Archive for March, 2011
Everybody needs some sort of loan to meet their financial requirements. Especially business people need loans to enhance their business. In this tough economic situation, obtaining loans is not very easy. Borrowers have to complete lot of formalities to obtain loans from the lenders and borrowers. Especially if you are in bad credit then getting bank loan is definitely a difficult task.
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Short term assets and short term liabilities are adjacent to each other in all balance sheets, and then lumped together to produce the net value of what is known as working capital tied up in the business. Working capital is the amount by which total short term assets exceeds total short term liabilities. As noted earlier a balance sheet also reveals a business’s overall net assets position, simply total assets less total liabilities the amount that a business owes back to its owners. Long term assets are assets that have an expected use in the business for more than a 12 month period. The more unusual name is fixed assets, and example includes buildings, vehicles, plant and equipment.
Short term assets are assets that would normally be used in the business within the next 12 months. Examples include stocks of raw materials, the value of any jobs-in-progress, stocks of finished product, debtors, and funds in the bank. Short-term liabilities are amounts owed to suppliers of various types, and which fall due for payment within the next 12 months. Examples include creditors, and bank overdrafts. Long-term liabilities are amounts owed that fall due for payment after more than 12 months from the balance sheet date. The commonly encountered ones are long term borrowings due for repayment after 12 months or more almost invariably long term finance such as a mortgage.
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Your business plan has to convince the people that you need to convince the following:
. That the type of business, the industry, and its marketplace, its target customers, represent an attractive business proposition.
. That your business’s product or service is special, which means that it, can be differentiated readily from the offerings of direct competitors, and from substitute products and services. Your business plan must explain the key features that provide a significant advantage in customer’s eyes, that they are willing to pay for.
. That it is not easy for others to copy your business’s special features, and that high entry barriers are in place to encourage potential new entrants to go elsewhere.
. That your business’s product or service has future growth what is often referred to as scalability. It must possess attributes that meet the needs of the largest number of potential buyers, not just the needs of a small niche.
. That your financial model is realistic. Profit and loss forecasts and the projected cash flow profile must be robust able to withstand detailed scrutiny and compelling which means showing attractive potential returns.
. That the management team possesses the personal attributes and the business skills to be able to deliver the business plan. These include technical skills, welded to grit and an utter determination to succeed, plus a degree of financial commitment to the success of the business.
Every year companies try to take on the daunting task of handling their own shipping responsibilities. There are a few problems with this, mainly the fact that they are not equipped with the right sms software or even the correct tms software that will make shipping any products, no matter the size, much easier. Every year the major corporations like the USPS, Fedex, and UPS, handle millions of packages, boxes, letters, bags, and other things and send them all over the world. For under $10 you can now get a package to the other side of the country in less than a day. This has made it a lot easier for smaller companies and customers to ship items all over the country and even all over the world, but it has made it harder for the companies that wish to handle their own shipping. The reason is because customers have become very acclimated to the quickness and reliability of the major shipping corporations and they expect nothing less from your company.
That puts the pressure on your business to deliver and you have to do a great job at it. Customers have no problem paying a little more to make sure that they get the best service and products out there. Look at the leading banks in this country, do they offer free checking and savings accounts? Of course not, but they offer outstanding service which is why people stay with them and pay their fees, because they want the best service around. That’s what your company needs to offer, especially with shipping and a great way to do that is by having usps shipping software to help you.
The marketing section of your business plan poses a real challenge; it is often the most difficult one to do really well. A strong business plan outlines a detailed marketing model for a business. Yours must talk about defined customers whose needs your business offering has been tailored to meet in unique ways. Those ways should reflect your customer’s needs and the various types of profit opportunity that they represent. Inevitably, that also means analyzing your rivals thoroughly as well. Do not leave a big gap. The questions to address are not just how your business’s offering will be different, but how will your customers know that it is different and the benefits that brings them? And how much will they pay for those benefits? Investment of the time necessary to get the marketing elements right will produce a number of opportunities to improve your business’s chances of success:
. You will gain the opportunity to fine-tune key features of your product or service, or even to completely redesign your offering in order to match customers needs even more closely.
. You can decide exactly how best to inform your desired customers about your business’s offering and its specific benefits.
. You will be at the correct starting point to design a targeting marketing plan. That will place your business ahead of rivals who start their marketing strategy from the point called “how can I try to let my vaguely defined customers know about the very interesting to me features of my product or service that I imagine that they will want?” That said, never underestimate your rivals either, confidence is good, but arrogance is just asking for trouble.
The task of obtaining a suitable working capital facility, funding needed to cover the cash flow cycle, from a business’s clearing bank may be more straightforward. This is particularly true if assets of easily realizable worth, owned by your business, or by you, or others, are available for the bank to use as security. Banks generally expect a place to legal charge over assets pledged as security for loans. A charge is a legal device, granted defaults on a loan, the lender has the power to seize the assets held under the charge and sell them so that the loan can be repaid.
Unlike venture capital funds and business angels, high street clearing banks are not in the risk-lending business, they make advances of other people’s money, their depositor’s monies, on a low risk basis by providing finance facilities that are secured against assets. Finance companies provides invoice discounting facilities and they will expect to take a legal charge over a business’s debtors, so that they too have a safety net beneath them if things go wrong.
In any event, however and as is the case for all potential funders, a strong business plan, one that makes the business case clearly, has a much better chance of attracting the funding required than a week one. Where a number of projects exist, or in situations where several departments are all competing in a bidding process for limited funds, then the metaphor once more is the one about putting on your metaphorical running shoes and making sure that you can out-run your rivals.
Balance sheet is one of the final accounting statements which contain that “balance” word so beloved of accountants. At its most fundamental level, a balance sheet sets out the asset that a business owns and against those set its liabilities, the amounts that the business owes. Some real-world business plans dispense with the need to include forecast balance sheets, not least where the business unit is a department within a larger business entity. If, however, your business’s need is to raise significant amount of funding, then you will almost certainly need to produce projected balance sheets. These will allow the types of funding needed to be determined, in terms of both amounts required and type, so that they best fit your business’s anticipated needs.
If your business seeks significant external funding then you will need to produce balance sheets as well, and if you do not have some specialist financial background, your user-friendly accountant will be great source of help here as well. That said; always ensure that you understand what a balance sheet is and what it shows. As a minimum in business you should understand and feel confident in using the basic concepts underlying profit and loss accounts and cash flow forecasts. These are the minimum that every strong plan should include. Whether or not you will need to prepare forecast balance sheets as well depends to a large extent upon individual business plan circumstances.
If a business requires funding then it needs funders to provide the cash, cash that can arrive in a number of ways:
. Long-term share capital
. Long-term borrowings
. Short-term finance from other sources, mainly funds are raised from invoice discounting facilities
. Internal finance facilities
A business funding requirements arise out of its business needs, therefore. No matter how difficult the process of securing financial backing, as long as your business position is sound, and as long as your business plan is prepared thoroughly, and as long as you are determined enough, you will be able to secure the funding needed. The route may be not at all the one that you anticipated, or only partially, but if you are competent and if your business is sound, a route there will be.
What investment means
Anyone who invests in a business in return for some of the share capital, equity as it is often called, is taking a slice of the ownership for themselves. They are investing in what is, to a greater or lesser extent, a risky business venture. Share capital may also be available from tamer targets, your personal contacts, mainly friends and relatives, as well as from outside investors. The latter will almost certainly be more demanding and seek more for their money. That is more ownership, more control, and greater safeguards. The hardest place to obtain funding is from outsiders especially if your business is at start-up, just about to begin trading activities, or very near for that point. Your business will be, by definitely at an early stage, largely unproven, and very high risk.
Predicting future sales revenues requires particular care. It is never easy, although some types of business lend themselves more readily to the forecasting potential demand than others. A retail fashion business, for example, should be able to gather data about the passing footfall on the pavement outside. By possessing a clear understanding of how its potential market was made up, in demographic terms, age and gender, for example that business could then make estimates about the numbers of passers-by who were potential customers, in their own right and on behalf of others. Those estimates could then be translated into figures by making credible assumptions about average spending levels per customer.
For all business, it might be possible to look at competitors’ sales performance figures, and then relate those to the business’s situation, obtaining the information needed from business libraries perhaps, and other credible sources on the internet. Note that sources of market data should always be verified and stated clearly in your plan. Businesses that are already trading will have some sales history to use as a starting point for producing sales forecasts. For a new business, estimates will need to be made of when it is expected that the revenue stream, the first sales, will be made. It is also possible to estimate expected sales by using some very simple probability theory. After deciding, with due caution, the month in which sales will first occur, your next task is to predict a likely rage of sales values. You can estimate both the best case and worst case sales forecasts by reviewing the factors that will determine whether customers purchases, and in what quantities.