logo-inspirations-1

Inspirational Logo Designs of the Week #1

Hello and welcome to our fresh logo inspiration series! I hope you will find most of this week’s logos interesting, refreshing and inspiring. And if you are not a designer i hope that they will draw your attention, and begin to appreciate the beauty and the work involved behind corporate design.

87th Avenue Tattoo shop by Fabien Laborie

87th Avenue Tattoo shop by Fabien Laborie

Brand relations by Rymer Studio

Brand relations by Rymer Studio

Common man Restaurant by Josip Kelava

Common man Restaurant by Josip Kelava

DigitalCocoon by Mateusz Turbinski

DigitalCocoon by Mateusz Turbinski

First Data Brand Refresh by Christian Waitzinger

First Data Brand Refresh by Christian Waitzinger

H2Overhaul by Maria Grønlund

H2Overhaul by Maria Grønlund

Identidad Worken by Paula Flores

Identidad Worken by Paula Flores

Keydren Clark by Kamil Doliwa

Keydren Clark by Kamil Doliwa

kiss the design by a3 collectif

kiss the design by a3 collectif

Neublok Branding by Neografik

Neublok Branding by Neografik

Resource development group by Axiom Design Partners

Resource development group by Axiom Design Partners

Hope you’d enjoyed this week’s logos! And if you want to see more you can find all these talented designers at Behance!

See you next time!

(These Works are displayed here because they are licensed as Creative Commons – Attribution by their designers, and for the sole purpose of inspiring and promoting design)

Article publié pour la première fois le 24/09/2012

Building A Successful Brand For A Small Business

Brand building is an important strategy for any business, no matter how big or small it is.  Yet, small business owners often lack the acumen or knowledge in how to brand their business successfully, and what strategies are open to them to achieve this.  Here are some tips to get great branding on the road.

Know who you are

A strong brand lets others know what it does.  Make sure you, and your staff, fully understand your own brand – who you are, what your goals and values are, what you want to achieve, etc.  If you don’t fully understand yourself, then it will be hard to communicate this well to your customers.

Be unique

With lots of competitors in the marketplace, your branding needs to scream out what makes you different from the rest.  Let others know why you are unique and what it is that you do differently from your competitors.

Consistency of messages

Successful branding involves reinforcing strong messages, so that your customers will retain information about who you are and what you do.  Make sure you are clear on what message you want to give out, and stick to the same message on all mediums of communication.  Consistency is a key component to branding success.

Name and logo

An instantly recognisable brand name and logo is a sign of good branding.  Whatever name or logo design you choose make sure it is recognisable, inspires trust and makes a connection to the types of goods or services you offer.  Consider hiring the services of a design agency to create name or logo concepts as you start out, and always include them on every piece of communication you send.

Get your name out there

Organisations both large and small understand the importance of building networks with customers and new customers, as well as generating trust for what they offer.  By building an online and offline community, you are in the driving seat to get customers on your side and love your brand.  Make the most of social networking sites and start blogging.

Online communications

Your business cards and letterheads look great, your customer service team know how to reinforce your brand with customers, and your products are something to be proud of.  But, make sure that the internet is not letting all of your hard work down.  It is easy to neglect this side of a business, but in fact it is a crucial element of branding.  Make sure your website is up to date, and looks as slick as your offline communications.  Use the same level of professionalism replying to email comments as you would for hand-written communications.  Don’t let your guard down, either, on social networking sites, where it can be easy to adopt a more casual or informal approach.

Have a great product or service

Having a successful branding strategy is one thing, but you need to combine that with a great product or service.  Don’t let your product or service slip, just because your branding is on top form.  It’s not a sustainable strategy, and your customers will soon lose trust in you.

Deliver

It’s easy enough to spout great marketing speak about who you are and what you offer, but make sure that whatever you say and how you say it, you can deliver and not let your customers down.  Create honest branding that builds up trust.

Be original

There are many great brand names out there, and there’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from them and learning from their achievements.  But, never ever nick ideas off them.  Don’t copy the big boys, as you will soon be seen-through.  Try to always think of original ideas, or at least add a twist to tried and trusted branding messages and strategies.

Build relationships

Get to know who your customers are, and what they like about you.  Valuable customers who like your offering can become great brand ambassadors, spreading the word to others about what you’ve got to offer.  Spend time nurturing these important relationships and get to know who your brand ambassadors are.

Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Troy Thompson

Article provided by Name Badges International

Name Badges International provided this guest article on building a brand for your small business. They offer a wide selection names badges for work and conferences.

Article publié pour la première fois le 23/04/2013

How to Build a Strong Brand

The importance of branding in the modern corporate world is undisputed. Whether you are a multi-national corporation making millions or a small business with limited funds, it’s crucial to understand that you need one in order to survive, and you need a strong one in order to succeed!

It all begins with brand identity

Brand identity is what fuels the recognition of the brand and amplifies the differences with their competition. It takes separated and unconnected initially elements, and through a concept, they are unified by designers into whole visual systems. Proper design in a brand identity is essential and determines how people see and feel about the brand.

You need to carefully consider your company’s logo design, website and print collaterals like your business cards, stationary, magazine advertisements and promotional material, so that they all speak with a strong and unified visual voice. All elements need to communicate distinct and clear messages.

Additionally you need to make sure that this message is the one you want to be known for! So just because your daughter can draw or you had the “bright” idea to offer your logo design in a contest for 55$ doesn’t mean is the proper way to go! In fact in most cases is a recipe to disaster.

Then comes the brand strategy

Effective brand strategy provides a central unifying idea around which all behavior, actions and communications are aligned. It also needs to be consistent and easy to understand.

To put that in test, have everyone in the company explain this strategy in as few sentences as possible. If everyone’s perception is aligned and consistent then you are at a good starting point. If not your strategy is too complex and will most likely fail.

Last but not least comes branding

Branding is the process to build awareness and customer loyalty on your brand through your brand strategy and your various marketing campaigns. Consistency is again the key for a successful branding campaign. Every newsletter, social media status, blog article and brochure must support your branding. And it goes without saying that your branding campaign needs to be both online and offline.

You can use events to build your customer’s loyalty offline. These could be charity events, festivals, or just a stall in a bazaar to promote your products. Also consider providing your customers with high-quality giveaway items that promote your brand in a positive light. Some examples are branded T-shirts, mugs, mouse pads etc. But you can find more ideas and a variety of cool branded promotional products at QLP specialty advertising products.

As for online you can use a variety of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to establish your online presence and of course the blog in your website. But mind that for this promotion not to be overwhelming most of social media experts suggest the rule of 80/20. Meaning 20% of your content should be about your company and the rest 80% content of value and use to your prospective customers.

Giving your business a friendly and approachable face, and helping your customers to solve their daily problems is extremely important to your long term branding, so always be on the lookout for the best opportunities to do so!

Further Reading:

  • How To Identify Your Brand DNA
  • Promotions and Branding 101
  • The Importance of Branding

Featured Image: Apple Logo wallpaper / Creative Commons – Attribution by Adrian

Article publié pour la première fois le 20/04/2013

Making your Presence Felt with Signage!

A good business strategy will always involve signage in the branding of your business, it is the most important part of customer outreach. It is impossible to gauge the popularity and success of your business unless the consumers who might target are aware of what you offer. The purpose of business signage is to instantly and effectively communicate the professionalism, the function, and the overall presence of your business. Business signage will convey to people who you are, where you are and what you do, so it should always be your first step, no matter what. Even if you provide the very best products in your industry, that doesn’t mean that your business will succeed and that you will be able to convert, or that your products will take off. In order to for people to use your products or services, and for all your hard work to pay off, people have to be aware that they exist. Before the complexities of marketing, advertising, PR, and web marketing take over, there is the very simple and effective method of signage in your local area. Having a two-pronged strategy will enrich your marketing campaign, and each strategy will reinforce the other. By employing a strategy that covers local signage and online marketing, you raise your chances of reaching the maximum amount of consumers.

Portable signage is a particularly cost effective tool for brand awareness, just make sure that you have had all of your signage plans approved by your local council first, wherever your council may be. This is really important, because remember, you are interacting with the public when you use signage, that is the whole point after all. But anything that intrudes into public life has to be regulated and approved, that is the nature of democratic governments. Take advantage of this and discuss ways that your business could enrich your local area with the council. Turning your signage into public artwork is a great way of doing this. The more you get your community involved with your business, the more that will be likely to use your business, so it’s a win win really. If you offer something back to the community in your area, they will look favourably on your presence. The very best signage, signage that is beautiful as well as useful, becomes a valued part of its local area. The Coca Cola sign in Sydney, in Kings Cross is a perfect example of this. It is now a landmark and a way that people orient themselves in the area. In this sense, signage serves the very same perfect as architecture and infrastructure; to to enrich the area and to give residents what they need.

Featured Image: Creative Commons – Attribution by Marcin Wichary

Article by Belinda Darling

Belinda Darling is a branding and marketing expert based in Melbourne, Australia. She specialises in small to medium sized business embarking on marketing and PR campaigns, and also performs small business consulting. Belinda advises all her clients to use Footscray Signage for their local business needs.

Article publié pour la première fois le 17/05/2013

logo-inspirations-5

Inspirational Logo Designs of the Week #5

Hello and welcome to our fresh logo inspiration series! I hope you will find most of this week’s logos interesting, refreshing and inspiring. And if you are not a designer i hope that they will draw your attention, and begin to appreciate the beauty and the work involved behind corporate design.

Hope you’d enjoyed this week’s logos! And if you want to see more, you can find all the designers at Behance!

See you next time!

(These Works are displayed here because they are licensed as Creative Commons – Attribution by their designers, and for the sole purpose of inspiring and promoting design)

Article publié pour la première fois le 22/10/2012

The Importance of Branding

Branding 101 & Best Logo Design Tips

There are many tricks and techniques out there to help you improve your branding and make sure that your logo makes the proper impression. Below I have compiled a list with great articles and resources that cover various aspects of branding and logo design and have been published in the past here at Make your ideas art.

Feel free to vote up the articles you found to be interesting and useful!

If you found this list useful feel free to share it and embed it in your own blog!

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 19/11/2013

fasmachem logo mockup

Things to Consider when Designing a Logo on Custom Labels

The logo is one of the most critical elements printed on labels that build brand recognition for consumer products. Not only does the logo provide your consumers with your company’s identity but it can also say a lot about the quality level of your product. With more consumer products being introduced to the marketplace every day, it is vital for any business owner to consider the effects of designing a quality logo on their labels.

To develop an effective logo, there are some key points that should be considered:

Keep it Simple

Simplifying your logo is more likely to attract and keep the viewer’s attention rather than having a busy design.  Take out unnecessary elements like too many shapes or repetitive information. Also, reducing your color scheme to only 2-3 colors and changing the typeface can quickly and easily simplify your logo. Busy or complex logos can distract your customers.

Make it Memorable

A logo is more likely to be recognized if it has an interesting element like a unique shape, color, or typeface. A recognizable logo beats out a beautifully unknown logo any day. Using an unusual shape, vibrant colors, or an object (living or inanimate) can help consumers remember the product even more..

Preserving through the Years

A simple design is more likely to last through the decades than a trendy logo. Regularly changing your logo will not only confuse customers but it also suggests that the company doesn’t know who they are. A simple logo will have a more timeless look than a logo with a bunch of flashy elements.

Versatility is Key

A logo is easier to work with if it looks good across different mediums: black & white, color, big or small scale. An effective logo is able to work across different mediums and applications.  It should offer you flexibility so if any additions are to be made in the future, it will be an easy transition.

Make Sure it is Appropriate

Your logo should be able to symbolize your company and fit within your industry. Defining what is “appropriate” can be hard but if your brand is youthful and fun or cutting edge and practical, then your logo should reflect those qualities. A couple of ways to determine if your logo is appropriate is to examine whether your logo symbolizes your business and if it’s suitable for your industry.

Additional Logo Design Tips 

  • Avoid using gradients and effects.
  • Busy or overly designed logos can make printing of the logo an obstacle.
  • Avoid bad fonts and putting too much information in the logo.

Featured Image: courtesy of Extend Graphics

Article by Consolidated Label:

Founded in 1981, Consolidated Label is one of the country’s leading suppliers of custom labels, flexible packaging and shrink sleeves. The company produces custom labels and packaging for thousands of customers across a wide variety of industries including food, beverage, household products, medical, pharmaceutical, and promotional products.

Google+ Link: https://plus.google.com/116832682631898518832/

Article publié pour la première fois le 27/05/2013

logo-inspirations-2

Inspirational Logo Designs of the Week #2

Hello and welcome to our fresh logo inspiration series! I hope you will find most of this week’s logos interesting, refreshing and inspiring. And if you are not a designer i hope that they will draw your attention, and begin to appreciate the beauty and the work involved behind corporate design.

Anagrama - Beliveo

Anagrama – Beliveo

Arun Jolly - SayOne

Arun Jolly – SayOne

Arun Jolly - xhtml smart

Arun Jolly – xhtml smart

Colorcubic - IG88 - A Loom & Not Me

Colorcubic – IG88 – A Loom & Not Me

Fabien Laborie - Ville de Grenoble

Fabien Laborie – Ville de Grenoble

filthymedia - Corporate Identity & Stationery

filthymedia – Corporate Identity & Stationery

Jimmi Tuan- Sonic Printing

Jimmi Tuan- Sonic Printing

kissmiklos - Logos 2011-2012

kissmiklos – Logos 2011-2012

Sergio Mendoza - LA CANYA

Sergio Mendoza – LA CANYA

Hope you’d enjoyed this week’s logos! And if you want to see more, you can find all the designers at Behance!

See you next time!

(These Works are displayed here because they are licensed as Creative Commons – Attribution by their designers, and for the sole purpose of inspiring and promoting design)

Article publié pour la première fois le 01/10/2012

logo-inspirations-4

Inspirational Logo Designs of the Week #4

Hello and welcome to our fresh logo inspiration series! I hope you will find most of this week’s logos interesting, refreshing and inspiring. And if you are not a designer i hope that they will draw your attention, and begin to appreciate the beauty and the work involved behind corporate design.

Hope you’d enjoyed this week’s logos! And if you want to see more, you can find all the designers at Behance!

See you next time!

(These Works are displayed here because they are licensed as Creative Commons – Attribution by their designers, and for the sole purpose of inspiring and promoting design)

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/10/2012

epsilon

Making A Good Impression – The Importance Of A Business Card

It’s easy to assume that the digital age has killed off the need for business cards. It’s an easy assumption but it’s not a true one. In these high-tech, high speed days when meetings happen in cyberspace and you don’t have to go into the office to get your work done anymore – it’s increasingly difficult for traditional ways of marketing to survive. Yet, the humble business card has and continues to do so. There are several important reasons for this.

The first is that no matter how technologically obsessed we become, there is still nothing as effective as face-to-face contact, says FourthSource.com journalist Paul Lewis. Direct marketing will always, always trump digital promotion because people love to communicate. There are far more creative options involved with designing and creating a business card and it remains the perfect way to quickly showcase and identify a business. The advantages to using business cards are many and those that take heed of them are bound to come off better than those who don’t. Here’s why you should keep putting your business faith in that little square of card tucked in your wallet.

Direct Marketing Is King

Direct marketing will never be less effective than digital promotion. We may spend most of our time on iPhones and iPads these days, but we still love to chat – in person, with another physically present human being. Nothing will change that. According to Forbes journalist Carol Kinsey Goman, it takes just seven seconds to form an impression of somebody. If you can charm a potential client in person within seven seconds – you’ve got that client in your pocket. They’ll be much more sure of your value if they’ve their impression in person. Remember to keep things as informal as possible when offering an individual a business card. You don’t want to be pressuring them, you just want to be handing them an unexpected opportunity.

Business Cards Are Timeless 

Extremely well designed business cards are timeless. They will not go ‘out of style’ or look out of date like computer technology so frequently does. There are, of course, many advantages to using digital software but one of the biggest downsides is that it ages so quickly. Software that was top of the range last year can look utterly down market this year, simply because it’s old. Graphic design changes with time too, but not nearly as fast and not nearly as dramatically. A good business card design will stand the test of time.

The Price Is Right

Experts at the E-Design Group, point out that business cards a cheap way to promote your company. Considering all of their benefits, they’re incredibly cost effective. They’re very small, very light and easy to carry around. The cost of a great graphic design is bound to be the biggest expense – the printing and the paper are next to nothing these days.

So Many Options

There’s just an endless list of options you can take when designing and creating a business card. Nobody said that yours had to be made out of paper – many companies now craft their cards out of oak, Perspex, plastic and aluminium. They emboss their cards, they gild them with gold leaf, they even make their cards into tiny leaflets or pop up items. The only limit when it comes to designing an unforgettable business card is your imagination. As per associates Print My Pixel, if you’re concerned about the relationship between technology and clients – why not put a QR code on your business card? It’s an amazingly easy way to incorporate both direct and digital marketing.

Article publié pour la première fois le 12/07/2013

7

How to design a comprehensive annual report

What is an annual report?

An annual report is a comprehensive report on a company’s activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested people information about the company’s activities and financial performance. They may be considered as grey literature. Most jurisdictions require companies to prepare and disclose annual reports, and many require the annual report to be filed at the company’s registry. Companies listed on a stock exchange are also required to report at more frequent intervals (depending upon the rules of the stock exchange involved)

5Typical annual reports will include:

Other information deemed relevant to stakeholders may be included, such as a report on operations for manufacturing firms or corporate social responsibility reports for companies with environmentally or socially sensitive operations. In the case of larger companies, it is usually a sleek, colorful, high-gloss publication.

The details provided in the report are of use to investors to understand the company’s financial position and future direction. The financial statements are usually compiled in compliance with IFRS and/or the domestic GAAP, as well as domestic legislation (e.g. theSOX in the U.S.).

In the United States, a more-detailed version of the report, called a Form 10-K, is submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A publicly held company may also issue a much more limited version of an annual report, which is known as a “wrap report.” A wrap report is a Form 10-K with an annual report cover wrapped around it.

What is the best software to create my annual report?

While most of people tend to use MS Word is not such a great choice. The end result look unpolished and let’s face it, a bit out of fashion. You might want to have more flexibility while creating & formatting your tables, text and charts. According my opinion Adobe Indesign is the best tool for any job that involves designing documents more than 6 pages long. Here is why:

4Adobe Indesign has Master Pages

So you could quickly make changes to the layout of entire sections, by editing a single Master Page. You have second thoughts on where the page numbering should go? Or the repeated page elements? Change the master pages & the changes will affect all pages of that section.

It has Paragraph & Character Styles

Character & paragraph styles can help you define the formatting attributes that will be applied to the various text elements of your business plan. If for example you want to change the color or size or font of the titles, simply adjust the appropriate paragraph style and all other titles that share this paragraph style will get updated automatically document wide. Unlike MS Word you also get to use expert & advanced typography features that will make your text more attractive & easier to read.

Global Swatches

You are about to finish and you realize that you don’t really like the blue color you put everywhere? If you properly implemented global swatches in your Indesign document you can change the entire color scheme by simply changing the global swatch!

tocTable of Contents

Its possible to have your table of contents generated automatically by indesign, and then get easily format it with your paragraph or character styles. So if you make a few changes in the section titles you can then automatically update the table of contents, to match your changes.

Editable vector charts

You can fully edit vector charts in Indesign, change their colors & shape and place them exactly where you want them to be.

What if I don’t know how to use Indesign?

In this case you can either hire a professional designer, or use a template that includes some or all of these features. Editing a well designed template in Indesign is almost like editing a document in MS Word. You simply type or copy/paste your text and it automatically retain the appearance the designer had intended by inheriting the used paragraph style. Also adding your own images is a matter of drag and dropping them. To do more than that you will need a working knowledge of Indesign. But since you are dealing with a ready made template, you can go by with a very minimal Indesign knowledge. Luckily for you the designer did all the hard work 😉

Resources:

Annual Report Template r1 – A4 Portrait

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.

Business Plan Template - A4 Portrait by Spyros Thalassinos (13)

How to Create an Effective Business Plan

What is a business plan?

A business plan is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them. It may also contain background information about the organization or team attempting to reach those goals.

Business plans may target changes in perception and branding by the customer, client, taxpayer, or larger community. When the existing business is to assume a major change or when planning a new venture, a 3 to 5 year business plan is required, since investors will look for their annual return in that time-frame. A good business plan is about 40-48 pages long. More than that and you risk tiring your potential investors.

How the audience influence the content?

Business Plan Template - A4 Portrait by Spyros Thalassinos (11)Business plans may be internally or externally focused. Externally focused plans target goals that are important to external stakeholders, particularly financial stakeholders. They typically have detailed information about the organization or team attempting to reach the goals. With for-profit entities, external stakeholders include investors and customers. External stake-holders of non-profits include donors and the clients of the non-profit’s services. For government agencies, external stakeholders include tax-payers, higher-level government agencies, and international lending bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, various economic agencies of the United Nations, and development banks.

Internally focused business plans target intermediate goals required to reach the external goals. They may cover the development of a new product, a new service, a new IT system, a restructuring of finance, the refurbishing of a factory or a restructuring of the organization. An internal business plan is often developed in conjunction with a balanced scorecard or a list of critical success factors. This allows success of the plan to be measured using non-financial measures. Business plans that identify and target internal goals, but provide only general guidance on how they will be met are called strategic plans.

Operational plans describe the goals of an internal organization, working group or department. Project plans, sometimes known as project frameworks, describe the goals of a particular project. They may also address the project’s place within the organization’s larger strategic goals.

Business Plan Template - A4 Portrait by Spyros Thalassinos (12)Business plans are decision-making tools. The content and format of the business plan is determined by the goals and audience. For example, a business plan for a non-profit might discuss the fit between the business plan and the organization’s mission. Banks are quite concerned about defaults, so a business plan for a bank loan will build a convincing case for the organization’s ability to repay the loan. Venture capitalists are primarily concerned about initial investment, feasibility, and exit valuation. A business plan for a project requiring equity financing will need to explain why current resources, upcoming growth opportunities, and sustainable competitive advantage will lead to a high exit valuation.

Preparing a business plan draws on a wide range of knowledge from many different business disciplines: finance, human resource management, intellectual property management, supply chain management, operations management, and marketing, among others. It can be helpful to view the business plan as a collection of sub-plans, one for each of the main business disciplines.

How should i format it?

The format of a business plan depends on its presentation context. It is common for businesses, especially start-ups, to have three or four formats for the same business plan.

An “elevator pitch” is a short summary of the plan’s executive summary. This is often used as a teaser to awaken the interest of potential investors, customers, or strategic partners.

A pitch deck is a slide show and oral presentation that is meant to trigger discussion and interest potential investors in reading the written presentation. The content of the presentation is usually limited to the executive summary and a few key graphs showing financial trends and key decision making benchmarks. If a new product is being proposed and time permits, a demonstration of the product may be included.

business-plan-11A written presentation for external stakeholders is a detailed, well written, and pleasingly formatted plan targeted at external stakeholders.

An internal operational plan is a detailed plan describing planning details that are needed by management but may not be of interest to external stakeholders. Such plans have a somewhat higher degree of candor and informality than the version targeted at external stakeholders and others.

Typical structure for a business plan for a start up venture

  • cover page and table of contents
  • executive summary
  • mission statement
  • business description
  • business environment analysis
  • SWOT analysis
  • industry background
  • competitor analysis
  • market analysis
  • marketing plan
  • operations plan
  • management summary
  • financial plan
  • attachments and milestones

Typical questions addressed by a business plan for a start up venture

  • What problem does the company’s product or service solve? What niche will it fill?
  • What is the company’s solution to the problem?
  • Who are the company’s customers, and how will the company market and sell its products to them?
  • What is the size of the market for this solution?
  • What is the business model for the business (how will it make money)?
  • Who are the competitors and how will the company maintain a competitive advantage?
  • How does the company plan to manage its operations as it grows?
  • Who will run the company and what makes them qualified to do so?
  • What are the risks and threats confronting the business, and what can be done to mitigate them?
  • What are the company’s capital and resource requirements?
  • What are the company’s historical and projected financial statements?

Typical uses of a business plan

  • Venture capital
    • Venture capital assessment of business plans – focus on qualitative factors such as team.
    • Business plan contests – provides a way for venture capitalists to find promising projects.
    • The better the business plan, the better your chances of landing that big initial investment.
  • Within corporations
    • Fundraising is the primary purpose for many business plans, since they are related to the inherent probable success/failure of the company risk.
    • Total quality management (TQM) is a business management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. TQM has been widely used in manufacturing, education, call centers, government, and service industries, as well as NASA space and science programs.
    • Management by objectives (MBO) is a process of agreeing upon objectives (as can be detailed within business plans) within an organization so that management and employees agree to the objectives and understand what they are in the organization.
    • Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy, including its capital and people. Business plans can help decision makers see how specific projects relate to the organization’s strategic plan.
  • Education
    • Business plans are used in some primary and secondary programs to teach economic principles. Wikiversity has a Lunar Boom Town project where students of all ages can collaborate with designing and revising business models and practice evaluating them to learn practical business planning techniques and methodology.

Business-Plan-Template----Style-1dWhat is the best software to create my business plan?

While most of people tend to use MS Word is not such a great choice. The end result look unpolished and let’s face it, a bit out of fashion. You might want to have more flexibility while creating & formatting your tables, text and charts. According my opinion Adobe Indesign is the best tool for any job that involves designing documents more than 6 pages long. Here is why:

Adobe Indesign has Master Pages

So you could quickly make changes to the layout of entire sections, by editing a single Master Page. You have second thoughts on where the page numbering should go? Or the repeated page elements? Change the master pages & the changes will affect all pages of that section.

It has Paragraph & Character Styles

Character & paragraph styles can help you define the formatting attributes that will be applied to the various text elements of your business plan. If for example you want to change the color or size or font of the titles, simply adjust the appropriate paragraph style and all other titles that share this paragraph style will get updated automatically document wide. Unlike MS Word you also get to use expert & advanced typography features that will make your text more attractive & easier to read.

Global Swatches

You are about to finish and you realize that you don’t really like the blue color you put everywhere? If you properly implemented global swatches in your Indesign document you can change the entire color scheme by simply changing the global swatch!

Table of Contents

Its possible to have your table of contents generated automatically by indesign, and then get easily format it with your paragraph or character styles. So if you make a few changes in the section titles you can then automatically update the table of contents, to match your changes.

Editable vector charts

You can fully edit vector charts in Indesign, change their colors & shape and place them exactly where you want them to be.

Business-Plan-Template----Style-1fWhat if I don’t know how to use Indesign?

In this case you can either hire a professional designer, or use a template that includes some or all of these features. Editing a well designed template in Indesign is almost like editing a document in MS Word. You simply type or copy/paste your text and it automatically retain the appearance the designer had intended by inheriting the used paragraph style. Also adding your own images is a matter of drag and dropping them. To do more than that you will need a working knowledge of Indesign. But since you are dealing with a ready made template, you can go by with a very minimal Indesign knowledge. Luckily for you the designer did all the hard work 😉

Resources:

Business Plan Template – A4 Portrait

Business Plan Template – US Letter

Business Plan Template – A4 Portrait & US Letter

This Articles’ text is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA License since it partially uses material from Wikipedia.