Obtaining a D&B D-U-N-S Number As a Business Startup

It is important to update your company information in various data sources. Perhaps the most important of these is Dun & Bradstreet. A D&B D-U-N-S Number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for identifying and keeping track of over seventy million businesses worldwide. If you have not done so, you should register for your D-U-N-S Number, and if you are registered, update your information. Other data sources include federal, state, and local Web resource sites where your business may monitor contracting opportunities, vendor Web sites, and other e-commerce-related sites. It is important to change authorized users on these accounts, as well as all signature authorities, both with e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses and entities, such as your bank.

Registration in the Central Contractor Registration system, or CCR, is equally as important as registering for a D-U-N-S Number. For any small business owner interested in doing business with the federal government, you must be registered in the CCR. The CCR is the primary database of the Department of Defense (DoD), NASA, Department of Transportation (DoT), and Department of Treasury. Both current and potential government vendors are required to register in CCR to be awarded contracts with DoD, NASA, DoT, and Department of Treasury. Vendors are required to complete a one-time registration to provide basic information relevant to procurement and financial transactions. Vendors must update or renew their registrations annually to maintain an active status.

CCR validates the vendor’s information and electronically shares the secure and encrypted data with the federal agencies’ finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through electronic funds transfer. Additionally, CCR shares the data with several government offices. Registration does not guarantee business with the government.

The PRO-Net database maintained by the SBA has been integrated into the CCR, so small business owners interested in becoming part of PRO-Net must now register in CCR. Like the CCR, PRO-Net becomes the tool that federal agencies and prime contractors use to identify small businesses to engage as subcontractors, in addition to being a tool for marketing your small concern.

Prequalification of Your Contractors Ensures Compliancy and Reduces Risk

When one of Australia’s largest property developers implemented a contractor prequalification solution as part of their safety management process, they discovered that over 90% of contractors entering their sites were non-compliant. This was an unexpected, and unwelcome, result.

Unfortunately it’s not an uncommon one. Determining whether or not your contracting partners are up to date with all their insurance and workcover registration, if they have a compliant HSE system in place, can be a difficult and time-consuming task. But non-compliancy creates unacceptable risk.

A non-compliant contractor is an increased safety risk

What measures are you currently taking to determine whether or not your contractors have the correct insurance cover to carry out the work they do on your worksite – or if it’s up to date? If you’re like most companies, very little, if anything.But if a contracted worker is injured on your worksite, who would be responsible and who would cover the costs? Without the right cover, things can get sticky.

What should a contractor prequalification system do?

When you’re looking for a system to prequalify your contractors, there are a number of check boxes you be looking to tick.

Does the prequalification system:

Check company details?
Determine ABN?
Confirm correct and current insurance?
Check for Work cover registration?
Determine company HSE compliancy?

Ultimately, a good contractor prequalification system needs to act a gatekeeper to ensure that your company is top of its contractor obligations.

The best contractor prequalification systems?

As a concept, contractor prequalification systems are fairly new, but they’re out there. The best solutions are online, therefore eliminating IT difficulties, and will tap straight into ASIC allowing your contractor’s registered name to be returned when their ABN is entered.

A good contractor prequalification system will also be simple to use, but clever enough to track all contractor information that’s entered into the system and provide alerts to safety managers when information becomes out-dated.Because not a lot of organisations have a formal contractor prequalification system in place, it can be difficult to get recommendations. The best place to start is with a simple Google search for “Contractor Prequalification”. Check out the paid links, they can be the best way to go when looking for business-related solutions. Good luck.

Home Based Business – Proven to Be on Top!

I have, along with so many other people, have been searching for a business to do from home, that is legit. I have spent a lot of money on different ones that claim to be the best.

The problem with most of them is that they might skip an important step, or they forget to tell something that is second nature to them but for the true beginner, is very important, like submitting your site. Wow! How did they manage to forget that in there course?

When I first started this over two years ago, I new nothing about computers. I was afraid of them, because there was so much that they could do, and there was so much to learn. I baught mine and got started learning. Then I started buying home based business systems. Some of them were scams or mlm systems. Most of them were good and taught the same system that I use now. The problem was that I wasn’t thinking of the big picture. The other problem was that the person or persons selling the system wasn’t teaching it well enough to keep my interest up in it enough to follow through all the way to the end.

One very important point that I have to make is to follow through. Take action, if you don’t take action and put to use what they are teaching, it isn’t going to work. Another point that I have to make is about the big picture, I was thinking to small. I am a contractor. When I build a house, I have to put a foundation under it to make sure the house last a long time. Your home based business also needs a good foundation for it stay in good shape. The cause that I am still learning, teaches you how to build your foundation.

When I first started, I thought I would just jump in and start making big bucks right away. Well you can forget that notion, if your in it for the long hall. Go into it with the state of mind that you are going to have to do a lot of work, and learn a lot of new things to get this off the ground. I guess if you already have money you can have other people build it up for you. I like doing it myself, so I can keep adding to my business, and fix the things that need it without having to depend on anyone else.

Sample Roofing Contractor Business Plan Outline

Is it worth writing a lengthy business plan for your roofing startup? Business plan preparation can be time consuming and many entrepreneurs are tempted to go ahead without one unless they really need it to prove the viability of ideas to partners or investors.

Your roofing business won’t be a huge, complicated business for a few years anyway so why bother? Well, while I would not suggest that you spend months writing a 100 page report, it could be useful for you to have a 10 to 20 page document on your PC that can be your company blueprint for success. You can make changes to it as you slowly learn more about the business.

It will be the key document that sets out exactly how your business is run. If done properly you should basically be able to hand this document over to somebody when they buy your business and they can take over with very little of your time needed to explain things to them.

Here is a brief business roofing business plan template to give you some ideas on how to put your own together.

Contents Page and Executive Summary

This should be a summary of your entire roofing business plan. If you will be presenting the plan to interested parties then let them know the contents. Include a basic summary of your plans to start a roofing business. Outline the opportunities that you see in the market and what you plan to do in order to capture a piece of the pie for yourself.

Background in the Roofing Business

Prove to yourself or others why you are cut out to go into this business. List details on your education and any relevant experience that you have had in the roofing industry or in business in general. Outline your reasons for wanting to start a roofing business.

Mission Statement

Set out your company mission or philosophy in a few words or a short phrase. Try to think about what you want to achieve with your business apart from profits. You should be driven by a desire to deliver a quality service to people in way that satisfies them and provides great value for them while still allowing you to meet your goals. What kind of products and services do you want to deliver? How will you be different from all the other roofing companies?

Business Goals

Set out the goals that you have for your business in its first few years. Set realistic targets that you know are attainable so that you won’t be discouraged if you don’t meet them. Success can be measured by a number of metrics such as the total number of roofing jobs completed per month, the percentage of leads that become new customers or the productivity of your employees for example.

Startup Requirements

List down all of the products and services that your company will offer and then set out a list of equipment and inventory that you will need to get started. If you need to buy a truck then you will be looking at minimum startup costs of around $20,000.

Startup requirements will also include compliance costs. Depending on what state you are operating out of you may need a contractors license, insurance, bonding or to comply with a number of other relevant regulations.

Don’t forget that as well as purchasing all of the necessary roofing equipment you will also have to purchase materials for your first job. Clients will typically pay a large chunk of your total invoice upon completion of the job so you will have to foot the bill until you get reimbursed when they pay their invoice in full.

Structure, Ownership and Management

There are four basic options to consider for your business structure and they include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation (LLC).

Outline how your business will be owned and make a note of the various parties that may have an ownership stake.

Set out a management structure so that there is no confusion among those involved with the business as to who is responsible for managing each part of the business.

Marketing Plan

Identify your target market both by location as well as other demographic factors and describe the kind of people or properties that make up your target market. Include the results of any market research that you do or local industry statistics that you are able to gather.

Set out a detailed plan for your roofing business marketing. This should include how you plan on getting enquiries, converting them into new accounts and maintaining them over the long term. It should also include brand development, pricing, advertising, a sales approach and other marketing methods.

Competitive Analysis

Write up profiles of your main local competitors and try to understand how they run their businesses. Borrow and adapt characteristics of their business that work and look for weaknesses in their business models that you may be able to capitalize on. Figure out how you will differentiate your brand from theirs in a way that allows you to stand out in the market.

Operations

Include details of the day to day operations of the proposed roofing business. Make a note of your office location, business administration and record keeping systems, plans to hire employees and procedures regarding roofing installations or repairs.

Financial Analysis

Outline some of the methods that you could use to obtain financing for your new venture.

Create a spreadsheet that shows anticipated cash flow forecasts over the first few years of business for a variety of scenarios. You can then determine how profitable you think the business will be in a number of different economic climates.

You will be able to find many free business plan examples online but it can be harder to find a specific sample of a roofing business plan. There are some business planning software programs that you can buy but they are usually just generic business plans that have been adapted anyway.

Unless you can persuade other roofing business owners to share their plan with you then you really have to look at templates from other industries and model your roofing business plan on them.

The 4 Major Components of Business Growth & Profit-Building Success!

Your business can be broken down into 4 segments or component parts.

I call these as the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS of a business.

Through extensive research and study of the most successful businesses worldwide, I have likewise determined that there are 4 common focal points found in a successful strategic plan for Business Growth and Profit-Building. These common focal points, or 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS, are interrelated and can be made to fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.

When you clearly identify them in your own business, and then strategically harness their power to function cohesively, the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS can produce EXPONENTIAL business growth. And that kind of business growth leads to an increase in bottom-line profits!

So what are these 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS to a successful strategic plan for business growth and profit-building?

Let’ briefly explain what these 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS are, and what they have to do with developing a strategic plan to successfully grow your business and increase your profits.

The 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS

MAJOR COMPONENT 1 is your business’ VISION, GOALS, & MISSION.

When you consider your business’ VISION, GOALS, and MISSION, your chief aim is broken down into 2 parts. First, you must carefully analyze and clarify what direction your business is currently heading in right now. What is your VISION for your business? What are your personal goals and business objectives? And finally, what is your Mission for your business? Do you have these 3 clearly set out? You need to in order to start seeing real growth in your business.

Second, you must determine whether you need to change course to develop the business growth you want and the increase in profits you need. Having clarified your VISION, GOALS, and MISSION, you will then know in what direction you want to steer your business to generate the business growth and increased profits that you want.

As you work through and implement any business growth plans, keep referring back to MAJOR COMPONENT 1, your VISION, GOALS, & MISSION.

MAJOR COMPONENT 1 is the guiding direction for your business, just like a compass pointing to “True North”.

MAJOR COMPONENT 2 of the business growth and profit-building process is your Business Operating Systems, Management, & Training.

I liken MAJOR COMPONENT 2 to the engine that drives a car. When you consider MAJOR COMPONENT 2 in your own business growth plans, you accomplish 4 things:

1. You undertake a review of your business’ engine; that is, your staff and contractors. How can they play a positive role in growing your business and increasing your profits?

2. You consider your hiring practices. How they can impact your successful business growth at the front end…, when you hire others to join you.

3. You evaluate and design your management and training processes to support the business growth that you are striving for. And,

4. Most importantly, you strategically develop the specific operating systems that your business must have in place to effectively and efficiently run your business; whether you, the business owner, are there on the job, or not.

Are you driving a sputtering jalopy or a precisely tuned race car? MAJOR COMPONENT 2 answers that question.

Once you’ve got MAJOR COMPONENT 2, your business systems, running smoothly, it’s time to start filling up the tank.

MAJOR COMPONENT 3 of your business growth plan is Strategic Marketing, Lead Generation, & Lead Conversion systems.

When you consider MAJOR COMPONENT 3 in your business growth plans, you must analyze your systems for servicing your current customers and clients, for identifying and obtaining more of your Ideal customers and clients, for marketing to your unique target market, and for converting more prospects to bring in more sales and increase your bottom-line profits.

Finally, a successful business growth and profit-building strategic plan must never leave out the all-important topic of MONEY.

MAJOR COMPONENT 4 of your business growth plan takes a hard look at Financial Position, Cash Flow, & Reporting.

In MAJOR COMPONENT 4, your primary focus is to review the systems that you have in place to know where you’re at financially, to handle your money, to control it, and to keep it coming in. What changes do you need to make in your financial operating systems to ramp up your business growth? Where is your money? How is it being spent? Do you have operating systems that you have designed and put in place to control expenses and costs? Is your money coming in consistently? What Cash Flow “production” strategies are unique to your business? Are there any other “production” strategies that you can implement immediately? Are there any other ways that your business can “manufacture” additional Cash Flow?

Well, there you have them.

Those are the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS of a successful strategic plan to grow your business and increase your profits.

First comes knowledge. You have it.

Now, must come action!

So it’s time for you to take action.

ACTION STEPS:

Follow these 4 steps and get your business growth plans roaring like the powerful sound of a race car crossing the finish line in first place!

1. Write out on a sheet of paper each of the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS of your business as outlined above.

2. Analyze each MAJOR COMPONENT in comparison to your present business operations.

3. List the focal points lacking in your business compared to each MAJOR COMPONENT.

4. Come up with just 1 action that you can take to improve in each of the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS.

If you’ve completed the 4 action steps, then you’ve got some momentum going. Constantly focus on the 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS of your business. Keep working on improving in these 4 MAJOR COMPONENTS.

Because if you do, you’ll be developing a successful and proven plan not only to grow your business, but to increase your profits as well!

This article is an excerpt taken from the MasterMind Business Growth System, as written by noted Business Growth Expert and Attorney, Miguel Mendez, Jr., Esq.

Copyright 2008. Miguel Mendez, Jr. All rights reserved.