Quickly Learn How To Invest Your Money

You will need to quickly learn how to invest your money, if you want to be able to build up your investment portfolio. Time is of the essence, because every day that you delay investing is an opportunity lost to earn a return on your investment.

You will need to quickly learn how to invest your money, if you want to take advantage of the bargains you can find in the down economy. Buy while the market is down, so that you can buy cheap. And then when the market rebounds, your investment portfolio will grow exponentially in value very quickly.

Another reason why you will want to quickly learn how to invest your money is because you might otherwise spend the money. If you lack the discipline to manage your money, and you fear that you might spend it, then you are better off investing the money. Not only that, but thanks to inflation, cash money will not be worth as much tomorrow as it is today. Therefore, in order to keep up with, or outpace inflation, you will want to quickly learn how to invest your money, before the money you have becomes worth less.

The good news is that you can, very quickly, learn how to invest your money. It doesn’t require a four year college degree to understand the world of investing. But then again, investing is not child’s play either. You just need to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. And you need to learn how to make sound investment decisions, and not just invest based on a whim, based on emotion, or based on hype.

If you are armed with the requisite knowledge of investing, you can make a lot of money very quickly. Learn how to invest your money wisely, and you will be able to achieve your financial goals.

Top 5 Ingredients of Successful Business Plans

Everyone has prepared a business plan. Well, should that read, everyone should have prepared a business plan? My thinking is that these tend only to be prepared when they are needed, rather than as a useful business tool for all senior management. My top five ingredients are:

1. Understand what a business plan is;

2. Understand what you intend to use it for;

3. Identify and implement the critical steps to achieving a successful business plan;

4. Understand what needs to be included in the plan;

5. Be aware of gaps or weaknesses in your plan.

What is a business plan?

A business plan sets out the method for running a specific activity over a specific future period.

Why are business plans needed?

Business plans are needed essentially for the four following reasons:

1. A formal, explicit document of the planning process;

2. A request for finances;

3. A framework for approval;

4. A tool for operational business management.

What are the critical steps needed to achieve a successful business plan?

This may come as a surprise to my fellow business consultants, but producing a successful business plan is not as difficult as people often think, so long as they follow a logical sequence. Here is my considered view as to the critical steps.

1. Understand what you are planning and why;

2. Define the activities of your organisation;

3. Outline the current position of the business;

4. Review and discuss the external market conditions, undertake and understand a competitive analysis, and define your market positioning;

5. Define your core objectives;

6. Prepare and articulate the strategy to attain and meet the objectives;

7. Identify and review risks and opportunities;

8. Prepare a strategy to deal with risks and exploit opportunities;

9. Refine the strategies into operational plans;

10. Prepare financial forecasts including revenues, costs, cash-flow, capital expenditure and assumptions adopted;

11. Finalise the plan;

12. Get it approved;

13. Use it;

14. Review it regularly and update as appropriate.

What should be included in the business plan?

Without being too prescriptive, there are certain necessary elements which need to be included. Such elements are:

· Preliminaries – such as contents, contacts and definitions;

· An executive summary;

· A description of the business;

· A review of the market, the competition and market positioning;

· The vision, mission and objectives;

· The corporate strategy;

· The plan for developing the products and services;

· Financial projections;

· An outline of the risks and opportunities;

· A conclusion.

Understand gaps and weaknesses within the plan.

Any casual viewer of the BBC programme, Dragons Den will be aware of how easy it is for weaknesses or gaps to be identified. Depending upon the purpose of the plan, this may, or may not, prove to be critical. It is often easier to recognise such weaknesses and gaps, and be prepared to deal with them, either by noting them in the plan itself, or having appropriate answers available should the need arise.

Who should prepare the plan?

As a business consultant, this may sound like heresy, but I believe that any plan should be produced by the senior management of the organisation. That is not to say that the consultant does not have a role to play in its preparation. He does. Senior management should prepare the plan as they will then be able to present and discuss it, demonstrating to their audience that they fully understand their business and market. I believe that the consultant’s role is to help facilitate the preparation of the plan, the consultant can help undertake the necessary research, and can cast a critical and impartial eye over the plan.

Objectives Of Efficient Business Service Management

Why should businesses bother about business service management (BSM)? The efficient management of business services can lead to better customer service relationships, improved inter-departmental communication and engagement and increased productivity. All of this can contribute to cost reductions as well.

Business services may often seem to be at cross-purposes with what IT has to offer and there is an impression that management initiatives are hard to meet. But BSM not only bridges this gap, it helps businesses bring together the factors needed for efficient growth, such as the health of your IT system, the status of applications, effective monitoring of applications, managing networks, managing virtual networks, and consumption and management of data storage systems, etc.

Business service management directives may be placed above directives of IT service management. BSM application is also seen applied in Information Technology or Information Communications Technology; BSM also helps identify and define business objectives such that they are easier for IT to follow and provide for. Without this definition which is the hallmark of BSM, it is difficult for the IT to align with the larger business vision.

BSM is also vital in times of virtual networking and Cloud-based systems. Whether your IT department is in house or outsourced, business service management measures are necessary to ensure everyone shares in and understands the business goals.

Why implement business service management? Primarily, implementing it helps align your IT services with business goals; your business approach also develops a better customer focus. Additionally, having business service management in place fosters a culture where right from operations to administration to IT all are aligned with business objectives.

For the customer

If your business functions and operations are in sync with the larger vision, then BSM is all about identifying market needs and target customers to provide them with better services. Following outlining of business objectives, BSM also helps understand the impact of these objectives on existing business infrastructure and how to go about meeting newer goals.

Thus, when it outlines business objectives, it also takes into consideration changes and possible modifications that will be needed to fulfill them. Changes that support business objectives may be needed for operations as well as IT within the business.

Once BSM guidelines are implemented, it may bring about a change in the way the business has operated thus far. Technological changes may come about that impact the existing client base. Even if a change is for the better, it will still need adaptability. BSM may also change the way communication is handled; thus if a customer is used to sharing concerns or making complaints in a particular way, this way might get modified and change into a different kind of service altogether.