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Monday, February 6, 2017

How to Write an Effective Business Proposal

Proven strategies for overcoming competition in businessA business proposal is a formal suggestion or plan from one party to another to buy, sell, partner with sales proposal, marketing proposal, and partnership proposal involving joint cooperative strategies, a business5Tips to Help You Write an Effective Business Plan”.  Whilst a business plan is primarily put together to guide the formation and establishment of a new business, new business idea, business unit, strategic business expansion or extension, a business proposal on the other hand is designed to attract another party to get involved in the execution of a business plan, the business itself or the product and services the business has to offer. A business plan focuses more on the business itself whilst a business proposal focuses more on the expectations of the party to whom the proposal is being addressed. I would like to refer to this party as “the customer”.
formation proposal or even a funding request. A business proposal is quite different from a business plan. Please read my article “
another or supply goods and services to them. To this end, a business proposal can be a

The following steps are instrumental towards the writing of an effective business proposal:

1.       Clearly Identify and Itemize the Proposals objective: The first step towards an effective proposal is to clearly identify and itemize its objectives so as to ensure the purpose of the proposal is not derailed. Specifying early the objectives of the proposal tells the customer exactly what you intend to achieve and whether or not they can identify with this objective. This objective should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and properly timed.

2.       Source All the Information You Will Need before Starting:  Gather all information you can before starting. For instance, if you are preparing a marketing proposal, you will need to gather all necessary information about the market, your market competitors, the product, suppliers and distribution information, customer demographics, consumer buying patterns, government policies affecting the market or the product etc. Having adequate information will help you address issues or potential concerns beforehand in your proposal. Having sourced this information, you will need to eliminate all unnecessary and irrelevant information to ensure that only information relevant to know and for decision making in included in your proposal. You must also be careful not to overburden the customer with too much information.

3.       Validate the Information: The validity of the information you present to the customer portrays your level of integrity and attention to detail. This is often the first step towards building customer loyalty and trust. Every figure, ratio, analysis and material upon which decision is based must be examined for accuracy and dependability. Information provided must also be balanced and comparable where necessary to known facts.

4.       Sort and Group Your Information: Sort and group your information under relevant headings, titles and sub titles. A proposal will typically be grouped and assembled to represent:
a.       An Introduction and Overview
b.      Aims and Objectives
c.       Customer Needs Being Addressed
d.      Details of solution
e.      Any Relevant Additional Information
f.        Pricing Details
g.       Conclusion; Steps required from the customer for the proposal to progress

5.       Assemble the Grouped Information into a Presentable Document: This is the final step in preparing the proposal. At this point, you assemble the sub titled document under the appropriate titles and headings. You should also check your fonts, cover color and designs, proof read for spelling errors and repetitions, check for improper wordings, punctuation errors, and proper referencing. Titles and sub titles must also
      proceed in a logical sequence.
Valentine Okolo

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Proven Strategies For Overcoming Competition in Business
The strategies available to a company will depend on the strength of opposition it is facing, its distinctive competencies, the expectations of its customers, the conditions prevalent in its environment, its resource capabilities, the cost/benefit derivable from the application of the strategy and its current position within the market.

Competition includes all the actual and potential rival offerings and substitutes a buyer might consider. Understand that your competitors include actual and potential offerings from industry operators, potential new entrants and market competitors.

The ability to identify and analyze all actual and potential competitors to your business is key to surviving in a fierce market place, keeps you ahead of them and helps you develop strategies to overcome them.

To analyze its competitors, a company must identify its competitor’s strategies, objectives, strengths and weaknesses and then device its own strategies to overcome them. It must also have a clear understanding of the environment it operates in. Understand that the environment you operate in is similar to that of your competitors. Learning how to overcome the challenges in your business environment is a step towards overcoming the competitor.

Companies are also increasingly being faced by the threat of buyers growing bargaining power and suppliers growing bargaining power. As such companies must spend time to research and understand its actual and potential customers, what they expect from them, how to exceed their expectations as well as what influences their buying patterns.

Exceeding customer expectations is no mean feat. In today’s business world, customers are increasingly knowledgeable about product choices, service standards and above all consumer rights, hence the increase in buyers bargaining power. Exceeding customer expectations has become a must do for any business that is serious about gaining market share, loyalty and customer trust. You must understand that if you are unable to impress potential customers and keep your current customers loyal to your brand then you have already lost to the competitor no matter the strategy you choose to adopt.

A smart businessman must understand that the customer is the reason why he is in business and not the competitor however competitors need to be managed if we are to gain and maintain our market share favorably. If the product offering and service delivery is excellently superb, then your competitors will naturally have a hard time keeping up with you even if you have not deliberately prepared an attacking strategy to defeat them.
To his end I have packaged the course OVERCOMING COMPETITION IN BUSINESS

This course is designed to help you:

·         acquire practical skills that will enable you to understand what customers expect from you,
·         exceed their expectations on service delivery,
·         understand what drives their behavior when buying,
·         understand how the environment you operate in can affect you and your competitors,
·         get a clear understanding of who your competitor is and what they may be up to,
·         Develop strategies that will help you attack the competitor and effectively defend your flanks.

If you are serious about rising above your competitors, then this course is compulsory for you.

Valentine Okolo

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Turnaround Strategies to Help You Drive Revenue Growth and Profitability In A Failing/Dying Business

There are basically 2 ways to drive profitability in any business.

             Increase income opportunities through policy strategies aimed at streamlining costs efficiently, effective use of organizational assets, providing product/ service differentiation and managing risks properly.

             Increase revenue drive through market expansion and quality service delivery whilst diversifying current customer patronage to other exiting services within the organization.

The diagram below seeks to illustrate how this can be achieved.
Diagram on Turnaround Strategies to Help You Drive Revenue Growth and Profitability In A Failing/Dying Business

 How Can This Be Achieved?

Policy Strategies
These are strategies which I believe will increase revenue by driving market share, weaken competition, cut operating costs and maximize profitability. To achieve this you will need to consider the following options:

Differentiated Service Delivery: This can be achieved by differentiating services such that consumers become attracted to the service because of its unique features. Another approach which many organizations fail to prioritize is its customer service drive. In today’s business world, customers are increasingly knowledgeable about service standards and above all consumer rights, hence the increase in buyers bargaining power. Exceeding customer expectations has become a must do for any business that is serious about profitability, loyalty and customer trust.

Budgeting and Costing Strategies: Here, I suggest you operate a zero based budgeting approach in which all expenses must be justified for each new period; as such every function within the organization is analyzed for its needs and costs. An effective costing strategy suggests you operate a lower cost of production while keeping price constant in other to reduce costs and increase profits. To effectively achieve this, find ways to cut costs across board by ensuring all cost drivers are lower than that of your competitors.

Internal control and auditing will equally be key to ensuring costs are efficiently managed across cost drivers.

Asset Management
Effective and efficient use of organizational assets is key to driving revenue growth. This can be achieved by:
             Disposing obsolete/ idle assets to reduce costs.
             Revamping faulty assets cost effectively and reinstating them into use to increase revenue  
             Ensuring optimal usage of all assets for profit maximization.

Risk Management Strategies: Managing risk is an essential part of any business. Business risks may appear in any facet of the business. Risks and uncertainty are realities every business must face. For instance, these risks could be: Financial Risks, Economic Risks, Production Risks, Human Resource Risks, Legal Risks, Political and Social Risks, Management Risks and Market Risks. Improperly anticipating risks or managing them when they occur will eventually lead to revenue loss and ultimately business failure.

There are basically 3 ways to manage business risks;
             Transfer the risk
             Mitigate the risk
             Ignore the risk

Marketing and Distribution Strategies
Marketing and distribution are essential elements to increase revenue along various lines.

Expand Total Market Demand
This can be done by introducing your services to those who are not aware of it yet, those who are aware of it but do not use it and those who use it but have not taken advantage of the companies complete product offering

Protect Current Demand
Protecting your current market is a good way to ensure you do not leave yourself exposed to attacks that lead to losses. Constantly review the service in a bid to include additional functionalities. To achieve this i suggest:
             Advertising as a tool to constantly remind customers of the companies’ services.
             Leveraging on an area of competitive advantage to drive profits along that profit line.

Increase Market Share
The company must continually seek ways to increase its market share. Increasing market share can be done through new service introductions, boosting current performances through target driven approaches, increasing marketing and distribution efforts to new geographical areas and technological avenue such as social media etc.

The above strategies for revenue growth are a few amongst others. However, I do know that every organization is unique in terms of its strengths and weaknesses and the challenges it faces. Where your challenge is a unique one, please feel free to reach me through the contact form.