Taking Care Of Business: Resources to Forecast Your Business

18 Jul

I promised the attendees of the BLOGHER Taking Care of Business break-out session some additional resources to help them understand pricing, forecasting, and even, yes, simple business planning.

  1. I highly recommend that you take a look at this website: Plan As You Go. Tim Berry, the founder of Palo Alto Software has written a book that explains a new, easier, more manageable planning methodology for any business. The idea behind Plan As You Go is as simple as the title. You don’t have to get caught up in a huge long cumbersome document. The value in planning is exactly that — planning, not writing a document. Start small and just jot down a few things that will help you map out a direction for your business. Take a look at the website and let me know your thoughts, questions, comments, etc.
  2. Play around with the free business calculators at www.bplans.com. The starting cost calculator is great way to see what it takes to get a business started, and the cash flow calculator does a great job at helping you understand cash vs. profits. The email ROI calculator is an easy tool to help you see the potential return on investment in email marketing.
  3. A great article that outline 6 things you should think about when starting a business.
  4. Research, research, research. Start by looking at your competition. This may be other blogs, this may be freelance writers. Try to see what they charge to advertise on their websites, or what their hourly rate is. Look at places like Elance.com and Freelancewriters.com Type “blogger, freelance writer” into Google and take a look at the results.
  5. Do the math. If you are bringing in money today, figure out what that means. Do a simple spreadsheet that breaks down your costs, and the revenue that comes in, and then calculate the hours you spend “on the job.” Often times, when I take people through this exercise they realize that when it all breaks out they are making less than minimum wage per hour. IF that is the case for you, you need to either charge more, or set a real goal to reach a better revenue level SOON. It is OK to invest in your business, but know exactly what it is that you are investing. Your time is worth something, and most likely your time is worth WAY more than minimum wage.
  6. If you are interested in getting a super discount on Business Plan Pro (I can give you a CEO discount of 50%!) then email me. Business Plan Pro can help you put together some very simple spreadsheets that will help you forecast your sales. If you don’t want the full software, email me anyway. I can get you a simple spreadsheet to use at your own risk in Excel.
  7. If you have any questions specific to your business please drop me a line!
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