Free Yourself, Be an Entreprenuer

“I QUIT!” Do you wish for that day when you can stick your face at your boss’s and just say those words out loud instead of repeating them everyday in your mind whenever your boss takes credit for the work it took you hours to do and ideas that were plainly yours?

It can take forever to get promoted; salaries are low, while office politics can be toxic. Not to mention your boss’s bad breathe. And no matter how many times they tell you to have fun and be enthusiastic, work just feels like work and not play. That’s why they call it work, isn’t it? Maybe you can liberate yourself. Maybe it’s time you went out on your own. BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

DO YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES?

FINANCES – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the inflow of the money should be greater than your outflow. Before anything else calculate the expenses you will incur in terms of resources you will need, salaries you’ll need to pay, rentals, and payments—EVERYTHING down to the details. Then figure out how you will market and advertise your product to reach your target audience and make them shower you with money.

LEADERSHIP – Having your own business will bring with it a different set of stresses altogether. You’ll be the boss, steer the ship and you will be in charge of, well, EVERYTHING. You can delegate and people will be under your command of course. You will be in charge of the jobs of most likely several other people who will rely on your leadership. Can you handle the responsibility? Can you take the stress?

COMPETITIVENESS – Do you like to win games and contests? Do you have the ability to learn from failure, not willing to give up because of setbacks and obstacles but tend to get challenged and begin again when necessary? Do you have the desire to achieve? Do you want to wipe out the competition like a tsunami on the shores of Japan?

ROLE MODEL – Entrepreneurs who succeed have seen and know how others have done it, they seek mentors to teach them how to manage the business. Not everything can be learned from books. Entrepreneurs seek the inspiration, motivation and example of others they look highly upon.

TRAINING – Ever since you were born, you were exposed to hard work and encouraged to achieve. Your dad taught you discipline and responsibility, you watched him grow from being a sales man to having a business of his own too.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES – This is your element. This is fun to you. The potential success of your business enterprise drives you, makes you drool like a dog, wag your tail and makes you just plain enthusiastic and energetic about what you do.

CREATIVITY – Lastly, can you think out of the box? Entrepreneurs are a breed outside the rest. They are self-starters and can think like lone wolves and not sheep or herds of cow. Can you understand problems to the core? Can you look at the problems from either an expanded or focused perspective and find the solutions each time deductively, inductively or however it takes?

You’re not an entrepreneur yet unless you are successful. An entrepreneur is defined as someone who “creates wealth by owning and managing a business profitably out of limited resources.” Remember, it’s you who are the boss this time, and you can’t just quit.

Working as an Internet Store Manager – How Ecommerce Can Make You Big Money

In spite of the failure of many high-profile dot-com companies in the early 2000s, many online businesses have continued to survive and thrive. These “etailers” have adapted to the constantly changing technology, economic climate, business trends, and consumer demands, instead of concentrating on fast growth and offering the lowest prices.

Reports by research firm Jupiter Communications show that consumers are using Internet stores to do comparison shopping; a significant number of consumer research products online before buying them at traditional stores. Jupiter Communications predicts that the amount spent by consumers for online purchases and Web-influenced purchases at traditional stores will top $831 billion in 2005.

Because of the vastness of the Internet, the role of an Internet store manager or entrepreneur can vary as much as the numerous websites on the Internet. Expert opinion on what makes one website or one business more successful than another differs, too. E-commerce is a new and relatively unexplored field for entrepreneurs. But, because most entrepreneurs have innovative and creative natures, this uncertainty and uncharted territory is what they love.

Like traditional entrepreneurs, Internet entrepreneurs must have strong business skills. They come up with ideas for an Internet product or service, research the feasibility of selling this product or service, decide what they need to charge to make a profit, determine how to advertise their business, and even arrange for financing for their business if necessary. In addition, Internet entrepreneurs are typically computer savvy and may even create and maintain their own sites.

Some entrepreneurs may choose to market a service, such as website design, to target the business-to-business market. Other Internet entrepreneurs may decide to market a service, such as computer dating, to target the individual consumer market. Still others may develop a “virtual store” on the Internet and sell products that target businesses or individual consumers.

Internet stores vary in size, items for sale, and the range of products. Smaller Internet stores, for example, may market the work done by a single craftsperson or businessperson. Many large Internet stores focus on selling a specific product or line of products. As some of these stores have grown they have diversified their merchandise. Amazon.com is one such example. Originally a small, online bookstore, the company now sells music, videos, household items, and electronic products, in addition to books. Other Internet stores, such as those of Eddie Bauer and Sears, may be extensions of catalog or traditional brick-and-mortar stores. These large companies are generally so well established that they can employ Internet store managers to oversee the virtual store.

Many Internet businesses begin small, with one person working as the owner, manager, webmaster, marketing director, and accountant, among other positions. Those who want to start their own businesses on the Web must be very focused and self-motivated. Just like any other entrepreneur, they always need to keep an eye on the competition to see what products and services as well as prices and delivery times others offer. While Internet entrepreneurs do not need to be computer whizzes, they should enjoy learning about technology so that they can keep up with new developments that may help them with their businesses. Internet entrepreneurs must also be decision makers, and many are drawn to running their own businesses because of the control it offers.

The typical day of the Internet store manager or entrepreneur will depend greatly on the company he or she works for. Someone who works for a large company that also has a Web store, for example, may meet with company department heads to find out about upcoming sales or products that should be heavily advertised on the website. They may do research about the store use and report their findings to company managers. They may work on the site itself, updating it with new information.

The Internet entrepreneur also has varied responsibilities that depend on his or her business. No two projects and no two days are alike. An entrepreneur may spend one day working with a client to determine the client’s needs and the next day working on bookkeeping and advertising in addition to working on a project. Most entrepreneurs, however, enjoy this variety and flexibility.

While the Internet world is appealing to many, there are risks for those who start their own businesses. The Internet changes so rapidly that in five years it may be entirely different. Despite uncertainties, however, Web stores continue to open and the number of Internet store managers and entrepreneurs continues to grow.

College Training and Certification Necessary to Become an Internet Store Manager

If you are considering becoming an Internet store manager or entrepreneur, there are a number of classes you can take to help prepare you for these careers. Naturally you should take computer science courses to give you a familiarity with using computers and the Web. Business and marketing courses will also be beneficial for you. Also, take mathematics, accounting, or bookkeeping classes because, as an entrepreneur, you will be responsible for your company’s finances.

Take history classes to learn about economic trends and psychology classes to learn about human behavior. A lot of advertising and product promotion has a psychological element. Finally, take plenty of English classes. These classes will help you develop your communication skills, which will be vital to your work as a store manager or business owner.

College Training

Although there are no specific educational requirements for Internet store managers or entrepreneurs, a college education will certainly enhance your skills and chances for success. Like anyone interested in working for or running a traditional business, take plenty of business, economics, and marketing and management classes. Your education should also include accounting or bookkeeping classes. Keep up with computer and Internet developments by taking computer classes. Some schools offer classes on ecommerce. Many schools have undergraduate degree programs in business or business administration, but you can also enter this field with other degrees.

Licensing For Ecommerce

Licenses may be required for running a business, depending on the type of business. Since requirements vary, you will need to check with local and state agencies for regulations in your area.

Other Requirements

Internet entrepreneurs and store managers must have the desire and initiative to keep up on new technology and business trends. Because they must deal with many different people in various lines of work, they need to be flexible problem solvers and have strong communication skills.

Creativity and insight into new and different ways of doing business are qualities that are essential for an entrepreneur to be successful. In addition, because the Internet and e-commerce are relatively new and the future of Internet businesses is uncertain, those who enter the field are generally risk-takers and eager to be on the cutting edge of commerce and technology. This is not a job for someone looking for security. The Internet world is always changing. This is both exciting and scary to me as a businessperson. This is one career where you are not able to see where you will be in five years.

Get a Quick Start to Small Business Ownership: Generate Profits and Success Faster by Buying an Existing Business

There has been considerable attention paid to the challenges and pitfalls of starting a small business from scratch. It is certainly true that the first few years of a new business can be very challenging and, in most cases, unprofitable. While being able to create a business’ culture and operating systems from the beginning can be a big plus for an entrepreneur, there is a lot to be said for letting someone else handle the start-up headaches.

Buying an Existing Business can be a Smart Alternative

Any entrepreneur wishing to start a small business should consider purchasing an existing one before taking the plunge into the start-up fray. An existing business usually has a client / customer base in place and operating systems that, if not effective, can serve as a foundation for improvement. There are also vendor relationships established and a certain amount of good will in the community that are important considerations.

The key to purchasing an existing small business is to spend the time needed to ensure that it has a reasonably solid financial and operating structure in place and has a decent reputation in the community. Here are four things to consider before purchasing an existing small business.

Purchase the Business Assets, Not the Business

It is always best to purchase a business’ assets and create a new corporation or entity as opposed to buying the business itself. This will create a better tax position because the taxes will be based on the selling amount, not what the seller spent on the business’ resources. Also, purchasing just the assets protects the buyer from responsibility for any liabilities or law suits carried by the seller. With this in mind, it is also important to obtain an indemnity from the seller which further protects the buyer from actions taken by the seller prior to the sale.

Perform Due Diligence to Ensure that the Business is on Reasonably Sound Footing

It is imperative to review the seller’s accounting, operating, and marketing information to determine the business’ viability and potential for expansion. Reviewing accounting spreadsheets such as balance sheets and profit and loss statements can by very useful, and take a close look at staffing, office expenses, and marketing materials to estimate overhead costs. The seller will require the signing of a “nondisclosure” statement to ensure confidentiality of the information, but any buyer should be able to access financial and operational information. If it is refused, beware!

Determine How the Accounts Receivables, Prepaid Expenses, and Office Leasing Will be Handled

Discuss how the accounts receivables will be handled. The seller may want to keep them or they can be included in the sale of the business at a reduced rate to account for any defaults that may occur. It is also important to discuss any prepaid agreements that the seller has made such as insurance or advertising. The arrangements for handling these agreements need to be addressed upfront. Also, find out about the lease arrangements to determine if it is reasonable to assume responsibility for the current lease or negotiate a new one. It may also be more efficient to move the business to a different location.

Develop Letter of Intent

This document can be very useful in spelling out the primary terms of the sale such as purchase price, identification of specific assets being included, and the transition process from seller to buyer. It will also include non-compete language which protects the buyer from the seller opening up a new business and becoming a competitor. The letter of intent helps to create good faith between the seller and buyer and will make the development of the actual contract easier.

Determine if Employees Will Remain with the Business after the Sale

Losing important employees at the point of sale would be very compromising to the buyer. Therefore, negotiate with the seller to meet with employees to determine their interest in remaining with the business, at least for a period of time. This will reduce the likelihood of being caught off-guard by a mass exodus of employees.

Be Methodical in Purchasing an Existing Business

Buying an existing business can be the right thing to do if the priority is to become operable and profitable quickly. However, it will also require larger financial resources upfront or, at least, the ability to borrow money for the purchase. Every entrepreneur’s situation is different, so it is well worth the time to determine if purchasing an existing business is practical or if starting from scratch is the best avenue to take.

What Basically is an Entrepreneur?

There are a lot of things that you use daily but do not know how to make it. For example, Toothbrush, Toothpaste and others just to start with. Thank the entrepreneurs who make these products for you. They are the ones who take care of each and every process before the product reaches you.

The word Entrepreneur has many different meanings. If you really wish to know what it exactly means, keep on reading this article.

An entrepreneur is a person who takes all the risks and responsibilities that are involved in a business before and while undertaking the business. The entrepreneur always wants to make a profit, irrespective of the size, scope, area, risks, etc. of the business.

The entrepreneur takes all the risks and hence, he must be rewarded with the profits. The business decisions relating to the selection of the product to make, the promotion of the product, the making of the product, the marketing of the product, etc. all has to be taken care of by the entrepreneur.

There is no one who can predict whether a business will be a success or a failure. If the business goes in profits, the businessman is the one who will get the maximum reward. But, if the business goes in a loss, he will have to bear all the losses.

Taking all the responsibilities and the risks involved in a business is not a thing that every individual will even like to do, forget taking the risk. The primary objective of an entrepreneur is to make profit irrespective of what the business is related to, irrespective of what is the size of the business, etc.

Huge profits can be earned only with large businesses, while small businesses will help you to earn small profits. To choose between a small and a large business will be the responsibility of the entrepreneur. He will see to it that the business diversifies and increases.

The entrepreneur is the person who decides on the product or service that the company is going to produce, furnish, market and promote. The entrepreneur decides this after making a careful analysis of the demands of the people and by taking a risk in the untouched areas. This will take a long time before the entrepreneur can finally decide which product or service to offer after the research.

Next comes the time to organize all the resources that are required for the making, marketing and advertising of the product or service. Many experts believe that the most important thing that an entrepreneur does is organizing the resources. All other functions can be carried out by many other people, but organizing of the resources is the function that differentiates the entrepreneur from the common man.

The entrepreneur has to invest a lot of capital in the business for the furniture’s, machines, staff, etc. The furniture and the machines will be the assets of the company.

Another important function that comes here is selecting a work force that will be loyal to his business. The success of the business depends on the loyalty of the work force. The labor should work as a unit in order to make the business successful. There should not be disputes between different sections of the company.

The success or the failure of the business solely depends upon the entrepreneur.

Online Entrepreneurs for the New Decade

As online entrepreneur, a lot of friends asked me how to start and generate profits via online business. Where else, than all from blogging glory. There are steps to follow to guarantee blogging success. It’s a surefire, I myself have seen growing online businesses and continuously growing online business growing the same exact process.

Step 1: Find a need of everybody’s demand.
Most mistakes of the marketers are finding a product before they introduced in the market. In these cases, more often customers are actively on the look for your product online, and for sure you’ll never make a big hit. This is a surefire, and remember, the icing of the cake is to find a group of people with a common interest, problems they’re trying to solve and then resolve it for them.

Take some easy steps to explore your market

:• Go online forums and check what majority people inquire so you get to bottom of the issue
.• Conduct keywords to find out what your targeted viewers search within your niche
.• Be active in the community, potential customers are just around the corner, visiting other sites and join forums, take note of what they’re activities to fill their demands.

Step 2: Informative Newsletter.
Newsletter speaks about you and your product. It has to be credible as you are. Write a catchy headline. Convince your reader your matchless effort to resolve their demands, and prove your credibility why you can be trusted to solve the problem. Focus on how your business is unique and exceptional

:• Stimulating headline.
• Express your best to solve the problem.
• Prove your reliability and stand your sincerity.
• Fuel your newsletter with testimonies from people who’ve tried your product.
• Commend your product and speak well about the benefits you offer.
• Ensure a guarantee.• Show the importance of the needs of your product.
• Last, deal your sale.

Step 3: Set up a website.
Next, if you’ve got the sale, and running your own business, it’s time to build your authoritative blog. There are free services for a start like Blogger.com – a Google platform and Yahoo for small businesses. Create a friendly website, simple and clean.

Step 4: Promote your blog.
Get the benefits of the search engines when you can. Make your blog solid keyword research and include these keywords in the titles of your posts. Tag everywhere and try to get a listing on Digg.com, as well as del.icio.us, reddit.com and MySpace.com. More educational articles such as “how to” articles, are very popular.

Step 5: Keep in touch with your visitors.
In this course, you’ll reach new customers. And on a regular basis, in every site that posts your content will link back to your blog, and search engines realized links from related sites and will compensate a reward in the ranking level accordingly.

Whatever online business you choose, if you’re just starting out, it’s a surefire to stick to this process as your quick guide. Do a quick review and you can’t go wrong with the basics.

Author: Erlyn O. Santillan, Online Entrepreneur
Page Title: Online Entrepreneurs for the New Decade
Side Title: Erlyn Santillan, Online Entrepreneurs for the New Decade, Online Entrepreneurs

Owning a Profitable Small Business: What Does It Take to Become a Successful Entrepreneur?

A great deal of attention has been paid in recent years to the incredible opportunities that await new small business owners. Some of the benefits include: 1) being the boss; 2) not having to answer to anyone else; 3) making a fortune off of an innovative idea; 4) and working flexible hours. While becoming a small business entrepreneur can be all of these things, it is essential to examine closely what it will take to succeed before dedicating valuable resources to a new venture.

Successful Entrepreneurship Requires Attitude, Focus, and Perseverance

Small business entrepreneurship is not for the weak of heart or pocketbook. Entrepreneurs can be either gender, any race, pretty much any age, from any area of the country or world, or any socio-economic class. However, two broad characteristics that will identify any entrepreneur is absolute commitment to an idea and considerable confidence that the idea will generate a profitable product or service. Although there are a host of specific characteristics that define a successful entrepreneur, attitude, focus, and perseverance are at the top of the list.

Attitude

Why is attitude so important?

  • Attitude is the foundation from which everything else is generated. An entrepreneur must “know” that their innovative idea will be marketable and profitable and be prepared to do whatever it takes to be successful.
  • Halfhearted commitment to the new business venture will, most likely, spell doom for the entrepreneur. There may be times when a new small business owner is the only person who believes in the new venture with many people attempting to dissuade an entrepreneur from moving forward.
  • This does not suggest that entrepreneurs must be cocky or “hardheaded” about their dream as those characteristics will lead to carelessness and failure. The point here is that less than total commitment to an idea or concept will probably lead to self doubt and ultimately reconsideration, so a strong believe in the success of a new venture is critical.

Focus

Why is focus so important?

  • Attitude is not enough to make an entrepreneur successful. Small business ventures require the ability to focus on the objectives and understand what it will take to reach them. This is why business plans and other documents are so important because they help to keep a small business owner focused on the big picture and all of its pieces.
  • Distraction is the enemy of an entrepreneur. If a small business owner becomes sidetracked by new ideas or priorities that do not relate in a reasonable way to the initial idea that fuels the venture, focus will be lost and the business will fail. It is human nature to become excited about new possibilities or things and a bit bored with those that have been around for awhile. However, if an entrepreneur loses sight of the reason for being in business in the first place, the loss of focus will be devastating.
  • There is a difference between distraction and flexibility. Entrepreneurs must remain flexible to adjust to changing environments and new opportunities. Flexibility allows the small business owner to remain sensitive to emerging challenges and issues while remaining focused on the initial idea or concept. Distraction causes the entrepreneur to react to the seemingly endless list of potential priorities and ideas that will lead to muddled thinking and lack of focus.

Perseverance

Why is perseverance so important?

  • Perseverance is similar to focus but with a long-term perspective. There are those wild, wonderful stories of entrepreneurs becoming successful virtually overnight. While that does occur, any entrepreneur must instead prepare for a long, often arduous journey. A turtle better describes the small business process than a hare because attention must be paid to the process of building a business and then growing it steadily over time.
  • There are many people who will try to distract an entrepreneur from realization of the dream. It is generally true that the only person who really cares about the idea or dream is the person experiencing it. There are so many new and interesting things in the world to focus on; it is often easy to be pulled away from the purpose of the business, especially during difficult times. A successful entrepreneur will have the strength to stick to the dream or idea over a long period of time.

Being a Successful Entrepreneur is a Lifestyle, Not a Job

Small business ownership is hard work and requires a strong and positive attitude, focus, and perseverance. The successful entrepreneur will have all of these characteristics and will also understand that 9-5, Monday-Friday working hours will just not be sufficient to succeed. It is true that incredible opportunities can await an entrepreneur starting a new venture, but only through hard work, planning, and commitment to the dream.

Maximize Your Selling Effectiveness: Professional Selling – Make the Most of Your Time and Effort

The three great time wasters: administrative work, traveling, and waiting can eat into productive time. Although these activities are unavoidable, you can employ strategies to maximize your effectiveness and concentrate your time where it will do the most good.

Maintain Excellent Records

Get organized. Lack of organization is a big time waster. A jumble of papers in your briefcase isn’t a system. Complete records and a regular routine of logging important information will save time by allowing you to input information once but access it many times and in many ways. One concise entry into a contact management program can be used to organize selling strategies, schedule visits, and compile reports.

Learn How to Write Well

Salespeople are often called upon to create their own e-mails and write their own letters. The more comfortable you are with the written word, the more easily you will be able to perform these tasks quickly and well.

The days are long gone when a department secretary would take a scribbled idea and make it into a professional presentation. Struggling for 15 minutes to write a difficult paragraph is a poor use of your time, and the results of your effort will probably be disappointing. Poor writing appears unprofessional and reflects on your entire organization. Seminars and night classes are available that target business writing and offer accelerated methods for learning grammar and usage. You may even be able to arrange for a trainer to visit your business to conduct onsite training.

With better writing skills, some of the tasks that you dread will become less of a chore and you will be able to complete them more quickly and successfully.

Always Schedule Sales Calls Ahead of Time

Scheduling ahead cuts down on waiting time and allows you to group visits to a number of locations into one trip to save on energy costs. Preplanning visits can also give you an opportunity to strategize and prepare materials in advance.

Cut Back on Unnecessary On-Site Visits

Reduce premises visits if you can. Don’t plan a visit to conduct business that you can complete over the phone or via e-mail unless you have a good reason for doing so. If a sales call is necessary, plan your route with trip software in order to find the fastest and most economical way to travel.

Be Prepared and Take Time Where You Find It

When traveling, keep tools on hand that will help you keep up on administrative tasks. Waiting to get back to the office to catch-up can be hard to do without dropping the ball somewhere.

The more current you are with your repetitive tasks, the more latitude you will have in planning the most efficient use of your time. Airplanes, waiting rooms, and hotel rooms are all places that can burn up idle time. With the appropriate tools, many chores can be accomplished during time that would otherwise be wasted.

Put Your Time Where It’s Needed

Existing customers generate the greatest sales volume. Review your customer list to determine the best timeline for dealing with them. If you are in different time zones, consider modifying your schedule to adjust for the time change. Taking the extra initiative to make yourself available on their schedule will make you stand out and give you extra “effective” hours.

 

An effective salesman plans his time. The key to producing maximum return on time invested is to plan with the goal of incorporating efficiency into the mix. Careful planning can reduce the time spent on non-selling tasks and focus selling activities where they will be the most productive: on making the sale.

Five Steps to Cold Call Selling: A Process to Aid Perseverance for Success in Marketing by Phone

Selling over the phone requires repeated calls to uncover each prospect’s needs. A series of statements, a different one for each call, will advance the caller to a sale.

A key to keeping positive and motivated in sales, especially in the face of repeated “no interest” responses to cold calls by telephone, is to adopt the attitude advocated by sales training veteran Zig Ziglar. He writes and teaches that the salesperson should think of himself or herself as being not an adversary of the prospect but a colleague. The sales person should be figuratively sitting not across a desk from the prospect, but on the same side.

Sales Technique

The sales person should see his or her job as helping the prospect achieve an aim or overcome a problem. He or she should believe the product or service will be the solution to the prospect’s needs.

The most powerful sales technique is to educate the prospect, and education takes time and perseverance.

The sales person must take a genuine interest in the prospect and the prospect’s business by asking questions. The sales prospecting job is not to talk about the product or service. Instead, it is to listen to the prospect’s needs to be able to suggest solutions.

There is not much time to do that in a telephone sales call that should last only two minutes. To prevent frustration and discouragement, the sales person should remember he or she does not need to make a sale in one call. The ultimate objective is to make an appointment for a visit. The intermediate goal is to exchange information about the prospect’s business and the selling company.

Cold Call Scripts

This requires a series of calls.

Each call should add to the education of the sales person about the prospect, and of the prospect about the selling company and how its products or services can provide solutions to the prospect’s needs. To do that, the sales person needs a set of unique selling positions (USPs).

Sales trainer Paul S. Goldner, suggests a set of five, which are the five greatest strengths of the corporation or its product or service. The telephone sales person needs to develop a script around each one.

Benefits Statements

Corporate USPs are more powerful than product or service USPs in generating interest with a prospect, in Goldner’s experience. They help to answer the question in every prospect’s mid of he or she should buy from — i.e., trust — the company.

For a product or service, the USPs should describe benefits rather than features of the product or service. References in a script to the experiences of satisfied customers will help illustrate and give real-life evidence of a benefit.

Customer Relationship Management Software

The sales person should find common ground between the need or needs of the prospect to at least one of the USPs, Goldner writes in his book, red hot Cold Call Selling. That is one reason why several USPs are needed. The sales person should call each prospect regularly, introduce a different USP each time and log the response using customer relationship management (CRM) software. That way the sales person learns which USP interests the prospect and is relevant to the prospect’s needs..

Once the sales person has cycled through the USPs, it’s time to start again. If calls are made once every month or two, or at longer intervals, the prospect will probably have forgotten the USP in the first call, so it will sound different rather than irritatingly repetitive the next time.

Enhanced Sales Performance

Repeating the cycle of USP calls has another benefit in terms of enhancing sales performance. Just because a prospect is not interested this month or year doesn’t mean he or she will not be interested later. By making repeated calls, the sales person increases the chances of contacting the prospect when he or she is ready and able to buy.

Quit calling and the chance of that happening is zero.

Persistence pays. USPs are the vehicle to keep the sales person on track for maximum sales performance.

Project Report Format for Project Reporting: Effective Project Reports Tell Project Status and Project Progress

Effective project status reporting is to communicate situation and progress to all key stakeholders. It is a simple way to give out key project messages and information.

Delivering project messages and information is not only via a project report – it must be part of a concerted effort to communicate with stakeholders and positively engage them with the project. However, project reporting is a very effective tool for giving a consistent set of messages and accurate project progress to everyone at the same time.

Project Reporting

There are various guides to project reporting such as those advocated by PMI and PRINCE2. There are also other similar guides to project reporting such as CDC Unified Process Practices Guide: Project Status Reporting and the CDC notes: “Objectives of effective project status reporting include:

  • Improve communication of information within the project and across the organization
  • Simplify the process of gathering and disseminating project information
  • Ensure the stakeholders receive the necessary information
  • Communicate key messages about project progress
  • Improve organizational support for the project”

Project Status and Project Progress

The essence of a project report is to communicate key project status and project progress. An effective project report format is one that ensures the key content is gathered and delivered – regularly, clearly and concisely. Key content [perhaps structured in tables and succinct bullet points] includes:

  1. Summary of project status including whether it is on-track, slipping behind or ahead of schedule
  2. Summary of key risks and issues and any associated action plan
  3. Key project metrics such as progress versus original schedule and cost versus budget
  4. Work just finished, since last report
  5. Work that is still in progress and needs to be finished in this report period
  6. Work that will continue beyond this report period
  7. Work about to be started

Various templates are available for project reports – here is one example.

Project Reporting for Stakeholders

The actual content of the project reporting for stakeholders must be targeted appropriately and at the right level of detail including any sensitivity of some of the information, which means some report content should not be available to everyone. This needs to be determined by the project to ensure that the right information is delivered to the right people. Potential stakeholders include:

  • Senior Management
  • Project Board – key stakeholders identified as the steering team, usually with a vested interest
  • Project Team – including potentially matrix line managers who supply the project resource
  • Managers and business units actively participating in the project
  • Business units impacted by the project but not actively participating

Frequency and Type of Project Reporting

In addition to identifying the stakeholders it is important to define the frequency and type of communication and the most effective way is to combine written content [document, email or presentation] with verbal delivery [telephone conference or if circumstances permit in person]. The power of the verbal delivery is to both reinforce the written communication and offer an opportunity for questions and answers or to clarify any key points.

Project Reporting

Project reporting is a key component of stakeholder management and includes:

  1. Standard report format, using a template – for consistency of presentation, messages and information
  2. Targeted stakeholders for project report, with an identified frequency and type of communication

Time should be taken to do this properly and consequently it should be included within the tasks of project planning. The importance of frequent, clear and concise communication with stakeholders cannot be over-emphasised and because project reporting is an important component of that it is consequently an important component of project risk management.