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The SBC Small Business Newsletter

presented by the Peak Small Business Center

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July 13, 2002

Table of Contents

 

Welcome

Quote of the Week

Administration

Featured Resource - ADMINDER

Staff Article - WRITING AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS PLAN - PART 2
   THE ULTRA-IMPORTANT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Marketing Tip of the Week

Guest Article -  UNDERSTANDING THE FLOW OF INTERNET TRAFFIC, TO ATTAIN WEBSITE TRAFFIC - PART 1
Parting Comments

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Welcome

Thank you for subscribing to the Peak Small Business Center
Small Business Newsletter!

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You can also view it online at:

http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/newsletters/sbnl_jul1302.htm
 


Quote of the Week

Man must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment of his life is a miracle and a mystery.

- H. G. Wells
 


Administration


WE STILL NEED YOUR FEEDBACK!

We're going to keep the following addresses here for awhile for those of you who have home businesses and might be interested in receiving a "home business" version of our newsletter. Please let us know. Many of you have responded, but we know there are more of you out there who operate home businesses and would find more relevant information in our home business newsletter than in this one. A simple blank email will do, as follows:

mailto:s2home@peakconsultinginc.com - to switch to a home business version and unsubscribe from the small business version.

mailto:both@peakconsultinginc.com - to receive both versions of the newsletter.

We anticipate the first mailing of the home business newsletter will go out within the next two weeks.

 


Featured Resource

ADMINDER

If you're not tracking your ad campaigns, you're losing money. Adminder is the most complete tracking and analysis tool you can use, and it's totally automated! Check it out and consider doing the free trial to see how it might help you become more profitable.

http://www.adminder.com/go.cgi?id=peaksbc
 


Staff Article

WRITING AN EFFECTIVE BUSINESS PLAN - PART 2
THE ULTRA-IMPORTANT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

by: Cary Christian

I told you last week about the three keys to writing an effective business plan. I decided it would be worthwhile to spend a little more time on the subject this week in order to cover the all-important Executive Summary.

Business plans are always long documents, particularly if they are well conceived and well written. Some users of a business plan, such as venture capitalists, receive hundreds or maybe even thousands of business plans per week. There is simply no way they are going to read every one of them.

Assuming you are submitting your business plan because you actually WANT someone to read it, the Executive Summary is your key to getting it read. This is where you build enough interest to get the reader to want to read the rest of it. For this reason, it is BY FAR the most important section of your business plan. Write a poor Executive Summary and the rest of the plan is immaterial. It could be blank, for that matter, because it will NOT get read.


WHAT DO YOU PUT INTO AN EXECUTIVE SUMMARY?

Don't try to simply summarize every section included in the body of the business plan. It will come off as stilted and awkward. Summarize the most important points contained in the document, i.e., those sections that carry the most importance. Here's what you should include.


YOUR BUSINESS

Describe your business. The reader needs to first understand what it is you do in order for the remainder of the information to make any sense. Give them a brief, well written two or three paragraph summary of your business.


YOUR MARKET

Show the reader that you understand the market you operate in. Describe it for them. Tell them about your competition. Tell them what makes your business unique or about the strategic strengths you have within your market. Tell them where you stand in your market. Are you the market leader? Second but trying harder? A new entry into the market?

If you are a new entry into the market, this section becomes even more important. If the reader doesn't believe after reading this section that you have a good grasp of the market, he or she will not bother reading further.

Try to keep this section to three or four paragraphs, but if you must use more because of complexities in your market or your position within it, take the extra space needed here and save it elsewhere.

You can split this section into several subsections if it aids the flow of the summary. For example, you might present a section discussing your competition in the market and dedicate another to your unique position or strengths.


WHY YOU NEED THE MONEY!

After describing your business and the market you operate in, it's time to tell the reader what you're going to do with their money. You need to convince them, in a very small amount of space, that their money is going to boost you over the top and make it possible for you to meet or exceed the projected financial information you will be presenting next.


YOUR FINANCIAL FORECASTS

Summarize your projected income statement, statement of cash flow and balance sheet. Present each statement summarized to the level of major categories. For example, instead of listing all the individual expenses that make up Operating Expenses, simply list all of the expenses as one line item called "Operating Expenses." It should be easy enough to condense each statement to ten lines or less.

Your goal is to give the reader an overview of the projected financial results. They'll get into the details later.

If necessary, present summaries of other supporting schedules. If you believe such supplemental information is important to an adequate understanding of the summarized statements, provide it.


YOUR REQUEST

Give the reader a summary of what you're looking for. If you want to raise $1 million in operating capital, say so. Tell them the terms you are prepared to offer, whether it be interest, an equity stake in the business, or a combination of both.


CONTACT INFORMATION

Provide the reader with full contact information for each individual that should be contacted if the reader has questions. Make it easy for them. Provide every address, phone number, fax number, cell phone number, or email address that might be useful to them for the individuals identified as contacts.

Try to keep the entire Executive Summary to five pages. Most readers would prefer three, but it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to provide the information required in less than five because of the inclusion of the financial statement tables. If you write this section well you won't have any trouble keeping their attention through five pages.

And above all, you MUST WRITE IT WELL! Write, rewrite, and rewrite some more. Make the Executive Summary as perfect as it can get. It needs to read fast, flow nicely, provide maximum information with few words (be concise!) and, of course, your punctuation, grammar and spelling should be impeccable.



Copyright (c) 2002
 


Marketing Tip of the Week

Are you using testimonials for other people's products to get visitors to YOUR site? Your results could be substantial.

The key is to find products on the net that complement your own products, your site content or the services you provide. Once you've found products you would be happy to recommend, offer your testimonial. This will benefit you in a couple of ways:

1. Your name and website URL will accompany your testimonial. This is link to your site that many people will follow.

2. As long as you associate your testimonial with excellent products, your reputation will be enhanced. If people see your testimonials often enough, they will start to believe you must be some kind of expert! CAUTION: Only give testimonials for products that are of outstanding quality. You do NOT want your name associated all other the net with substandard products!

This tactic is very easy to use and can produce tremendous benefits. Product developers should be very happy to have your testimonial, so get out there and start offering it!

 


Guest Article

UNDERSTANDING THE FLOW OF INTERNET TRAFFIC, TO ATTAIN WEBSITE TRAFFIC - PART 1

To attain visitor traffic to your website you must understand how traffic flows throughout the internet. This understanding stems from the basic algorithm of the Internet and the goals of it's original creators.

The goal of the creators was to link the knowledge of mankind together by using hyperlinks. That's it. You can be on one page of content and click a link, to be sent to another. Links point to sites or pages of similar content.

The Internet grew and became what it is today because of a simple basic goal, but we are leaving that basic premise by relying on search engines to move traffic to our websites.

What we have today has become a quest to store all the knowledge of mankind into search engine databases. This is unnatural to the way the web is designed and should be used. Trying to store all the information in a giant database, doesn't work and never will.

Results are diluted and the knowledge grows faster than robots can index it. No search engine database has indexed over 17% of the Internet and adding up all the knowledge of all the databases doesn't even equal 40%.

Those numbers include 800,000,000 web pages and there are those that say, there's over 3,000,000,000 (yes, 3 billion) web pages. Why are your web pages going to have placement in the top 30 listings from search engine queries? Are your website's pages any better than the next website's?

You must be listed in the top 30 to get any traffic. For most of us, the quest for ownership of the top ten, twenty or even thirty single keywords or phrases, in the SEs, is a waste of time.

I get millions of hits a month to my cyber-robotics.com website but I bet I only get three qualified visitors a day from the search engines. There are lots of websites pertaining to website marketing and I just can't compete. There are just too many.

If you have a website dealing in non-competitive Themes or subjects, like Nepenthes Carnivorous Plants only grown in Borneo, then you may have a chance to corner the market in Nepenthes.

But there are those of us who type our subject keywords into search engine query textboxes, and the return listing consists of 3,456,142 pages and ours is listing number 109,234. We must assume that's doing pretty good, as that's still in the top 3% :-) And even if we found out what does work in the search engines, the next person copies.

Plus you have probably discovered on your own, that the keyword you own for a few days in the search engines query results, doesn't give you the qualified traffic you want. Traffic flooding in today is gone tomorrow, like a switch being turned on and off, exciting but brief.

We have all thought, at one time or another, that search engines were everything and without traffic from the search engines, our websites were doomed to failure. That's what we have been taught, but we have been told the world is flat.

The continuation of this article will discuss how understanding the nature of the web will help every webmaster, attain the traffic they so richly deserve.

-----------------------

Content has been reprinted with permission of the author. First appeared in http://www.cyber-robotics.com, 1999-2000 David Notestine, all rights remain with author.

Check out David's terrific product, Zeus, and get your link strategy into high gear and your traffic numbers soaring!

http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/zeus.htm
 


Parting Comments

We hope you have enjoyed this issue of the Peak Small Business Newsletter and found it useful.  Please visit our website at http://www.peakconsultinginc.com to check out all the resources we provide. 

If you need to contact us, please use the following links:

Our CEO - cary@peakconsultinginc.com

Information - info@peakconsultinginc.com

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http://www.peakconsultinginc.com/ad_rates.htm


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