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7 steps to a perfectly written business plan

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‘’Regardless of its size, every business should have a business plan in place.’’ – says Joseph Green, a business writing expert at an assignment writing service.

And he is definitely right – a business plan is a vital step leading to a successful company. If you do this right, you can use the plan to guide you toward the final goal, as well as to attract customers to your business’ idea.

However, here remains the challenge of how to make a good business plan. A business plan should includea summary, description of the company, analysis of the market, management and organization of the company, marketing and sales strategies, funding requests, financial projections, and appendix. The list is as exhausting as it sounds, but if you do it well, you are in for a grand success.

To assist you in the writing and planning of your business plan, we’ve made a list of seven essential steps everyone must go through to create a perfectly written plan.

Step 1: Do Your Fair Share of Research

The first part of the business plan strategy is the longest and most exhausting of them all. It will take most of the time spent on your company’s business plan creation, but if you dedicate enough effort to it, you can create an excellent strategy for success.

Start by researching the market, the competition, as well as your product. Evaluate the expenses, both expected and unexpected, and perform a comprehensive research of everything you need to know about the industry you are getting into.

Step 2: Find a Purpose for Your Plan

What’s the goal of your business plan? There are many purposes and goals a plan can aim to fulfill, but one of them is the key goal your entire business will be striving to reach.

Look at your plan as a road map that will direct the actions of your business. That being said, you need to find a sole, most important purpose for your plan and make it as clear as possible. Only then you can define the rest of the goals.

Step 3: Create a Company Profile

This profile will combine the product and services offered by your company, the history of the company as an organization, information about the target audience, your plans and goals, as well as business’ unique characteristics. All of this information goes on the About Us page on your business’ website.

Step 4: Include a Marketing Plan

A good business plan cannot be successful without a marketing plan, a strategy in place. Such plan should combine the following objectives:

  • Improve the existing products or extend their market
  • Create and introduce a new product
  • Spread your company on different territories
  • Cross-sell different product
  • Find a way to raise the prices without losing customers
  • Find great, long-term clients and build a relationship with them
  • Create quality content to promote your business

Step 5: Document Everything

When reading your business plan, investors expect to learn details about your business, the achievements, as well as the plans for the future. To aid this process and get more investors on board, document everything. Under everything we mean cash flow, expenses, as well as industry projections.

Step 6: Adapt Everything to Your Audience

In most cases, your business plan will have the aim to impress investors. Take this into account when preparing the plan. Learn what the audience is interested in and what would attract more investors.

Step 7: Review and Edit

The final step of every written piece, especially the professional pieces such as a business plan, is to edit and review. This might be your only chance to impress a group of investors and build your business, which makes it critical for you to check the plan and make sure it is perfect. If you fail to do so, you risk seeming unprofessional and uncaring in the eyes of those you want to impress.

In order to win the backing of the target investors, you need to make sure that your plan is perfect. Look at it several times before sharing it with others. Search for mistaken words or phrases, wrong dates or numbers, spelling and grammar errors, etc. Ensure that your formatting looks professional, but most importantly, make sure that your plan is clear, concise, and convincing.

Finally, review the plan to see if it fits all the steps in this list. Once you are done doing so, your business plan is ready!

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Ontario’s new automated speed enforcement explained

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(NC) To wage the war against speeding, many municipalities across Ontario have turned to automated speed enforcement. Most recently introduced in Toronto, speed cameras are a high-tech solution to reduce speeding and are considered one of the most effective ways to create safer roads and save lives.  

Recognizing police officers cannot catch all speeders, these cameras fill the gap, providing monitoring in specific locations around the clock. When a car’s speed is even one kilometre over the posted amount, it will take a picture of the offending vehicle’s license plate, using the captured photo as indisputable evidence. A ticket is then served to the vehicle’s owner, regardless of who was driving. 

With a focus on high-risk areas, Ontario’s automated speed enforcement cameras are located in two specific municipal areas: school and community safety zones. School zones are designated streets close to a school, featuring reduced speed limits as dictated by local bylaws. Community safety zones are high-risk corridors and intersections, subject to increased fines and penalties.  

While the Ontario Highway Traffic Act outlines the use of automated speed enforcement, municipalities can decide when and where to use cameras to curb speeding. The act does dictate financial penalties for speed violations captured with cameras, which vary depending on the number of kilometres caught over the speed limit.  

Speed enforcement is not new, but part of a broader, integrated road safety strategy that includes infrastructure improvements, awareness campaigns and new uses of technology. City officials hope for a halo effect, inspiring better driving behaviour across entire communities, not only in areas with cameras. A controversial topic, some critics take exception to speed cameras, labelling them as sneaky cash grabs for municipalities. Governments think the opposite. 

Safety advocate and auto insurance provider Onlia is hopeful that the cameras will provide drivers with a reminder to slow down, especially in high-risk areas like school and community safety zones.  

For those who obey the speed limit, automated speed enforcement shouldn’t change anything about your driving style, says Alex Kelly, Safety Ambassador at OnliaDrivers have fair warning as they approach areas with speed cameras, as mandatory signs provide reasonable notice of upcoming automated speed enforcement. Regardless of warnings, the best speed is the posted speed. 

You can start to understand your speeding style by downloading the insurance provider’s new safe driving app that coaches and rewards for you for safe driving habits.

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Online banking: How to protect yourself from fraud

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(NC) Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, a growing number of consumers are regularly using mobile and online banking to paybill payments, transfer money and make purchases.

Although these tools can give you easy access to your personal finances on demand, there are also some risks involved. For instance, your banking information—such as your debit or credit card number, user name, or personal identification number (PIN)—could be stolen. If criminals have access to your online banking information, they can steal your money, which is why it’s so important to be  vigilant when you bank online.

Follow these tips to help protect your personal and banking information:

  • For your online bank accounts, use a strong password that can’t be easily guessed, and never share your user name or password with anyone.
  • Check your accounts regularly to make sure there are no transactions you didn’t make or authorize.
  • When making online purchases, never authorize a website to save your credit card information, password or other personal information. Giving websites this permission will save you some time the next time you access the site, but it poses a real threat if a hacker manages to access your information.

Most financial institutions have policies to protect you from transactions that you didn’t make.

However, you are responsible for protecting your online and mobile banking information. If you give your details to anyone—including your spouse or partner, a family member or a friend—your financial institution may hold you responsible for any unauthorized transactions in your account, and even strip you of protection from unauthorized transactions in the future.

If you suspect your information may have been compromised, change your passwords immediately, and check your account and credit card statements for anomalies and report any suspicious transactions to your financial institution.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has created resources to help you protect your online banking information.

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Payday loans: Not the best way to borrow money

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(NC) Payday loans are a very expensive way to borrow money. Even if you’re struggling financially, think twice—and crunch the numbers—before getting this type of loan.

Depending on the rules in your province, payday lenders can charge fees of $15 to $25 per $100 that you borrow.

As an example, let’s say you borrow $300 for home repairs. The payday lender charges you $51 in fees, or $17 for every $100 borrowed. Your loan balance is therefore $351, which amounts to an interest rate of 442 per cent.

There can be serious consequences if you don’t repay your loan by the due date. These may include the following:

  • The payday lender may charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • Your financial institution may also charge you a fee if there isn’t enough money in your account.
  • The total amount that you owe, including the fees, continues to increase.

There are better options out there

Payday loans should be your last resort to borrow money. Consider cheaper ways of borrowing money, such as:

  • Cashing in vacation days or asking for a pay advance from your employer.
  • Getting a line of credit, a cash advance on a credit card or a personal loan from your financial institution.
  • Getting a loan from family or friends.

Before getting a payday loan and to avoid getting stuck in a debt trap, consider other, less expensive ways to borrow money.

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