peer-to-peer-business-lending-in-the-uk/ which is very interesting.
It would be great to find out your views and comments.
The reason most businesses join bartercard is to increase their sales. Isn’t that what everyone wants? it’s why we go networking, why we advertise and its generally the reason we went into business in the first place – because we thought we could earn more (by selling more) than working for someone else.
When you barter using bartercard you swap your services at their full value, there are many discount schemes now being promoted, they generally get you to heavily discount your product/service and charge you a fee on top. The theory being that the new clients who use the discount scheme will want to come back and pay full price, it could work, but I suspect many people just take the special offers.
Bartercard now have 75,000 worldwide members, so there are plenty of businesses to swap with and Bartercard give a guarantee that they will get sales for your business. So if you want more sales, why not give it a go?