Here are some reasons not to skip this valuable tool and roadmap:
- It will define and focus your objective, using appropriate information and analysis.
- You can use it as a selling tool with lenders, investors, landlords and banks.
- Your business plan can uncover omissions and/or weaknesses in your planning process.
- You can use the plan to solicit opinions and advice.
Here is a checklist to help you get started:
- Write out your basic business concept.
- Gather all the data you can on the feasibility and specifics of your business.
- Focus and refine your concept.
- Outline the specifics using a “what, where, why, how” approach.
- Put your plan into a compelling format
Suggested topics you can tailor into your plan:
A Vision Statement: This will be a concise outline of your purpose and goal
The People: Focus on how your experiences will be applicable. Prepare a resume of yourself and each of your key people.
Your Business Profile: Describe exactly how you plan to go about your intended business. Stay focused on the specialized market you intend to serve.
Economic Assessment: Provide an assessment of the competition you can expect in your business.
Cash Flow Assessment: Include a one-year cash flow projection that will incorporate all your capital requirements. Try our cash flow planner to get started this year.
Setting up a business on your own comes with many challenges and there’ll always be a few learning curves. Although Mairead was absolutely certain in her vision for the boutique, she was conscious that the admin side of things also had to be perfect. She heard about MyBusinessToolkit from her local AIB branch and thought it would be useful to help get the business off the ground. The Toolkit offers access to a suite of leading business tools, from Sage Accounting and Payroll to the bOnline website builder. MyBusinessToolkit is free for 3 months when you open a Start-up Business Current Account before the 31st of March 2017. She explains how MyBusinessToolkit has helped her get her business off the ground: “You have so much paperwork, and because it’s a seasonal business it all comes at the one time,” she says. “If you don’t keep up to speed with what and when you need to pay, you’ll quickly fall behind and your front of house suffers. I don’t want that to happen.”
She credits MyBusinessToolkit, and in particular Sage, with helping her keep tabs on the admin side of things. “Sage really helps me define what my cash flow looks like, who my suppliers are and it’s great for categorising everything and keeping me organised. I almost leave them running in the background. I trust them fully and I trust they’ll work. And my accountant can log on to Sage as well and check everything is ok. It was like having an uncle in the background that you knew you could rely on. That’s a strange analogy I know!” she laughs.
The bOnline website builder provided in the toolkit was also a huge help in getting her online presence up and running. She explains: “MyBusinessToolkit has helped me get my business off the ground by allowing me to have an almost free website. That cost would have been a huge undertaking for me at the beginning. It just made it so easy.”
Secret to Success
It turns out the secret to Mairead’s success is something learned from her years as a personal stylist – follow your gut. “My advice to anybody starting out is to really and truly follow your gut instinct,” she explains. “Listen to yourself and try and block out all the negatives. And there will be negatives. It’s like anything, if you have confidence in your idea then nobody can take it away from you.”
Mairead is currently focused on building up her online presence and growing her customer database, but she’s definitely staying local at heart. “I love Enniskerry,” she says. “I want to stay here, and I’d love to expand Smock Boutique within itself.”
Fancy a fashion fix? Smock Boutique is open Monday to Saturday from 10am – 6pm.
Need help getting your business off the ground?
Call into your local branch to find out more about how MyBusinessToolkit can help your business.
In the last 12 months, the number of cybersecurity attacks has grown significantly. The potential ramifications of a cybersecurity breach to a business can be devastating, such as loss of customer confidence, damage to company reputation, theft of assets and extensive administrative costs in dealing with all affected stakeholders. However, there are a number of actions a business can take to reduce the likelihood of a cybersecurity breach and deal with the consequences where the company suffers an attack, writes Barry Connolly of Flynn O’Driscoll.
Risk assessment. Similar to any other risks that a business may face, when seeking to prevent cybersecurity breaches, the first step should include quantifying the risk. In the cybersecurity context, this will include identifying certain elements of a business’s system that are particularly exposed. This will range from the vulnerability of the company’s online web presence to the possibility of physical access (on-site) to a networked platform. Risk assessments should be carried out on a regular basis so that new threats can be identified and the business remains aware of current trends in cyber threats.
Software Security Measures. Having identified areas of risk, tailored security measures should be put in place to address these concerns. The company’s IT environment should include effective firewalls and antivirus software to deal with threats. It should also ensure that software used in the business is kept up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates.
On-Site Security Measures. The most effective software solutions will often be rendered useless where a breach of cybersecurity occurs through a breach of the company’s system from within. Sensitive computer systems should include effective access control restrictions, server rooms should be secured at all times and disposal of IT equipment should be handled securely by competent staff.
Service Providers. A cybersecurity breach in a third party, providing services to a business can be just as damaging as a breach in the business itself. Unfortunately, the business is likely to have even less control in this scenario; therefore, it is essential that all relevant contracts clearly delineate responsibility between the parties. On the occurrence of a cybersecurity breach, when time is critical, protracted negotiations on liability should always be avoided. Contracts with software providers should also be reviewed to ensure that maintenance services and bug patches apply to earlier versions of the software that may still be in use, and that any software updates are made available to the company on release.
Testing. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of a cybersecurity breach is to undergo testing, such as system penetration testing. Companies can avail of a range of tools from cybersecurity providers that will simulate an attempted system intrusion or a widespread DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack.
Company Policies and Training. Putting in place effective policies to handle cybersecurity breaches is essential in mitigating the risk of a breach. This may include a specific cybersecurity policy, as part of a comprehensive IT policy. However, even the best policies are useless if staff are unaware of the content of policies or how they should operate in practice. Educating staff on potential threats and how to report them up the chain can be vital in the early detection and response to a cybersecurity breach.
Advantages Of IT Support
I.T support can be defined as the technical knowledge and help that is offered by a team of experts so as to ensure that they are able to provide technical help to individuals and organizations who have problems with their computer systems. I.T support is fundamental in every affiliation this is by virtue of most of the affiliations use PCs for their step by step operations, therefore having an i.t reinforce ensures that there is a smooth running of PC activities.
There are several benefits that are associated with the services of i.t support as it provides training to the members of the staff and also ensures up skilling this is because information technology keeps on changing on a daily basis hence this means that whenever there is a change then the i.t support crew will ensure that the members of staff are up to date and skill with the different changes. I.T support also ensures that it provides remote monitoring and management of systems which ensures that it provides e response in case there are errors in email, telephone and online support so as to ensure that the daily activities of the office are carried out without any difficulties and this ensure that it relieves the staff members of the stress that is often brought about by slow systems.
I.T bolster benefits additionally ensures the association a reaction time in order to lessen income misfortune and furthermore downtime, this is on account of frequently when an association is confronting issues brought on by their data innovation frameworks then this diminishes the rate at which work is done and furthermore decreases the creation rate of the association and this thus causes the association to free parcel of cash, subsequently having an I.t bolster group guarantees that it gives convenient reaction in order to forestall encourage loss of the organization’s income.
It in like manner ensures asset organization and stock and by doing all things considered they can have the ability to give proposals on the best systems that the affiliations need to refresh or dispose of keeping in mind the end goal to ensure there is effective execution of the structures which will engage the relationship to accomplish their targets and objectives.
I.T support also ensures that it also provides security management to its clients in that it provides virus protection, backup, storage and also software patches which ensures that all the organization information is protected from individuals such as hackers who may hack into the system and get information of the company and also ensures that viruses do not attack the systems as they often disrupt the effectiveness of the different systems.
Why To Outsource IT Service Management
The It services are a now blood arteries in the operation of modern firms. The pursuit of efficiently running IT systems calls for the prepuces of expert IT infrastructure managers. The IT infrastructure is made of the computers, servers, telephones, cables and so on. There is a need to ensure that there are experts who are responsible for the same. The IT experts can be hired as permanent employee in the IT department. They are responsible for conducting day to day operations of the systems. They conduct repair and inspection of the IT devices. They also ensure that they conduct installation and maintenance of software. They prevent breakdowns that can interrupt the operation of the business.
For various reasons, the technical may not be able to handle complex issues. There is a need for high level of expertise for the complex issues and the in-house team may not be suited to provide. The install and operation of complex systems require sophisticated equipment and the organization might not be having the same. The from can benefit greatly if it hires managed IT services in this case. They have the right expertise to handle a service at any level. Their financial muscles allow them to have sophisticated equipment and machinery to carry out any activity. The issues here is selecting the best managed IT services to help your firm.
The small and medium enterprise faces financial limits to hold an internal IT department. The small business have to depend on the call-and-fix technicians to help them deal with the IT infrastructure. These experts do not have any long term relationship with the company. They, therefore, take less interest in running of the system other than fixing what they have been called to do. This means that the machinery of a small business could be operating suboptimally without anyone there to optimize them. The only time when there is a solution is when a serious breakdown develops. These services are inefficient and prove very costly to a business in the long run.
Managed IT services can help small business overcome the limitations of the finance and human capital. They provide these services under contractual arrangement at monthly rates. The good thing is that the firm get a fully equipped and staffed external IT unit. The outsourced IT services manage all facets of your information technology needs. These include installation of equipment, maintenance and repair and configuration. They also deal with software installation, maintenance, repair, and upgrades. They provide services either in physical presence for major issues while minor issues can be handled via phone. They make sure the networks of the organization are running smoothly. It is time that you give your business a new uplift with managed IT services. They charge a justifiable fee for their services.
Why Small Businesses Should Outsource their Web Design Outsourcing web design is common for businesses today. There are significant advantages for your business, small or large, when web design is outsourced. Outsourcing web design is done by companies for several reasons. Most businesses understand the importance of being successful on the internet. A successful web presence has a number of requirements. A professionally designed website is the first thing you need in order to have a successful business on the internet. Here are the advantages of outsourcing your web design. In order to achieve professional web design and development, there is a need for skills and expertise that require time and experience. You can have in-house web designers but most of the time these designers lack the experience to achieve results that are really superior. A poor company branding will results if your website compromises on quality.
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Web design is the specialization of these web design companies and they have the right experience, skills or resources required to develop a powerful web presence for your business. Since the business is still small, having an in-house expert in web design is not viable for small businesses. It is not practical for small businesses to hire an in-house designer and the best way is to outsource web designing. Developing a professional website is very important for small business that want to gain a competitive advantage over others in the industry.
The Art of Mastering Websites
Access to world class technical expertise and experience is possible if one outsources to a professional web design company which otherwise would have been difficult to achieve. It is important to have a professional website design so that your brand can be positions over your competitors. You can achieve competitive advantage over your competition if you outsource web design and online marketing to a web design company. Search engine marketing should also be outsourced to a web design company aside from website development. Small business across the world have attributed their success to search engine marketing. Small businesses are increasingly relying on the internet to achieve commercial success. It is beneficial for small businesses to operate business online because of the lower costs it is associated with. If the small business already has a great website design for its company, the next thing it should focus on is internet marketing in order to drive sales and leads. With the low cost of internet marketing one will be able to reach out to targeted markets and customers through online marketing. A small business has limited funds which can be insufficient to establish its brand using traditional media. The continuous growth in the online market despite not having enough funds gives a business an additional reason to justify any investment made. When people need items to purchase they rely mainly on the internet to find these products that they need. If you want your business to succeed you need an effective online presence.
Finding a Tattoo Shop There are multiple reasons as to why people get tattoos, some might get a tattoo just for fun while others might get it to remember their loved one, as a sign of tribute, you will find that no matter the reason for the tattoo, you will need to have an amazing tattoo, which means that the tattoo artist should be a professional, this will be something which you do not have to bargain with, you need a professional, and that is it. Just like any other product, you will find Tattoos being good, bad or even average, however, there are those which are gorgeous, meaning that, you will need to be able to look for someone who will make your tattoo look lovely, or even be able to express what you would like, meaning that, you will need to consider an assessment so that you can find a professional tattoo artist. On the other hand, apart from looking for the best available tattoo artist, get to know what you would want yon your skin, this will be the best means to making sure that you can be contented or even that you will be able to send a message with your tattoo, meaning that you will not be wasting any ink on your body, you will have found something which you do love and get it tattooed.
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Nonetheless, you can make another choice, though, getting a temporary tattoo, this can be something which you can test with thus knowing if you would like it or not, meaning that, after some time, you can get to make sure that you do know what would be done and also get the tattoo which you like.
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On the other hand, it is always healthy to ask around, the word of mouth is always the best means in which one can market themselves, the only way in which you can attain this is asking for some suggestions from some of your friends or even some of your family members who have tattoos, so doing will save you time and also it will console you that you will not be choosing someone without any knowledge. Furthermore, where they work from will be something to consider, you will need to go to a reputable parlor and have a specific artist draw the tattoo on you, this makes sure you get or attain what you would like, meaning there will be no any regrets that you might not have gotten the exact tattoo, you will also be calm since you do know that eventually, you will be able to share your ideas or even show who you are or your inner being by getting to use the tattoos.
Why Is There A Need For A CMS
It is a quality website that every company will be needing for them to be able to spread information effectively regarding the products or services that they have. And that is why it is important that you will have a quality website. You have to make it a point that you will now the different factors that are involved for a website to have quality.
Quick website loading, appealing design, comfortable navigation are some of the factors that will be able to attract a visitor to your website. In every website the basic challenge that you will get is how to convert these visitors into clients and how to make them come back for more. The moment that you will have high-quality content and regular updates on your website, then you will be able to do these things. Having these things done can pose a problem. This is because a website maintenance will be needing technical and programming skills and know-how.
There are a number of different companies out there that will be able to provide the needs that you have, though. The costs if these services can be a bit high which is something that most small business owners will not be able to afford.
The content management system or also known as the CMS is another solution for the small business owners. In order to manage the content of the website that you have, the CMS is an application that has a web-based tools, web database and templates. A website that needs constant updating and addition will benefit greatly with a CMS. It is through the CMS that you will find it very easy to use and will also enable you to edit text and manage images. It is through the CMS that you will be able to manage your website even if you don’t have any background with web programming and all the technical stuff that comes with it. And no matter where you are, the needed modifications and updates on your website can be done by you right there and then. All you need is a computer and an internet to do it.
When you are looking for a CMS package, then you will find a number of them on the market today. You can have the option to choose the ones that are for free or some that commercial. It is when you will be choosing the commercial type that you will get a full technical support as well as a warranty. A CMS that is commercial is also considered by experts to be the safest way. And if you are planning to expand the business that you have then it is better if you can choose a CMS that will also be able to expand with you.
Source: his explanation
When You are Interested to Enter the World of Franchising The primary advantages for various companies which enter the realm of franchising would include capital, speed of growth, motivated management as well as risk reduction but there are many other things as well. The lack of access to capital is one common barrier to expansion being faced by the small businesses today. Before such credit tightening of 2008 to 2009 and the new normal which ensued, entrepreneurs usually found that the growth goals outstripped the ability of funding them. Actually, franchising is another form of capital acquisition and such provides some benefits. The main reason why many entrepreneurs go for franchising is the fact that this would allow them to expand without the risk of cost of equity or debt. The franchisee would provide all the capital needed to open and also operate a unit, this would allow the company to grow with the use of resources and others. Through the use of money of other individuals, the franchisor can grow unfettered by debt. Due to the fact that the franchisee is the one to sign the lease and commit to many contracts, franchising would allow expansion without contingent liability. Such would reduce the risk to the franchisor. Such means that as a franchisor, you don’t need to require less capital in which to expand but the risk is limited to the capital that you invest in making a franchise company. This is an amount that is usually less than the cost of opening another company-owned location.
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You can also have a benefit of motivated management which is also an advantage. Know that another stumbling block that face many entrepreneurs who want to expand is finding and also retaining the good unit managers. The business owner would spend many months finding and training a new manager and would just see them leave after or become hired by a competitor. The hired managers are employees who may have such commitment to their work that makes supervising the work from a distance a big challenge.
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However, franchising would allow the business owner to overcome the problems through substituting the owner for the manager. There is no person who is more motivated than someone who is invested materially in the success of the operation. The franchisee is the owner and one’s life’s savings is being invested in the business. The compensation will come largely through profits. The combination of these factors will have different great effects on the unit level performance. Through franchising, the franchisor can function in an effective way with a leaner organization. Since the franchises would assume various responsibilities that are shouldered by the corporate home office, the franchisors may leverage the effort to reduce overall staffing.
Looking for a Franchise Opportunity? Here Are Some Tips to Consider Investing in the right franchise opportunity opens a lot of freedom and income. Like any other business opportunities out there, you can also expect franchises to be quite risky. Having the right motivation is very important here. Good thing, you can read some things that will help you make the right choice. 1. It is very essential to first determine if franchising is what’s best for you. When you have your own franchise, the experience and feeling is not the same with having your own business or having an employer. This is a unique situation that also comes with benefits, challenges and drawbacks. Before entering in this, you have to know what it means. Take advantage of the articles you can easily access online in order to know about it more. Then, determine if you have the right skills and commitment in this business situation. 2. If you have determined that this is the right option, then start scrutinizing the many options available. It can be very overwhelming when you find out that there are almost hundreds of opportunities for you. Additionally, you can choose from the different industries you can find. Never choose a franchise that you don’t like and feel comfortable to work in for long term. Determine your personal preference as well as your experience in choosing.
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3. Another tip that will lead you to the right choice is knowing what your goals are. Take note that different owners may vary when it comes to their franchise goals. Some choose a franchise because of their lifestyle goals. They may need a flexible schedule for work while ensuring that they earn a good amount of profit. You can expect everybody to have the same goals. Knowing what you need and want can help you a lot in determining which franchise opportunity can be more beneficial for you. Be sure to make a comprehensive research. This is sure that best way to check which business suits you the best.
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4. You have to know whether or not the franchise opportunity is strong and firm. This is not a cheap investment, so you have to be very diligent in making your own research. There are sure plenty of ideas you can get through making a research about other franchise owners in your place. Doing this allows you to spot if it will also be very beneficial for you. Knowing that the franchise is strong gives you a peace of mind and ensures success. 5. Then, you have to make sure that everything will go legal. Always bear in mind the agreements made with the franchising company and be responsible to follow them. Read the legal agreement before signing it. Take time to consider these so you will be successful in choosing the right franchise available.
How To Choose A Patent Translation Service A patent translation service is usually offered by most translation service companies, this type of service is usually done whenever an inventor or a manufacturer can apply for a patent for their various product. Patents are needed to be translated to a number of languages if they want their product or inventions to be approved in that particular country so that they can sell that product without being copied. If a particular inventor or manufacturer can apply for a patent in certain countries, they need to translate their patent document into the country’s main language so that people in that country would get to read it easily. Getting to apply for a patent is very difficult work and all of the documents must get to be translated into the required language or if they are applying for a patent in various countries then they need to translate it in various languages at once. The patent cooperation treaty is an agreement among various countries that they would respect any type of patents which are being applied through this kind of treaty which companies are mostly a part of. This has become the most convenient way for companies and also inventors in trying to apply for a patent due to the fact it can get to include a number of countries in just one application of patent. Patent translation is really hard work and companies that offer this kind of services need a number of translators so that the translation could get to be price and also error free so that they would not have any kinds of problems. The translator need to get to work with an expect about the subject in translating really technical documents, if the products get to involve engineering then the translator would get to work with an engineer so that they can come up with error free patent translation.
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Companies and also inventors must get to pick a well trusted company that has been in this business for certain times and they would have a lot to lose if their work is not the best in terms of translating patents. Some services can also offer machine translation which is cost friendly but are also that accurate and also precise in having to translate patents, this type of process is good if their patent does not require experts and only needs translators.
What I Can Teach You About Businesses
There are also companies which can partner with manufacturers and also inventors in applying for patents in various countries, they can handle all the requirements like document translations. This service is really good for people that does not have any idea on how they can apply for a patent, they need to let the service handle the application in order for them to apply their patent in that country.
The advantages of software escrow services.
The term escrow can be defined as a contract that exists between two or more parties who want to keep a valuable to a third party who acts as an agent. Among the things that can be stored by the escrow are money, documents or properties. It is under various conditions that the services of escrow are required. A Software escrow service is a form of protection to the licensee of the software to ensure that they can access the security code if things go wrong. A programmer may create a certain program where they can write a security code in it. Most of the programs that are created have a source code which is transferred to the programs which are executable. The programs that are executable can be transferred for your own use.
Individuals who have knowledge and experience about the executable programs can source the security code and create the application themselves. Once a company that developed the software is not paid by the company they created the software for because of bankruptcy the escrow agent can release the software source code to the licensee so that they can work with them.
It is important that parties that sign the escrows understand that there are necessities that must be met. It is good to know that the software escrow service offers custom services to different companies that are vital and critical to the company itself. The software escrow have to continue the maintenance even if the licensor is not in a position to do so because of bankruptcy. If you want to do this the easiest way you can ask for a copy that is updated of the source code. The licensor is always reluctant to agree because the source code is a representative of a trade secret that is guarded closely.
Apart from deception there are other things that can lead to the use of software escrow. The issues that can be that serious can include a huge amount of money. The agency enables the purchaser to have some protection and the protection is more efficient when the source codes are used. Using the software escrows the system developer can be protected from fraud. Developing some of this programs requires a lot of money and time because it can take days, months and even years. To let the two parties know what is expected of them, the software escrow agent can set up an agreement with the licensor and the licensee. If the terms of the escrow are not fulfilled the escrow agent can take an action that was agreed on when signing the agreement. Before you sign the agreement it is important that you read the agreement carefully before signing it.
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How Fiber Optic Internet Benefits Businesses Individuals, organizations and institutions are helped by telecommunications communicate especially through online networks. Fiber optic internet connections are there in telecommunications. A form of telecommunication is fiber optic communications. By sending pulses of light through an optical fiber, it transmits information from one place to another. Whereby high bandwidth and long distance transmission of information is required in many telecommunication companies, optical fiber is used. The light in optical fiber forms an electromagnetic carrier wave and it is modulated to carry information. Its uses are to transmit telephone signals, internet communication and cable television signals. More advantages are in optical fiber in transmissions over long distance and in high demand applications than in the existing copper wire. Much lower attenuation and interference are what it has and this makes it preferred to copper wire. An optical transmitter, a cable and an optical receiver are what it includes. Semiconductor devices mostly are what the transmitters are. The cables contain bundles of multiple optical fibers which are routed through underground conduits and buildings. On the other hand, the receiver is meant to recover signals as electrical signals.
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Designed to be reliable, compact and efficient is how the transmitters should be. The main component of the optical receiver is a photo detector and it converts light into electricity using photoelectric effect. The optical cable on the other hand consists of a core, cladding and a buffer. A buffer in which the cladding guides light along the core is the protective outer coating.
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Single-mode optical fibers and multi-mode optical fibers are the two types of optic fiber cables used in optic communications. The advantages of fiber connectivity are; high speed. Fiber optical communication offers the highest speed in connections. Than even the highest copper internet connections it is many times faster. The cloud is an important business tool for apps. In respect to cloud access, the speed and bandwidth capabilities of fiber internet means faster access to data applications stored in the cloud. Highly reliable it is. Real costs to business can be a result of unreliable internet connections. Fiber internet connectivity offers significant reliability, due to the fact that fiber is much stronger than copper. Unless they are physically cut, they have resistance to human and electrical interference. It does not have susceptibility to adverse weather conditions. The signal strength of fiber optic internet as compared to traditional broadband internet, does not degrade quickly over distance. The signal becomes weaker as the user moves away from the switch in Ethernet over copper. The bandwidth availability of optical fiber is high and the speed does not decrease as the network is put on high demands.