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Business Plan Writing for the SBA

Writing a business plan specifically for a SBA loan is difficult work. This is primarily due to the fact that the Small Business Administration as well as your banker wants to see a significant amount of information regarding your business as it pertains to how you will generate profits, a positive cash flow, and ultimately repay your loan on a timely basis. As such, it is imperative that you develop an extensive business plan that clearly showcases the operations and the anticipated financial results of your business over a five year period.

For most people, writing a business proposal or plan takes approximately 40 hours of work. However, if you are pressed for time, then you can always hire a business plan consultant to complete this work on your behalf. As per usual, you should due a significant amount of due diligence as it pertains to working with a business plan writer. This includes understanding their success rate, the number of clients that they have completed this service for in this past, and how they will be able to effectively showcase your business to a potential banker or investor once the job is complete. We strongly recommend that you review a number of potential business plan writers as it relates to how you can have the best possible plan available to you if you are applying for SBA loans, investor financing, or financing from third party sources.

After the writing of your business proposal/plan is complete, you should heavily focus on seeking to develop connections with local bankers and investors in order to raise the capital that you need in order to expand your operations. If you are able to do this well then you will be an excellent candidate for the loan or equity financing that you are seeking through your business proposal.

Beyond raising capital, having a well written business plan will ensure that you are able to understand the direction in which you want to take your business during its first three years to five years of operation. In all of the business plans that we have seen become most successful – a five year outlook is imperative in order to understand the results that are anticipated from your business. Through future articles, we will continue to discuss how you can develop a business proposal that not only is geared towards capital raising but also is focused on your understanding of how you intend to enter your market and become successful.

Social Media Business Cards

For those who want new business associates to check out their business, social media business cards allow them to consolidate their business information and social media networks in one convenient place. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media sites have become the major channel for connecting with people online. If you don’t have a social media presence, then you are missing many potential customers. Most people today, however, own not just one but two or more social media accounts.

Uses of Social Media Business Cards

One must remember that a social media card is, primarily, a business card. Its focus should still be you and your business. Therefore, the most prominent text on the card should be your name, company, best method of contact, and tagline describing your services.

Unlike regular business cards, however, a social media card provides more than just your basic professional information. It also includes the social media sites you use, typically indicated by the social site icon followed by the user ID or address. A business card is a personal branding tool, so careful consideration should be given on the way you advertise your web media presence. You should carefully select the social media sites to include in your card. Ideally, they should be the sites you want your potential customers or new business contacts to visit.

Best Social Media Sites to Include

There are plenty of sites available. Putting all of them in your card, however, can overwhelm your recipient. 3 to 4 social sites are good. Anything more than that can be off-putting. Here’s a list of the best sites to put in a business card.

  • LinkedIn – This is a social site designed primarily for professionals. It allows you to create your educational and work history, recommendations and references, and professional affiliations.
  • Facebook - This is the world’s largest media site that offers several advantages to the business professional. It connects professionals to millions of potential global customers and network with other companies and businesses.
  • Twitter - This is a great way to update your customer about changes in your company or about deals and specials you’re offering.
  • Flickr – If you’re a photographer, Flickr is a great way for sharing your portfolio of works with potential customers.
  • YouTube – YouTube is ranked high by social search engines. Creating videos that tell people about you and your business is a great form of advertising. If you have not posted any YouTube video, however, then you should definitely leave this out of your card.
  • MySpace – MySpace is frequented by musicians and younger audiences. Generally speaking, this is not a good site to include in a professional business card. If you are a musician or band member, however, this is the best site to use.

There are also some sites that should never be included in business cards. Putting Matchmaking.com on your card, for instance, will definitely give people the wrong impression about you and your business. Practice your discretion when considering what information to include and what to leave out.