BPMN stands for Business Process Modeling Notation. It is the new standard for modeling business processes and web service processes, as put forth by the Business Process Management Initiative. BPMN is therefore a core enabler of a new initiative in the Enterprise Architecture world called Business Process Management. Business Process Management is concerned with changes that occur in order to improve business processes.
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Business Process Execution Languages themselves are run, controlled and orchestrated on a Business Process Management System. OASIS is a non-profit, global consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards.
Both BPEL4WS and BPMI’s BPML have been submitted to OASIS to become a business process execution language standard. OASIS has created a subcommittee to decide upon a standard; the outcome of this committee is called Web Services – Business Execution Language (WS-BPEL). The OASIS WS-BPEL requires the development of new BPMS technologies as well.
How Much Should You Spend?
Your monthly marketing budget should be equal to the value of one typical client per month or 10% of prior months gross, whichever is greater. For example, if your business is doing something like €50,000 a month, you should be willing to invest more in growing your business because you already have “momentum” and often good marketing can send things into overdrive.
It is no easy task setting up the marketing portion of your budget. It comes somewhat under the shadow of “darned if you do and darned if you don’t.” You will hear people say (often as a complaint) that they spend nearly one-third of their budgeting on marketing.
Then you will turn around and hear a comment from another businessperson that he or she “got the lion’s share of the year’s business off of a $500 leaflet.” This tells you that instinct and common sense both are involved in the process of setting a marketing budget. But here are some more definitive guidelines:
- When you are starting up as a company, a sizeable chunk of your budget over the first two to three years will go to marketing, especially with electronic modes added to (Not replacing) the print vehicles you need to use.
- When you add trade show presence into the budget, you can expect to spend hefty bucks to have a presence that meets, perhaps exceeds the impact of your competitors.
- Direct advertising will boost the money you spend. Print, radio and television ads must be professionally done.
- As a start-up, plan to spend 20 to 30 percent of your budget that first year or two on activities related to marketing. It should most definitely pay off.
- When you are simply carrying on with already established (and paid for) marketing activities, 7 to 10 percent would be more realistic.
- You would also need to plan to seize opportunities when they arise. That means shifting – sometimes increasing – planned expenditures for marketing activities.
- When you’re “marketing” category includes personnel (in sales or, for larger endeavors, for a marketing specialist), those figures are in addition to the activity-based budget.
After a few years, they can actually, with some economies of time and scale, figure into that marketing percentage of budget.
For sure, there are some things you simply must do to establish your company’s image and brand, especially at start-up. The main point of marketing is to increase business – in other words, it must be effective. Therefore, it might be to your advantage to look at marketing expenditures beyond the bare necessities of establishing an image in the following way:
If I should spend X dollars to do this activity, how much new business do I need to turn to cover the costs of doing the activity? Can I reasonably expect to turn that amount of business? Can I reasonably expect to turn more than that? How much more? New business in addition to what would be needed to pay the costs of the activity is an increase in your bottom line.
How to Approach Buyers
Many buyers spoken within this and other recent studies by the manual authors were willing to purchase directly from producers, if producers are able to deliver a product preferred by their customers. Several of them had the following suggestions:
- One should familiarize him or herself with the market. Talk to or with other producers who are already operating in your general market. Get a sense of the products demanded by that market, potential level of interest and typical prices that are offered. You should also know your costs of processing and transportation.
- One should select an appropriate market for your capabilities. And should first try to establish himself with a buyer and a specific market that he is 100 percent certain you he supply and satisfy. When his product is known and he is sure he can meet the quality and volume needs, he can approach other buyers and larger volume accounts.
- One should prepare written materials. If he is targeting restaurants or stores, he should keep in mind that most buyers like to see two sets of materials.
- First, they would like to see in writing what products you have to offer and at what prices. This sheet of paper should also summarize the claims and characteristics of your meat in an easy to read and attractive manner. These include the production characteristics that distinguish your products from the others.
- The second type of written materials that most buyers would like to have is a brochure that will help them sell their product to their customers. This type of point-of sale material should positively outline the characteristics of their products to customers – who may or would need some explanation of the advantage of their product over others.
- One should initiate contact with a telephone call. Most buyers would like to receive a call in which one clearly states his intentions to them. By the time the buyer picks up ones call, he or she may already have another one waiting. Professional salespersons often have a 50-, 100- and 200-word explanation of their products ready to be delivered. One should never just “drop in” on a buyer. Setting up an appointment will always assure that one has his or her time and attention.
- One should clarify the details of the business relationships. If a buyer expresses interest in buying from you, be sure to clarify the terms of the sale to them. Review the exact item, volumes, price, delivery date and conditions and any other requirements.
- One should deliver what he promises. Promise only what you are sure you can deliver and then follow through. If at any time you cannot meet the terms of your agreement with the buyer, notify him or her as early as possible and be prepared to help the buyer meet his commitments.
- One should be persistent without being a pest. It will be by pure luck if you nail a big sale on your first try, but learn from each attempt. You should never grow angry or stop asking questions about what you can do to help your buyer meet his/her needs. Don’t just drop a product on the buyer’s desk but deliver an answer.
In starting-up investment, you could spend from a few thousand dollars to modify an existing kitchen to meet codes up to $75,000 to build a professional kitchen. But a low cost alternative is to rent a kitchen such as from a church. However, if you do so, you will need to ensure that the kitchen has first, been inspected. The time until breakeven can be or should be achieved in less than one year depending on the fixed investment (Trizle, 1).
Annual revenues be it a few thousand dollars to a few million with pretax profits should be in the 40 percent of gross revenue range. Once, a caterer estimated her annual revenues and she kept up to two-thirds of the total revenue from a catering job after paying expenses. Therefore, catering has the reputation for the best profit potential in the food and beverage industry. Catering also allows for a start-up matched to your pocketbook.
Some kitchen facilities and items such as china, linens and other staples can be rented. It is also estimated that 70 percent of the business is related to business activities of marketing, cooking, transporting food, serving, clean-up and arranging for help, while only 30 percent of the effort is food related. These percentages are opposite to those of the restaurants (Bathrobe Millionaire.com, 1).
Bathrobe, Millionaire.com. Start-Up Budget: Nada. 2004. Web.
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Trizle. how-to-budget-your-startup. 2011. Web.