Business Development & Conflict Resolution

We assist individuals with starting their own businesses because small business is key to economic independence and community sustainability.

Archive for the month “January, 2015”

The World’s Smallest But Largest Troublemaker (James 3:1–12)

Joe Quatrone, Jr.

big_tongueJames has explained to us two characteristics of the mature Christian: he is patient in trouble (James 1) and he practices the truth (James 2). In this section, he shares the third characteristic of the mature believer: he has power over his tongue.

A pastor friend told me about a member of his church who was a notorious gossip. She would “hang on the phone” most of the day, sharing tidbits with any and all who would listen.

She came to the pastor one day and said, “Pastor, the Lord has convicted me of my sin of gossip. My tongue is getting me and others into trouble.”

My friend knew she was not sincere because she had gone through that routine before. Guardedly he asked, “Well, what do you plan to do?”

“I want to put my tongue on the altar,” she replied with pious fervor.

Calmly my friend replied…

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How to Succeed in Business: How to Write a Good Business Plan? (Part III)

The Business Plan is the road map for operating one’s business. The business plan is made up of a set of objectives and goals to implement so that you can start and operate a business. The Business Plan can be used as a management tool to measure your progress once the business is started.

The main components of the Business Plan are:

  1. Description of your business.
  2. The Marketing Plan.
  3. The Management Plan.
  4. The Financial Management Plan.

The most important sections of the business plan to complete first are the mission statement, values statement, and goals for the business. The second most important part of the business plan to complete is the Marketing Plan.

The Marketing Plan answers the following questions concerning your “potential” business:

  • Is the business idea feasible or realistic?
  • What is the particular product or service your business will be offering?
  • What are the industry trends in your field of business?
  • Who are your competitors and what sets you apart from these competitors?
  • Who is your targeted customer?
  • How will you promote and advertise your products and services to get new customers?

The most important thing to know regarding the Marketing Plan section, of the Business Plan, is your “target market”. Your “target market” are the individuals and businesses who have a need for you products and services, and are willing to buy those products and services. The Marketing Plan will give the reader a brief description of your business’ products and services you provide, and how you will get them to your targeted customers. The Marketing Plan will show how, despite the growing market and competition, you can sell your products or services.   The Plan will also provide a general description of your ideal customer (target market) and the customers’ buying habits. The Marketing Plan should include your strategies for pricing, selling, and customer service. This section of the business plan will outline the research you have conducted in your business field to show that you have a clear understanding of your competitors and the industry.

The first section of the Marketing Plan is the description of the products and services offered by your business to your targeted market. In this section, you have to describe the products and services in great detail. You have to provide the potential customer with as much information as possible regarding the products and services your business offers. You have to include details describing the uniqueness of your product and services. It is good to give details about any special benefits or features of the product or service that your ideal customer may love. The “special feature” of the product or service is defined as something that differentiates your product or service from the competition. The “benefit” of the product or service is defined as what the customer will gain from buying your product or service.

The next section of the Marketing Plan is the description of the Industry Trends in your business field. You will let the reader of the business plan know that you have a have clear understanding of your business industry and what trends will affect and impact your business. This section of the Marketing Plan is also known as the market research or industry analysis section. This Marketing Plan section is essential to the whole Business Plan because the research conducted here will give you additional support and proof that you can start the business because it describes certain strategic opportunities your business can benefit from.

In the Industry Trends section of the Marketing Plan, you will give a description of the economic sector your business falls under. The four general economic sectors are as follows:

  • Retail;
  • Service;
  • Distribution; and
  • Manufacturing.

Next the Industry Trends section, will give the industry classification of your business. You typically place your industry classification under the NAICS codes which stand for North American Industry Classification System. Also, you will give a brief description of the life cycle of your business in this section. The business industries normally have four life cycles:

  • New Industries;
  • Expanding;
  • Stable; and
  • Declining.

Also, the Industry Trends will give a brief description of how similar businesses as yours are faring during different business’ seasons. Many businesses are always greatly affected by the seasonality because in some seasons they do well and in others they do poorly. With this seasonality analysis, you can determine which seasons to sell certain products or services; how the changes in seasons will affect or impact your business; and what to do during each different season concerning the selling of your products and services.

Here are the main seasons you need to consider concerning your business:

  • Holiday/Christmas;
  • Winter;
  • Spring;
  • Summer;
  • Fall; and
  • Other like Tax Season (April 15)

With the Industry Trends section of Marketing Plan, you have to look at the economic cycles that will impact your business and your industry. You have to determine how certain conditions will affect and impact the sale of your products and services to your ideal customers. Here are some major economic conditions that can affect and impact your business:

  • Growing unemployment;
  • Expanding economy;
  • Low consumer confidence;
  • Low interest rates;
  • High interest rates;
  • High inflation or rising prices; and
  • Weak dollar values in Overseas Markets.

With the Marketing Plan section of the Business Plan, it helps you determine whether or not your business idea is feasible. It gives you a general description of your business industry, your competition, and the industry trends in your business field. The Marketing Plan should be evaluated either once a year or twice a year because your products and services will always be changing and developing into something different and new. The Marketing Plan should always be revised so that you can always have a general understanding of what is popular in your industry and what is not popular.

In the next article in the “How to Write a Good Business Plan” series, we will discuss the following additional sections of the Marketing Plan: target market (target customers); marketing research; and competitor analysis.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

How to Succeed: What is True Wisdom?

Proverbs 2:2, “So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.” Proverbs 2:6,”For the Lord gives wisdom: out of His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:10-11,”V.10 When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul. V.11 Discretion shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you.”

God provides us with many life lessons in the Bible. God provided each of us with the “free will” to live by His commandments and teachings. If we choose to live by His commandments and teachings, we will have the ability to face any obstacle “head on” without hesitation. But, if we select to not live by God’s commandments or teachings, we run the risk of having a life full of turmoil and chaos.

In God’s eyes, a “wise man” is one who loves correction and loves to learn. A wise man will take the knowledge he has learned and apply it to his everyday life. A wise man has no issue with others giving him instruction and correction. A wise man has no problem with learning new things and obtaining new skills. He is one who is not afraid to admit that he does not know everything or when he is wrong about something.

“True wisdom” comes from exploring what life has to offer you. Wisdom is the understanding that there is a deeper connection to the true meaning of life. It is also knowing that God put you on this earth for a very important and significant reason. “True wisdom” is when you have the full grasp and understanding of what your God-given gifts and talents are.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

How to Succeed: Never Too Late to Learn!

Proverbs 1:2-5, 7,”v.2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding. V.3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity. V.4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. V.5 A wise man will hear and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsel. V. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:2-5, 7 teaches us the importance of studying and meditating on the Lord’s Word (the Bible). The Bible is the best tool one can use to gain understanding and knowledge about life. The Bible teaches you how to live the best life ever under the guidance of God. The Bible is a good educational tool on how to deal with everyday struggles that can be hard to handle on your own. The Bible provides you with life lessons that can be valuable tools to use.

One should never be afraid to gain more knowledge and skills to live the God-given life you deserve to have. Knowledge is a key tool to true happiness in life. They can take away your worldly possessions, but they cannot take away the knowledge you have stored in your brain. No matter what, always take the opportunity to learn new life skills to stay current, efficient, and effective. Knowledge is key to opening new doors in your life.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

How to Succeed: Wait for Instruction!

Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with mine eye.” No matter your age or level of education, it does not hurt to take a little instruction from others. God uses His Word (the Bible) as a tool to instruct us on how to live a holy life. An instructor or teacher, is there to teach us lessons that will beneficial to us in everyday life. A wise man loves to be taught and instructed in life. But, a foolish man does not like instruction, but has the belief that they know everything and has what it takes to survive life.

God provides us with instructions and lessons to ensure that we can navigate through life without major problems. I enjoy gaining more knowledge because it helps me to live the life God has destined me to live. I am not even afraid to obtain knowledge from young people, like my nieces, because they can teach me wonderful new things that can better my life and improve my life. Don’t be afraid to learn new things because you are never too old to be taught.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

How to Succeed, What Are You Afraid of?

Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 clearly states that we should not be afraid or fearful of anything because God is with us every step of the way. We should not be afraid or fearful of anything because God is watching over us every step of the way. We are covered by the “blood of Jesus Christ” against the schemes of the devil. The devil will do everything, in his power, to destroy you. But like Job, you must understand that no matter what the devil does to you, you are protected by the love and sacrifice of God. God’s son, Jesus Christ, died to ensure that we had a close relationship with God.

Ep. 6:10-20 gives clear instructions on how to beat the devil’s weapon of “being fearful and afraid.” You must put on the full armor of God to fight the devil’s weapon of “fear”. You must stay in the Word of God (the Bible) on a regular basis and read your Bible every day. Stay in the Lord’s Word morning and night to be prepared for the battle against the devil. Also, another tool from God that you must use to fight the devil is prayer, you should pray morning and night. You must fellowship with other Christians to have a good spiritual support system to battle against the devil. God has the commander, the Holy Spirit, directing His army, group of angels, on how to protect you against the devil’s weapon of “being afraid and fearful”.

Remember with the “full armor of God”, the “blood of Jesus Christ”, God’s Word (the Bible), and the Holy Spirit, you can beat the devil at his own game of making you afraid. What are you afraid of? You should not be afraid of anything because God is with you every step of the way.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

How to Succeed, Learn to Be Patient!

Psalm 37:7, 9 “v.7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him….” “v.9….Those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.” Waiting on God can be the hardest thing anyone has to do. In society, instant gratification is the norm and key to true happiness. Everything has to be done instantly and fast in society. People feel “the quicker the better” is the best policy to have in life because “time waits for no one”. No one has the time or patience to wait on anything.

But, God teaches his children that “patience is virtue”. God reminds us that His time is different from our time and He does things on His own timing. When you wait on God, you gain so much more in your life. If you try to move ahead of God, everything always seems to go wrong. You must learn to wait on God and see how much more you will gain. When you wait on God, the patience gives you time to think things through and know the right path to take to reach a certain goal.

Waiting on God means that you will inherit everything that He has promised to you and you will grow spiritually. Be patient and know that God will answer all of your prayers. God is with you every step of the way on this journey we call life.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

How to Succeed, Time to Renew Your Mind for 2015!

2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.” Sometimes it can be very hard to move forward and let the past go. Many people find it very difficult to cope with change and many individuals do not like to grow in their spiritual life. Imagine waking up one day and realizing your world has been turned upside down from a natural disaster, loss of a job, or death in the family. Some individuals find it very difficult to deal with such change because to them it’s too devastating and too scary. But for other individuals, it is just another bump in the road that they have to walk over to get to their destination. Many people believe and understand that with God, they can get through anything.

Sometimes change just happens and you just have to be prepared for it. You must remember that everything changes minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day, whether you are ready or not. Have to realize that with change comes new beginnings and new opportunities for you to grow spiritually and mentally. So, it is time to get your mind in gear for all the changes that God will be bringing to your personal life, social life, and professional life. Do not be afraid of change because God knows how much you can bear and how far you can go with change.

In Christ, you are becoming a new and better person each and every day. When you commit your life to Jesus Christ, you are no longer living the life you used to and you are becoming a new person in Christ. In Christ, your desire to do certain things or act in certain ways changes as well. In Christ, there is a renewing of the mind and renewing of who you are as an individual. Time to renew your mind for 2015 and do not be afraid of the new changes coming into your life. The year of 2015 has many wonderful things waiting for you to explore and learn.

Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience.  Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author. She has a few books in the works that will be published and released in the latter part of 2015. The books will focus on entrepreneurship, small business, and daily devotionals. She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) based in Baltimore, Maryland and has been in business since 2013. Services provided by FACMBC:  Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance (Limited Liability Company, Corporation, S-Corp, Limited Liability Partnership, etc.); Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance (MBE, WOSB, 8A, 501(c) (3), Hub Zone, etc.); and Business Organization Assistance. She is also a contributing writer to the Maryland Daily Examiner Newspaper. Donya Zimmerman has made article contributions to the Simply Inspirational Women in Business Journal for 2014 published by Dr. Cheryl Cottle. Contact information: dzimmerman36@gmail.com; www.facebook.com/FACMBC; www.twitter.com/FACMBC; https://dzimmerman36.wordpress.com; http://www.linkedin.com/in/dzbusconsultantandmediator

Many Topics, One Blog

How to organize your blog postings?

The Daily Post

We all deal with blogger’s block sometimes. But what about the opposite, when you have dozens of things you want to blog about? Are you going to turn your audience off by blogging on a range of topics? How can you have a focused brand if your posts are all over the map?

You had your focus all along!

Some blogs take a narrow look at a particular subject, because of the blogger’s interests and goals. Others are wide-ranging reflections of their authors’ interests. If that’s you, it doesn’t mean your blog has no focus — it means the focus is, essentially, your point of view.

(Does that sound self-centered? I think about it like this: I blog not because I think the world needs Michelle’s Precious Opinions*, but because telling my stories connects me to other people in a way that makes both our lives richer.)

*They are pretty great opinions, though.

We’re drawn to blogs…

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Teen To Be Honored For Saving The Life Of Arresting Officer

This is a nice story.

Black America Web

Jamal Rutledge (pictured center) will be honored by the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida police department for helping to save the life of Officer Franklin Foulks, who arrested him last September.  Thanks to the 17-year-old boy’s quick thinking, Foulks is alive today, according to CBS News.

While Foulks was processing Rutledge’s arrest for violating juvenile probation, he suddenly fell ill and collapsed. Without waiting one precious minute, Rutledge, who was handcuffed, began kicking the security fence while yelling out to anyone within hearing reach that Foulks needed immediate help.

Three officers who were nearby just happened to hear Rutledge’s ruckus and responded.  The trio administered CPR and used a defibrillator in order to electronically jump start Foulks’ heart.

According to Ft. Lauderdale police, the medical personnel that tended to Foulks noted that had it not been for Rutledge’s quick thinking and the officers’ actions, Foulks might not have survived the heart-related incident he suffered on…

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