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Writing good business plans

Writing good business plans can make the difference in the success or failure of small start-up companies in Colorado. While many owners may have heard that business plans are important, they may not understand how to write ones that are effective.

A good business plan should include three primary components, including a marketing plan, a strategic plan and operational guidelines. Before writing the plan, owners should first conduct market research and ask themselves a series of questions informed by the data they gathered, including such things as how dedicated they are to the success of the business, whether or not they are prepared to work for months or years before making any money, the type of product or service being offered and whether the market will be a general or a niche one.

Key aspects of litigation readiness plans

Most business owners are enjoying a prosperous 2016. But like any successful enterprise, a company cannot simply rest on its laurels. It has to keep innovating and competing in the marketplace. However, the successes of a business can be destroyed through a lawsuit. After all, defending a lawsuit can be just as expensive as being liable for the judgment attached to it. Further,  the time spent in defending lawsuits can make it difficult for a business to maintain its trajectory of profitability.

Because of this, it is critical for businesses to have a litigation preparedness plan. This post will highlight a few things to be considered as you consider such a plan. 

Online marketing strategies for entrepreneurs

Even the most old school Colorado business owners now grudgingly admit that the Internet is here to stay. Online marketing allows entrepreneurs to connect with their target audiences directly and inexpensively, but it can be difficult to craft a message that stands out in a sea of competing voices. Most marketers understand that success comes from giving customers what they want, and simply following this basic rule can go a long way toward achieving a dominating online presence.

Possibly the biggest online pitfall to avoid is trying to sell rather than communicate. Business owners who use social media applications like Facebook and Twitter to educate potential customers and arouse their interest are usually far more successful than those who simply post special offers and deals of the week, and those who study trends and follow their target audiences tend to achieve the best results.

Emergency business planning in Colorado

As a general rule, a business plan should assume that a business endeavor takes twice as long as anticipated and accomplishes half of what it was intended to. A slow start can happen if an employee stole money, if marketing dollars did not reach the right consumers or if a shipping option turned off customers. Whatever the setback may be, business owners are better off planning for them as well as planning for success.

Ideally, a business will allocate 10 percent more money to its budget than the amount that is forecast. It may also be a good idea to reduce the sales prediction amount by 10 percent as well to compensate for not acquiring customers as fast as planned. Taking these steps makes it easier to handle cash flow and other issues during times when actual results differ from the company's projected earnings or customer acquisition rates.

Strategic planning for businesses

For many small business owners in Colorado, writing strategic plans is very difficult. Part of the issue lies with being able to effectively articulate the direction the company will be heading as well as the strategy that will be employed for getting there. There are a few easy steps owners can take to write better strategic plans that can help the business reach its goals.

The first order of business should be to picture where the company should be in 3 to 5 years. Then, the owner can list the priorities in order of importance. If there is more than one owner or if the company has a board of directors, everyone should agree on the top three priorities that are listed.

Things to consider when filing a breach of contract lawsuit

When entities sign a business contract, it is generally with the expectation that both parties will abide by the agreement. However, during the course of doing business, there are many issues that could complicate the arrangement and result in contract disputes. When faced with these difficulties, many in Colorado may consider filing a breach of contract lawsuit.

If a breach of contract is alleged or occurs, many choose to first attempt mediation or other informal methods to resolve the dispute. When those avenues fail, the next step is typically to proceed with a lawsuit. In this stage, there are different kinds of remedies that can be sought for resolution of the complaint.

How to limit risk and liability when forming a business

Starting a new business can be one of the most exciting times of an entrepreneur's life. However, along with the excitement comes uncertainty as a businessperson contemplates the financial risk that he or she faces if a business does not succeed. Those in Denver who are establishing a new organization may want to understand how to protect themselves as much as possible from unnecessary liability.

First, it may be important to evaluate the various structures available for new business formations. The best options for limiting personal liability could differ depending upon the number of owners involved. Second, most entrepreneurs select an appropriate insurance plan to protect themselves and/or their employees against risks that are considered especially damaging.

Things to consider when applying for patents

Creativity and invention have been central to the tremendous success of the United States and world economies. One of the most important aspects that have impacted this is the ability for inventors and leaders of startup companies to patent their inventions. The ability to apply for patents allows a company or an individual in Colorado to reap the benefits of the labor and risk that go into development and to, potentially, help spur future inventions and new products.

There are many aspects to the business side of invention, and there can be many pitfalls that can keep a new venture from succeeding. A recent article describes some of the issues that can affect an inventor or startup company with regard to patent applications. As an example, several years ago, U.S. law changed significantly, and our country is now considered a first to file country. While there may be some valid reasons for not filing a patent immediately, the rule most often encouraged by patent attorneys is to file early and often in order to protect your rights.

Process and options for exiting or dissolving a partnership

When people in Colorado join together to form a business, it is rarely with the intent to dissolve the venture in the future. However, there are many reasons that a partnership may end, such as retirement or simply because a partner determines that the business is no longer a priority. At this point, there are certain legal issues to consider.

Upon entering a partnership, a legal agreement is typically made between the entities involved in the business. The first step for anyone in determining how to end or change his or her business relationship is to revisit this agreement and review the options available. At times, a complete dissolution is not necessary, and one's goals can be obtained by simply adjusting the weighting of the partnership. In this way, a less-committed entity could remain involved but relinquish some control over financial or other decisions.

Why entrepreneurs should write business plans

Some Colorado entrepreneurs who have startup companies either do not have business plans or think that they do not need them. While the lean startup idea might be popular, startups at their roots are still businesses, and they are more likely to succeed when they have business plans in place.

Business plans do not have to be long, wooden and complicated. Instead, starting with one that is 10 pages long or less is smart. This can help entrepreneurs to keep both their plans and their businesses focused. A good business plan should be a living document to which entrepreneurs refer at least on a monthly basis. It should be changed or modified as needed with the entire team giving input into what is working and what is not.