I read that somewhere this week, and it might have been the kick I needed to jump start my engine. See, since this quarantine thing started, I’ve opened a blank page to write a blog post a couple of dozen times, but always end up closing the page several hours later just as blank as it was when I opened it.
Hey, guysss! It’s Q4 already. The final quarter or 2019. I hate to say it, but I’ve found myself in a dry patch where blog posts are concerned. I am at a loss with topics and though I try not to ‘post just to post’, that’s exactly what I’m doing right now and I have no idea where this post is going. I wanted to connect with you guys on a conversational level. Just to see how everyone is getting on.
Her face scrunched as she expelled all the contents of her lungs. Her mouth wide, tears in her eyes, and the hanging, pink epiglottis danced violently at the back of her throat. Her stance said she was ready for war, but my mind said I was too as it raged and raced at the child before me. I understood her position, but I thought it no excuse. My temper flared. Hers sprouted wings and soared.
Business writing is a skill that is necessary but constantly overlooked. It’s often misconstrued that basic writing and mediocre editing are not significant when presenting important information or documents, much to the contrary.
For a business or company putting out information, a most critical aspect of any publication or document is concise, direct and a clear representation of the information being provided.
Before we dive into the specifics, let me hasten to advise that the information I am about to provide is highly subjective. There are several factors that will determine, where your client leads come from. As a matter of fact, one piece of information the internet often fails to offer, is that leads also to a high degree depend on the individual knowing their strengths. Content is great, but there are so many content types out there, a person has no business neglecting areas of strength to follow the crowd. But, I digress.
A business plan is a strategic planning tool for entrepreneurs. A properly structured business plan not only helps entrepreneurs to focus on the specific steps necessary act on business ideas but also functions as a roadmap them to achieve both their short-term and long-term objectives. A business plan is imperative for a business to attract funding. Banks and other investors want to clearly make the connection between how the entrepreneur will be using capital and how that will translate into a return on their investment.
Although many entrepreneurs know the importance of a business plan, for most startups, funding is a challenge and business consultants are not cheap. The average cost for a business plan ranges between US$500-US$3000. This range is wide, however, it reflects the true variant levels of the needs entrepreneurs and businesses. Additionally, business plans are not static documents and should be reviewed and updated at least annually.
For serial entrepreneurs, these costs add up quickly.
Learn A Skill
By being equipped to write business plans, an entrepreneur positions their business and themselves to take advantage of more opportunities. In a competitive marketplace, self-development and learning are crucial.
For this reason, I have decided to offer a workshop. Repeatedly requested by clients of mine and other business professionals within my network, it’ scheduled to take place at the Council of Voluntary Services, 2D Camp Road Kingston 5, Jamaica on March 23, 2019.
This full-day Business Plan Writing workshop is a pre-registered event designed for business owners and entrepreneurs who are ready to acquire the necessary skills requires to create a business plan. The process is simplified and broken down into digestible sections. All the essential steps are covered, including drafting the original document; identifying the audience; gathering information; researching; describing product plans; and marketing, sales, and accounting terms. Participants will come away from the workshop confident and prepared to write a business plan.
The workshop aims to teach participants how to:
– Research and analyze the individual components needed for a business plan
– Apply skills to create a business plan for different audiences, including investors, banks, and other stakeholders
– Explain the purpose and future of their business in easy to understand terms
– Use accounting terms to describe the future for their business
– Describe their marketing, sales, and planning strategies
As this year comes to a close, I am reminded of everything that I have been able to accomplish, both individually and as a part of an amazing and supportive behind-the-scenes team. We sincerely would like to thank you, our clients, suppliers, supporters and partners who have made 2018 an incredible year of growth, successes and realized opportunities for us, and by extension my brand.
Each project was a challenge and a phenomenal success – thanks to your vision and commitment, often requiring clarity and an extension of skills that has served as a catalyst for improvement, change and innovation. I will treasure the experience as well as the lessons.
I am especially grateful for your flexibility, patience and the opportunity to have served you in the past year and towards continued partnerships in 2019.
Please do not hesitate to let me know how I can improve on your service experience.
With that, my team and I wish for you a wonderful holiday season filled with good feelings and a prosperous and successful 2019!.
When Instagram announced a few weeks ago that it would be updating the app to allow for hour-long videos, the social media community (myself included) was very sceptical. However, the feature launch of IGTV for content creators have set the industry abuzz since the release.
IGTV was released earlier today as a feature accessible inside the Instagram app, as well as a stand-alone app available free for iOS and Android devices.
The One Billion users strong community continues to gain traction, as regular forms of media become less favourable to millennials.
This development will bring to a head the direct competition between YouTube and Instagram.
Influencers will have the opportunity to build and interact with their audience from a single platform. At a time when changes in the algorithms force business accounts to spend on advertising to increase their reach, Instagram has now offered the ability to extend that reach.
Content strategists have been aware for some time that video content has a greater value in terms of reach and interaction, yet, are somewhat expensive to create. IGTV is now giving even more power to the smart phone, empowering smaller content creators and splitting open the market for new entrants.
Of course, the IGTV is still fresh on the market and doesn’t feature ads just yet. But we know it is coming. Until then, there is much to discover and harness from it from a brand-building perspective.
As Instagram continues to expand, we have seen the consistent growth of the community and consequently, influence.
It is hoped that the local market (Jamaica) understands the implications and that small business who have been lagging will take the steps necessary to build upon and improve wholesome digital strategies.
“It’s painful how slowly the Jamaican market, particularly corporate Jamaica is reacting to the digital market. Traditional forms of media and advertising are still preferable to corporate companies, despite the fact that primary target audiences converge in millions on digital platforms” said Shandean Reid, Freelance Business Planner & Content Strategist.
“Clients tend to ask what platform is my favourite and why. My answer has always been Instagram. The opportunities and potential are staggering, and the market continues to grow daily. This proves it. I’m excited!” Reid continues.
In 2018, the era where content and social marketing are paramount in connecting with the online generation, there are millions of brands for consumers to sift through. This is why content marketing has skyrocketed in the last decade. Strictly speaking, to survive and eventually thrive in the electronic community as a brand, your business must speak in a way that translates into what you want to say and how you want the brand to be perceived by the public. This is referred to as a brand’s voice.
To successfully achieve this, the brand must ensure that a joining of the disciplines.
The Communication Process
If you are familiar with the communication process, (If not, I’ve enclosed a simple diagram) you will remember that despite what we may believe, process distinctly presents that when a message is sent out from the source (brand) it’s encoded, flows through the channeland requires decoding in order to reach the receiver (brand’s audience). The receiver then provides feedback to the source, letting them know whether or not the message was received.
This process is standard and tells us, that if at any point the message that reached the receiver is not what the source intended, the source is at fault. Always. Simply, the communication process must be designed so that it cuts through noise (anything that may interfere with the transmission of the message) and encoded in such a way that the receiver is able to correctly decode this information.
Similarly, if a brands message is not translating to the audience in a way that the brand intended, whether that is because the message was not adequately encoded, or designed to cut through the noise (other brands, marketplace, confusion, etc.).
Your Brand’s Voice
A brand’s voice is represented by a consistent expression of your brand’s values, aims and expertise, usually represented through words, whether written or oral. It is important t maintain consistency is the brand’s voice across all platform and through all pieces of content expelled by the brand. It is possible to cultivate a brand’s voice through traditional market mediums, however, online content and its marketing carry a significant clout. Due to the speed at which feedback from the communication process can be achieved, an inconsistent or faulty brand voice can quickly come under fire and within minutes or hours be trampled, if not monitored and managed effectively.
The brand’s voice if not rigorously enforced, is also in danger of being drowned out by the sheer number and presence of other brands that are either direct competitors or alternate/substitute brands. Remember, many brands are just that nowadays, a brand that can represent a person, place, product, service, experience and the list goes on. Intangible brands can compete just as effectively with products and services if marketed the right way.
Your brand voice can be whatever you want it to be. Develop a strategy, execute and maintain it, and it will be heard.
So, you have a business idea. Perfect! Now you want to put it into action. But how? You need a plan. A business plan. This is especially true if you will be seeking investors to get your idea off the ground. Most investors want to see that you have a plan (a good one) before they’ll invest. A business plan is how you will present your idea formally. You may decide you want to work on it yourself or get someone professional. If you decide to work on it yourself, here are a few tips to get you going.