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 LED Lighting
LED lighting or light emitting diodes is by far the most energy-saving and a smart solution when you compare it with those other methods of illumination available in the market today.
It started out by utilizing these diodes via a DC circuit to emit light to extend the battery life that is used for flashlights and other light emitting gadgets like cellphones and etc. Then it began to find its way to vehicular headlights by utilizing a specially designed reflectors to intensify its brightness and length of coverage but still maintaining its efficiency. LED lighting can now be run from an AC supply which is very advantageous. So before they were only considered to be DC devices operating from a few volts of direct current but now has a more robust application that requires the same amount of voltage such as the linear strip lighting systems around the outside of a building that stretches for a hundred meters. There are different considerations that is brought in since DC drives suffer power loss over distance. And in order to maintain the voltage there is now a need to use a higher drive voltage when the voltages start to drop and so additional regulators are needed. This is not necessary if you have AC or alternative current since it main maintain voltage despite distance. DC power has always had this problems and the reason why they are not being used to transmit power across our streets and cities.
Running LED lighting from an AC supply means producing DC power to operate yo LED lights. And several options came to do that. In order to provide the required DC voltage, there are many stand alone fixtures that have a transformer between the wall socket and the fixture. Today, there are companies that provide LED light bulbs that screw directly into standard sockets, but they contain miniature circuits that convert AC to DC before it is delivered to the LEDs. The upfront costs of these LED lighting are very expensive. Despite the high upfront cost you can expect a remarkable decrease in your power bill in the long run.
Another early form is what is called the ‘Christmas tree light’ approach. This approach uses multiple LEDs in series so that the voltage drop across the whole string equals the supply voltage.
Attempts at developing true AC LED are beginning but today we still have to wait for this big technological leap that is seen as an upgrade from analog to digital. And the advantages versus conventional lighting are so huge and of major benefit to both the user of this technology as well as our planet.
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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.
The 4 Most Unanswered Questions about Services
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.
5 Key Takeaways on the Road to Dominating Services
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.
The 10 Most Unanswered Questions about Art
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.
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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.
Getting To The Point – Sales
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.
Case Study: My Experience With Sales
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.
What Almost No One Knows About Businesses
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.
6 Facts About Options Everyone Thinks Are True
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. The valuables stored to be stored by the agency are money, documents, or properties. The the third party is used to hold the valuable under various conditions. 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. Programmers can create a certain program where they write a security code in it. Some of the programs that are created have a source code that can be transferred into programs that executable. The executable programs can just be installed for your own use.
People with knowledge and experience about the executable programs can source the security code and create the application for themselves. If a company that developed the software fail to be paid by the company they created the software for they can file for a bankruptcy and 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. Most of the software escrow service may offer custom software to different companies that are very vital and critical to the company itself. The operations of the escrow software 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 using the easiest way possible ask for an updated source code. In most cases the licensor is always reluctant to agree because the source code mainly represent a trade secret and they are very close guarded.
Software escrow can be used for other serious issues apart from deception. Huge amount of money can be among the huge issues. The software escrow services agreement enables the purchaser to have some protection and it becomes more efficient when the software and 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. It is important the licensor and the licensee knows what is expected of them so that the agreement can be set for them by the software escrow. If the terms that were set are not followed by either of the parties that the escrow agent can take action according to what was agreed. Before signing the contract it is important that you read and understand its terms and conditions that are presented to you carefully.
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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.
The Importance of Roof Ventilation Many homeowners know what roof ventilation is but may not fully understand how important it is. Good ventilation is critical to the prolonged life of your roof. The only way you can know the importance of roof ventilation is to know what happens where there is no proper ventilation in it. A lot of homeowners do not understand the problems that result with inadequate ventilation. These problems can be very expensive and if not addressed immediately can also cause health problems. The problems associate with heat and moisture level build up are many. Below are the reasons why roof ventilation is very important. When there is heat and moisture below, roofing materials and underlayment can deteriorate, shortening the life of your roofing system.
Smart Ideas: Ventilation Revisited
When moisture builds up along the underside of the roof, the decking can sag or fall because it becomes soft.
Why Vents Aren’t As Bad As You Think
Moist or warm conditions are perfect for the growth of mold and mildew. Metal surfaces like nails, truss plates, and hangers can rust and deteriorate when there is moisture buildup. Cold air in the vents warm up when the attic is hot. This will keep the A/C running all the time. When the climate is cold, moisture in the attic can cause frost to settle on the underside of the roof. When the moisture starts to condense during the summer, it causes the ceiling to have water stains. Below are the signs that indicate that homeowners need to get a professional roofer to handle the roof ventilation problem. Air conditioning may struggle to cool the house when air conditioning vents heat up due to heat buildup in the attic. It is known that asphalt shingles lasts for 10 to 20 years. Curling shingles should alarm you because this means that there is much heat below that makes the shingles to deteriorate prematurely. When you have a solid roof with water stains, there is something wrong. Ceilings are stained because built up moisture in the attic can condense and drip to the ceiling. Mold and mildew in the attic means that there is a problem with the ventilation. You need to do something if you think you have inadequate roof ventilation. You roof’s life will be shortened if the problem of ventilation is not addressed. Mold and mildew can grow and you electric bills will soar. Bringing in a professional roofer is the best way to correct roof ventilation. it may seem easy to get air circulating through the attic, it requires understanding how the roof works. If you make a mistake on your ventilation attempts you can cause major damage.