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What are the most efficient ways to make money in the renting and leasing industry of real estate?

Investing in Corporate Housing: The 30 Day StayIt is a fact that the middle class in the United States is shrinking according to the Pew Research Center and in today’s fast paced business world job security and longevity are also on the down turn. In order to take control of our financial future it is now even more imperative that each of us take the time to learn more about the financial opportunities available to us through the diverse world of real estate investing. In 2016 the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) reported revenues of $3.2 billion in the US alone. That is $3.2 billion in rental dollars that corporations are spending to lease furnished residential properties on a month to month basis. This is an untapped rental income stream that the individual investor needs to do understand. Corporate Housing investing can substantially increase the ROI on your residential investments while also reducing your PPD (Pain Per Dollar) compared to vacation rentals.Historical perspective tells us that all real estate values and trends go in cycles. It seams simple to say “buy low” and “sell high” but real estate financial success is so much more than that. To take control of your American Dream you need to understand the income potential of your residential property and be able to tap into the right professional clientele. How you use the investment, how you manage it, how you finance it and when you choose to exit will all determine to what extent your real estate investment is profitable. To be successful it is essential for you to understand the fundamentals of property investing and recognize how to diversify your investment portfolio to maximize income and minimize risk. Corporate Housing as a real estate investment opportunity allows you the investor to significantly increase your rental income compared to unfurnished rentals and minimize your PPD compared to vacation rentals.Corporate Housing may seem simple on the service but to be financially successful you need to understand that corporate housing is more than just a nicely furnished rental. Corporate housings is lodging choice for consumers that encompasses specific standards, minimum furnishing requirements, consolidated billing (Rent, Utilities and Internet are all included in one simple rental rate) and professional service. CHBO, or Corporate Housing by Owner, is a great place to learn more about how individual owners can get the most out of their investment and offers a marketing platform specifically designed to connect with those in need of monthly accommodations. In addition CHBO has a rental calculator and Property Specialist to help you determine what a good rental rate would be for your specific property. In addition CHPA offers both individual and company accreditation certifications for those wanting to take corporate housing rentals to a professional level.TrendingAcross the country we are seeing 2 trends emerging starting with the 401K roll over investment and investing in retirement properties before you retire. With the stock market again hitting high levels analysts are showing concern about how long can this bull market last which is causing individuals to get smarter with their retirement dollars. By taking your 401K investment out of stocks and rolling it into traditional real estate rentals investors are able to gain more control over their money compared to the volatility of stocks. In addition we are seeing investors deciding to buy their retirement home 10 and ever 20 years before they need it. For example if you are looking to retire in Phoenix, AZ investors are purchasing that property now, locking in low interest rates and giving the investors the peace of mind of knowing exactly what their retirement property will cost. For those out of town investors AvenueWest Phoenix is able to fully manage and lease these properties at rental rates 3 and 4 times higher than traditional unfurnished rental rates.Corporate HousingCorporate Housing is a lodging solution that is traditionally transacted between corporate employees that need a monthly lodging solution and is found through businesses that provide fully furnished private residences. According to the CHPA 2017 Report, the industry hit its revenue peak, with revenue for the US corporate housing industry estimated at $3.2 billion, a 10.2% increase over the previous year. For the fourth successive year, the supply of US corporate housing units increased. Average daily rate (ADR) rose 6.3% in 2016, approximately double the growth in overall hotel ADR, according to STR / Smith Travel Research.What does that mean to you the individual real estate investor and what do you need to know? It means that corporate housing tenants were renting furnished 1 bedroom apartments for a national average of $150 per night or $4,500 per month. In addition these tenants stayed on average 86 days.PPD TIP: Typical vacation rentals turn over weekly which means the properties need to be cleaned and inspected 52 times a year. With a typical corporate housing rental the property only needs to be cleaned and inspected 4 times per year. As any landlord will tell you, the time and energy needed to turn over a property between tenants is a lot and anything you can do to increase your revenue and decrease your work makes an impact on your rental success.Who Uses Corporate Housing?Corporate housing has emerged as more than just an essential business service for relocated or traveling business executives. Today, corporate housing is a full-fledged lodging solution for everyday individuals who need short-term furnished and even unfurnished housing that has the space and convenience of a home on the road. Some examples of today’s corporate housing tenants include:BusinessesTraveling business executives, relocating professionals, attorneys, auditors, consultantsEducationVisiting professors, graduate students, students abroad, internsGovernmentLegislators, lobbyists, consultantsHome RemodelHomeowners doing extensive remodels on their primary residences and staying in corporate housing during those months of dust and noiseIndividualsExtended vacations, family visits, divorceesInsuranceFamilies displaced due to flood, fire, mold or natural disastersMedicalTraveling nurses, visiting doctors, extended medical visits, families traveling for specialized treatmentMilitaryIndividuals and families on military assignmentRelocationMore than 40% of typical corporate housing tenants are in the process of a corporate relocationSports & EntertainmentProfessional athletes, traveling musicians, theater performers, movie crews, special event coordinators, reporters, photographersCorporate Housing Versus a Traditional Long-Term RentalWhile corporate housing can be quite lucrative, it’s not the right strategy for everyone. If you are an investor looking to purchase a rental property, review the following to determine whether you and the property are the right fit for corporate housing or whether the property might be a better fit as a traditional long-term rental.LocationCorporate housing thrives in urban and business areas where executives are likely to travel. It also does well near hospitals and universities, which tend to bring on temporary staff or relocate professors or doctors to the area. (These may not be traditional rental areas.) If your property is in one of these locations, you may want to make it a corporate housing rental and tap into these lucrative opportunities.Cash FlowWhile you will typically get a higher annual return with corporate housing, you don’t necessarily get the smooth cash flow that you would from a tenant with a long-term lease. If you need money by the second of each month in order to pay your mortgage, then corporate housing is not for you. With corporate housing, your place will be rented more sporadically and less consistently than a tenant who signs a 12-month lease. In some cases, especially when you work with corporations versus private tenants, you may not receive payment for 45 days.NervesAre you a worrier? Your rental property might sit vacant for part of the year (versus having a long-term, lease-committed tenant). Some people worry about these kinds of details and may not have the stomach for investing in a short-term rental property. That said, if you’re more easygoing and enjoy earning higher returns overall, you may have the right personality to manage a corporate housing rental.TimeDo you have the time? Corporate housing can take more time than traditional rentals because you will have to deal with turnover more often. There may be anywhere from 1 to 12 transactions on your property per year. If you don’t want to be as active in your property’s management (i.e., you’re not cut out for “by owner” management), then hire a good property manager to handle the nitty-gritty details like prepping the home for the next tenant. AvenueWest Corporate Housing is a full service property management program for CHBO Complete™ properties that is available in various markets nationwide. Visit AvenueWest.comfor more details.Home or Condo?What makes a better corporate rental: a single-family home or a condo? This is the million-dollar question in corporate housing, and it’s just one of the considerations when deciding which type of corporate housing investment property is right for you. Obviously, there are many other factors, too, so do your homework and take a "gut" check to find out what kind of investor you are and what type of property works best for you. Consider these factors when making your decision:UpkeepSingle-family homes typically require extra upkeep and maintenance, especially if they're older, including regular yard maintenance, exterior painting, roof repairs, etc. On the other hand, condos only require maintenance within the unit. Generally, the upkeep of the exterior and common areas is maintained by the Homeowners Association (HOA) and is part of the monthly assessment. Condos create reserves from HOA fees to manage major exterior updates or repairs (e.g., a new roof).CostsSingle-family homes come with monthly costs like trash, heating, water, lawn mowing, etc., and each needs to be paid separately. Some of these costs, such as heat and water, will fluctuate depending on the season and the occupancy. Your costs will vary depending on whether your home is vacant, has one tenant or has multiple tenants. Condos require you to pay a monthly assessment, regardless of whether someone is living in the unit. However, most condos include heat, exterior maintenance, trash, building insurance and water in their monthly fees.CommitmentGenerally, single-family homes take more time to manage and require a more active, hands-on investor. There are a lot more things that require upkeep and maintenance in a home than in a condo. For investors with little time, a condo can be a relatively worry-free way to go.ValueWhile resale value depends largely on location, single-family homes are typically easier to resell and hold their value over the long term. A condo building with 500 units may have 10 or more units for sale at any given time, making it difficult to sell your unit at a competitive price.Investment GoalsIs your goal to build equity in the property? Create a positive monthly cash flow? Create the biggest tax deduction? Have a property you can use from time to time? Simply rent until the real estate market gets better? Make sure you are clear on your goals, particularly what you expect to get out of the property and why. These answers will allow you to better assess your success.What to Know BeforeInvesting in a Corporate Rental PropertyIf you’ve decided that corporate housing is right for you, here are some important considerations to make beforeyou purchase a property specifically for use as a corporate housing rental.Evaluate Price Per Bed, Not Square FootEvaluate the price per bed, not price per square foot.While some people think more space or a bonus room is a great perk for their own home, keep in mind that those features are just added liability in a home you plan to rent.Purchase the least square footage with the most number of bedrooms. Just like a hotel, when you rent out a corporate rental, it’s priced per bed, not by square footage.Avoid First-Floor UnitsIf you’re purchasing a condo as a rental property, avoid first-floor units. People who don’t know the city may not feel as safe in a first-floor unit (which can negatively affect your rental success), and often people will use a first-floor rental to advertise a business that they may conduct in the unit.Location MattersLocation. Location. Location.Location can single-handedly ensure your property is rented continuously. Look for homes in urban areas, near train stations and airports, and close to universities and hospitals. Typically, these locations rent well and have the best resale value.Functionally Obsolete Homes Can Make Good RentalsDon’t rule out functionally obsolete properties.Sometimes a property that appears to be a poor long-term home is a perfect short-term, furnished rental home. For example, homes with tiny closets or outdated kitchens make ideal furnished rental properties because a corporate renter may not need all the space or features. Moreover, these properties are usually less expensive to buy and provide good cash flow.Views and Amenities MatterWhen people are visiting a new city for business or pleasure, they want to enjoy all that city has to offer. Corporate tenants like city views, covered parking and free gym access.Keep these things in mind when choosing a desirable corporate rental property.What kind of return on investment can an investor in this space expect?That is the puzzle question of the century. And there are a lot of moving parts and each market is completely different.In a market like Fort Collins, Colo., which you normally would consider a quieter market, you might be able to buy a two-bedroom condo for $175,000 and then you may be able to turn around and rent that property as corporate housing for $3,500 a month, where if you were renting it unfurnished, you might be able to get only $700 or $800 a month for it. AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing works with a lot of investors across the country and believes corporate housing rentals are an essential element to an investor’s portfolio diversification. For example, if you are a full-time investor and this is all you do and you watch your properties 100 percent of the time, then sure, make your whole portfolio corporate housing, if that’s something that’s interesting to you. But normally, you see it as: if you have 10 units, take seven of them, rent them unfurnished, get consistent rent on them, understand what that is, and then use three properties for corporate housing as your high growth assets, just as you would buy internet stocks or technology stocks.AvenueWest Global Franchise has emerged as the industry’s leader in the managed corporate housing business. Founded in 1999, AvenueWest, had the mission to provide high quality condominiums, townhomes, lofts, single family homes and apartments to meet the extended-stay executive housing demand by professionally servicing a unique niche of business travelers with investment owners’ properties. AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing and now AvenueWest Global Franchise, LLC were built to provide monthly lodging options and increased opportunities for individual real estate investors.AvenueWest Corporate Housing, Inc., started as a small real estate management company but quickly grew to the largest provider of corporate housing rentals in Colorado and is now the foundation for the national expansion of AvenueWest Global Franchise. This year AvenueWest Corporate Housing is celebrating its 18thanniversary of doing business and providing solutions for property owners, corporate travelers and business owners alike. As the industry continues to grow and provide quality lodging solutions investors can be hands on with their investments, hand off with their investment by utilizing a full service managed corporate housing company and can even develop a business through the AvenueWest Franchise model.RESOURCESAssociation for Serviced Apartment Providerswww.theasap.org.ukAvenueWest Managed Corporate Housingwww.avenuewest.com800-928-1592AvenueWest Global Franchise Inc.AvenueWest - Join the Team303.825.7625Corporate Housing By OwnerCorporate Housing By Owner877-333-2426Corporate Housing Providers Associationwww.CHPAonline.org317.328.4631

What business emails should I register for my startup? For example, [email protected].

How to Start a BusinessStarting a business involves a whole lot of moving pieces, some more exciting than others. Brainstorming business names? Fun! Filing taxes? ... Not so fun. The trick to successfully getting your business off the ground is to meticulously plan and organize your materials, prioritize properly, and stay on top of the status and performance of each and every one of these moving parts.From registering with the government to getting the word out about your business to making key financial decisions, here’s an overview of what you'll need to do to start a successful business.At its core, a business plan helps you prove to yourself and others whether or not your business idea is worth pursuing. It's the best way to take a step back, look at your idea holistically, and solve for issues years down the road before you start getting into the weeds.This post covers tips for writing a business plan, followed by an outline of what to include and business plan examples. Let's start with some basic, overarching tips before we dive in to the details. Grab yourfree business plan template here and apply the practices below.Narrow down what makes you different.Before you start whipping up a business plan, think carefully about what makes your business unique first. If you're planning to start a new athletic clothing business, for example, then you'll need to differentiate yourself from the numerous other athletic clothing brands out there.What makes yours stand out from the others? Are you planning to make clothing for specific sports or athletic activities, like yoga or hiking or tennis? Do you use environmentally friendly material? Does a certain percentage of your proceeds go to charity? Does your brand promote positive body image?Remember: You're not just selling your product or service -- you're selling a combination of product, value, and brand experience. Think through these big questions and outline them before you dive in to the nitty-gritty of your business plan research.Keep it shortBusiness plans are more short and concise nowadays than they used to be. While it might be tempting to include all the results of your market research, flesh out every single product you plan to sell, and outline exactly what your website will look like, that's actually not helpful in the format of a business plan.Know these details and keep them elsewhere, but exclude everything but the meat and potatoes from the business plan itself. Your business plan shouldn't just be a quick(ish) read -- it should be easy to skim, too.You can (and should) change it as you goKeep in mind that your business plan is a living, breathing document. That means you can update your business plan as things change. For example, you might want to update it a year or two down the road if you're about to apply for a new round of funding.Here are the key elements in a business plan template , what goes into each of them, and a sample business plan section at each step in the process.Business Plan TemplateStep 1. Executive SummaryThe purpose of the executive summary is to give readers a high-level view of the company and the market before delving in to the details. (Pro Tip: Sometimes it's helpful to write the executive summary after you've put together the rest of the plan so you can draw out the key takeaways more easily.)The executive summary should be about a page long, and should cover (in 1–2 paragraphs each):Example of an "Overview" section of the Executive Summary (fromBplans ):Jolly's Java and Bakery (JJB) is a start-up coffee and bakery retail establishment located in southwest Washington. JJB expects to catch the interest of a regular loyal customer base with its broad variety of coffee and pastry products. The company plans to build a strong market position in the town, due to the partners' industry experience and mild competitive climate in the area.JJB aims to offer its products at a competitive price to meet the demand of the middle-to higher-income local market area residents and tourists.Step 2. Company DescriptionNext, you'll have your company description. Here's where you have the chance to give a summary of what your company does, your mission statement, business structure and business owner details, location details, the marketplace needs that your business is trying to meet, and how your products or services actually meet those needs.Example of a "Company Summary" section (from Bplans ):NALB Creative Center is a startup, to go into business in the summer of this year. We will offer a large variety of art and craft supplies, focusing on those items that are currently unavailable on this island. The Internet will continue to be a competitor, as artists use websites to buy familiar products. We will stock products that artists don't necessarily have experience with. We will maintain our price comparisons to include those available online.We will offer classes in the use of new materials and techniques.We will build an Artist's Oasis tour program. We will book local Bed and Breakfasts; provide maps and guides for appropriate plein-air sites; rent easels and materials; sell paint and other supplies and ship completed work to the clients when dry.We will expand the store into an art center including: A fine art gallery, offering original art at, or near, wholesale prices; Musical instruments/studio space; Classrooms for art/music lessons; Art/Music books; Live music/coffee bar; Do-it-Yourself crafts such as specialty T-Shirts, signs, cards, ceramics for the tourist trade.Step 3. Market AnalysisOne of the first questions to ask yourself when you're testing your business idea is whether it has a place in the market. The market will ultimately dictate how successful your business will be. What's your target market, and why would they be interested in buying from you?Get specific here. For example, if you're selling bedding, you can't just include everyone who sleeps in a bed in your target market. You need to target a smaller group of customers first, like teenagers from middle-income families.From there, you might answer questions like: How many teenagers from middle-income families are currently in your country? What bedding do they typically need? Is the market growing or stagnant?Include both an analysis of research that others have done, as well as primary research that you've collected yourself -- whether by customer surveys, interviews, or other methods.This is also where you'll include a competitive analysis. In our example, we'd be answering the question: how many other bedding companies already have a share of the market, and who are they?Outline the strengths and weaknesses of your potential competitors, as well as strategies that will give you a competitive advantage.Example of a "Market Analysis" summary section (from Bplans ):Green Investments has identified two distinct groups of target customers. These two groups of customers are distinguished by their household wealth. They have been grouped as customers with <$1 million and >$1 million in household wealth. The main characteristic that makes both of these groups so attractive is their desire to make a difference in the world by making investment decisions that take into account environmental factors.The financial services industry has many different niches. Some advisors provide general investment services. Others will only offer one type of investments, maybe just mutual funds or might concentrate on bonds. Other service providers will concentrate on a specific niche like technology or socially responsible companies.Market SegmentationGreen Investments has segmented the target market into two distinct groups. The groups can be differentiated by their difference in household wealth, households of <$1 million and >$1 million.Step 4. Products and/or ServicesHere's where you can go into detail about what you're selling and how it benefits your customers. If you aren't able to articulate how you'll help your customers, then your business idea may not be a good one.Start by describing the problem you're solving. Then, go into how you plan to solve it and where your product or service fits into the mix. Finally, talk about the competitive landscape: What other companies are providing solutions to this particular problem, and what sets your solution apart from theirs?Example of a "Products and Services" section (from Bplans ):AMT provides both computer products and services to make them useful to small business. We are especially focused on providing network systems and services to small and medium business. The systems include both PC-based LAN systems and minicomputer server-based systems. Our services include design and installation of network systems, training, and support.Product and Service DescriptionIn personal computers, we support three main lines:1. The Super Home is our smallest and least expensive line, initially positioned by its manufacturer as a home computer. We use it mainly as a cheap workstation for small business installations. Its specifications include ...[additional specifics omitted]2. The Power User is our main up-scale line. It is our most important system for high-end home and small business main workstations, because of .... Its key strengths are .... Its specifications include ....[additional specifics omitted]3. The Business Special is an intermediate system, used to fill the gap in the positioning. Its specifications include ... [additional specifics omitted]In peripherals, accessories and other hardware, we carry a complete line of necessary items from cables to forms to mousepads ... [additional specifics omitted]In service and support, we offer a range of walk-in or depot service, maintenance contracts and on-site guarantees. We have not had much success selling service contracts. Our networking capabilities ...[additional specifics omitted]Competitive ComparisonThe only way we can hope to differentiate well is to define the vision of the company to be an information technology ally to our clients. We will not be able to compete in any effective way with the chains using boxes or products as appliances. We need to offer a real alliance.The benefits we sell include many intangibles: confidence, reliability, knowing that somebody will be there to answer questions and help at the important times.These are complex products, products that require serious knowledge and experience to use, and our competitors sell only the products themselves.Unfortunately, we cannot sell the products at a higher price just because we offer services; the market has shown that it will not support that concept. We have to also sell the service and charge for it separately.Step 5. Operations & ManagementUse this section to outline your business' unique organization and management structure (keeping in mind that you may change it later). Who will be responsible for what? How will tasks and responsibilities be assigned to each person or each team?Includes brief bios of each team member and highlight any relevant experience and education to help make the case for why they're the right person for the job. If you haven't hired people for the planned roles yet, that's OK -- just make sure you identify those gaps and explain what the people in those roles will be responsible for.Example of an "Personnel Plan" section of the Operations & Management section (from Bplans ):The labor force for DIY Wash N' Fix will be small. It will consist of a part-time general manager to handle inter-business relationships and corporate responsibilities. In addition, DIY Wash N' Fix will employ three certified mechanics/managers; their duties will consist of the day-to-day operation of the firm. These duties fall into two categories: managerial and operational. Managerial tasks include: scheduling, inventory control and basic bookkeeping. Safety, regulatory issues, customer service and repair advice are the operational tasks they will be responsible for.Additionally, customer service clerks will be hired to perform the most basic tasks: customer service and custodial. DIY Wash N' Fix will have a single general manager to coordinate all outside business activities and partnerships. The business relationships would include accounting services, legal counsel, vendors and suppliers, maintenance providers, banking services, advertising and marketing services, and investment services. Laurie Snyder will fill this general management position. She will be receiving an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in May 2001.The daily management of the business will be left to the lead mechanic. Even though DIY Wash N' Fix is not a full service repair shop it can be expected that some customers will attempt repairs they are not familiar with and need advice. Therefore, we intend to hire three fully certified mechanics. The mechanics will not be authorized to perform any work on a customer's car, but they will be able to take a look at the car to evaluate the problem. To reduce our liability for repairs done incorrectly we feel only professional mechanics should give advice to customers. The primary function of the mechanics will be customer service and managerial responsibilities.Step 6. Marketing & Sales PlanThis is where you can plan out your comprehensive marketing and sales strategies that'll cover how you actually plan to sell your product. Before you work on your marketing and sales plan, you'll need to have your market analysis completely fleshed out, and choose your target buyer personas, i.e., your ideal customers. (Learn how to create buyer personas here .)On the marketing side, you'll want to cover answers to questions like: How do you plan to penetrate the market? How will you grow your business? Which channels will you focus on for distribution? How will you communicate with your customers?On the sales side, you'll need to cover answers to questions like: what's your sales strategy? What will your sales team look like, and how do you plan to grow it over time?How many sales calls will you need to make to make a sale? What's the average price per sale? Speaking of average price per sale, here's where you can go into your pricing strategy.Example of a "Marketing Plan" section (from Bplans ):The Skate Zone plans to be the first amateur inline hockey facility in Miami, Florida. Due to the overwhelming growth of inline hockey throughout the United States, the company's promotional plans are open to various media and a range of marketing communications. The following is a list of those available presently.Public relations. Press releases are issued to both technical trade journals and major business publications such as USAHockey Inline, INLINE the skate magazine, PowerPlay, and others.Tournaments. The Skate Zone will represent its services at championship tournaments that are held annually across the United States.Print advertising and article publishing. The company's print advertising program includes advertisements in The Yellow Pages, Miami Express News, The Skate Zone Mailing, school flyers, and inline hockey trade magazines.Internet. The Skate Zone currently has a website and has received several inquiries from it. Plans are underway to upgrade it to a more professional and effective site. In the future, this is expected to be one of the company's primary marketing channels.Step 7. Financial PlanFinally, outline your financial model in detail, including your start-up cost, financial projections, and a funding request if you're pitching to investors.Your start-up cost refers to the resources you'll need to get your business started -- and an estimate of how much each of those resources will cost. Are you leasing an office space? Do you need a computer? A phone? List out these needs and how much they'll cost, and be honest and conservative in your estimates. The last thing you want to do is run out of money.Once you've outlined your costs, you'll need to justify them by detailing your financial projections. This is especially important if you're looking for funding for your business (which you’ll learn more about below). Make sure your financial model is 100% accurate for the best chance of convincing investors and loan sources to support your business.The following table is the projected Profit and Loss statement for Markam. (fromBplans ):Image source: BplansStep 8. AppendixFinally, consider closing out your business plan with an appendix. The appendix is optional, but it's a helpful place to include your resume and the resume(s) of your co-founder(s), as well as any permits, leases, and other legal information you want to include.Making Your Business LegalOnce the business plan is in place, you get to move on to the even less romantic part -- the paperwork and legal activities. This includes things like determining the legal structure of your business, nailing down your business name, registering with the government, and -- depending on your business structure and industry -- getting a tax code, a business license, and/or a seller’s permit.Furthermore, businesses are regulated on the federal, the state, and sometimes even local level. It’s important to check what’s required on all three of those levels. When you register your business with the government, be sure you’re covering registration on all the levels required for your business’ location. Your business won’t be a legal entity without checking these boxes, so stay on top of it.Below, you’ll find a brief explanation of what goes into each one of these steps, along with links to helpful resources where you can dig in to the details. (Note: These steps are for starting a business in the U.S. only.)Determining the Legal Structure of Your BusinessThe 4 most common business structures1. Sole proprietorship2. Partnership3. Limited liability company (LLC)Example: A small design firm.4. CorporationThe corporation does not get a tax deduction when it distributes dividends to shareholders. Shareholders cannot deduct any loss of the corporation, but they are also not responsible directly for taxes on their earnings – just on the dividends they give to shareholders.S corporations, on the other hand have only one level of taxation. Learn more about the difference between "C corporations" and "S corporations" here , and find IRS tax forms here .Choosing & Registering Your Business NameEstablishing a business name is a little more complicated than making a list and picking your favorite. If you’re using a name other than your personal name, then you need to register it with your state government so they know you’re doing business with a name other than your given name.Before you register, you need to make sure the name you want is available in your state. Business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, so it’s possible that a company in another state could have the same name as yours.This is only concerning if there’s a trademark on the name. Do a Trademark search of your desired name to avoid expensive issues down the road.For new corporations and LLCs: Your business name is automatically registered with your state when you register your business -- so you don’t have to go through a separate process. There are rules for naming a corporation and LLC, which you can read about here .For sole proprietorships, partnerships, and existing corporations and LLCs (if you want to do business with a name other than their registered name), you’ll need to register what’s called a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. You can do so either by going to your county clerk office or with your state government, depending which state you’re in. Learn how to do that here .Want to trademark your business name? A trademark protects words, names, symbols, and logos that distinguish goods and services. Filing for a trademark costs less than $300, and you can learn how to do ithere .What is it and do you need one?The seller’s permit allows you to collect sales tax from buyers. You’ll then pay that sales tax to the state each quarter by putting the sales tax permit number on the state’s tax payment form.You can register for a seller's permit through your state's Board of Equalization, Sales Tax Commission, or Franchise Tax Board. To help you find the appropriate offices, find your state on this IRS website .Small Business TaxBusiness owners are obligated to pay specific federal taxes, and the amount of those taxes is determined by the form of business entity that you establish. All businesses except for partnerships need to file an annual income tax return. Partnerships file what’s called an information return .Any business that’s owned and operated in the United States needs an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for on the IRS’ website here . Once you’re registered, it’s time to figure out which taxes you’ll be responsible for. Here are the three types:Marketing, Sales, and Services TipsHow to get customers and keep them happyOnce you’ve registered your new business with the government and gotten the legal paperwork squared away, how do you go about, you know ... acquiring customers?Before you can receive any significant funding for your business (which we'll talk about in the next section), you need to start building an online presence and marketing your business, as well as getting a sales process together and beginning to sell your product or service.Turns out that generating demand and earning customers needs to come before you can viably ask for funding from an external source. And once you start generating customers, you’ll need to retain them – which is where customer service comes in. Learn more about customer service here .Customer Code: Creating a Company Customers Love from HubSpotMarketing Your Small BusinessA new company needs to start drumming up interest for its product or service even before it’s ready to ship. But there are a million different platforms and avenues you can use to drive awareness … so where on earth do you start?Narrow down your target customerIt all comes down to your target customer. You won't be able to position what you're selling to meet customers' needs without knowing who they are. One of the very first questions you need to ask yourself is: Who wants what I’m selling? Who would find it useful? Who would love it?Then, you need to dig in to who that person is or those people are, and what kind of messaging would resonate with them. That includes their backgrounds, interests, goals, and challenges, in addition to how old they are, what they do every day, which social platforms they use, and so on.Creating very specific buyer personas can dramatically improve your business results.Read this step-by-step guide on how to create buyer personas , which includes buyer persona templates you can customize yourself. Once you’ve picked a buyer persona or two, print them out, tack them onto your wall, and think about their interests and needs before making every business decision.Develop a brand identityIn addition to researching your target customer, when you’re first starting a business, you’ll need to build the foundation for a strong brand identity. Your brand identity is about your values, how you communicate concepts, and which emotions you want your customers to feel when they interact with your business. Having a consistent brand identity to promote your business will make you look more professional and help you attract new customers.Build your online presenceWith your target customer and your brand identity under your belt, you can begin building the core marketing elements of your small business, which includes your website, your blog, your email tool, your conversion tool, and your social media accounts. To dive deeper into these topics, read our beginner’s guide to small business marketing here .Generate and nurture leadsOnce you've started building an online presence and creating awareness for your business, you need to generate the leads that will close into customers. Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into leads, and if you build a successful lead generation engine, you'll be able to keep your funnel full of sales prospects while you sleep.What does a successful lead generation process look like? Learn more about lead generation here , and click the button below to try HubSpot's free marketing tools , our free lead generation tool that lets you track your website visitors and leads in a single contact database.Free Marketing Tools & ResourcesHere are some helpful resources to help you spread awareness, build your online presence, and get the leads you need for free.Selling Your Products or ServicesSet up your sales infrastructure.By taking the time to set up your sales process from the get-go, you’ll avoid painful headaches that come with lost data down the line. Start with a CRM, which is a central database where you can keep track of all your clients and prospective clients in one place. There are loads of options out there, and you’ll want to evaluate the CRMs that cater to small businesses . (Excel doesn’t count!)Identify your sales goals.Don’t get intimidated by sales lingo such as KPIs and ROI. All this means is that you need to figure out what you need coming into your business to make ends meet and grow: how much revenue do you need, and how many products do you need to sell to hit that target?Hire a sales repWhen you’re starting your business, it’s tempting to do everything yourself, including taking on sales. However, making that first sales hire is crucial to scaling – you need someone dedicated to understanding your buyer and selling to them full-time. When looking for that first sales hire, seniority should be less of a priority than how much sales experience they have on the front lines and whether they understand your business’s target buyer.Get more out of your sales activities.Efficiency is key. Put together a sales process, such as this helpful 7-step sales process framework , which works regardless of your business size. You'll also want to automate sales tasks (such as data entry), or set up notifications when a prospective customer takes an action. That way, you spend less time poring through records and calling the wrong prospects and more on strategy and actual selling.Free Sales Tools & ResourcesHere are some helpful templates tools to help you build an efficient sales engine, reach prospects, and close customers for free.Enroll in HubSpot Academy to learn everything you need to know about digital marketing and sales. Train your whole team for free! Sign Up For FreeKeeping Your Customers HappyGetting net new customers in the door is important, but retaining them is just as important. You can’t ignore customers once you’ve closed them – you have to take care of them, give them stellar customer service, and nurture them to become fans of (and even evangelists for) your business.While inbound marketing and sales are both critical to your funnel, the funnel doesn’t end there: The reality is that the amount of time and effort that you spend perfecting your strategy in those areas will amount to very little if you’re unable to retain happy customers.This means that building a model for customer success should be central to your organization. Think for a second about all the different ways reviews, social media, and online aggregators spread information about your products.They’re all quick and effective, for better or for worse. While your marketing and sales playbooks are within your control and yours to perfect, a large chunk of your prospects are evaluating your company based on the content and materials that other people are circulating about your brand.Here are some tips for how to keep your customers happy and stand out as a stellar business:React quicklyPeople expect fast resolution times (some faster than others depending on the channel), so it’s essential to be nimble and efficiently keep up with requests so that you’re consistently providing excellent service to avoid losing trust with your customers.Pay attention to the volume of your company mentions on different channels. Identify where your customers spend the most time and are asking the most questions, and then meet them there, whether it’s on a social network, on Yelp, or somewhere else.Keep track of touchpoints with individual customers.Interactions with your customers are best informed by context. Keep track of all the touchpoints you’ve had with individual customers because having a view into their experience with your company will pay dividends in the long run.How long have they been a customer? What was their experience in the sales process? How many purchases have they made? Have they given positive/critical feedback about your support experience or products? Knowing the answers to these questions will give you a more complete picture when you respond to inquiries and will help you have more productive conversations with customers.Create feedback loops.From the moment you have your first customer, you should be actively seeking out insights from them. As your business grows, this will become harder -- but remember that your customer-facing employees are a valuable source of information because they are most in tune with your buyers and potential buyers.Create a FAQ page for your website.Give customers the tools to help themselves, and scale this program as you grow. When you’re starting out, this might take the form of a simple FAQ page. Over time, as your customer base grows, turn your website into a resource for your customers and enable them to self-service – such as evolving that FAQ page into a knowledge base or library that answers common questions and/or gives customers instructions.From the day you start building your business until the point where you can make a consistent profit, you need to finance your operation and growth with start-up capital. Some founders can finance their business entirely on their own dime or through friends and family, which is called “bootstrapping.”This obviously gives the business owners a ton of flexibility for running the business, although it means taking on a larger financial risk -- and when family’s involved, can lead to awkward holiday dinner conversations if things go wrong.Many founders need external start-up capital to get their business off the ground. If that sounds like you, keep on reading to learn about the most common kinds of external capital you can raise.Seed FinancingIf you’re looking for a relatively small amount of money, say, the investigation of a market opportunity or the development of the initial version of a product or service, then Seed financing might be for you.There are many different kinds of seed financing, but the one you’ve probably heard of most is called Seed-round financing. In this case, someone will invest in your company in exchange for preferred stock. If your company gets sold or liquidated, then investors who hold preferred stock often have the right to get their investment back -- and, in most cases, an additional return, called “preferred dividends” or “liquidation preferences” -- before holders of common stock are paid.AcceleratorAccelerators are highly competitive programs that typically involve applying and then competing against other startups in a public pitch event or demo day. In addition to winning funding and seed capital, winners of these programs are also rewarded with mentorship and educational programs.Although accelerators were originally mostly tech companies and centered around Silicon Valley, you can now find them all over the country and in all different industries. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, here’s a list of the top accelerators in the United States to get you started.Small Business LoanIf you have a really rock-solid plan for how you’ll spend the money in place, then you might be able to convince a bank, a lender, a community development organization, or a micro-lending institution to grant you a loan.There are many different types of loans, including loans with the bank, real estate loans, equipment loans, and more. To successfully get one, you’re going to need to articulate exactly how you’ll spend every single penny -- so make sure you have a solid business plan in place before you apply. You can learn more about Small Business Administration’s loan programs here .CrowdfundingYou might ask yourself, what about companies that get funding through platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo? That’s called crowdfunding, which is a newer way of funding a business.More importantly, it typically doesn’t entail giving partial ownership of the business away. Instead, it’s a way of getting funding not from potential co-owners, but from potential fans and customers who want to support the business idea, but not necessarily own it.What you give donors in exchange is entirely up to you -- and typically, people will come away with early access to a product, or a special version of a product, or a meet-and-greet with the founders.Learn more about crowdfunding here .Venture Capital FinancingOnly a very small percentage of businesses are either fit for venture capital or have access to it. All the other methods described earlier are available to the vast majority of new businesses.If you’re looking for a significant amount of money to start your company and can prove you can quickly grow its value, then venture capital financing is probably the right move for you.Venture capital financing usually means one or more venture capital firms make large investments in your company in exchange for preferred stock of the company -- but, in addition to getting that preferred return like they would in series seed financing, venture capital investors also usually get governance rights, like a seat on the Board of Directors or approval rights on certain transactions.VC financing typically occurs when a company can demonstrate a significant business opportunity to quickly grow the value of the company but requires significant capital to do so.A business plan is a living document that maps out the details of your business. It covers what your business will sell, how it will be structured, what the market looks like, how you plan to sell your product or service, what funding you'll need, what your financial projections are, and which permits, leases, and other documentation will be required.

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