Top 10 Mistakes Made In Business Plans

It’s very important for everyone who’s attending my next Internet Cafe workshop to study this list in great detail. Develop a basic business plan as part of your preparations for this unique training we offer at NETucation that combines the best black business and technology expertise in Southern Africa.

Lenders and investors may see hundreds of business plans in a single day. Make your business plan stand out against the rest, and avoid these common mistakes.

  1. Not proving that you have the management expertise to make it happen. The quality of your people will lend credibility to your ideas and even to your financial projections. If your management team is not as strong as it could be, join forces with a great board of advisor’s.
  2. Not demonstrating where your revenue will come from – what customers pay you and why they pay you. Do not be too aggressive in setting revenue projections or you will undermine your credibility.
  3. Not proving that your business model and long term cost structure is good enough to make a real profit. How will your business make money – what is your margin structure, what are your costs?
  4. Not being clear enough in your product description to allow the reader to quickly see the need and the niche for this product. It may seem obvious to you, but not so to the reader not educated in your business.
  5. Not proving that the market opportunity is big enough to get interested in. How big is your market now and what will it look like in 5 years?
  6. Not adequately acknowledging your competition. Investors know that if there is no perceived competition, there may be no market for what you are offering. The better you can describe your competition, the better you understand your market, and the more likely you will dominate it.
  7. Not writing for the target audience. Although the core is the same, the plan should be written for the perspective of banks, equity investors, and others. Go as far as you can to tailor each plan to the audience’s specific interests to show you have done your homework and know to whom you are talking.
  8. Starting with a boring, unenthusiastic executive summary. This is the first section to be read, and if it is not exciting, the rest may never be seen. Make it fun and be enthusiastic. It should stand-alone and generate interest for more. It deserves all the thought you would put into a professionally done promotional piece for your customers.
  9. Poor presentation. If you have typos and grammatical errors in your business plan, the reader will assume the work you do in your business is sloppy too.
  10. Saying too much. Keep the entire plan to a maximum of 30 pages, with an executive summary of three pages or less. If investors are interested, they will ask for any other information they need. Amateurs talk in the business plan about unimportant details because they do not know what they should say and what they should not. Hire a professional editor to reduce the page count and help you emphasize your strengths.

source Jan B King


Internet cafe business 2010 workshops schedule

Ramon Thomas teaching Internet Cafe workshops in JohannesburgThis announcement is two years overdue. So I apologise to my loyal readers who have persisted in asking me about past Internet Cafe workshops. This is what you have been waiting for!

NETucation is South Africa’s leading experts on the Internet Cafe industry, and we are the only organisation to conduct training on how to set-up the Internet Cafe from scratch. These workshops are conducted only twice per annum because it is a very specialised course an curriculim we follow that is updated on annual basis to take all Internet and broadband trends into consideration.

Cybercafe workshops are design to help entrepreneurs with no knowledge of the Internet or small business enter this sector of the Internet industry.

We are proud to announce the 2010 workshop schedule in association with:

Yusuf Mahomedy regularly writes for The Star Workplace and HR Future on employment and jobs. He will teach all the basics of moving from employment to self-employed and running a business that employs people. He also co-presented the previous workshop with us in 2008. And we have also recruited Thuto Moshile, the owner of the largest network of Internet Cafes in the Vaal Triangle. While we focus on the Internet business strategies, computer hardware, networking equipment and software for time management, billing and point of sale solutions.

There will be an interactive Q&A section for all delegates irrespective of your background, skills or experience in this industry. So feel free to post comments below with all your questions before hand and we will answer them in detail. Also bring along any documentation like business plans or application forms for government funding.

What is this training worth to you? This workshops covers the following and more:

  • Small business basics
  • Bookkeeping, Tax, UIF, hiring employees
  • Government funding vs loans
  • Internet Cafe location planning
  • Computer Hardware renting or buying, technical support, becoming a reseller
  • Internet Cafe software, Point of Sales (POS), CRM sales software to track clients
  • Direct marketing strategies with flyer’s, SMS, etc
  • Staff training
  • Billing & Time management strategies
  • VOIP set-up and packages
  • Wireless hotspots
  • Additional revenue streams
  • Business plan basics
  • Q&A about your situation, your location
  • Google, Websites, Online marketing

You save hundreds of hours of research because we have done that already for you. You receive my recommendations on all hardware and other equipment from preferred suppliers; and what we go into detail on what Internet Service Providers to use because we have evaluated the options to gain the best price/performance ratios. Translated this could save you tends of thousands of Rand, which can be better spent on your own training and marketing. You can get going much quicker after this workshop, and you will have more confidence in the success of your new small business venture. We are here to help you have more freedom, more flexibility, more cash flow and create jobs while uplifting your communities, increasing Internet literacy in your region, and giving the people cheaper, faster and quicker access to the world through the Web, email, VOIP and online social networking.