Essential Renovation Strategies for Retail Shopping Centres

Renovating a shopping centre is a frequent and planned event to keep the tenants happy, the customers coming back, and the property looking good. This underpins the rental so that the property can compete with other properties in the local area. Failure to renovate or refurbish puts you on the path to poor property performance and rents; this can happen all too quickly. Tenants and rent are a critical part of property strategy.

Renovation plans should incorporate your major tenants, specialty tenant mix, landlord investment plans, and the community needs. It is a fine balance. Give due regard to the terms of all leases in the property before you start, as some may have clauses that will impact the project planning or staging. Local property legislation relative to retail property could also have allowances and procedures for property renovation and or demolition.

Renovation therefore becomes part of retail property business plan and you must know what you are doing before you start; the lead time can be months if not years. Minor renovation is something that happens in one form or other each 5 years or so in a retail property, and with a larger renovations happening on average every 8 to 10 years.

Property renovation is a strategy that needs careful planning when it comes to shopping centres. The property should not be renovated at the peak shopping times of the year, and the renovation should be kept to a strict time schedule and outcomes. The builder or developer you use for the project is the first critical decision that you will make; they should give evidence of other renovation projects in similar high impact retail properties. They should be able to tell you exactly how they managed critical daily issues at the property such as noise, dust, storage, lighting, foot traffic, and tenant relationships; they should show how they completed other similar complex retail projects on time and within budget.

Make your property renovation a community event and build excitement around it. Make big statements about the renovation before and during the process so that the community knows what is going on and has an air of expectation with the outcome.

Get the community involved in the future of the property by undertaking surveys about needs and concerns. The survey outcomes can be built into the project if they are warranted and will build better community interaction with the final property release.

Informative signage should be placed on all the safety barriers and renovation hoardings around the property clearly telling the community what is going on. The more they know about what you are doing, the more likely they will come back when the works are finished. Shopper tolerance is what you need from the outset.

Always keep the tenants abreast of stages and progress in the renovation. It is their income and business that is affected. They want your renovation to be successful so that their business will be successful. The communication links in a shopping centre renovation are critical to the process and outcome.

When nearing the completion of the shopping centre renovation, a shopping centre should undertake a series of community events and special trading days staged over a period of 2 to 3 months. It can begin with a major coordinated, two-month grand-reopening campaign. It should be many fold and broad to attract as many shoppers as possible. The local area community needs to get involved and visit the property to see exactly what all the changes are and see what the property now offers. Build a degree of expectation in as many media outlets as possible as you lead up to the completion of the renovation.

Local service groups and sporting organisations will likely seize the opportunity to have space in the shopping centre mall to raise money and their profile. This can be integrated into the busiest shopping days of the week.

The promotional campaign at the end of a shopping centre renovation should have key objectives such as:

  • Creating a new identity for the shopping centre in the retail and business community as a viable centre offering fresh new shopping options suited to the community’s needs.
  • Giving the property a name that means something positive to the local shoppers. If in doubt create a competition for shoppers as part of the process.
  • Creating a program to increase awareness and use of the new tenants – cinemas, an anchor and a sandwich shop – through the participation of as many tenants as possible
  • Provide valuable community services to the children and families of the area in ways that strengthen community bonds an interaction.
  • Connect with the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Local Hospital, Jaycees, Police and Fire Departments, Rescue Organisations, and the media. Give them ways to interact with your shoppers on busy shopping days but ask for some benefit in return.
  • Improve customer perceptions of the property by introducing customers to new tenants and services that are new to the property.
  • Promote all the attractive and convenient new shopping at the centre. Show your customers how the property is easy to visit and use.
  • Upgrade all common areas and amenities so that the shopper feels and experiences the real benefit of the property upgrade.
  • Provide a mechanism that would stimulate cross tenant shopping, increasing customer awareness of new and existing tenants.
  • Build relationships with the media to generate free publicity where ever possible as the renovation proceeds.
  • Provide press clippings and collateral materials that would support leasing efforts as you seek to fill any remaining or upcoming vacant areas.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The History and Advantages of Comparison Shopping

People have been shopping for thousands of years. With the growth and expansion of the internet, today the art of comparison shopping has become a normal part of the shopping experience. This is when consumers shop at different sellers for prices, options, services… etc. Because of its many advantages, comparison shopping is not a new trend. The history of it and how it evolved to the popular activity we see today is quite an interesting story.

Through their archeological investigations, researchers have discovered that comparison shopping can be dated as far back as 1400 BC. It took place when Christopher Columbus arrived in the new world. He provided a variety of goods that the Natives browsed and compared before they made their selection. In the 1840’s, trading posts were established where Native people and others traded goods. The process involved browsing and comparing the goods before they chose the best item.

In the 1900’s, people in Europe browsed the papers for special deals on advertised items. During the 1960s and 70s people would drive from store to store to compare items and prices. In the 1980’s, more people were going to malls where they could easily walk from store to store looking for deals. In the 1990s, store fliers and advertising inserts were put in newspapers so that people could look through them to see which retailer was offering the best deal. Then, the development of the Internet resulted in the tremendous growth of comparison shopping.

The creation of search engines in 1996 allowed people to find and locate shopping sites. From 1999 onward, programmers were creating unique ways to comparison shop such as the “FIVE-STAR” rating system that is used to grade products and services. In 2002, social networking sites were developed and in the last few years consumers have been rating products and services on these sites. Between 2003 and 2006, websites were created for the purpose of giving consumers the ability to use a search comparison tool.

Today, the internet has made it easy for everyone to comparison shop for the highest quality product or service at the best price. There are comparison sites dedicated to just about every type of product and service such as hotels, insurance, flights, gas prices, cruises, mortgages, and so much more. Comparison shopping is a powerful marketing strategy that is popular with both consumers and sellers.

There are many advantages that include: you will get exactly what you want at a price you can afford, shopping is stress-free especially if you shop like this online because you will not have to deal with long lines at the cash register, you will receive unbiased opinions, and you will save a lot of money on high quality goods. It has come a long way since 1400 BC. Since that time, there have many developments that allow everyone to find exactly what they want. There is no doubt that comparison shopping has made shopping much easier and more enjoyable and it has saved consumers a ton of money.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 Mistakes to Avoid While Online Electronics Shopping

If you are planning to buy electronics, there is no better option than online electronics shopping. Thanks to the reasonable prices, convenience, wide variety, secured shopping environment and numerous other advantages the online medium of electronics shopping offers to us. However, quite a few individuals still hesitate to shop online because of the frauds and scams online shopping is prone to.

Although online electronics shopping is fun, but sometimes individuals tend to make some mistakes while shopping online and hence, there online shopping experience turns out to be a failure. In order to evade such a situation, one must avoid making some mistakes for the best results. These include:

1. Making a hasty purchase: Decisions made in a hurry often prove to be wrong. So make sure to avoid making quick decisions without evaluating each point of concern before buying electronics online. You must thoroughly check the terms and conditions of the store you are buying from, its return policy, shipping charges, contact details and other significant information.

If there is something about the website that doesn’t appeal to you or does not seem to be up to the mark, simply don’t buy the product. It’s better not to buy a product that doesn’t meet your requirement rather than returning it afterwards.

2. Buying expensive electronics without any discount: Buying expensive electronics at full price is a very common mistake that most individuals tend to make. It is suggested to buy electronic items during the festive season when most of the websites offer the best deals and discount offers on a range of electronic products. Most of the electronic stores offer Diwali discounts, anniversary sales, mid-season sales, winter discounts and more. You should make the most of these deals offered by different stores. You can buy your desired electronic item at a much lesser price at this time of the year.

In addition to the discounts, you can also get free gifts or free shipping as a bonus.

3. Choosing a random website: This is perhaps the most common mistake that people usually tend to commit. Due to our busy schedules, most of us choose any website randomly that offers the best price, but we forget to confirm the authenticity of the site. This may later cause us great loss.

Hence, you should always make a thorough research about the website before purchasing any item from it. Choose a website that’s absolutely transparent with the customers, read its reviews and also check its terms and conditions.

4. Not comparing prices: This is yet another big mistake that most individuals commit while shopping online. Not using the price comparison tools can be very disadvantageous.

Online shopping is known for offering the best prices, so you must use it to your advantage by comparing prices from the competitive websites in order to get the lowest price possible. Several online stores now offer price comparison tools to make your shopping experience even more simple and quick. Isn’t that great?

5. Following unknown email links or advertisements: This is one common mistake that can be very harmful for you. So make sure to avoid following any unsolicited emails or links, even if they emphasize on being authentic and trustworthy. It is because, these links can be a scam that would collect your personal information and misuse it later.

Albeit, online electronics shopping is much simpler and advantageous, it is also prone to scams and cheats. In order to have a safer online shopping experience, you must avoid making some common mistakes listed above. You should stay aware of the aforementioned mistakes and avoid making them at any cost.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shopping Centre Operating Costs

When you efficiently manage a Shopping Centre, the expenditure and operational costs have to be well under control. In this property market there are a number of pressures to balance as part of that property management process, and the expenditure will always be of great concern. It is very difficult to lease vacant premises to new tenants if the outgoings are excessive for a property of its type. The landlord will also have a lower net income if that is the case.

Most importantly the Shopping Centre should be performing financially to standards which are at least equal to or better than any other competition properties in the area of similar type and size. The standards should include key financial criteria such as:

  • Repairs and Maintenance costs
  • Insurances
  • Essential Maintenance Services
  • Income generation
  • Vacancy factor
  • Income growth
  • Sales MAT (Mean Average Turnover)
  • Sales per retailer type
  • Sales per shop size
  • Customer visits to the property
  • Council rates and other statutory costs

These figures should be managed and understood within the Shopping Centre financial performance plan. To achieve this it is not uncommon for Shopping Centre’s to share some information and averages as part of market research into financial performance. If you cannot compare your property to something else then you will not know where it is headed and how it is performing.

It should be said that the history of your property over the last few years will always be useful as a benchmark in your property performance plan. As part of that historic analysis, you can split the outgoings between controllable items and uncontrollable items, and then track the escalations by income codes or types.

The uncontrollable items are those that are applied to the property and must be paid. Typically they are council rates, water rates, and land tax. The escalations in these items occur because of the uncontrollable policies and rating processes of the local councils. Usually they will base their rates and charges on the property value. It is not unusual for the councils to be valuing the local properties every two years for this purpose. Retail Centre Managers know the high value of monitoring and disputing the property value when it comes through. You can save extensive operational costs and payments for rates and taxes if you get a realistic property value.

Cooperation between Centre Managers is therefore common and quite productive given that the job and industry is just so special. Unskilled and ordinary property managers have little chance to improve and specialize without gaining experience from other established Retail Centre Managers in this part of the property industry.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

9 Downsell Campaign Offers to Get Abandoned Shopping Cart Contacts to Buy From You

Shopping cart abandonment is a huge problem that leads to lost ecommerce sales.

Shopping cart abandonment is when a prospective customer who starts the process of buying a product or service online, but then drops out before buying.

Shopping cart abandonment can be as high as 80 percent. In one study by Barilliance, shopping cart abandonment rates were 77.24% in 2016 and 78.65% in 2017. That’s over three-quarters of consumers that land in the shopping cart. The rate is over 80 percent among mobile users.

There are many reasons why consumers abandon shopping carts. Unexpected shipping fees, long and confusing process, too many clicks and pages, plus website errors and crashes.

Yet all is not lost if you have a downsell campaign. In fact, a downsell campaign with good sales offers can help you recover these lost revenues and get the consumer back to buy.

A downsell campaign occurs after a prospective customer abandons a shopping cart or order page. It involves a series of emails each with a link to a distinct landing page with a new offer. This new offer fulfills the customer’s needs and wants while lowering their perceived risk. In some cases, it reduces the price of a product or service.

While you can have downsell offers for all types of contacts, they are best to use to convert a lead into a new customer than an established customer. That’s because some customers will take advantage of your strategy, causing you to lose profits.

Here are 9 downsell campaign sales offers you can present to consumers who abandon their shopping cart.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #1: Free Trial Offer

A free trial sales offer lowers perceived risk of buying. It enables the customer to experience the benefits of the product or service. Then when the trial period is over you charge their credit card if they did not previously cancel. The two drawbacks are NOT getting paid in advance and potential loss of sale if the customer cancels. At least you’ve got them back to try it.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #2: Offer Same Product at Same Price Plus Add a Bonus

Adding a bonus to your offer increases the value of the deal. The customer can feel they are getting more from you, so their perceived value is higher. The thing is you can be creative with the types of bonuses you offer. It can involve a complimentary product or service, a consultation, educational product or event.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #3: Offer the Same Product or Service at a Lower Quantity

By offering the same product at a lower quantity, such as size, the customer wins by getting what they want for less cost. You win by earning a customer and lowering the quantity you give for a lower price, so you can earn a profit. This strategy enables you to develop a loyal customer rather than losing them entirely.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #4: Coupon For Next Offer

Offer a coupon for their NEXT purchase if they buy now. For example, if you have an eBook you sell for $30, then offer the contact a 10% off next purchase of any product if they purchase the eBook for $30 now. There is little risk to you because you get full price for the first product sale.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #5: Offer Same Product For Less at Prompt Redemption

You could offer the same product at a lower cost. But with a twist that they must take you up on your offer now or it expires. The customer wins by getting a better deal. You win with a new customer. You’ll gain profits by selling to the customer in the future.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #6: Offer the Same Product With Discount Plus Bonus

Here you give them two things they did not have before. First, they get a discount on the same product. Plus, they receive a free gift. The customer gets a double win. Greater value at a lower price. You win by getting a happy customer who can buy again from you. If your sales offer is a digital product bonus, then there’s no added out of pocket cost after the first creative fee.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #7: Offer a Different Product or Service at a Lower Quantity

You could have a sales offer for a different but less costly product that may satisfy the customer. The customer wins by getting a product at a lower cost. You win by getting the customer.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #8: FREE Shipping

FREE shipping is a cost saver to the customer if you sell a physical product. The cost of shipping is an expense that can offset your tax liability. The upside is you get a customer with potential for future sales and repeat orders. Shipping costs are among the biggest reason for abandoned shopping carts. A sales offer with FREE shipping can get the customer to buy.

Downsell Campaign Strategy #9: Double the Offer Plus a Bonus

This strategy appeals to customers who want greater value, rather than lower price. Not every prospect walks away from an initial offer because the price is higher than what they want to spend. Some prospects have money, but want greater value. Doubling what you sell – or increasing quantity – can boost customer perceived value. When you add a bonus on top, they see they get more than what you offered the first time.

In summary, an abandoned shopping cart is very common in ecommerce. But you can recover some of these lost sales with a compelling sales offer that gets these contacts back to buy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Way Forward for Online Shopping Companies and Customers

The advent of technology has opened more ways for shoppers to have access to varieties of products such as groceries, electronics, kitchen utensils, and many more. This article focuses on those areas that need to be addressed by both customers and online shopping owners to achieve customers’ satisfaction and also generate amazing revenue.

1. Credibility: This implies that not all retail shops that provide online shopping carts are reliable to buy from. We need to check the product manufacturer, year of production, year of establishment and in-built materials. The online shopping that gives warranty irrespective of the duration receives more customers as compared to those without warranty.

2. Services: Most reputable and international online shopping outlets do provide shipping cost as part of the item cost whereas some local ones do not. Another aspect of shipping I would like to talk about is free shipping which attracts more than 80% of customers. Although free shipping in most cases are not available for all kinds of products or prices but are available for items from pre-defined prices. These are commonly available locally for home furniture, refrigerators, and other heavy electronic appliances.

3. Payment System: While there are numerous payment systems nowadays, shop owners need to ensure customers’ electronic cards are safe to use on their platforms. There are payment systems such as Paypal, WePay, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments and so on. Here, we can agree that the number of customers that purchases products are determined by the number of users of the payment system. The difficult it is to use a system or card, the lower the number of customers that will buy from your stores.

4. User-friendly Interface: it’s the responsibility of online shop owners to provide a friendly platform for customers likewise shoppers should also ensure platform with easy navigation is selected. This makes it easy to search for a variety of items at different prices. It will assist in searching for products with different makers. The more the platform is easier to navigate, understand and search, the more the customers who will patronize such online sales outlets. this automatically translates to an increase in sales.

While some platforms are not mobile-friendly, we have many with the mobile-friendly platform. With a mobile-friendly platform, customers can easily browse through categories of products and make an online purchase as compared to the platform which you can have full view only through PCs. This feature has contributed a lot of sales revenue to online shopping companies that use a mobile-friendly platform.

As a customer, we always like to see a detailed description of the product before proceeding to order. This will give an insight into what to expect when purchasing an item. Mobile phones are a good example of this as online shop owners should include information not limited to the brand name, year of manufacturing, screen size, OS, and camera features.

5. Product Photos: The last way forward that I will like to mention is an image. I love to see the image of what I intend to buy and believe this applies to more than 90% of those who prefer to buy online. Seeing the image gives more information and pictures of what you intend to buy. It also gives chances to shop owners to display products of same sizes and prices but different colour to customers. While some men love to buy blue items likewise some women prefer pink or purple irrespective of the brand. So the ability to portrait a good and bright image of products will also drive more customers to your online shop. Make use of good camera with good colour resolution.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Factors That Make Shopping Online a Good Idea

Shopping being an essential one for everyone can be fun and easy for some, while some would consider it a chore and irritating. Online shopping is the perfect solution for the home bound and for those who find shopping a difficult task. Online shopping has proved to be a boon for those who live in rural areas too. Whether you’re buying directly from a business online retailer, an individual online shopping site, or an Internet auction site, shopping online can be fun, simple, time saving and economical.

More about Shopping Online…

Since the development of the Internet, all hard-to-obtain, hard-to-do things have become quite simple that anyone can get anything from wherever they are, all by using a your PC. The Internet not only gives you an ocean of information you required, at the same time expands your shopping options like never before! Now, with only a few clicks of a mouse, you can go online to buy just about anything you need or want.

Festival shopping can be a real stress for most of you, and with Christmas just around the corner, it’s time for you to think about the gifts you have planned to buy. Secure online shopping gives you a little less shopping stress and saves more time, especially during Christmas and other festival season when the crowd packs the streets. Shop your things without venturing into the crowded shopping areas and wrestling your way between shoppers. Most important of all, you need not hurry or worry about finding a parking lot for your car. A simple online search can lead you to the right product at the right price, fast.

If you are looking for great online shopping suggestions or you want to find Australia’s best online shopping websites please read on…

Online shopping benefits…

  • Online shopping offers unbelievable convenience to the shoppers.
  • Online shopping allows people to browse through a variety of retailers, items and categories without leaving their home, compare prices with greater ease and order as many items as they can afford.
  • It provides round the clock service that allows you to shop at your leisure, regardless of your time. Unlike direct shopping where you can shop only during the showroom’s working time, online shopping allows you to buy things any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year.
  • Compared to physically going to a shopping mall to shop, online shopping can reduce overhead costs in a variety of ways that inturn reduces the prices to an unbelievable amount.
  • Online retailers too offer many attractive sales promotions. “Festival/seasonal offers”, “Discount sales”, “Buy one and get one free”, and “Buy now” could be few of them. Bargains can be numerous online.
  • Online shopping renders you great help if you wish to gift your daughter who is staying in another country, you can make her day special by sending her a jewellery set by shopping online.
  • With a click on your mouse, you can buy anything from flowers to fly tickets. Groceries, clothing, jewellery, gifts, wine, art, pet supplies, pharmaceuticals, sports goods and equipment, toddlers and kids essentials are some of the others you can get online.
  • The transaction you do is purely safe and your credit card data is encrypted.

Use the checklist below to help make your online shopping experience a safe one

  • Be clear with your needs & budget: With copious online retailers in the Internet, supplying anything you wanted are sure to confuse you while deciding on the one you are looking for. So it is important to be clear with your needs and preferences along with your budget to make your shopping easy.
  • Decide with your paying format: Be clear with your payment format, whether using your credit, debit or charge card before shopping, for making your shopping safe. It is always advisable to save and get your transaction records printed.
  • Check out the terms & conditions: Do read the terms and conditions of the site from which you have decide to shop, to be clear with the delivery, refund policies and warranty. It is a good idea to search and shop from retailers within your country, if you want fast deliveries and low shipping fees.
  • Know your online retailer: Make sure you shop from secure and safe online shopping sites.

We hope this info helps you to shop safely and wisely online. Online shopping is the most practical, economical and fun method of shopping that is perfect for everyone. It saves on your time. Browse through different products without going to the market, compare the prices of products offered by online stores and make the best deal for yourself and your loved ones.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Businesses Pursuing New Product Development

With the aftermath of globalization, companies are carefully thinking about the best ways to extend their product and service offering. Thus, product development strategy is critical for their success. Yet, many companies are in defensive mode and merely want to maintain the position in the market place.

However, staying in a holding position is a definite way for companies to be left behind. Innovative thinking that allows for product/service growth is a too sure way for sustainable success. In today’s discussion, we will explore the importance of product development for the growth of businesses, especially in a competitive market.

Launching into new product offerings is not easy. According to one market research, approximately 75% of consumer-packaged goods and retail products fail to earn even $7.5 million during their first year. Harvard Business School Professor, Clayton Christensen, who is the world’s foremost authority on disruptive innovation, suggests that the failure rate of new products may actually be as high as 95%. Product failure rates relate to the number of products that are launched commercially but fail.

Geoffrey A. Moore, the author of Crossing the Chasm, maintains the challenges of product deployment: “… the less successful product is often arguably superior. No content to slink off the stage without some revenge, this sullen and resentful crew casts about among themselves to find a scapegoat, and whom do they light upon? With unfailing consistency and unerring accuracy, all fingers point to-the vice president of marketing. It is marketing’s fault!” Thus, new product development is a risky proposition to senior executives making these critical positions as well as the organization as a whole.

Businesses that want sustainable growth must develop new product and services often and consistently. Philip Kotler and Kevin Keller, authors of Marketing Management, “In an economy of rapid change, continuous innovation is a necessity. Highly innovative firms are able to identify and quickly seize new market opportunities.”

In taking any actions on new product development, businesses should think strategically about their product development. Alexander Chernev, the author of Strategic Marketing Management, further argues that managing growth is the most preferred route to profitability compared to just cutting cost.

He outlines four key issues in managing growth, which include: (a) gaining and defending a market position, (b) managing sales growth, (c) new product development, and (d) product-line management. Chernev maintains, “New products and services are the keys to sustainable growth; they enable companies to gain and sustain their market position by taking advantage of the changes in the market to create superior customer value.”

With that said, new product development meaning having the ability to take a product or service idea and convert it into a tangible offering that customers want. The following are the steps that more products undergo for market consumption: (a) idea generation, (b) concept development, (c) business analysis, (d) product development, (e) market testing, and (f) business deployment.

The Ansoff Matrix is a strategic tool for product development, consisting of market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification. In market penetration strategy, organizations seek to grow using its existing product offerings in existing markets. With this strategy in mind, organizations try to increase market share. In a market development strategy, companies try to expand into new markets like new buyers using their existing offerings. In product development strategy, businesses seek to create new products and services targeted at its existing buyers.

In a diversification strategy, an organization tries to grow its market share by introducing new product offerings while at the same time entering a new market. Diversification is the most-risky approach due to simultaneous making new changes (new product, new market). Kotler and Keller further maintain the difficulty of sustainable product success: “It is increasingly difficult to identify blockbuster products that will transform a market, but continuous innovation can force competitors to play catch-up.” The concept sounds easy. However, it is riddled with problems.

Without a doubt, many companies know that product development is a risky business. Although many consumers will proudly proclaim the success of many innovative products like Apple and Google, these same buyers are not aware of the numerous product launch failures in this country. In our discussion, I demonstrated the importance of product development for the growth of businesses, especially in a competitive market. Failures often lead to innovation.

American great inventor, Thomas Edison, had his own share of failures, but learned how to innovate because of them: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Likewise, today’s businesses can also achieve success if they understand how to deploy their products and services to the marketplace strategically. Although there is enormous danger in failure, there is also the opportunity of unforeseen growth. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

© 2017 by DD Green

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

7 Thoughts From Scripture for Struggling Christian Business Owners

I have seen a lot of articles that list scriptures for Christian business owners, but rarely do they have practical wisdom that goes with them. Yes, scripture can speak for itself, but when we are struggling Bible verses seem to get glossed over by our stressed out mind.

I want to share with you seven Bible verses with seven thoughts and seven insights. I know when I am going through a tough time, it helps me to ‘hear’ from someone who understands what I am going through. It makes the Bible come to life when someone shares it from a perspective of a Christian entrepreneur.

Worries are like butterflies, they need to be released.

It is easy to worry. There are so many things to think about it can be overwhelming. Take heart… and mind. When we look at the way we try to handle our problems, we often leave God out of the solution. He cares about all the things you go through and is there to help when we ask Him. We must learn to release our worries to God so that He can work wondrous things for us.

Philippians 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Humility lets us bring others into our struggles.

Sometimes when we get caught up in tough times we try to take on everything ourselves. We must learn to delegate and let others help us. We must bring others in to pray for us and with us. We are leaders in our business, but more than that, we are part of a faith community. God wants us to help us with our anxieties and He may have placed people in your life to do just that. We must remember that God cares for us.

1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Our reaction to our struggles defines our success.

We don’t like to go through hard times, but when we do our reaction to those tough times can make or break us. When we redefine our struggles in light of what God is doing and has done in our lives, we find God’s power working even in the tough times.

James 1: 2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Perspectives help us define our problems.

When we go through tough times, we get caught up thinking about all the bad things that could happen. I have an elderly lady at my church tell me, “Quit sowing worries.” If you look at your troubles in light of all the things that others are going through, your problems may seem a lot less. Across the world people are starving, being beheaded for their faith and their homes are being destroyed by bombs. How does your problem look compared to those?

Psalm 46: 1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and mountains quake and with their surging.”

We can praise God even when times are tough.

David went through some horrible trials. His boss tried to kill him. His best friends betrayed him. His kids killed each other. Yet, through all of these things, he always took time to worship. He looked to God in the good and the bad. There are so many Psalms that start out talking about how bad thing are only to end by focusing his attention back to praising God for all he has.

Psalm 37: 3-6 “Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Action trumps worry almost every time.

Worrying is what happens when we are not taking action. Christian business owners are people of action. Instead of worrying about the things you cannot change, take action on the things you can. Action will lead to better results than thinking and worrying about your struggles. Take time to write out your problems, get them out of your head and plan a strategy to take care of business.

Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

You have a purpose

If there is one thing you will see over and over again on this webpage, it is the fact that you have a purpose. You are a Christian. You were created to be an entrepreneur. God placed a desire in your life to help other and you are a Christian business owner who can make a difference in the world. Go and do what God has called you to do.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How To Evaluate A Business Idea For Developing An Enterprise

Why Do You Need A Business Plan?

Planning is a process that never ends for all businesses. It is extremely important in the early stages of any venture when the entrepreneur will need to prepare a preliminary business plan.

There are different types of plans that may be part of any business operation. These include but not limited to Financial plans, Marketing plan, Human Resource plan, Production plans, Sales plans etc. Plans may be short term or long term or may be strategic or operational. Whatever the type of plan or the function, plans have one important purpose; to provide guidance and structure to management in a rapidly changing market environment.

A business plan on the other hand is a written document prepared by the entrepreneur that describes all the relevant external and internal elements involved in starting a new venture. It is often an integration of functional plans such as marketing, finance, manufacturing and human resources. It also addresses both short term and long term decision making for the first three years of operation. Thus, the business plan, or road map, answers the strategic questions of where am I now? Where am I going? And how will I get there? Potential investors, suppliers and even customers will request or require a business plan.

How I Prepared My Preliminary Project Proposal

In my case, I followed the following break downs keeping each section as brief as possible.

1. Background: in this section, I established the context of the project by giving an account of the problem it is trying to address.

2. State of the art: I gave an overview of existing and emerging technology in the field, including an account of rival technologies and a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the various options.

3. Proposal: I wrote an overview of the proposed project and the approach, i.e. the activities which I will be undertaken to achieve the project objectives. Clearly establish the research element or novelty component in the proposal.

4. Consortium: an overview of the proposed manpower and establish the required ability to carry out the project successfully (e.g. skills, competencies, etc.)

5. Objectives and Deliverables: Identify (1) the objectives and (2) the deliverables of the proposed project.

6. Competitiveness: if applicable, establish the competitiveness or advantages of the proposed solution compared to other solutions, whether these already exist or are still being researched.

7. Cost: give an overview of the project cost (including start-up cost and working capital requirements).

8. Impact: this section should include:

i. Markets and Uses: identify possible uses and markets for the deliverables of the project.

ii. Benefits and Beneficiaries: identify the beneficiaries of the project’s results (e.g. the project participants, the general public, third parties) and the manner in which they will benefit.

iii. Roadmap: give an indication regarding what further steps, effort, costs and timeframes are necessary before tangible benefits can be realized from the deliverables or results of the project (unless these are realized within the lifetime of the project).

iv. Spillover Benefits: identify any secondary benefits of the project (e.g. facilitating participation in funding programmes, improving Malta’s ranking, strengthening Malta’s reputation in a particular area, etc.)

Preparing a Detailed Business Plan

Stages of writing a business plan are: After deciding to go into business, before starting the business and when updating is required.

Business plans can be written for retail business, wholesale business, service business, manufacturing and any other type of business.

A business plan is written by doing the following:

Identifying all the questions that could be asked about the business.

Determining what further information needs to be gathered to answer all the questions.

Obtaining all the necessary information.

Comparing various alternatives

Making a decision on each question.

A business plan should:

Have a good appearance

Provide an index

Provide a summary

Number each copy

Be signed to show who is submitting it.

Depend on the nature of the business.

A business plan should be organized to carry a cover page, table of contents, executive summary, business description, Marketing plan, organizational plan, operational plan, financial plan and appendices.

Outline of a typical business plan is as below;

1. Title: Feasibility study Report on______________________

Commissioned by_________________________

2. Project consultants

3. Table of contents:

Executive Summary

The Report

Project Background

Objective of study

Project description and

Loan advancement

Promoter

Location

Market and marketing plan

Potential customers

Competition

Pricing

Sales Tactics

Advertising and Promotion

Distribution.

Technical Feasibility and management plan:

Factory

Machinery

Overhead charges

Packaging materials

Raw materials Manpower and Labour costs.

Financial Projection/Feasibility:

Overview on capital requirement

Financial plan

Projected cash flow

Projected profit and loss account

Projected balance sheet

Break-even analysis

Source and application of funds

Organization Plan:

Form of ownership

Identification of partners/Principal shareholders

Authority of Principals.

Management team background

Roles and responsibilities of members of organization

Assessment of Risk:

Evaluate weakness of business

New technologies

Contingency plans.

Schedules:

12 months projected sales

12 months projected purchase

Fixed Assets and depreciation schedule

Profitability index.

Thanks for reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment