Key Ingredients of an Effective Business Plan!

Business-plan-elementsSome people believe that only business start-ups need funding and that only large companies need business plans. But the truth is that every business needs a ‘blueprint’ – not just for the benefit of potential investors, but so that the people who work in the business can have a clear idea of its direction, and can commit to a plan.

Did you know? Approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month. Eight out of ten of them will fail within the first 18 months.

A business plan is a written description of business’s present and future. It is a document that describes goals and strategies you plan to implement to achieve your objectives. This will vary depending on your business life stage, industry and ultimate goals. The importance of a good business plan can not be overstated when you are starting up in business.

Here are five steps to achieving colossal success by mapping out not just your business plan, but also your network of possible advocates who will get you from where you are right now to where you want to go!

1. Write out goals. This is the reason why business plans as we know them are important. They enable us to map out our vision, mission and end game. If a complicated business plan is not your cup of tea, simply write out your goals on a sheet of paper. This will enable you to move on to the next key.

2. Mobilize your contacts. With your goals memorialized in writing, now it’s time to mobilize your troops. For each goal written make a list of people that you know and those you need to know to accomplish the vision. For example, let’s say you are starting a cake bakery. You will need customers, a bakery supply vendor, marketing team and other businesses you may want to partner with. Utilize every tool you have to start mapping the network. Facebook and LinkedIn are invaluable for doing this.

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The FBI Reports An Increase Of Crimes Throughout The Country

Is there a day that crime isn’t in the news? Is there any doubt in your mind how dangerous the world we live in is?

Crime is an unfortunate reality everywhere! Big cities, small towns, even rural communities.

Statistics released in the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report indicate that the number of violent crimes reported in the first six months of 2012 increased 1.9 % when compared with figures from the first six months of 2011. The number of property crimes increased 1.5 % for the same time frame. The report is based on information from more than 13,300 law enforcement agencies that submitted three to six comparable months of data to the FBI in the first six months of 2011 and 2012.

Violent Crime

  • Two of the four offenses in the violent crime category—murder and non-negligent manslaughter and forcible rape—show decreases when data from the first six months of 2012 are compared with data from the first six months of 2011. The number of murders declined 1.7 %, and the number of rapes decreased 1.4%. But the number of robberies increased 2.0 % and aggravated assaults 2.3 %.
  • Cities with populations of 250,000 to 499,999 showed an increase in violent crime of 4.7 %, the largest increase among the city population groups. Cities with less than 10,000 inhabitants experienced the only decline (0.7 %) in violent crime offenses.

  • Violent crime increased 0.7 % in metropolitan counties and 0.6 % in non-metropolitan counties.

  • Violent crime increased in each of the nation’s four regions. The largest increase, 3.1 %, was in the West, followed by 2.5 % in the Midwest, 1.1 % in the South, and 1.1 % in the Northeast.

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Technology Post – Using Video to Fix Broken Educational Systems

If you’ve never heard of the Khan Academy in Mountain View, California you may want to watch the above video.  Salman Khan is a 36 year old entrepreneur who holds multiple degrees from MIT and Harvard.  The mission of his non profit company is to develop a “free world class education for anyone anywhere” through the use of short educational videos combined with interactive quizzes and tools for teachers to chart student progress.

According to a report from the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, global spending on education is $3.9 trillion, or 5.6% of planetary GDP. America spends the most–about $1.3 trillion a year–yet the U.S. ranks 25th out of the 34 OECD countries in mathematics, 17th in science and 14th in reading.

The economic prosperity in the United States masks an underlying problem of incompetency in basic math and science.   Approximately one fifth of American 15-year-olds do not have basic competence in science; 23% can’t use math in daily life. The Khan Academy is seeking to reverse this problem through the development and distribution of innovative educational videos.  In fact, Khan Academy videos have been viewed more than 200 million times.

We applaud the efforts of the Khan Academy and look forward to reporting in the future on improvements in U.S. student rankings against other OEDC countries. Learning on the Khan Academy’s website is 100% free so we would encourage everyone reading this blog article to visit the site and register.  The site provides educational lessons for the following subjects:

  • Math – Arithmetic and Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trigoomitry, Probability, Statistics, Precalculus, Calculus, Differential Equations, Linear Algebra, Applied Math, Brain Teasers and Vi Hart
  • Science - Biology, Chemistry, Cosmology and Astronomy, Healthcare and Medicine, Organic Chemistry, Physics, LeBron Asks, MIT +K12 and Projects
  • Computer Science - Drawing, Programming Basics, Animation and User Interaction
  • Finance & Economics – Core Finance, Valuation and Investing, Venture Capital and Capital Markets, Credit Crisis, Paulson Bailout, Geithner Plan, Current Economics, Banking and Money, Currency, Microeconomics, Macroeconomics and Greek Debt Crisis
  • Humanities - History, American Civics and Art History
  • Test Preparation – SAT Math, GMAT, CAHSEE, California Standards Test, Competition Math, IIT JEE and Singapore Math