WHERE LOCAL BUSINESS GROWS

Writing a Business Plan

The business plan is a means to an end.  It forms a platform for the management or owner which forces them to think through all element of their business.  Whilst a good business plan alone can’t guarantee success, we can confidently endorse the over used maxim that ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’

The plan will set out what the business is aiming to sell, who to, and where and how its customers can be found and reached.  It will also consider your competitors and their current approach.  It will also consider what resources (typically money, equipment and people) you will need and how much profit your business will ultimately make.

Don’t forget – profit is more important than sales, cash is more important than profit!

As straight forward as these statements sound it is the underlying content that separates one business plan from another.  Strong content will enable the plan to be used immediately from execution and should provide direction and clarity for the early stages of business launch.

Remember though that your plan should be a ‘living thing’ and should be up for regular review – don’t allow it to be forgotten and don’t stick to it for the sake of ignoring a developing opportunity!

Download a free business plan template from Yorkshire Powerhouse


Naming your business
 

Thinking of a good business name can be an enjoyable task.  It is something you can have fun with but there is a serious consideration to be taken into account.  This will be your projected image to the world and one of your primary marketing tools.

Inspiration can come from many sources – your own interpretation of what the business does, family and friends, a favourite brand – but its vital that you keep it relevant and that anything too ‘off the wall’ or abstract doesn’t get lost in translation.

The key is that the name has to resonate with your customers or target market.  It needs to create their initial vision of what your business does and the image it projects.  Your business name will be headlining all your promotional material and website and it will be central to the brand value you build into the business.

Although you are looking to appeal to customers and get the message across with regard to what you sell, if you can arrive at something which sets you apart from the crowd and remembered easily for the right reasons, that would work well.

There are certain restrictions on some worlds/phrases which can be checked out at Companies House (obvious ones like offensive words but some less so relating to things like associations or royalty) and you will always need to check out no one else is using it.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Business type and structure
 

You will need to elect a business type or structure for your business and getting this right is essential – making the wrong choice can change how much tax you pay and how you account for your business.

Once you have completed your pre-planning research and have a fairly high level of confidence that the market exists for you business idea, there are several key considerations and choices you need to look at.

It is strongly recommended that you seek professional advice on this area from an accountant or business advisor.

In essence there are four main options: 

  • Sole trader
  • Partnership
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP)
  • Limited company

Being a sole trader simply means that you register with HMRC as a self-employed person.

A partnership is considered on the same basis as a sole trader but obviously requires all parties within the partnership to register on the same basis.  It is also very important to have a partnership agreement in place to ensure everybody involved knows exactly what they are expected to contribute and what their liabilities and obligations entail.

Yorkshire Powerhouse has written a couple of guides on sole traders and Limited companies there is more information about all the different options at https://www.gov.uk/topic/company-registration-filing/starting-company

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

Your vision and goals
 

There is a well used acronym to help define goals (not just business but it can also be personal or any other walk of life) known as SMART.

When you are writing your business plan, you should absolutely define goals and ambitions to help you measure your success.  Goals should motivate you, not demoralise – so if you find your goals are getting you down then perhaps you need to be SMART:

  • Specific – well defined goals help you focus on the most important things (and there could be several specific goals) that will help your business succeed.  The main thing is that you identify what that specific goals are and what they need to achieve within the context of your business.
  • Measurable – you need to have benchmarks and reference points within the goals and the indicators you set to be quantifiable.  How else will you know if the ultimate goal has been achieved?
  • Achievable – there is nothing wrong with setting ambitious goals but we are back to one of the main watch words – realistic.  Given all the constraints around your business proposition, the goals have to be realistically attainable or they will simply deflate your enjoyment.
  • Relevant – goals can always fulfil the other 4 criteria but the ones you set for your business have to be relevant to your overall objectives.  It has to be worthwhile in the context of the business.
  • Time-bound – again, be realistic by putting a time frame around the goals you set (and they may vary on a goal by goal basis).  This discipline is designed to keep you focused on achieving your desired result and minimising distraction that could be detrimental to the success of your venture.

 Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

 

Thinking about pricing
 

Setting your prices at the right level requires an in-depth knowledge of your market and who you are looking to sell to.

Your research on potential customers and competitors is key to getting this right.  Whether it’s ‘expensive and exclusive’ or ‘cheap and cheerful’ (or somewhere in between!) its about ensuring that you make the profit margin required for the business needs and running a commercially viable enterprise.  You are looking to maximise profit after all your costs have been covered.

In addition to the research, you will need to know what costs are going into the product or service you will be supplying.

Variable costs such as raw materials and utilities (gas, electric, water) will increase in proportion to the quantity and volume produced.  Fixed costs such as rent, wages and rates for example will remain constant.  You need to work out what proportion of your price needs to be factored in based on these costs.  A combination of the two costs will give you a figure that is known as breakeven – selling ‘this much’ at ‘this price’ will cover everything required for the business to survive without making a surplus.  But a successful business is about making profit and to complete the process of arriving at a price that is right, you need to factor in “margin”

There are various methods for pricing for the desired profit level but any method (without just guessing) is reliant on detailed knowledge of the market.

  • Mark up or cost plus pricing is simply the cost price (i.e. breakeven price as described above) with a percentage added based on factors in the market such as what does everybody else charge?  What is the demand?  If it’s high, can I charge a premium?  If it’s low will I need to accept a lower profit margin and sell volume?  Is my product or service unique or limited competition?  All considerations but it’s always worth remembering that even with something that is high quality or high demand, there is likely to be a limit to what someone is willing to pay.  You also need to remember that if you don’t sell every unit of what you supply, the profit margin will be negatively affected.
  • Value based pricing can be much more rewarding but is very much based on your potential customers perception of the value they put on the product or service you supply.  You can potentially maximise the profit margin made above cost if what you offer is highly prized or you offer significant added value with what you supply.

It is worth re-iterating – how or the method you use for pricing for profit needs a thorough analysis and detailed knowledge of your market and potential customers.

In general it is good business practice to review your prices regularly against the costs involved, customer’s expectations and competitor activity to ensure you remain ahead of the game.  As a successful business, you should always maximise profits on the goods and services you supply.

Content kindly provided by www.yorkshirepowerhouse.com visit them for free business templates & much more. 

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News

5 results found 
ABL Business expands into North Yorkshire

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Yorkshire-based business support consultancy ABL Business Ltd are expanding their operations into North Yorkshire. The company, which offers commercial finance and marketing support to SMEs, has engaged Fraser Irvine as an Appointed Representative to cover the county. Based in Harrogate, Fraser will be operating across the area, offering a full mix of commercial finance services. He will assist SMEs in raising the funds they need to trade, grow or stabilise their business, using all the funding lines and capabilities of ABL Business. It marks the third recent growth for the Cleckheaton-based company, who recently set up a new office in Scotland with two representatives just over a year ago and expanded into the North East region in March this year. Fraser Irvine is an experienced Independent Commercial Finance Broker and joins the company with an extensive career in financing businesses under his belt. He has spent almost 30 years working with asset and cash flow funders, which gives him a deep understanding of the financial needs of an SME business. Fraser has worked with new start businesses, as well as more established companies, arranging funding facilities to suit individual needs. His interest in business finance has also enabled him to gain extensive experience in the Management Buy-out, Management Buy-in and transactional market as a whole. He said: “I have known ABL Business and its owners, Andy Redman and Alex Beardsley for many years and really like the independent and client-focussed approach they adopt, so I’m very excited that I’m now joining the team. “ABL Business has access to a vast range of funders, which means I will benefit from being able to offer clients financial solutions that are tailored to bespoke needs. I am keen to help clients from new starts to multi-million turnover businesses to grow and achieve their full potential.” ABL Business Ltd and their appointed representatives have access to over 70 funders, enabling them to find an appropriate solution, no matter what a client’s financial requirements may be. ABL Business Director Andy Redman said: “We’re delighted to welcome Fraser to the team. He has a wealth of experience, which he brings with him from the financial sector, and in business too. Fraser, with his connections and knowledge, will be a real asset to ABL Business and to companies across North Yorkshire. His appointment has enabled us to expand our reach into yet another area and help even more businesses find funding packages that suit their specific needs”.
Posted by ABL Business Ltd
Social Progress MD selected for Digital Women Debate Panel

Saturday 03 June 2017

During the Digital Marketing Roadshow - Wigan on Wednesday 7th June at DW Stadium five leading industry experts will be coming together to discuss diversity in Digital and how gender balance is being addressed. The day has a very exciting list of digital related seminars throughout the day including a Google Digital Garage session on 'Reach New Customers Online & Know your Business with Google Analytics.' The Digital Women Debate is being hosted by Naomi Timperley who runs Coo Digital & is a Tech North Advocate. Social Progress, owner and MD Janet Bebb is one of the five panelists discussing gender balance in the digital along with Debbie Edwards, F Disrupters, Wendy Bowers at Role, Melissa Conlon, Commercial Director at Magma and Aaron Crewe from novi.digital. Big Screen Social our highly visual Twitter Wall will also be featuring at the event displaying the photos, branding and messages of delegates, exhibitors and speakers via hashtag #DMRoadshow helping to spread the word about the full day event and reach an online audience. This free to attend event is part of a series of Digital Marketing Roadshows taking place across the North West of England organised by Launch Events. https://www.socialprogress.co.uk/social-progress-selected-for-digital-women-debate-panel/
Posted by Social Progress
The benefits of being a member of Kirklees Business Hub

Friday 26 May 2017

Earlier this year, we returned from the Objective Management Group (OMG) International Conference in Boston, having won two awards, best new partner or "rookie" of the year award and an outstanding performance award. We wrote an article about our achievement on Kirklees Business Hub and included information about how we support businesses with improving their sales. The news article was subsequently shared by the team at Kirklees Business Hub on LinkedIn and Twitter. As a result of the article being shared, we received two new enquiries. One of the new enquiries is a business based in Kirklees and the other prospect is based in South Wales. Our business is already experiencing the benefits of the hub and we would encourage people to share their news. More importantly, attend the excellent events that are organised. The one I attended on Wednesday at the 3M Innovation Centre was excellent. It is a great opportunity to learn and make contacts with like minded local businesses.
Posted by Momentum Sales Solutions Limited
Huddersfield Digital Marketing Trainer is only Facebook #SheMeansBusiness Accredited Trainer in the North of England

Wednesday 22 February 2017

Janet Bebb of Social Progress Ltd was recently invited to Facebook International, Ireland to be trained up on Facebook Fundamentals, Facebook Pages, Instagram and Advertising as part of the She Means Business initiative. Janet was flown out to Dublin, with seven other UK digital experts, to learn from the social media giant about their new initiative, She Means Business being delivered in partnership with Enterprise Nation. “Facebook offices were such an inspiring and fun place to be and we all learned a lot from both Facebook and each other” – Janet Bebb, Social Progress Ltd As well as being shown around the Dublin Facebook HQ, these digital experts were trained especially to deliver the She Means Business Programme across the UK, on behalf of Facebook and Enterprise Nation, at nationwide events throughout 2017. The programme is designed especially to encourage budding and existing businesswomen across the UK to develop their businesses and grow their digital skills in 2017. The aim is to provide digital skills training to more than 10,000 women. Not only does the programme involve various events to book onto, but they will also provide resources and support for the women who register onto the programme. “I wouldn’t have been able to set up Social Progress Ltd by myself without the support and advise I received from similar support programmes over 5 years ago. It’s awesome to be able to support more business women to achieve their business goals and realise their potential!” – Janet Bebb, Social Progress Ltd Janet was the only trainer selected from “up North” with the majority of the others being from the London area & Southern Counties. These eight individuals included social media consultants & digital marketers who will each deliver the She Means Business programme in their area, to cover the UK together. For more information and to book visit the Enterprise Nation website: www.enterprisenation.com/shemeansbusiness
Posted by Social Progress
Jumping For Business Imaging Joy!

Monday 06 February 2017

We all know that as a Business, you want to create the best impression you can - your business images are a proud statement about you and what your business offers. You need stock images for your Testimonials, 'Meet The Team' Portraits, Business Cards, Posters, Flyers, and other Website Content such as Logos and correctly sized images for your Social Media Pages, not to mention Google Maps and all of your other Business Listings too. Millions of people rely on Images like mine when they search for places, especially on Google - In the last week of January 2017 my image views were up by 4,836 on the previous week. My images have been viewed over 50,000 times in the past 6 months! As a local Photographer I support local enterprise and I consistently add new images to all of my social media pages as well as to my my web and blog and to businesses on Google Maps - all part of my Business Image Service for their Shops, Cafes etc. If local businesses choose to use my service they get an affordable package of great web and social media content, and at the same time, greater web exposure at no extra cost. If you want more information, and would like to see more examples of my work, please go to my Business Images page for more information. Harry Dwyer January 2017.
Posted by Harry Dwyer Photography
5 results found 

Events Posted

6 results found 
Image for
Facebook Advertising Workshop
Thursday 3 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Facebook for Business Workshop
Thursday 3 August 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Social Media Marketing and Branding
Wednesday 16 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Content Creation and Blogging for Business
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Creative Analysis Ltd And Social Progress Ltd, 2, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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LinkedIn for Business Workshop
Wednesday 30 August 2017, 13:30 - 16:30
Bridge House, Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
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Twitter for Business Workshop
Thursday 14 September 2017, 09:30 - 12:30
Bridge House, 2 Woodhead Road, Holmfirth, HD9 6PX
£65 - 6 places
6 results found 
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