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Getting Beyond the Wastepaper Bin!

Before you make a fundraising bid be clear about what you want; make it evidence based and demonstrate outcomes to be achieved by the funding. To make an effective appeal to industry or commerce you must have a basic understanding of why corporates give. This enables you to put forward good reasons why they should support your work. Some companies receive up to 100 applications each week. You need to make a good case for yours to be successful. A company will not be particularly impressed with a general plea to ‘put something back into the community’. They want something more substantial. You should be able to demonstrate a clear link with the company, be it geographical, product, employee contact, or some other connection.

PLAN AHEAD

• Think in terms of months not weeks

• Trusts may meet only twice a year;

• Sponsorship budgets may be committed 18 months ahead.

RESEARCH THE DONOR

• Read up on their policy and priorities.

• How much do they normally give?

• Find out the right contact name

• When is the best time to apply?

• Do they issue guidelines

• How do they like to be approached?

PACKAGE YOUR PROJECT

• Identify unique selling points

• Package specific needs

• Prepare a proper budget

• Is it cash you need?

• Is it sponsorship or a donation?

• Consider unit costs or a choice of costs

• Sponsorship benefits

PLAN THE PROPOSAL

• Organise your information

• Gather supporting documents

NOW YOU CAN WRITE IT!

• Decide on a format

• Avoid jargon

• Bring out human interest

• Generate emotion, belief and commitment

• Break up the text & include a summary

• Do not forget enclosures

Common Pitfalls

• “Dear Sir/Madam”. There is no excuse for not addressing a named correspondent and preferably the correct name! Circulars waste time and money.

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Cultivating SMART Fundraising Goals

SMART is an acronym gaining remarkable popularity in the world of business which represents key features specialists generally agree must be incorporated into your goals to align yourself on a route to success. This system was introduced in 1981 when an article by George Doran (there’s a S.M.A.R.T way to write management’s goals) highlighted the need to methodically set out what you will work towards to optimize your chances of success.

This gave birth to the five part model of cultivating the best goals for projects in many industries. Although many variations have emerged explaining the SMART goals phenomenon, the ideal model for fundraising would comprise of;

S – SPECIFIC

M – MEASURABLE

A – AMBITIOUS/ ATTAINABLE

R – RELEVANT

T – TIME-BASED

Making use of this SMART model to cultivate and set goals for fundraisers and other projects facilitates the creation of effective action plans for them and also makes it easy to later evaluate success levels. Appropriate counsel and advice on the activities of fundraising especially for Non-profits, charity organizations and social business can be gotten from proper Non-profit and Fundraising Consulting.

The specifics of the SMART model for fundraising can be explained as follows;

S – SPECIFIC

It’s first of all very important when setting goals to clearly determine what exactly the ultimate result is to be. In the milieu of fundraising, being specific simply implies being crystal clear on financial targets and the impact that will be made on your organization when these targets are met.

Going further to answer questions of ”what” needs to be done to realize set goals? And ”who” is to benefit from the meeting of these goals? Together with ”where” and ”why” increase specificity. Clearly outlining and writing these specific goals help in avoiding distractions. Examples of specific goals for fundraising could be:

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The Truth About Kylie Jenner’s $800m Cosmetics Empire

Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics empire was recently featured on the cover of Forbes magazine – America’s most prolific business monthly.

Whilst much contention was raised about the claims that her wealth was “self-made” (which it wasn’t), the bigger question was how this actually happened – and the numbers behind it.

Jenner’s “Kylie Cosmetics” business has raked in an estimated $660m in sales during its 3 year lifespan, with $330m in 2017 alone.

Whilst the business is private, and thus its numbers are not publicly available, even if these estimates were 50% off, the figures would be staggering.

What’s more – the “company” only has 7 full time employees. Everything from packaging to PR is outsourced, and the only way that Jenner gets customers is by leveraging her 110m Instagram followers.

This article examines how it was done.

Social Midas

The core of Jenner’s success has been the 110m followers on Instagram.

The company doesn’t advertise outside of the platform, doesn’t have any shops or stockists and generally just peddles its products directly to its community.

Whilst this sounds like a marketer’s wet dream, the most important element was Jenner’s lips.

In 2017, precisely 2 years after registering the trademark for her brand, tabloids around the world started running reports on the size of them; with the help of fillers, she’d managed to almost quadruple their size.

The point here is not so much about what she looks like, but how she capitalized on the interest… she’d inadvertently uncovered one of the biggest “trends” of the modern West – women lusting over youthful, full lips.

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Fresh Steps to Build a Value-Adding Network

We all know the importance of having a good social and professional network. Networking is emphasized again and again in any business or career-related book or blog you read. Networking is important, but it has to be the right network. The concept of networking yourself is like driving a car. If you want to reach a place, you simply drive there; but, if you don’t have a destination in mind and start driving in any direction, you are only wasting your time. Networking has to be value-adding for it to be worth your time. Here’s how you can ensure the network you build is adding value:

1 – Identify Key Players

If you want a network that can give you an edge over your competition, you will need to fill your network with key players – people who have the power to influence others and promote you. Often, key players will be obvious. It is easy to see that you need to be in touch with people in upper management as well as people in executive positions. Formal and informal leaders at every level are valuable. Diversifying your network is one of the most valuable techniques you can use.

2 – Network Downward

The biggest mistake people make when networking is that they only attempt to network upward; i.e. with people who have larger responsibilities and designations than them. Exclusive upward networking is the easiest way to have a network that seems golden but is, in truth, ineffective. If you are in a bind or need a favor, are you going to call an executive in another company? Networking upward has great benefits for career growth, while networking downward has great knowledge and insider benefits.

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4 Ways to Better Networking

Let’s say, you have joined a formal networking group or decided to network in your company and meet new people. What are the next steps? How can you build viable networks and grow professionally and socially? How can you cultivate great relationships? How can you stay consistent in your networking endeavors?

Listed below are a few methods for achieving momentum and long term stability in your networking pursuits.

See the End Goal

Many times we create goals but do not consider the length of time, resources and energy required to carry out these goals. Being focused, having a plan and staying devoted to tasks are critical in building networks. How do you want your network to look in 6-months? 1yr? or 2yrs? Who are you willing to reach out to and build quality relations? What obstacles could cause for challenges? Take time to forecast and think ahead about how you plan for success.

See the Opportunities

Once you have met someone at a meeting, event or through an introduction, quickly follow up. Show a sincerity in wanting to connect and build relationships. Agree to follow up and keep the momentum going. Take time to brainstorm ways of working together, building each others networks and offering support. Do not drop the ball. Create calendar reminders to check in and reconnect.

See the Obstacles

As mentioned in the article, define obstacles that could hinder your progress. Obstacles include but are not limited to: demands at work, shift in career or professional goals, inability to attend networking events on a regular basis, limited activity with online networking, responsibilities with school, family, etc. Create ways to overcome these obstacles and reach out to friends and colleagues for support, advice and guidance.

See the Benefits

Similar to opportunities, you should list the benefits of having a great network. Benefits include but are not limited to: better communication skills, access to more opportunities, professional or business development, achievement in leadership, more community involvement, etc. Outlining these benefits can be a motivation to stay on course in your endeavors.

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I Dress For Events

Using technology to network can make you more effective in establishing, building and fostering relationships. It can be a method of being more responsive and available for business and improve your communication. Although the benefits are very clear, individuals sometimes face obstacles with technology. These obstacles can be overcome with the right knowledge and strategies.

Listed below are ways that individuals can leverage resources to excel in networking.

Join A Club

If you are having difficulties using technology, it is recommended to join a club or organization. Connecting with colleagues in your field or community gives you access to resources and information. Select diverse, formal groups which meet on a regular basis. This allows you an opportunity to connect and develop relationships for the long term. Also, reach out to the director or associates of the group to gain advice and direction for your initiatives.

Surf The Web

If you are not able to attend events on a regular basis, consider online groups and communities. You can select groups based on your profession, industry, interests, location etc. Take the time to read the profile of these groups and their discussion boards. Learn about their mission and how they connect with members. Definitely reach out to the administrator and seek advice for your endeavors.

Word of Mouth

Another good idea is to reach out to individuals in your current networks. Whether they are co-workers, colleagues, friends, family etc. Ask a few questions on how you can overcome common obstacles and dilemmas within technology. Share relevant information to obtain the best advice. Also, make sure to follow up and share any progress or setbacks experienced.

Use these helpful tips to be tech savvy in your networking process. Focus on building relationships and connecting with the right people to achieve good success.

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Have What It Takes To Become A Franchise?

I have been involved in franchising dozens of businesses, at last count over 60. Some from concept and some where we converted an existing business to the franchised model and I am really happy to deal with either pathway with one really important proviso.

The business owner must have a reasonable understanding on what it takes to run a business successfully – franchised or not.

And unfortunately I have concluded this is easier said than done.

Done well, franchising does help to structure a business so that it has the best chance of success because franchising helps to put some great business practices in place. Systems and money management being at the top of the list. But overall, I have found that in most businesses, there are some aspects about business success which need to be reviewed and without sound business experience, creating a franchise is not likely to succeed.

Understanding how business works is especially important, because you, as franchisor, will often be training less business savvy-franchisees on successful business practice.

The most useful way I have found to think about business success is to look at the stages of business growth because it is through this journey that many learn the value of different business skills needed as they grow.

The 5 Stages of Business Growth

Way back in the early 1980’s, the concept that businesses grow through defined stages was first discussed in an article published in Forbes by Neil C. Churchill and Virginia L. Lewis. This work is still cited to explain the importance of basic business elements to success.

Before I go into the 5 stages, there is one important point to make.

Businesses do not necessarily need to go through each stage. It is possible to speed through stages into whichever is your goal. The way to do this is to understand what is required. This is how the likes of Richard Branson create new businesses everyday – Richard will have all his business ducks in a row before he starts. But even his businesses will need to go through some of these stages on the way to creating an empire.

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Is a Business Incubator Right

What is the Purpose of a Business Incubator?

Business incubators are organizations that nurture the development and growth of businesses in the early phases to help them persevere in their most vulnerable stages. Incubators provide numerous resources and support services to aid in the development of businesses. The general purpose of incubators is job creation, business retention, enhancing entrepreneurial climate, growing local industries and economies. Approximately 93% of North American incubators are nonprofits focused on economic development. About 7% are typically set up to receive returns from shareholders investments. (Business Incubation FAQs)

What to Expect

It is important to conduct research on the incubator(s) and consider the advantages and disadvantages before embarking upon the application process and working with an incubator.

  • Conduct Ample Research: It is important to understand that incubators will have their own set of unique offerings for their entrepreneurs. The package offered should help meet the needs and goals of the company. The location of the incubator should allow for a flourishing business, with a market that can sustain the business for the duration of the term of stay. The mentors and specialists available should also have experiences and networks beneficial to your business.
  • Related costs: Some incubators will charge monthly fees, like a typical leasing agreement. However, other incubators may accept in exchange for equity. It is beneficial to consult with an attorney to review the terms and contract.
  • Speak to alumni: If the incubator has a list of previous tenants, speak to them about their personal experiences. This first hand testimony will give you further insight and help you determine if the incubator is right for your business.
  • Prepare your proposal: If you decide to apply, be sure to prepare and rehearse your pitch and distinguish yourself from other businesses and business owners. Incubators want businesses that are sustainable. In your proposal, be sure to discuss how your business will succeed with accompanying financial projections.

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How to Start a Plumbing Business

you want to start a plumbing business. This could be a terrific decision, or, it could be the worst idea ever. Starting a plumbing business, or any business really, involves a certain amount of structured thinking to put everything in place, and making sure that you have thought of everything. By following this strategy planning process, you will have covered all the important aspects of getting your planning and strategy in the right place, and this will make the starting of your own plumbing business some 450% more successful.

The Strategy Required to Start Any Business

Starting a plumbing business, a bakery, or a high-tech company all requires the same basic thinking strategy. To remember it best, use the EASI acronym. In this case, E stands for emotion, A for achieving a win, S for simple and straightforward and I for the implementation.

Everybody wanting to start a business should be aware that it is going to involve plenty of challenges, hardships, stress, worry, and a multitude of other issues. The process of starting a business has often been likened to jumping off a cliff, and building an aeroplane on the way down. It will mean sleepless nights, long working hours and the unwavering support of family and friends around you. This is real, and the reason so many start-up businesses fail.

The first step, therefore, is to examine the reasons that you want to start the business in the first place. This involves an examination of the emotions, or feeling behind the rationale of starting your own plumbing business. Everyone will have their own reasons for wanting to start their business. It may be as a last resort as they are unable to find employment in the field, it may be that they hate having a boss, it may be that they want to become extraordinarily wealthy. Whatever the reason, it is essential that the owners of the business, if there are more than one, are aware of the strength of their emotions regarding the venture. This will determine the power of the motivation, the real forces behind the venture, and, with the aid of a skilled consultant, allow the prospective business owners to determine if their vessel will survive the storms on the ocean, or if there needs to be some additional emotional management included.

The second item speaks to the vision, or goal of the organisation. A prospective plumbing business may have as its goal to be a loss leader and therefore a tax write-off. It may be that achieving a win with the business would be familial survival, or putting children through school. Either way, all the owners need to be able, collaboratively, to understand what the goal is and to have a combined vision of the business that everyone can buy into. Without this shared vision, any subsequent planning and strategizing will ultimately be negated and sporadic, with everyone involved having different goals and aims, instead of pulling together in the right direction.

Keep Things Simple and Straightforward

It does not take any real skill to make things more complex. The real genius in any situation is to make things more simple. This line of thinking is propagated by all the top entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk. Albert Einstein often used to say that if you couldn’t explain a thing to a six-year-old, you didn’t understand it yourself. In light of this strategic thinking, the next piece of advice is to keep all your plans and strategies simple and straightforward. Set a goal that everyone involved, all the stakeholders, can buy into. See where you currently are, and plan a way to get to that goal that all concerned can understand, appreciate, and take ownership of.

The final step in setting up a new plumbing business is to implement the strategy. Without a rigorous implementation strategy and plan, all the goal-setting and personal examination of business vision and motivation will just become a distant wish. Implementation plans fall into five basic categories; overall business strategy, financial planning, human resources and communications, sales and marketing, and project management. All businesses must be able to conduct planning with respect to these five regions of business expertise in order to be successful.

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The Importance of Business

Do you want to know the importance of Business Analyst Tools? When it comes to workflow management, you need to use all the tools and processes that streamline and optimize the operations of your business. For instance, you need to utilize software systems that enable you to get improved productivity. These systems include content management systems, document management systems and business process management (BPM) tools.

Remember the best workflow management systems can be costly and challenging to implement. However, by seeking the services of an IT Business Analyst, your company will benefit from them, which means you will get the best returns on your investments. In this informative article, we’ll look at five benefits of these tools.

1. Improved Accountability

The best Business Analyst Tools enable your company to experience improved productivity. Keep in mind many employees don’t respond well to micromanagement, which means you need to use the latest tools to check their productivity. By using the best tools and software, you can know which tasks need to be done, the best team member to carry them out and the specific period the work should be completed.

When you know which tasks and goals need to be met, you won’t need to intervene now and then, that’s unless it’s necessary. That improves the relations between the staff and management by removing personal opinions and considerations from any issue. Databases can store records of what occurred in the system, which gives the administration the ability to audit behavior if necessary.

2. Reduces the Need for Manual Labor

The best business analyst tools provide your team members with the chance to work on non-repetitive tasks. It means they can expand their skills, for example, by working on aspects that require more human input such as in the production process. The best work management tools ensure that work is done faster and without common human errors. Instead of using these tools to replace employees, you should use them to make the workplace more productive and exciting, which improves the firm’s overall morale.

3. Better Communication

The best business analyst tools eliminate the need for paper chasing and use of telephones. That makes the office more efficient and greener, which in turn reduces the firm’s turnover rates. Among the reasons for quitting jobs is poor or inadequate communication in offices. By using tracking software, you can provide employees with a better way of finding out what needs to be done right now and in the future. For you to ensure smooth day to day running of the business, you need to make sure your communication is honest and clear to employees.

4. Streamlines the Business Operation Processes

Workflow or business analyst tools enable you to have valuable insight in the day to day running of your business. For example, by using automation software, you can determine which tasks can be done simultaneously instead of being completed sequentially. You can know which steps are unnecessary; which means you will make informed choices and decisions. For example, you will know which employees perform specific tasks at their best, rather than who happens to be free at that particular time.