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10 Steps to Improve Your Business Plan

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10 Steps to Improve Your Business Plan

Your business plan is going to service the blueprint for your organization, defining all the necessary steps you’re going to follow as you make your business ready to launch and grow throughout the first few years. This document is also important because it might be persuasive to investors and potential partners.

You may have a draft of your business plan already in the works, but are you sure that your business plan is all that it can be? Is there anything you can do to make it better?

How to Improve Your Business Plan

If you’re looking to punch up your business plan, these are some of the most important steps to take:

  1. Give the numbers a reality check. Many business owners are eager to make the business look as promising and as attractive as possible, especially if they’re going to make a presentation to investors. However, this approach frequently leads to over inflated numbers, which look unrealistic and unprofessional to seasoned investors. You’re going to make your document much more persuasive and set the stage for much more reasonable growth if you give those numbers a reality check and make sure they’re actually achievable.
  2. Make your executive summary more compelling. One of the most important parts of your business plan is the executive summary, since it effectively summarizes information you’ve included throughout the rest of the document. This is also the first section most of your readers are going to see, so it’s important to make an excellent impression on this page. Revisit your executive summary and do what you can to make it more compelling, keeping it concise yet meaningful.
  3. Plan on professional printing and binding. When your draft is finished, prepare to invest in professional printing and binding. Little touches, like adding wire-O binding, or upgrading the stock of paper you use, can instantly make your business plan look more professional. Of course, this is only relevant if you plan on showing your business plan to other people; if this is the case, consider going all out to make the best possible first impression.
  4. Acknowledge the biggest challenges and weaknesses. It’s easy to assume that the best business plans are ironclad, showing off a perfect business that has no real weaknesses or flaws. But the reality is that all businesses have weaknesses and flaws, and pretending they don’t exist is only going to make you look worse. Go out of your way to list and acknowledge the biggest challenges your business faces and the biggest weaknesses you’re concerned about. Proactively identifying these, and setting out a plan for how to address them, will improve your business plan dramatically.
  5. Inject your personality. Your business plan shouldn’t be a dry, personality-less legal document. Instead, it should include elements of your personality. Show off how knowledgeable you are about this subject matter and how enthusiastic you are about this project – and don’t be afraid to make a few jokes.
  6. Focus on what makes you unique. You might already have a unique value proposition (UVP) drafted. If you don’t, now is a good time to do that. Throughout your entire business plan, you should be focusing on elements that make you unique. What makes your business different from those of your competitors? Why should customers choose you over any other business? How could this business succeed where others have failed?
  7. Identify multiple growth and development opportunities. Most investors look for growth potential in the businesses they consider funding. Accordingly, your business plan should have multiple growth and development opportunities listed. What’s your primary strategy for growing the business? And what will you do if that doesn’t meet your expectations?
  8. Include major milestones. What major milestones are going to define your success as a business? This is important for several reasons. First, it shows that you have a definition of success in mind. Second, that makes your business plan much more actionable, giving the business a solidified trajectory to follow in its first few years. Third, it provides real metrics for success; very soon, you’ll be able to identify whether or not the business is performing as intended.
  9. Make tweaks for your specific audience. Consider making specific tweaks for the audience who is going to read this business plan. Instead of having a generic document you use to show everyone, develop slightly modified, targeted documents for each specific group. This way, you can appeal specifically to their interests and maximize your potential to persuade them.
  10. Proofread everything one more time. If your business idea is amazing, you probably won’t lose it just because you forgot one punctuation mark at the end of a section. But there’s no real excuse to have any mistakes in your business plan. Before printing, proofread everything one last time to make sure it’s fully polished.

The Living Document

Some people see business plans as stagnant, unchanging documents that should permanently describe how this business will operate. But with so many variables to consider and so many changes in your near future, it’s better to think of your business plan as a living document – something you can update periodically as you learn more information. Don’t hesitate to return to your business plan and make further changes to it as you learn more information about your market, your competitive environment, and the changing nature of the economy.

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Destinations

Giving Back While On Vacation

  

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There are actually extremely simple ways to give back to the country you are visiting so that you can help save lives while still enriching your own.

Traveling is mostly about you getting away from the stress of your everyday life. You also get to experience new cultures, buy excellent moments and just get a better sense of how the world around you operates. All-in-all, for the most part traveling, is all about you. However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. There are actually extremely simple ways to give back to the country you are visiting so that you can help save lives while still enriching your own. That doesn’t mean you have to spend your whole vacation volunteering, you can spend all of your time on yourself while still giving to the less fortunate. So next time you consider heading out on a journey try some of these easy tips so you can not just enrich your life but you can enrich plenty of others as well.

 

 

If you search online you can easily find plenty of groups that make it easy for you to volunteer. These groups take donations from hospitals, clinics, medical suppliers and good samaritans that are packed in a suitcase and all you have to do is bring the bag along with you on your journey. Volunteers take all of these awesome donations and pack them into a bag that is passed on to you and all you have to do is deliver the bag.

 

Of course, before you head out to the airport with your bag you should always unpack the suitcase and check everything in the bag to make sure that they meet security requirements. However, the groups usually help by putting a letter in the bag that lets customs know what the supplies are for and where exactly they are headed inside the country that is also signed by a healthcare professional.

 

You won’t have to take any actual medicine with you, these are just supplied that other countries are in desperate need for so the everything packed in the bags is completely legal and classified as a humanitarian aid. You might be worried that checking bags gets kinda pricey, but most airlines will let you check these bags for free once they know that it’s filled with medical supplies.

 

These life-saving donations are only really useful when you travel to a developing country. London or Tokyo don’t really need medical supplies delivered, but if you’re traveling to Cuba or Honduras or somewhere like that then your donations will be very much appreciated and you will very likely save at least one person’s life. This may be a tough task for the beginner tourist, this is the type of endeavor that only people who are comfortable doing should try and do. They have never had a security incident the entire time people have been delivering medical supplies but a lot of people have gotten freaked out while trying to make the drop-off.

A lot of these remote places see people working incredibly hard just to get the medical supplies they need which we take for granted, like latex gloves or insulin syringes. So if you want your trip to make a very real difference then consider helping these remote areas in need by delivering them with some much needed medical supplies.


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Better Safe Than Sorry When Traveling In Mexico

  

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     Mexico is a beautiful country with plenty of amazing cities that are certainly worthy of a vacation. And, for the most part, it’s actually a much safer country than some people may think. But unfortunately, it still has it’s dangerous elements. And there are certainly things you need to know about before you head there. So if you’re planning on checking out Mexico anytime soon, make sure you read through this article first and are properly prepared.

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Of course! You already know this. That’s why you’re reading this article!

But more specifically, you should make sure to research the specific area in Mexico you’re going to visit. And there are certain places that need to be outright avoided altogether. Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas are all states that have a been hit with a Level 4 do-not-travel warning. This is because they have higher than average rates of carjacking, armed robbery, kidnapping, and even murder.

But there are plenty of other areas that have lower level do-not-travel warnings or none at all. So make sure you’re going to the safer spots!

WATCH WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK

This one has been around for a while, but it’s still just as important today. Food and water safety is still a major concern in many parts of Mexico. So be sure to take bottled water with you everywhere you go, avoid tap water altogether, and when eating street food (which, honestly, you have to do. It’s Mexico!) stick to the places with big lines of both locals and tourists. If everyone’s eating there, there’s a much better chance the food is safe!

SPEAKING OF DRINKING… DO IT IN MODERATION!

Look… this is Mexico we’re talking about. It’s almost not worth it if you’re not going to drink at least a little! But just be careful. It’s best to never drink too much, and it’s especially best to not take alcohol from anyone you don’t know.

It’s also important to be very careful where and when (if at all) you’re at at night. The crooks come out at night so you’re much more vulnerable to any number of crimes when you find yourself on the streets of Mexico at night. And if you’re drunk… well, you get the idea.

 

KEEP LISTS AND MAKE COPIES

No matter where you go on our next vacation, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And that, of course, goes for Mexico. So be sure to bring a list of important contacts should something happen. And you’re definitely going to want to make copies of any and all important documents just in case any of them get lost or stolen. Just be cautious and cover all your bases!

ONLY USE REGISTERED TAXIS

There are plenty of people just waiting to scam tourists in Mexico. And cabs are a perfect opportunity to do just that. So if you need to take a cab while you’re there, only use registers cabs or, hopefully, use transportation offered by your hotel. Sure, you could save some money by using unregister cabs. But the chances the driver might try to rip you off are just too high. So only travel with drivers you know you can trust!

ONLY STAY AT POPULAR HOTELS AND RESORTS

What better way to decrease your odds of ending up around untrustworthy people than staying at the most popular hotels and resorts?! They’re popular for a reason, after all. So you can be sure they offer the best service, including security. If a given hotel or resort had a bunch of instances of robbery or worse, you can be sure they would not be popular options. So when it comes to accommodations, just go where everyone else is!

INVEST IN A MONEY BELT

This one is huge. There are all kinds of pickpockets in Mexico just waiting to steal some foolish tourist’s wallet. So carrying around a wallet is the last thing you want to do! Especially considering it’s best to carry plenty of cash anywhere you go. A money belt will protect your cash and cards from getting stolen as they’re much more difficult to get (or get inside of).

And while we’re at it, leave the expensive watches and jewelry at home! You’re on vacation to relax, not look your absolute best. You’ll thank me when you make it back home and nothing you care about was stolen.


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Guides

What You Should Know If You Drive Constantly For Your Job

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Driving for a job can be a part of life for some people in positions like that of sales or shipping. Driving constantly for work is something that you can make what you want out of it. Long drives can be full of learning a new language or even becoming updated on what is going on in the world. There are some that find a podcast that helps them get through a drive that takes a few hours or longer. The world of driving long distances is far easier as you have a smartphone to help you navigate, entertain you, and allow you to track expenses/mileage. Below are the things that you should know about constantly driving for your job. 

Tracking Your Mileage

Tracking mileage can be done easily with certain apps. This is especially important if you are paid by the mile or if you need to be reimbursed for your mileage. You want to keep track of this for tax purposes if self-employed as this will be tax-deductible. Figuring out stops during your trips can also be important if trying to save money on fuel. Gas prices have stabilized a bit but getting into a routine of stopping at certain places can make a long drive seem far better. 

Weather-Related Issues/Damages

The weather could be something that you cannot avoid in some circumstances. Getting an early start can be imperative in some cases when there are expected major weather events. Driving out of some states like Florida can be a nightmare when there are evacuation plans. Your employer will likely cancel this leg of a trip or schedule for a time outside of hurricane season which can be eventful for the southeastern portion of the United States. 

Damage can occur from things like hail which can be enormous. Sunroof repair is something that you can look into online to find a company that can help. Windshield issues are also prevalent as a look piece of gravel can lead to a crack in the windshield. It is illegal nearly everywhere to drive with a cracked windshield as it impedes the vision of the driver. 

Try To Opt For Healthier Meals

Driving on a constant basis might result in you resorting to fast food establishments every single day that you work. Meal prepping can be something that is such a useful tool. Eating on the road can be unhealthy and is not very budget-friendly unless you are given a per diem daily for food. There are containers that you can keep your food hot in for hours on end. Do not make excuses that something just doesn’t taste the same after stopping for a burger for the 5th time during the week. This doesn’t mean you cannot opt for fast food but you want to keep your health and energy levels high. 

Driving for your job is something that is a reality for so many professionals around the world. Use the tips above to make the most out of driving quite a bit for professional reasons.

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