31-03-2019 13:22:16 in UK Immigration Business Plans by Admin
The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa scheme closed to new applicants yesterday (Friday, 29th March 2019) and was replaced by the new Innovator visa route.   When this change was announced earlier this month, many immigration solicitors and consultants with experience with the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa scheme over the last ten years were excited at the possibilities of the new Innovator visa...

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09-03-2019 05:12:25 in UK Immigration Business Plans by Admin
Back in June 2018, the UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced his plans for a new “start-up” visa for entrepreneurs that would replace the existing Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa scheme in Spring 2019.  This was followed by another less dramatic but no less impactful announcement just a couple of weeks before Christmas (6th December 2018) when the Home Office released th...

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23-01-2019 22:40:06 in US Immigration Business Plans by Admin
Despite exaggerated claims about its demise, the "American Dream" still lives on in the hearts and minds of the foreign-born individuals and families who have flocked to the United States over the years in search of an opportunity to improve their lives.  The United States is home to more immigrants than any other country in the world.  Today, as shown in the chart below, an estimated ...

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12-10-2018 23:20:49 in Business Plan Writing by Admin
Although it may appear to be accepted wisdom that proper business planning positively affects business performance,  a recent survey shows that two-thirds of small business owners run their businesses on gut instinct alone.   There are several reasons for the failure of small business owners to plan, ranging from being "too busy" to feeling like they are doing fine without it.&nbs...

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08-08-2018 20:11:25 in Business Plan Writing by Admin
Although you may spend several weeks or even months researching and writing your business plan, the reality is that a reader, be that a loan officer, investor or visa officer, can dismiss your plan in five minutes or less if you do not make a strong first impression.  Your business plan must pass the initial cursory examination in order for it to be examined in greater detail, so the most i...

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19-07-2018 03:21:37 in US Immigration Business Plans by Admin
The EB-5 Visa, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, is one of the few US visa programs that can result in permanent residence for investors, business owners, and their families and has become extremely popular.  Between its inception in the early 1990s and the late 2000s, EB-5 did not attract a huge number of applicants but today demand for these visas far outstrips available suppl...

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09-06-2018 21:33:39 in Debt Financing for Small Businesses by Admin
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a United States government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses.  The agency's activities can be summarized as the "3 Cs" (i.e. capital, contracts, and counseling).  The chief means through which the SBA helps to provide access to capital to U.S. small business owners is through its lending programs.  Th...

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14-05-2018 07:19:47 in UK Immigration Business Plans by Admin
Non-EEA companies looking to establish a commercial presence in the UK have a handful of visa routes that are open to them, but more often than not, the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to do this is to set up a representative office in the UK.  There are some requirements for this visa that means that it is not open to everyone, but for many individuals, it still provides a great way to ...

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11-04-2018 16:13:24 in Equity Financing for Small Businesses by Admin
Small businesses today are faced with a bewildering and ever-expanding range of financing options.  Every one of these options has pros and cons that are not necessarily obvious at first glance.  To make it even more difficult for small business owners, there is often a stark difference between the expectations created by carefully calibrated marketing and the reality once they start d...

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06-03-2018 05:24:12 in UK Immigration Business Plans by Admin
  Continuous Business Planning helps over 100 Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa applicants per year with the business plan they will submit as part of their Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa application and are retained as trusted business advisors for the clients of dozens of different immigration lawyers and consultants both in the UK and around the world.  Consequently, we enjoy a unique vantage p...

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05-02-2018 22:03:17 in US Immigration Business Plans by Admin
  My role as Lead Project Manager for Continuous Business Planning has meant that I have been directly involved in the production of over 800 business plans since 2012.  All of those business plans have contained common elements, but every single business plan we have produced has been unique in some important ways.  This is a reflection of key points of difference between even ost...

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09-01-2018 17:11:17 in Small Business Strategy by Admin
The modern small business owner is faced with a bewildering array of alternative means to achieve their goals.  In part at least, this is the fruit of innovation and of the efforts of the various suppliers of relevant products and services to differentiate themselves from their competitors.  We seem to invariably accept the proliferation of options as a good and a positive thing.  ...

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07-12-2017 18:36:25 in Leadership for Small Business by Admin
We often associate inspirational leadership with individuals leading nations or armies into war.  It's easy, given that common perception, to underestimate the importance of leadership in small business success.  Even small teams need someone to point the way.  Some of the most capable and inspirational leaders that I have met are small business owners.  Leading a small busin...

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03-11-2017 13:00:33 in Small Business Strategy by Admin
Many of the would be entrepreneurs that I work with are totally enamoured with their business ideas.  Whilst this is important and inevitable to some degree, it is important to accept and understanding when starting a business that all small businesses start with a set of tentative hypotheses, whether these have been scrutinised as part of the pre start up planning stage or not, which remai...

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13-10-2017 22:56:09 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Far too many wannabe entrepreneurs focus too much of their time and effort developing their product or service before launching it on an unsuspecting world.  You may find that a strange statement from somebody who spends a large proportion of their time helping small business develop their business ideas in the form of written plans.  However, it would be unprofessional of me to say an...

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05-09-2017 17:48:39 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Very early on in my career as an entrepreneur I came to realise something really important: The world does not reward perfectionists.  It rewards people that get thingsdone.  I have to admit that this is a subject with which I have struggled for years and still struggle with to this day.  I've always hated getting things wrong.  This served me well throughout school and ultim...

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28-08-2017 06:32:15 in Small Business Strategy by Admin
The vast majority of clients that engage our services are either in the pre-start up phase of their business journey or are struggling to transition from one phase of their business development to the next.  In almost every instance, when you dig down deep enough, the question that they want us to help them answer is, "how can my small business consistently generate sustained, superior profit...

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05-07-2017 12:51:40 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
The complaint I hear most often from small business owners is that running your own business is hard work.  Having owned and ran several small businesses myself, I can empathise with these complaints.  There are definitely days when we simply do not feel as if we are up to the task and are tempted to just throw in the towel.  However, the success or failure of many small businesse...

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10-06-2017 13:38:08 in Small Business Strategy by Admin
A number of classic studies show that small business owners have a natural disdain for strategic considerations.  This is understandable to a degree, simply by virtue of the numerous more urgent demands that compete for their attention and time.  However, even as a small business owner myself who understands first hand the difficulties of adequately addressing strategic issues in a sma...

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09-05-2017 16:44:02 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
Most businesses set prices by focusing internally on their costs and adding what they believe to be an appropriate margin.  The attractions of this method are obvious.  It is easy to set prices this way, as all it takes is a few keystrokes to arrive at your price.  The problem is that setting prices in this way leaves money on the table, sometimes huge sums of money.  That is...

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04-04-2017 12:32:08 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Some of you may already be familiar with what economists call the "Cobra Effect".  For those of you that are not, the story stems from the time of British Colonial rule in India.  The British Government was concerned by an increase in snake attacks and put out a bounty for every dead cobra that was brought to them.  This worked well initially with many wild cobras being caught and k...

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21-03-2017 21:18:09 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
Commentators like to speak at the moment about the importance of the entrepreneur in solving some of the economic difficulties we are currently experiencing as a nation.  They present small business owners as the vanguard of ongoing economic growth and business innovation.  Whilst this idea certainly rings true to an extent, I would definitely argue that all entrepreneurs are not alike...

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04-01-2017 11:53:48 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
In my work with pre-start businesses, which normally focuses upon the production of a sound business plan, I am often asked what guarantees I can offer with regards the success of their new business proposition.  Even with a well crafted business plan and the necessary finance in place, many entrepreneurs are still nervous that things will not work out as they have forseen.  Frankly, t...

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12-12-2016 12:05:32 in Small Business Strategy by Admin
In my day to day work, I often review the strategic plans of my clients.  Too often, the strategies are generic, cover-all-the-bases, consensus-driven statements that are more descriptive of what they want to achieve rather than a clear, concise outline of how these goals will be achieved.  These "Wish List" style strategies are not really strategies at all.  They are usually an a...

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01-11-2016 11:16:16 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
No doubt most of us will remember the exchange between Cuba Gooding Jr and Tom Cruise in their 1996 film, Jerry Maguire, where the Cruise character, Jerry Maguire, is impatiently listening to Rod Tidwell (Gooding Jr) wax lyrical about his “family motto” whilst all his other clients are deserting him to his protégée and arch nemesis Bob Sugar.  After some build up w...

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11-10-2016 10:50:25 in Small Business Planning by Admin
Along with the other excuses for not planning that I hear,  I'm often asked "what is the point of business planning" by tired entrepreneurs that have convinced themselves that planning has no traction on the "real world".  My typical, rapid-fire response is that in business, as in all other worthwhile pursuits, preparation precedes power.  That answer, of course, begs the question...

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07-10-2016 15:05:33 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Caught up in the excitement of your business idea, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that “if you build it, they will come”.  Kevin Costner’s “Field of Dreams” should be restricted viewing for all prospective entrepreneurs as it’s easy to forget that Ray Kinsella depended upon a rather large dose of the supernatural to make his baseball...

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05-09-2016 19:47:45 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
  If Moses had descended from Mount Sinai with some inspired guidance for small businesses, we would no doubt have the Ten Commandments of cash flow.  Cash flow problems kill more small businesses than anything else, including many that would otherwise survive and even thrive.  To prevent this from happening to your small business, please heed the following instructions. ...

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02-08-2016 07:35:19 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
When we visit the Doctor, we never complain when they measure our blood pressure or listen to our heartbeat with their stethoscope.  We understand that these measurements are being used to to help the doctor solve our problems.  In business, measurement is also used to solve problems and improve performance.  However, my experience of working with Small Busines...

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13-07-2016 10:41:39 in Debt Financing for Small Businesses by Admin
I've just got off the phone with a client who called to discuss with me how he could obtain a bank loan for his business as he needs access to capital to fund the start up.  I answered him somewhat pedantically that taking out a bank loan might give him what accountants call working capital but that the proceeds of a loan should not be confused with capital.  He seemed a little confuse...

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07-06-2016 10:37:55 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
Here at Continuous Business Planning, we work with small businesses from start up right through to their eventual trade sale.  There are two stages at which small business owners typically approach us to work with us; in the pre-start up stage when trying to get finance and when preparing their businesses for sale.  We believe that where we can help add value in the proc...

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02-05-2016 18:16:26 in Practical Small Business Advice by Admin
I speak with small business owners every day, many of whom are just starting on their journey to small business success.  Many approach me with very solid business propositions that just need a little finessing.  A few, however, are full on fantasists.  They have extremely grandiose, expensive ideas and no clear route to profitability.  They tend to be very enthusia...

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13-04-2016 10:11:10 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
I speak to people almost every day that are about to launch their small businesses upon an unsuspecting world.  A minority of them have clearly benefited from some outside perspective on their ideas before they come to me to help pull those ideas into a cohesive, finance ready plan.  However, it's painfully obvious that for many of them, this is the very first time that ...

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04-03-2016 11:05:49 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
It is an oft repeated, seeming truism that practice makes perfect.  However, when we take a closer look at it, the cliche does not stand up to scrutiny in the arena of our professional lives. Most of us spend more time at work than on any other single activity in our lives, having prepared for the world of work through years of formal and informal education.  Despite all this...

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02-02-2016 10:57:02 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Almost every small business owner dreams of the day when he can cash in his chips, buy that swanky town house in Chelsea and enjoy the good life.  Ok, the town house in Chelsea might not be to everyones tastes (or budget, even after selling your business), but the reality is that however successful your business might be, you will not unlock the full financial benefits of business ownership...

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07-01-2016 04:49:09 in Idea Viability and Development by Admin
So, you've come up with a great business idea and on the back of a fag packet it looks as if it will make you richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffet combined.  If you are like two-thirds of small business owners, that's as far as you get with any critical analysis of your idea.  Instead, it's all hands to the press to use your new-found license to print money.  Sa...

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09-12-2015 09:45:20 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
In a blog post, I made here a few weeks ago, I outlined the five developmental stages of a small business.  The first two stages deal with transforming the business from an idea into a living, breathing business and then ensuring it's survival.  The number one cause of business failure, and thus the biggest threat to the survival of your small business is running out of cash....

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06-11-2015 19:38:18 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
I've never met a successful small business owner that doesn't work hard.  Without question hard work is a virtue and essential for success but this virtue can turn into a vice if abused  Some small business owners work harder than others and some work too hard, to the detriment of everything else in their lives and eventually to the detriment of their business. They ...

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11-10-2015 09:27:04 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
If you are anything like me, every once in a while you will cast an envious eye at the “big boys” in which ever industry you operate and catch yourself wishing that you could be more like them.  It’s easy to understand why that might be.  There are four key advantages that the “big boys” have over your small business and they will generally ruthlessly expl...

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03-09-2015 15:33:49 in Mission, Vision and Goals by Admin
Author Zig Ziglar once famously remarked that people tend not to wander around and then suddenly find themselves on the summit of Mount Everest.  In a similar way, those of us that are wandering aimlessly through life are extremely unlikely to suddenly start a succesful small business or lose a significant amount of weight or achieve any of a number of other worthy goals.  Goal setting...

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11-08-2015 05:26:46 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
  Chances are that as a small business owner, you don't have money to burn.  Yet everyday in many small businesses up and down the land, small business owners are losing the battle to keep costs under control as sales grow.  Sometimes the excitement of getting the cheques and seeing money deposited in your business account can lull you into a false sense of...

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07-07-2015 14:19:26 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
A recent survey showed that over 20% of the current workforce are have either started their own business, are about to start a business or plan to do so in the next three years.  This is an unprecedented exodus from cubicle nation, described by some observers as an entrepreneurial revolution.  It's easy to look at this and feel the irresistable urge to tell your boss where to stic...

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03-06-2015 08:43:33 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
There is a persistent idea in business about the power of first mover advantage.  According to the theory, as it relates to most small businesses, the first-mover has a huge advantage if it can claim a certain geographic area so long as that area provides the firm with all the resources it needs to thrive. If said area can be claimed and then made to flourish then the cost of entry to other...

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12-05-2015 08:27:04 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Many of you will have heard or read Russell Conwell’s celebrated speech “Acres of Diamonds”.  The central idea of the work is that one need not look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune—the resources to achieve great things are present in one's own community. This theme is developed by an introductory anecdote, told to Conwell by an Arab guide, about ...

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17-04-2015 18:45:35 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
The key challenge facing ambitious small businesses today in the UK and indeed throughout the world  is to successfully balance two seemingly competing goals: To maintain current business operations to ensure we are maximising our existing customer relationships and profitability whilst transforming business operations in order to survive and compete in the future.  How well we are a...

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02-03-2015 06:59:56 in Small Business Planning by Admin
There is a growing consensus of opinion amongst the entrepreneurial community that the traditional business plan is increasingly irrelevant, especially amongst the early stage technology start up community.  Alexander Osterwalder, author of Business Model Generation, recently advised technology start up founders to "burn their business plans", claiming that they were "too dangerous to the h...

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06-02-2015 07:20:15 in Idea Viability and Development by Admin
Whether you are looking to attract outside investment or not, understanding just how attractive or "investable" your specific business model is can be very important.  Ultimately as a small business owner, you will very likely be the single largest investor of both time and money into your business and it's important that you are not wasting your resources on a low-grade opportunity.  ...

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02-01-2015 19:12:32 in Idea Viability and Development by Admin
Have you ever wanted to get a handle on whether or not the business model you have chosen to translate your latest and greatest business idea into reality is really as good as you think?  One of the benefits of working with someone like ourselves is that you have an objective sounding board that can help you evaluate these things.  Our many years of small business experience have attun...

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12-12-2014 05:21:26 in Small Business Strategy by Admin
Small business owners are generally a pretty competitive group of people.  They like to know how they compare to the competition in their marketplace and where they are in relation to where they should or could be.  It’s hard to make a comparison from the outside looking in.  In my experience, the most fruitful question a small business owner can ask is “are we growing...

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08-11-2014 07:10:20 in Practical Small Business Advice by Admin
The idea of continuous improvement is hugely seductive yet notoriously difficult to translate into action.  My experience is that when we resolve to make any kind of change for the better, whether in our lives or our business, we tend to make a temporary improvement before we then backslide toward our original condition.  Why is this?  Is it simply a lack of either individual or i...

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17-10-2014 07:03:55 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
Let's imagine for a second that you have successfully developed a genuinely innovative product that more elegantly solves the significant customer problems in your chosen market than any other existing products.  The small test markets to which you have exposed your product have enthusiastically embraced it and there is a real buzz building amongst the industry and amongst consumers about y...

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09-09-2014 07:24:21 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
In my experience, many small business owners suffer from numerophobia.  The second a business concept is expressed in numbers, what they understood easily and intuitively  through words suddenly becomes confusing.  Consequently, many small business owners never develop any real fluency with the key numbers within their business to the detriment of the performance of their&nbs...

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02-08-2014 16:57:45 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
It was Leonardo Da Vinci that famously said that "art is never finished, only abandoned".  The idea behind that statement is that the creation of any work of art is not about crossing some kind of imaginary finish line but rather about realising in concrete form an image or idea that was held in your mind so that the world can see what you see.  Since most artists lack the skill to per...

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10-07-2014 17:06:10 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
What do you think would happen if one of the world's greatest violinists were to perform anonymously in a busy Metro station to over one thousand passers by during the rush hour immediately preceding the start of the working day? Do you think that in an incongruous setting at an inconvenient time, sheer talent and quality would prevail? Would a crowd of appreciative music lovers gather even for a ...

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06-06-2014 16:45:56 in Business Plan Writing by Admin
Once you have accepted the conventional wisdom that a business plan is essential for any small business, the question then becomes whether to write it yourself or to seek professional help. You might be surprised when I tell you that I am an advocate of business owners writing their own business plans, especially if you are writing it principally for your own benefit. To those of you determined ...

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08-05-2014 11:35:00 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
I am passionate about small businesses and the impact that they can have, not just on individual lives but also upon the UK economy as a whole.  Small businesses are the engine room of the UK economy.  According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), There were an estimated 4.8 million businesses in the UK which employed 23.9 million people, and had a combined turnover of &pou...

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26-04-2014 10:58:33 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Having cut my Project Management teeth in Logistics, I have always been drawn to Just In Time (JIT) techniques.  Ten years ago, the companies I worked for all seemed to want to extend the JIT concept in manufacturing to business logistics.  Indeed, it seemed like JIT was like the Holy Grail of supply chain logistics; why keep excess stock around when you can plan it for a minimal of ...

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16-04-2014 06:28:49 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
I have never spoken to a business owner that doesn’t wrestle almost daily with the question of how to increase the turnover of their small business.  I’m sure there are small business owners out there that are turning work down and worrying about scaling their business down to restore their work-life balance.  It’s just that I’ve never met them.  The small ...

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11-03-2014 11:09:22 in Small Business Strategy by Admin
We are often approached by wannabe entrepreneurs for help with market research and forecasting.  Whilst this is critically important in order to assess if a viable opportunity even exists, this is only the beginning of the planning process.  Once you have done the basic market research that confirms that an opportunity in your chosen market actually exists and put together some basic f...

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13-01-2014 16:41:05 in Practical Small Business Advice by Admin
The work I do with established small businesses essentially focuses on the answer to the following problem in the client's particular situation: "How can we achieve more with the resources that we have"  The small business owner might dress this up as wanting the business to be more profitable and more efficient, or perhaps as wanting to grow the business or as reclaiming their person...

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08-12-2013 00:37:20 in Franchising by Admin
The world of franchising is enormous.  There is a myriad of business models in almost 100 industries and it can be hard to gauge which franchise is for you.  We have dedicated two articles so far to evaluating a franchise opportunity which covered twenty questions that I believe are essential to properly evaluate any franchise opportunity.  The first ten questions can be found here&...

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06-11-2013 08:38:39 in Franchising by Admin
With over 1500 different franchise opportunities currently available on the UK market, it can be pretty daunting for those who are looking to become franchise owners to separate the good from the bad or to recognise an opportunity that is truly great.  However, like the person who saves money on a house purchase by skipping a detailed survey, there will always be those who either do not trust...

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02-10-2013 01:00:24 in Franchising by Admin
The purchase of a franchise is a very serious step.  The financial commitment is huge, including the initial fee for the franchise, the capital to fund the franchise to its breakeven point and the ongoing franchise fees, not to mention the further losses you could be exposed to if the franchise was to fail.  Given the huge upfront and ongoing costs of franchise ownership as well a...

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06-09-2013 16:52:07 in Sales & Marketing for Small Business by Admin
Internet marketing has opened up new options for small businesses to explore and develop.  With the help of Internet marketing, small businesses can increase their online visibility by applying strategies like SEO, PPC, social media, e-mail marketing, banner ads, etc.  Internet marketing has many advantages - it is cost-effective, has speedy reach, can target potential customers, can c...

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06-08-2013 07:34:21 in Sales & Marketing for Small Business by Admin
The second most common reason why we are contacted, after the need for help in raising finance and charting an initial course for the client's small business, is that the client company is struggling to consistently meet revenue targets and the owner is looking for help.  More often than not, the business owner is under huge pressure. not least of all because it is their neck on the choppin...

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04-07-2013 14:13:44 in Small Business Success Stories by Admin
I'm regularly approached by wannabe entrepreneurs who are interested in operating a retail business but who are extremely nervous given what is now almost the accepted wisdom that retailers in the UK are in terminal decline.  The constant stream of UK retail institutions that have collapsed in recent years seems to only strengthen the perception that entrepreneurs should avoid the retail se...

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17-06-2013 14:17:39 in UK Immigration Business Plans by Admin
A key part of the Government's plans to revitalise the UK economy is to stimulate entrepreneurship.  In addition to attempts to support UK entrepreneurs, since 2008 successive Governments have also sought to make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to base and build their businesses here in the UK.  To facilitate this process of attracting high net worth individuals to the UK to star...

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11-05-2013 15:47:23 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
If there is a particular drum that I like to bang with my retained clients it is that, in order to grow, you need to spend more time looking forward than you spend looking back.  I wrote an article about lagging and leading key performance indicators (KPI's) recently and that is certainly part of what I am talking about.  I am also talking about the relative importance of forecasting r...

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15-04-2013 21:39:09 in Franchising by Admin
In response to increasing demand from clients, we have introduced a franchise evaluation service that provides all the information prospective franchise owners need in order to make an informed decision as to which franchise opportunity of more than 1500 currently available in the UK market is best suited to their experience, interests and personal and financial goals.  The launch of this f...

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12-03-2013 21:23:54 in Mission, Vision and Goals by Admin
There is currently some debate as to the value of goals.  For the record, I am a big believer in the power of goals to drive behaviour and boost the performance of both individuals and organisations.  I do understand, however, the arguments against goal setting that have gained some prominence in recent years.  Adam Galinsky for example, a professor at Northwestern University's Ke...

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22-02-2013 11:18:17 in Business Plan Writing by Admin
Although we would love to work with everyone that contacts us to enquire about our business plan writing service, we recognise that our business plan writing service is not for everyone.  I often say to people who are enquiring about our services that we produce bespoke, thoroughly researched plans that are created not only with a view to obtaining finance or persuading a key partner of the...

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30-01-2013 16:41:25 in Practical Small Business Advice by Admin
The problems that we face as small business owners are all unique, yet there are some patterns that emerge over time.  The most common theme is that of the under-performing e-commerce site.  The market niches that they seek to serve are all completely different, yet the common thread in the stories is that they started their sites full of optimism between one to three years ago, and ...

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07-01-2013 07:42:02 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Although we talk collectively of start-up businesses as if they are a homogenous group, the truth is that not all start-up businesses are alike.  One of the most important ways in which one startup may differ from another is in the relationship between their new product or service and it's market.  These product/market relationships can be generally typified by one of the following des...

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22-12-2012 11:58:08 in Process & Performance Improvement by Admin
Here at Continuous Business Planning, we exist to help small business owners grow their businesses.  Whether they be the owners of pre-startup businesses looking to launch their ideas upon the world in a way that will make the largest possible splash or, at the other end of the spectrum, small business owners looking to maximise the sale potential of their businesses, our clients all have a...

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11-12-2012 13:45:56 in Small Business Planning by Admin
If there is a particular drum that I like to bang with my retained clients it is that, in order to grow, you need to spend more time looking forward than you spend looking back.  I wrote an article about lagging and leading key performance indicators (KPI's) recently and that is certainly part of what I am talking about.  I am also talking about the relative importance of forecasting r...

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02-11-2012 12:40:28 in Small Business Success Stories by Admin
Many of you reading this will be unaware of John Thompson and the company that he launched in his spare bedroom over a decade ago.  John Thompson is the founder of Inxpress and works today as CEO of Inxpress Global, the company formed to manage the rapidly expanding Inxpress franchise network that is stretching out across the world.  Inxpress Global offer a unique management franchise ...

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04-10-2012 13:38:36 in Business Plan Writing by Admin
Planning lies at the very heart of small business success.  Paul Tiffany and Steven Pearson in their book Business Plans for Dummies quote a study conducted in the late 1990s of almost 1000 small businesses which found that those with detailed, written plans had experienced 50% more revenue and profit growth than those without one.  More recent research done at Cranfield University&nbs...

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04-09-2012 23:14:48 in Practical Small Business Advice by Admin
Ever heard the expression "an inch wide and a mile deep"?  I use this phrase a lot when talking about the range of products or services that a small business offers.  More often than not when I speak to them, small business owners are selling whatever a customer is prepared to pay them for.  This is understandable to a degree.  At the beginning of a business especially, it is...

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29-08-2012 06:56:22 in Debt Financing for Small Businesses by Admin
With the recent announcement by George Osborne of a Small Business Bank, my mind has turned again to a perennial problem for entrepreneurs.  Every small business owner with a dream eventually faces the moment when they need to decide how they are going to fund the process of turning that dream into a living, breathing business.  There are hundreds of different sources of funds, but for...

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16-08-2012 17:59:54 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
In a recent survey carried out in the US, it was found that the number one challenge facing small business owners was juggling multiple roles, more difficult even than making a consistent profit.   More than half of small business owners surveyed have a minimum of five different roles that they fulfill in their small business each week.  The number two challenge was lack of time. ...

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01-08-2012 13:50:59 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
There seems to be something in the water in the UK lately that is inspiring an unprecedented number of people to step off the corporate treadmill and launch feet first into the wonderful world of small business ownership.  The GEM UK Report 2011, published last week, surveyed more than 10,000 people in the four home nations of the UK.  They found that in 2011, more than one-fifth of ...

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19-07-2012 08:19:31 in Start Up Business Advice by Admin
Business textbook authors must be devastated that one of the juiciest business case studies in recent years exploded into the headlines just a little too late to be included in the latest editions of their textbooks for the 2012/13 academic year.  Without a doubt, this one will be puzzled over and debated for many years to come in business studies classes and on MBA courses up and down the co...

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02-07-2012 09:01:21 in Practical Small Business Advice by Admin
If you really thought about it, you would be absolutely amazed at how many things can be outsourced, but only if you know what you’re doing and can express your needs clearly and concisely. If you can’t, or have difficulty hiring the right people to get the job done, then you may want to look into our managed outsourcing service managing.  As this article on effective ...

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