I’m sorry but… April 14, 2011Posted by wooddickinson in Change, Hope, shared vision.
Tags: Barack Obama, Business, change, Democratic Party (United States), Entrepreneur, Future, Home mortgage interest deduction, Internal Revenue Service, NPR, Sales tax, Small business, Startup company, Tax, Think, United States, Wood Dickinson
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I listened to the news today and that, along with the speech made on April 13th by Obama, leaves me feeling very pessimistic about this country. Once again the Democrats wage war on “wealthy” Americans. The problem as Obama sees it, we don’t tax enough and we can keep spending at the current rates as long as we justtax people more.
OK…tax those that own small businesses and tax those who invest in the economy and take the risk, monetarily, to help drive the economy (that ultimately creates jobs). Just have the Feds create more jobs instead. Let’s just ramp up the old class warfare argument. I have to ask, where is the bipartisan? When did it become a crime in the USA to make money? Don’t people who make money spend it? If they don’t then aren’t jobs lost and local economies hurt?
Call me stupid but I don’t see how raising taxes on anyone works. It promotes the idea that middle class people and poor people (especially those who are unmotivated to work) should get part of the success of hard-working Americans who have made a few bucks. I’m not talking about our billionaires in this country or even those with 10 million and up in assets. Does anyone really think a person who has saved up 2 or 3 million dollars through hard work are “the rich!”
Why oh why can’t we just for this one time seriously cut government spending. Roll it back to pre 9/11 levels. Defund all non-essential and repetitive programs. Yes, The National Endowment for the Arts and NPR are non essentials. I’m an artist, writer, filmmaker and I have never used any federal money. States can offer tax credits (again back to NOT paying taxes) to attract filmmakers.
I do believe that true solutions to problems are usually simpler than the solutions dreamed up and implemented. The same is true here. End the IRS, stop federal taxes both personal and corporate, institute a national sales tax and I bet you’d have more than enough money. I know, the problem is EVERYONE would pay tax now. This would hurt the poor. Right? Well they are being hurt now with state and local sales tax. Exempt food and other essential items. This way everyone pays even all the gray market workers. Even the criminals!
Taking away the deduction for giving to non-profits by really wealthy people will hurt all those agencies trying to help society. Giving is already down. Go ahead and remove an incentive. You might say the rich should give regardless the deduction. Do you? The government by its tax rules shape how we act. They want us to save they create IRAs and 401Ks. They don’t want us to buy a house, remove the mortgage deduction.
Just think about it. Republican or Democrat I don’t care. I’m an independent and I’m sick of the excuses.
Top 10 Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Writing a Business Plan November 23, 2010Posted by wooddickinson in consulting.
Tags: Business, Business plan, change, Consulting, Entrepreneur, fear, Small business, Startup company, Target market, Think, Wood Dickinson, Work
Writing a business plan is often a crucial first step to getting your start-up off the ground. A good plan can help you raise money, recruit members of your management team, set your marketing strategy and, perhaps best of all, refine your thinking. A plan riddled with errors? That can sink you. Here are 10 mistakes that entrepreneurs frequently make when crafting their business plans, according to Akira Hirai, a consultant in California who advises start-up companies on elements of business-plan writing, including competitive analysis and financial forecasting.
Being All Things to All People
You cannot expect a business plan to appeal to every possible audience. With this in mind, try to pick one business model, and to focus on one industry or one problem. Otherwise, you risk spreading yourself too thin, and potentially creating a sprawling plan that makes a bad first impression.
If a potential client gets two pages into your plan and is bored, that’s a terrible sign. It is important to have the reader interested right from the executive summary on the very first page. And don’t neglect your cover page: a well-designed logo never hurts.
Measuring the Size of the Market Too Optimistically
Although it may seem impressive if you project vast markets and the potential for huge sums of revenue, outsize financial estimates often appear gimmicky to investors. Worse, big numbers often make you sound as if you don’t know what you’re doing or how hard it will be to penetrate your target market. Don’t make big promises unless you’re absolutely sure you can keep them.
Lacking the Confidence to Sell Your Product
In an effort to portray confidence, too many business plans ignore the competition that a new business will face. Doing so betrays a lack of sophistication. Few if any ideas face zero competition. Even if your concept is completely original, you should take into account forces that compete with your product or service, including different solutions to a problem, different ways that customers might choose to spend their money, and inertia in the marketplace.
Repeating Yourself Too Much
Avoid repeating a few catchphrases and a few simple ideas in ten different formulations. Nobody wants to hear the same thing over and over again. Be sure to keep your plan’s fundamental message consistent throughout, but employ creative language and appealing imagery to flesh out your ideas.
Using Too Much Jargon
Remember that not everyone in business is familiar with cross-industry lingo. If you have a background in a specific industry – this is especially true in science and engineering – try to use simple, specific, and concrete phrases to describe your business. Rely on general terms that most everybody will understand.
Not Being Consistent
Eliminate contradictions. Make sure that the information in your plan is consistent — that, for example, a financial chart deep within the plan does not undermine a fact used in an earlier section. Make absolutely certain that every fact about your industry, the market, and key competitors is accurate and readily verifiable.
Failing to Incorporate Feedback
Presenting a business plan about which you have not received feedback is an easy amateur mistake to make. Remember: Presenting to a top investor a draft business plan that contains silly errors or gaps in logic is worse than presenting no plan at all. Try reaching out to a few friendly contacts who have vetted business plans in the past before you begin to share it with qualified potential investors. However….
Taking Too Many Perspectives Into Account
…Do not go so overboard in anticipating lines of questioning or identifying possible flaws in your thinking that a reader will have a hard time following the narrative thread. Make sure you address some likely investor objections, but balance the desire to be clear-eyed with the overall objective, which is to make a persuasive pitch.
Failing to Acknowledge the Competition
Successful plans come in all shapes and sizes and formats, so don’t worry about crafting one that looks and reads exactly like every other plan that’s out there. Your goal isn’t to fit in; you want your business plan to stand out. Remember: If you create a proposal that expresses your idea and your personality, you will be more comfortable and confident when you are called on to present it.