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Writing a Business Plan
While it may be tempting to put off, creating a business plan is an essential part of starting your own business. Plans and proposals should be put in a clear format making it easy for potential investors to understand. Because every company has a different goal and product or service to offer, there are business plan templates readily available to help you get on the right track. Many of these templates can be adapted for any company. In general, a business plan writing guide will recommend that the following sections be incorporated into your plan.
The executive summary is the first section that business plans open with, but is often the last section to actually be written as it’s the most difficult to write. The executive summary is a summary of the overall plan that highlights the key points and gives the reader an idea of what lies ahead in the document. It should include areas such as the business opportunity, target market, marketing and sales strategy, competition, the summary of the financial plan, staff members and a summary of how the plan will be implemented. This section needs to be extremely clear, concise and engaging as you don’t want the reader to push your hard work aside.
The company description follows the executive summary and should cover all the details about the company itself. For example, if you are writing a business plan for an internet café, you would want to include the name of the company, where the café would be located, who the main team members involved are and why, how large the company is, who the target market for the internet cafe is, what type of business structure the café is, such as LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, what the internet café business mission and vision statements are, and what the business’s short-term objectives are.
Services and Products
This is the exciting part of the plan where you get to explain what new and improved services or products you are offering. On top of describing the product or service itself, include in the plan what is currently in the market in this area, what problems there are in this area and how your product is the solution. For example, in a business plan for a food truck, perhaps there are numerous other food trucks in the area, but they are all fast –food style and unhealthy so, you want to introduce fast food that serves only organic and fresh ingredients every day. This is where you can also list your price points and future products or services you anticipate.
The market analysis section will take time to write and research as a lot of effort and research need to go into it. Here is where you have the opportunity to describe what trends are showing up, what the growth rate in this sector looks like, what the current size of this industry is and who your target audience is. A cleaning business plan, for example, may include how this sector has been growing by 10% every year due to an increase in large businesses being built in the city.
Organization and Management
Marketing and sales are the part of the business plan where you explain how you will attract and retain clients. How are you reaching your target customers and what incentives do you offer that will keep them coming back? For a dry cleaner business plan, perhaps if they refer customers, they will get 10% off their next visit. In addition, you may want to explain what needs to be done in order for the business to be profitable. This is a great way of showing that you are conscious about what clear steps need to be taken to make a business successful.
Financial Projections & Appendix
The financial business plan section can be a tricky one to write as it is based on projections. Usually what is included is the short-term projection, which is a year broken down by month and should include start-up permits, equipment, and licenses that are required. This is followed by a three-year projection broken down by year and many often write a five-year projection, but this does not need to be included in the business plan.
The appendix is the last section and contains all the supporting documents and/or required material. This often includes resumes of those involved in the company, letters of reference, product pictures and credit histories. Keep in mind that your business plan is always in development and should be adjusted regularly as your business grows and changes.
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How to Choose a Phone Plan for Your Business
Every company needs an effective phone plan for their business. It’s important for all your employees to be able to communicate with each other. You also need to ensure that you can take phone calls from clients when they need to reach you. There are many office, VoIP and cell plans available, and your choice depends on what’s best for you. Here’s how to choose the best phone plan for your business.
The Types of Business Plan
If you’re looking for the perfect business phone plan, you need to think about which will benefit your organization most. There are loads to choose from and each have their advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential for businesses to have the best communications systems, because without this you’ll lose potential customers. Many people choose systems based on their convenience, but also look at how effective they are, the costs and if the system is up to date.
With so many options, businesses rarely know where to start. However, your primary goals will enable you to find the best phone plan for your business. Do you have a large team and need a strong internal communications system? Is saving money your primary goal? Here are some business phone plans, and their benefits.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
VoIP is taking over the business world, and many companies are ditching their landline service for the internet-based phone solutions. While making international calls on landlines is expensive, VoIP enables you to call anywhere in the world for no extra cost. Phone calls take place over the internet, and you can reach your employees wherever they are.
There are many VoIP solutions, including basic packages, options for mid-sized businesses and high-end solutions. It’s important to think about which solution is best for your business and avoid any hidden costs associated with high-end solutions. VoIP is great for companies and there is a range of technological benefits you won’t find with other providers. Search online to find the best VoIP providers.
Private Branch Exchange (PBX)
PBX uses hardware to route all calls through the office to and from a central connection. It connects all employees and enables easy transfers. PBX has many benefits, including its cost-effective solutions. Employees can make internal calls without the needs of connecting to an external network. This means that businesses can save money on phone calls, which is especially useful for small companies.
There are automatic capabilities, meaning PBX systems can automatically route calls. Basically, PBX offers an all-in-one solution, but it isn’t as technologically convenient as VoIP solutions. It depends on your needs, but remember PBX systems are best if you use over 12 phone lines. Smaller businesses might find that installing and maintaining a PBX system is too expensive.
Small businesses have one thing on their mind; money. They need to find cost-effective solutions to grow their business, but not bankrupt them. Most small companies use manual key-systems to route phone calls. As you add more lines, you’ll find a manual system less convenient and harder to manage.
Key systems are great when businesses are starting out, but if your business is growing then it’s best to choose between a PBX or VoIP solution. There are many positives to manual key systems, and providers are combining technology with the systems to make them better for small business owners to maximize their internal and external communications.
Is the price right? That’s what you should be considering. Many phone providers will offer comprehensive packages for both office and cell use. Combining these will save you money in the long-term and enable you to streamline your communication procedure. The more technology you want, the higher the price. You should weigh up the benefits of cost and convenience when making your decision.
Speak to providers and ask them what bundles they offer. You’ll want to supply your employees with cell phones if they travel out of the office regularly. Choosing a phone system doesn’t have to be complicated if you know what you’re looking for and consider your price limits.
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NYDA Grant Programme
- What is the NYDA Grant Programme?
- Application Process / Procedure
The NYDA Grant Programme is designed to provide young entrepreneurs with an opportunity to access both financial and non- financial business development support in order to enable them to establish or grow their businesses.
The programme focuses on youth entrepreneurs who are at intentional, promising and new stages of enterprise development. Young people whose business ideas qualify for the Grant Programme, depending on their individual needs, will also undergo some of the NYDA’s non- financial support services, including:
• Business Consultancy Services
• Market Linkages
• Business Management Training Programme
• Youth Co-operative Development Programme
The NYDA Grant Funding program excludes the following forms of funding requests:
• Partial funding, co-funding or funding towards a deposit for a loan from another lending establishment;
• Where an application is made by current NYDA staff members, Board Committee Members or Member of the Accounting Authority;
• Pyramid Sales Schemes.
• Fall within the gambling, gaming with a chance at making money, pyramid sales scheme, loan shark or sex industries (prostitution), and/or operates illegal activities.
• Businesses or shareholders of businesses that are still owing the NYDA through loan funding.
• Businesses or shareholders of businesses that received NYDA SME loan funding.
• Businesses or shareholders of businesses that had their loans written off by NYDA.
• Businesses that have an annual turnover exceeding R750,000.00 except for cooperatives whose annual turnover must not exceed R1000,000.00
• Second hand equipment, except for industrial equipment with a minimum balance lifespan of five years;
• Tobacco as a primary income generator;
• Alcohol as a primary income generator;
• Are investment trusts or venture capital / private equity funds;
• Require finance to substitute an existing financier;
• An individual or business shall not receive a cumulative grant amount above R200 000 from NYDA during their lifetime except for cooperatives (for agriculture and technology related projects the maximum cumulative value is R250,000.00).
• A member of a business or cooperative enterprise who resigns from the business or cooperative can only apply for grant funding after two years from the date of resignation from the business that has been funded by the NYDA in the past from the grant programme.
• Require funding for prototyping except for cell phone application development.
• Require seed capital for research and development;
• Require funding for patent registration.
• Require funding to purchase exclusive business/distribution rights
• Shareholders/members are natural persons who lack contractual capacity by virtue of:
-- being of unsound mind;
-- Have a record of fraud and/or corruption except for youth in conflict with the law who have been rehabilitated;
-- Where the owner/applicant is an un-rehabilitated insolvent;
-- Where the owner/applicant is attending high school other than tertiary institutions;
• NYDA shall not provide grant funding for vehicles
• The grant recipient shall not use NYDA funds to do the following:
• To pay a bribe;
• Re-finance any existing loans;
• Any material purpose not contained in the application for grant or defined during due diligence stage and detailed in the approved Terms & Conditions, unless where written approval has been granted by NYDA;
• To settle overdue or outstanding South African Revenue Service liabilities, whether current on non-current.
• NYDA will not provide grant funding to a client that has benefited from another Development Finance Institution to an amount above R500,000.00.
• NYDA will not provide a grant to an applicant who has been convicted of fraud.
Utilisation of the Grant Funding
The grant can be utilised for the following:
• To purchase movable and immovable assets.
• Bridging finance.
• Shop renovations.
• Working capital paid directly to the grantee.
• Co-funding with legal entities only.
Grants will be granted to the following:
• Community Development Facilitation Projects
Service Delivery Standards
• The grant applications will be processed at a branch within 30 working days
• Disbursement for approved will be processed at the Head Office within 30 working days
• The NYDA shall conduct credit checks for all grant applications for funding.
• A grant applicant who is under debt administration shall not be considered for funding.
Branch Grant Approval and Review Committee (BGARC) Decision
• The decision of BGARC are final and binding on the applicant
• The applicant cannot appeal the decision of the BGARC, however they can re-apply for grant funding
Those who are eligible to apply:
- Are youth from 18-35 years of age
- Are youth with skills, experience or; with the potential skill, appropriate for the enterprise that they conduct or intend to conduct.
- Are South African citizens
- Are South African residents
- You must apply 3 months before you turn 35 years,
- Submission of all required documentation,
- Proof of attending Business Management Training course,
- Business Pitch presentation of 10 minutes – in person or telephonically,
- Due Diligence assessment conducted by the NYDA official on the business.
How to access the NYDA Grant Programme
- Click here to register on the NYDA Portal
- Contact our Call Centre on 0800 58 58 58
- Or visit your nearest NYDA Branch
NYDA voucher a ticket to business success
The national youth development agency (nyda) has a voucher programme that provides young entrepreneurs with business development opportunities..
Participants receive one-on-one business development support, between the values of R6 600 and R19 800, from an NYDA-accredited service provider.
“Each registered entity is entitled to a maximum of two vouchers as per their business development phase,” the agency said.
What services do the vouchers buy?
The NYDA said the vouchers are used to purchase business support services from approved service providers, including but not limited to:
- Business plan development;
- Business feasibility;
- Bookkeeping and financial administration;
- Business re-engineering;
- Website development and hosting;
- Business operations manuals;
- Marketing strategy and plan.
Who is eligible for a voucher?
Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 35, be a South African citizen or a permanent resident and must be willing to attend entrepreneurship development training if they do not have an entrepreneurial or business management background and or qualification.
All members of the business entity must be between the ages of 18 to 35 and the business must be 100 percent youth-owned and operate within the borders of South Africa.
How to apply for a voucher
- The applicant must obtain an application form from www.nyda.gov.za or from any NYDA full-service office.
- They must then visit the nearest NYDA branch and submit the completed application form, along with certified copies of the IDs of members and business registration documents (if registered).
- An assessment is conducted to assess the application and determine if the business matches the services being applied for.
- If approved, the applicant needs to select an accredited service provider from the service provider directory (not supplier directory).
- On receipt of the voucher, the selected service provider provides the service and the applicant endorses the voucher on completion of the project.
- The service provider then submits the final product to the NYDA for payment.
“If the application is declined, the applicant is referred to an alternative business support service of the NYDA,” the agency said.
Once the service provider has rendered their service, the applicant has the option to endorse or decline the service provided.
For more information about this programme, applicants can contact the NYDA on 0800 52 52 52 or email [email protected]
The full sayouth.mobi experience does not work on your device.
We can still help you on your earning and learning journey:
- Call our toll free number 0800 72 72 72
- Our guides can help you register and apply for opportunities
- Our guides can also support you with a full range of work-seeking topics
Other ideas to experience all that sayouth.mobi has to offer:
- Go to your local library or youth centre and use the devices and internet available there.
- Borrow a smartphone from someone you trust. sayouth.mobi is free , so you won’t use any of their airtime or data.
- PYEI Partners
Business Support for Young Entrepreneurs- NYDA
These organizations can help you access f unding and support for your business ideas
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
Who they are: The NYDA is there to provide financial and developmental support to youth to overcome social and economic challenges such as poverty, job loss and lack of access to healthcare.
What they do: Even if you do not have a business idea, the NYDA will assist you to develop a business plan and direct you to structured programs or training to help develop your business. Learn from mentors and learn how to market your business effectively.
The NYDA also will link you to operators who are in need of the service/business you provide.
The NYDA Grant Programme offers financial and developmental support to entrepreneurs.
Read more about the Grant Programme and how to apply here: NYDA Grant Programme (You will need data to follow this link)
This programme offers:
● Business Consultancy Services
● Market Linkages
● Business Management Training Programme
● Youth Co-operative Development Programme
· Open to people between 18 and 35 years old
· South African Citizens
· Subject to credit check (applicants under debt administration unfortunately do not qualify)
Read the details carefully, and contact the NYDA directly if you have any questions
[email protected] or 087 158 6345
Young entrepreneurs can get free services from approved service providers with vouchers that are valued betweenR6 600.00 to R19 800.00.Young entrepreneurs are entitled to a maximum of two (2) vouchers as per business development phase.
Read more about the voucher programme and how to apply here: NYDA Voucher Programme (You will need data to follow this link)
These services include:
● Business Feasibility
● Bookkeeping and Financial Administration
● Business Re-engineering
● Website development and hosting
● Business operations manuals
● Marketing Strategy and Plan
● Business Plan Development
· South African citizens
· Willing to attend Entrepreneurship Development Training (if you don’t have a qualification, or a background in business management or entrepreneurship)