Writing a Small Business Plan – Part One, An Overview

Small business plan One of the most important tasks to carry out when you are planning to launch a brand new small business, is to take time to prepare a fully functional small business plan.

Writing a small business plan will not only allow you to focus on your business start up, but it will also be a valuable asset to present to your business bank manager or indeed any potential investors who may wish to inject vital funds into your new small business.

Another key benefit of a well written business plan is that it becomes a permanent reference point for you to view as needed and will assist you in maintaining your focus for the life of your business.

I am writing this guide in small sections to allow you to follow the plan in your own time. This article will demonstrate the complete overview of what you will need to consider when writing your small business plan.

Small business plan – an overview There are 6 key elements to consider when preparing to write your business plan they are;

  1. Your business aim): this section should indicate your businesses generic goals and should also identify what areas you will need to research (such as marketplace, route to market etc) and also pinpoint an accurate timetable for your small business development.
  2. Stock): this section should demonstrate your products and/or services that your are planning to specialise in, where you may source your products and any legislation you may need to be aware of and comply to.
  3. Promotional): here you should plan to demonstrate how you intend to get your products and services to the marketplace, how you are to proceed with advertising media, where you plan to retail your products and services and also note any restrictions that may apply to certain products or services.
  4. Operational): This is where you should identify the time constraints that may apply (production time, supplier lead time etc), delivery timescale’s to your customers, supplier conformance, shipping options and the limits that will apply.
  5. Financial): This is a key section and should clearly demonstrate your total costing’s, direct expenses, projected stock holding (if applicable), accounting methods, sales tables and your sales targets and company budget controls.
  6. Timetable): When writing your business plan, you will need to focus on ‘forward planning’. This will encompass you projecting a timetable of development …where do you see your company in 5 years for example.

When Do I Need To Hire A Business Plan Consultant

Every new business owner knows that a business plan is critical – it is drilled into them by potential investors and every banking officer they meet. So why is something that is so important to the launch of a new venture so difficult to write? Good question! In this article I will try to address when you should go out and hire a business plan writer versus taking on the task yourself. First time entrepreneurs often cringe when sitting down to write their business plan. Some spend 6 months agonizing over each period and comma, and even worse others spend 6 months procrastinating and do nothing. So lets break it down and see where / when a business planning company should be brought in:

Who will read your business plan and why?

First you need to really understand the purpose of your business plan and who your audience (reader) will be. This is an important point as a business plan being written for a $100,000 loan is VERY different than a document needed for a $10 million round of venture capital! Since this article is focused on first-time small business owners, I will focus on preparing business plans raising less then $1 million in capital. For this “startup” or “seed” business plan 30-35 pages are perfect. You are not expected to deliver a thick book (and no one will read it anyway!). Once you have this down, you can honestly assess which sections you are qualified / comfortable writing and which may need consulting help.

Here is what you should write on your own

It is important for you to write a basic draft / outline of your business plan. Without this direction you are probably asking too much of your consultant. Once you have your thoughts organized on paper you can see what you are comfortable completing. Here are a few suggestions:

Executive Summary: Draft the opening of your business plan – then hire a pro to come in and re-write it. Your executive summary will be read first and first impressions are critical!

Marketing: You need to write your own definition of your target customer / audience. For the market research on industry growth and fancy charts go ahead and hire a consultant.

Competitive Analysis: You should put together the first draft of this section, as it is almost as important to understand your competitors, as it is your customers. If you find a consultant that is an expert in your field, then you can work together and add to your initial list.

The Dreaded Financials

This is the most difficult part of a startup business plan, as you are making projections and assumptions on products / services that you have not even produced or sold yet! If you are stuck on this section you can hire a business plan consultant to just assist you with completing your projections (income statement, cash flow, and balance sheet). Figuring out the cost of goods, delivery costs, and return rates can be simplified by breaking them down into a “light” spreadsheet. Next you need to understand your startup and operating costs – items like electricity, travel, phone expenses, etc. Again just organize these and your consultant can make all the fancy charts and graphs. Just make sure you understand all of the assumptions – for example if you are opening a retail business, you should not look towards your consultant to “guess” your rent – go out and meet with a realtor and come back with real data. If you work closely with your consultant, the financials are a great section to bring in professional help.

Managing Expectations

Now that you know a bit more about when to hire a business plan writer you also need to manage your expectations. You can’t expect a $1,000 business plan to have 20 pages of competitive analysis and a full-blown marketing strategy! If you carefully work through which sections of your business plan need outside help and then manage your consultant closely, your final document will be a success! My next two articles will focus on “How to Find / Hire a Business Plan Consultant” and more importantly “When to Fire your Business Plan Consultant!”

Howard Schwartz is a partner in several business strategy groups, including HJ Ventures International, Inc. Howard has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs worldwide with a focus on writing business plans for companies interested in raising capital from Venture Funds and Angel Investors. Howard?s business plans have secured several million dollars in funding.

Online Business Ideas – The 7 Fundamental Ideas For Online Business

If you spend even a small amount of time surfing the Internet then you are going to find many different online business ideas and before long it can become quite overwhelming. Just like anything new, there is going to be so much information available but the problem is always knowing which information to listen to and which to ignore; this article covers the 7 fundamental online business ideas which you will come across online.

The thing to keep in mind is that each of these ideas will manifest itself in many different forms but no matter what type of online business you are looking to set up you will find that it fits into one or more of these online business ideas. They are the fundamental building blocks of any online business and a good understanding of them will give you the start that most people never have.

The 7 Fundamental Online Business Ideas

Each of the following online business ideas are based around the 7 different ways of actually making money online. Whatever business you decide to start online it will fit into one of more of the following categories:

Advertising

The first of the online business ideas is advertising and with this idea you will look to setup a website in some kind of niche. You can then put advertisements on this site that are related to the niche content you have based it around. The key to this idea is making sure you get your targeting right otherwise you are simply going to annoy people who come to your site by trying to advertise them something totally unrelated to their needs; this is a fundamental error and something you should be very cautious of before you even start.

Services

With this idea you will setup a website that offers some kind of service to people who visit. Now this can be varied from an online gambling site that offers the gambling service to people right through to an online presence for your offline business.

The main difference with the latter is that you can either simply use it as an online marketing tool for your offline business or you can totally automate it so that you use your offline brand name to create an entirely separate online business.

Subscriptions

This is my favourite of the online business ideas because it is extremely scalable and in essence fairly easy to setup. There are however a few things to consider before starting this type of model. You need to make sure that whatever you are offering a subscription to has very good content otherwise you can get yourself a bad reputation before you’ve even started. Secondly you need to monitor the subscriptions in detail and offer technical support for anyone that may have problems getting access.

Products

This idea is fairly self explanatory, you setup a website where you sell products online. These products can be your own products or ones you buy in from a supplier, the only real difference will be the margin you make on each one. Also, it will take longer to get traction with your own products whereas others will probably already have brand awareness.

Commissions

The commissions model is similar to the products model but in this case you simply promote other peoples products and direct them to their website. You have your own affiliate code so that when anyone buys their product you get paid a commission. Effectively you are acting in the same way as a normal offline salesman on commission.

Licensing

Out of all the online business ideas, this one is probably the most confusing and I have certainly seen it explained in a variety of different ways and unfortunately most of them are incorrect. This idea can come in two different forms, you can either be a licensee or a licensor. In the former case you will take someone else’s brand and use it to promote your own products which you will then sell for a premium online. In the latter case you are the one with the brand that other people license off you and you get paid a fee based on this.

This is quite an in depth concept and we have really just touched the surface with this article.

Being a Bank

When you look at the different online business ideas you will probably struggle to come up with this one. What I mean by being a bank is that you effectively offer people lines of credit through various mediums online. Once again, this idea can be hard to understand at the beginning but becomes clear when you research in depth.

You will have most likely seen companies offering checkout facilities online where you can pay for goods and services through some kind of online transaction. When you look into what actually goes on in this process then you will start to see how this model works but essentially you are being paid interest on money you allow people to borrow for varying periods of time.

How to Uncover the Best Home Business Ideas

Ideas are a dime a dozen. But some ideas are truly the best home business ideas. These ideas are ideas as big as Microsoft, and some others are a little more modest. Ideas come in all shapes and sizes, but the truth is that you could be sitting on the best home business ideas. In this article, you will uncover them!

Your mind is a rich reservoir, and in this reservoir can be found ideas which can make you your fortune. Not all ideas are alike, and some truly are ideas that can be the best home business ideas, while others are not. You will need to be realistic when looking at these ideas.

Often people will mistake ideas. They will think that all ideas are the best home business ideas. But the truth is that we need to analyze them properly. One thing is for certain, you have the best home business ideas.

So, what happens when you don’t have an idea? The truth is that now you can look for other peoples home business ideas, also called home business opportunities, and from there go on to make money.

There are many routes, but if you have your own idea, how do you know if it really is the best home business idea? The answer is supply and demand. Any product that is in demand and has a supply is needed.

For example Microsoft did not create something new, he just supplied something differently. When IBM made personal computers, they were just modeling other types of computers.

The biggest problem that makes ideas less than the best home business ideas is that the person who thinks these ideas will usually try to reinvent the wheel. The best home business ideas are those that are an improvement of the wheel, rather than a new invention.

The internet may seem like a new idea, however, the truth is that it took paper and made it digital! NASA put satellites into space earlier than satellite television became available to the masses.

This is how the best home business ideas are found. These are home based business ideas that have been thought through, and seen to have already existing appeal.

Sometimes these ideas don’t bare fruit. This is part of life, and we can’t expect every idea to be a hit. However, in searching, you can find your own idea which is an improvement over an existing one.

So, why aren’t I telling you to be a trend setter, an innovator, a pioneer? Because history tells us the statistics. People who become pioneers often don’t get that invention of the planning stage into major success.

Small Business Coaching – Are You Ready To Become A Success Story?

Small business coaching is hot. A few years ago the only coaches anyone talked about were sports coaches. But today, PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that there are 30,000 business and life coaches worldwide.

Thousands of small business owners and managers turn to these business advisers every day to improve their personal skills and business results. You can, too. But first you have to determine if you’re ready for coaching. Then you have to select the right coach.

Are you Ready?

Rosa started her business out of her home. She made money, but not as much as she felt she should. She was frustrated that she couldn’t find time for her family. That’s when a friend suggested that a small business coach would help.

That’s a typical situation. Most small business owners don’t start out using a coach. They usually come to coaching when they’ve had some success and when they know they could have more. They usually come to it when they’re ready to listen and when they need a little knowledge and a little nudge to do the right things.

The best advice in the world won’t help you if you’re not ready to be helped. So before you go hunting for a good coach, answer the following questions.

Are you ready to listen to the things you need to hear? A good coach will ask you about things you haven’t thought of and push you to think outside the box. That’s often scary.

A good coach may also tell you to change the way you do some things. That’s hard for many small business owners because it means admitting that you’ve made some bad decisions and choices.

Are you ready to take a hard look at your business? Even the best strategist can’t help you if your business can’t deliver quality to enough people at the right price. Sometimes a business simply can’t succeed because the market is too small or too hard to reach.

Are you ready to pay the price? Coaching does not come without a price. You will pay a price in both money and time. You may even realize that you need to invest in new things for your business.

There are no magic beans. You have to work at success every day. I tell my clients that “success is based on persistency and consistency, not magic.”

You’re ready if you see it as an investment in yourself and your success. Your next challenge is to find the right coach for you.

Great coaches, like great chefs and great football players, are rare. And, sometimes, even a great coach is not the right one for you. Here are some ways to evaluate:

Look for a coach who’s actually run a small business. Before I started coaching I built two successful small businesses. I’ve really “been there and done that” so I know what my clients are going through.

I also use coaches myself. The ones that work best for me have small business experience. Small businesses are different from big businesses and you need someone who understands the special challenges.

Look for an individual who’s been doing it for a while. My job is to help you know what to do, but it’s also to help you do what you know. It takes time to learn to coach well.

Look for someone who won’t nickel and dime you to death. It seems to me that there are two kinds of coaches when it comes to billing. There are the ones who charge you by the minute, hour or session. And there are those who are always accessible or available for short conversations between sessions, if needed without piling on extra charges. I find the latter works better for my clients.

Look for a person that you’re comfortable with. Successful outcomes demand a productive relationship between you and your coach. It won’t work if you feel talked down to or belittled or if you feel like your coach doesn’t care about you. If you feel any of those things, look for someone different.

Look for a someone who’s picky. The best coaches are selective about the kind of clients they work with. We expect a lot of our clients and we limit the number of clients we work with so we can concentrate on helping each one succeed.

After some soul searching and some research Rosa started working with a small business coach. It wasn’t always easy, but together they found ways to help Rosa’s business grow and help her reap the benefits of success. They took her business and life to a whole new level.

It can happen for you, too. If you’re ready, if you’re willing to embrace change and if you’re willing to pay the price, a small business coach can help you become an amazing success story.

A Business Coach Can Quickly Build Your Success & Wealth!

So you’re wondering – What’s all this hype about coaching? What exactly is it and how can it help me? Great question! The term coaching in general stems from the sporting world. Sports teams and the athletes alike found that in order to bring about the highest degree of performance in a sports team and its individual athletes, they needed to be coached. Coaching in the sports realm has helped in many positive and wonderful ways. In a nut shell it equipped the coach with precise skill sets to help hone in on athletes strengths & identify weaknesses. It allowed the coach to than assess the situation and provide clear cut strategies and solutions to help create greater improvement in all aspects of the athletes. Team applications were also a major benefit to the team as a whole. Decision-making became easier, overall team performance increased and the motivation of all the team’s members involved, catapulted.

Nowadays no sports team would survive without the help and support of a good coach. In the business world, why should it be any different? Coaching is now being recognized as a vital and very powerful business performance tool. Just like sports, business is extremely competitive. There are millions of people who are competing and looking to win over the same customers as you. To be a great success and create the wealth you truly desire, it is imperative that you learn how to create a unique identity for yourself and learn how to effectively differentiate you and your business from the vast competition.

Most of the very same principles that apply to creating a well rounded athlete, also apply to creating a well rounded business, executive and entrepreneur. Like successful athletes, a business person who’s interested in becoming the best of the best, must also hone in on their strengths, have their weaknesses identified and know exactly what they should be doing to bring about their desired results. The business coach will implement business applications which will contribute to your financial benefits, as well as significant intangible benefits. If I were to ask you what you thought were the three things that people wanted most in their lives, what would they be?

They are: more money, more time & more fulfillment.

You probably guessed it, right?

It shouldn’t be surprising to see that most people often desire the same things as you and me. A qualified coach knows precisely how to turn these dreams & desires into very real realities. A good coach will work with you to isolate and overcome obstacles, sets realistic and achievable goals & create action plans that bring about solid & expected results.

What Business Coaching is not:

Business coaching is not the same as business consultancy or training – In consultancy and training, the client will get answers. Now, you’re thinking, “that’s what I need!” – Yes, I know, it can be quite alluring to think that a consultant will give you all the answers – But that’s not how it really works – These answers are merely the experiences and opinions of the consultant or trainer. Although this may have worked for them and possibly a few others with whom they’ve consulted or trained with, but it will not and cannot work for all.

With a coach, the answers come from you! Now, at first glance, this may not seem to be as attractive, compared to the consultant’s approach, but please stay with me for a moment. Ok, so now you’re saying to yourself, “Hey, if I already have the answers in me, I wouldn’t need help!” If that’s what you’re thinking, I applaud you for questioning my authority, but think again. The reality of it all is that the answers are in fact already in you – They are obviously not apparent to you now, but they are certainly there. I’m not talking metaphysics here or even tapping slightly into spirituality. The fact of the matter is this; in your life and in all of your experiences; past, present and future, no one brought or can bring about the correct answers or pave the proper path better than you can!

Yes, we can certainly take someone’s advice, but like gambling, it’s a risk we take – Sometimes we win and we often lose. The coach’s primary objective however, besides getting you results, is to bring out the correct answers by asking the right questions. Coaching is not telling people what to do although there are times when advice is acceptable; mostly, it is helping them clarify their own vision, while being in control of their own experience. It is helping them evaluate what they are doing now in their business, while making sure to maintain the accuracy of their goals, desires, values and intentions. It gives a client new choices that inevitably leads to change. Coaching helps a client, by breaking beyond mental blocks of what they thought was possible and shows them that almost anything is possible when you have a clear vision (map to success), develop the proper mind set & learn to take the right action on a consistent basis.

Coaching works as a partnership between the coach and the client. It is a level playing field where coach and client are quite able to effortlessly create massive results in the quickest turn-a-round time possible.

So how exactly does the coaching model work?

The coach utilizes powerful tools that help to get to the core of the client. When a client comes to a coach, the client often has a goal in mind – Sometimes they don’t – When they do, the coach will ask a client a variety of questions to help bring out the values tied to a particular goal/s. If it’s a new goal the client has, the session may be directed one precise way. There are often times when the coach may encounter a situation, where their client presents them with a very old and warn out goal -One that the client just never seemed to be able to bring to fruition. Under these circumstances, the coach may go in a completely different direction. It may be the direction where the coach uses their skill set of asking empowering questions. By asking well thought out questions, the coach will often uncover something that may have very well been holding this client back from achieving that goal and sometimes many other things.

When a client has no goal in mind, the coach has many wonderful ways of tapping into a client’s dormant creative side. One of the many methods a coach may use, is something called a high energy think tank. A think tank is a well prepared brain storming session, where past experiences and future desires may be used to create new ideas and thought patterns. Its two minds working in synch, working towards a solution, each generating optimum levels of creativity, which often leads to extraordinary results.

How much is a Business Coach?

Like any worthwhile service, the level of quality and the quantity you receive should always exceed the price you pay. Does this mean that business coaching is inexpensive? No! It means that your return on investment is well worth the price you pay. How does a 500% Return On Investment sound? In depth Studies have shown that the Return On Investment that you can expect from being coached even exceeds 500%. This means that a client will, on average, receive more than five times more out of being coached than you paid to be coached.

Political Consulting

Political consulting is the business which has grown up around advising

and assisting political campaigns, primarily in the United States. As
democracy has spread around the world, American political consultants
have often developed an international base of clients. Though its most
important role is probably in the production of mass media (largely
television), political consultants advise campaigns on virtually all of their
activities,from research to field strategy.

The practice of consulting has several early precedents. President
William McKinley’s closest political advisor Mark Hanna is sometimes
described as the first political consultant. In California in the 1930s, 1940s,
and 1950s, Whitaker and Baxter established and grew the first true
consulting firm, Campaigns, Inc. However, political consulting blossomed
with the increasing use of television advertising for campaign
communications in the 1960s. It was in that period that Joe Napolitan
claims to have become the first person to describe himself as a political
consultant (Perlmutter, ed. Manship Guide to Political Communication,
pg19).

In the subsequent years, political consulting has grown in importance and
influence and extended its reach to campaigns at all levels of government
in the United States, and beyond. Many consultants work not only for
campaigns, but also for other political
organizations, including parties and political action committees,
sometimes through independent expenditures; some also do public
relations and research work for corporations and governments. In fact,
today corporations seeking approval from municipal boards have turned to
land use political consultants to help earn need entitlements for their
project.

Critics also blame political consulting, at least in part, for a variety of ills of
the modern election process. In part because broadcast media
consultants are often paid on commission, they are blamed specifically
for the rising cost of political campaigns and the increasing reliance on
paid media. A successful candidate running a low-budget campaign
would be a serious economic threat to the political consulting field; such
candidates, however, are rare.

Left-leaning activists within the Democratic Party, in particular, charge
that political consultants are a major obstacle to participatory democracy,
political reform, and electoral success for the Democrats. In a much-
publicized e-mail on December 9, 2004, the online activist group
MoveOn.org wrote, “For years, the Party has been led by elite Washington
insiders who are closer to corporate lobbyists than they are to the
Democratic base. But we can’t afford four more years of leadership by a
consulting class of professional election losers.”

Management Consulting Firm

Management consulting firmsare third-party organizations or individuals that offer information on how to improve business operations. These services can range from accounting, information technology management, strategic leadership or any other business services. Management consultants usually have professional background in a particular industry and they have the potential to assess problems along with solutions to progress the process. Highly planned methods and tools are used for bringing about organizational changes in the company.Change the management is a common and important use for management consulting firms. Change management is where an organization makes significant moves or modifications in its functions.

The main objective of a management consulting firm is to provide the necessary arrangements for the clients to meet their goals. Normally management consulting firms can focus on any issues in a business or they are specialized in one or two areas. For example, employee training education and making business relationships, negotiating with retailers and the proper implementation of production methods are general in these firms.In addition to providing proficiency or guidance, many firms also offer companies the ability to educate and train their management employees.These firms normally do a variety of activities such as strategic and organizational development, financial planning and budgeting, marketing objectives, information systems scheduling, evaluation and selection.

Any organization looking for a temporary assistance with their business challenges, business direction or development usually looks to a management consulting firm for help. It is very significant for an organization to have a clear picture of the project scope in their mind before meeting with the consulting firm such as the the services required, the desired outcome and the level of expertise necessary for them.A Organizational development Consulting generally function in project teams. Depending upon the company and task,usually management consultants on the project team often spend their time at the client’s company than afterwards they do additional work at their own office. These consultants gather required information, interact with the organization, and more often work on getting solutions for them.

A Management Consulting Firm ranges in size from individual consultants to large businesses.Some firms concentrate only on specific services while other offer varieties of services that promotes and maintains healthy organizational culture, while focusing on the improvement of the end results of all the small businesses through better performance by the organization.

In today’s business world, the only thing that matters is a result. With effective management planning, companies can achieve high goals, perform better, make more profits and enjoy life to the fullest. A Management Consulting Firm can help managing job time, setting goals and financial plans, developing relationships in workplace, communicating, appraising, efficiently and listening, influencing colleagues optimistically working through changes and variety in workforce, disciplining, delegating, guiding, coaching and identifying problems and solving them, making decisions and thinking significantly.

How To Hire An Inbound Marketing Consulting Firm

Over the past few years there’s been a constant rise in the use of online marketing, more specifically the use of an inbound marketing consulting firm, for businesses of all sizes, whether a one-person home-based business right on up to Fortune 100 corporations. No matter what size business you may have, if you’re looking to outsource your Internet marketing services, rather than looking at only search engine optimization services, looking into a more all-inclusive inbound market plan may be your best option.

You may be thinking, “What is the difference?” Well, inbound methods includes, but are not limited to, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, creative content marketing, blogging, and optimized online press release writing. The key to all of these marketing channels working is using specific keyword research to integrate into each piece.

However, all inbound marketing consulting firms are not created equal. With the supersonic rise of online marketing, so too has the amount of so-called Internet marketing consultants risen. Like any business practice which will help you save critical time that you could redirect towards more productive measures, knowing what to look for when hiring the right inbound marketing consulting firm will certainly help you out tremendously in the long run.

So, what are some of the criteria to look for when hiring a top notch marketing consultant? Here are the top criteria to look at:

1. Experience: Does the company have clients who they provide monthly marketing services to? This will tell you right away if they are well thought of and able to keep clients.
2. Education: Do the consultants have advanced degrees in e-commerce, organizational and industrial psychology, business and marketing?
3. Practical Application: Does the marketing consulting firm of consultants who teach others through webinars, University/College courses or continuing education classes? One of the criteria of being a subject matter expert is not only having knowledge of the subject and being able to perform a task, but also being able to teach others to do so.
4. Published: Are the consultants publishing industry Journal papers, books, e-books, and manuals on an ongoing basis? This does not include blogging.
5. Certifications: One hallmark of a true professional is holding several professional certifications in their chosen industry. Look for certifications such as Certified Inbound Marketing Consultant, Certified Inbound Marketing Educator, Social Media Consultant and for leading Internet marketing University programs.
Using a checklist like this when hiring and inbound marketing consulting firm will greatly assist you in narrowing the field to only the top qualifying and competent consulting agencies.

Marketing Consultants and How to Find the One For You

The shocking but true fact is that business owners hire marketing consultants they should not be hiring. Running a business for you can be stressful and difficult enough without having to worry about fixing the damage their marketing consultants advice and work did. One way that a lot of people think about searching for a marketing consultant is through an agency. It is true that making one phone call to an agency and letting them find the marketing consultant for you is easier than doing it yourself, but there is no assurance they are going to find the right marketing consultant for your business.

Agencies have a list of marketing consultants and other professionals in different price ranges. Their main concern is looking to get you the highest paid marketing consultant because they will get a nice commission. They often try to get your entire budget gobbled up so that they can move on to the next business. Your business comes in second and their profits come in first. There are some reputable agencies out there that do get the marketing consultants discount their price to the agency and then charge you a set fee with there profit in the fees. The Bottom Line is that You should be the number one priority not the agency.

Some people see professionals on television talking about ther services. A lot of people actually hire actors and extras to be in the commercial just so they can show someone having results. Have you seen those cheesy looking commercials that do not even use company names or they use abbreviations of names of satisfied customers or clients? The truth is that you should put a lot of weight on their actually ability to back up their claims and statements. The true marketing consultant will bring to the table a lot of good ideas and show you easy ways to implement them in your business.

Some people actually think they can just read a book and are ready to become a professional in their field. Are they giving you advice from experience or are they throwing ideas out to you and hope one of them works? Make sure that the person actually knows what they are talking about and can give you ideas of how to start putting the action plan in place. If you speak with a marketing consultant who has started, ran, sold or maintained a business, then they would know more than a marketing consultant who just read about business functions in a book or magazine.

One thing that is definitely wrong with a lot of marketing consultants out there is that they actually charge for a consultation. This is so unfair to many business owners. How would you feel if you spent money on a consultation with a marketing consultant and all you talked about was him? That would be a waste of money. The marketing consultant that knows what it takes to have business owners achieve success, will be interested in learning about your business and what you are doing now. This way the marketing consultant can come up with a unique game plan and strategy that is right for your business, not the same old thing for any business. It is true that no matter what type of business you are in, Your True Business is Always Marketing. Since you are taking the time to speak with or work with the marketing consultant, the time you spend should be worth your investment and you should walk away with the satisfaction of knowing that the right marketing consultant will help your business grow through sure fire marketing strategies.