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It’s astounding how even some of Zimbabwe's biggest companies don't have business plans or any kind of document in place that explicitly details where the company wants to go. Executives and board members spend hours in meetings talking about what they want to do then they adjourn and basically wing it because there is zero documentation of their plans and therefore no checks or benchmarks in place to refer back to and measure progress; it's no wonder companies in Zimbabwe are so uncompetitive on the global stage.

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QUANTITY ≠ QUALITY

11 November 2019

While I was doing some research on the competition a few weeks ago I came across a business plan writing service provider whose prices were a function of the length of the business plan; the longer the plan the more it costs. I was quite appalled to say the least because setting targets based on page numbers probably means a fair amount of the information either won’t be necessary or will be unnecessarily wordy, and because as professional writers they should know that quantity doesn’t equal quality. As a stickler on time management I always take my reader’s valuable time into consideration so I keep my content concise without taking anything away from the message that needs to be put across.

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There's a general under appreciation for effective writing. I'm not saying this because it's Amras Communications' field of expertise and I want to complain about people who don't understand our value addition, it just genuinely gets to me when I see people and companies lose out on opportunities because of bad writing. It's estimated that bad writing costs US companies alone close to US$400 billion a year so this blog post is not a way to try justify the value Amras brings, these are facts.

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I recently went through the process of hiring an employee (our team is growing!). Previously I had hired people based on recommendations but this time I decided to open up the application process and put up a few posts online about the vacancy; almost instantly resumes starting coming in. The response rate was higher than expected so my decision to leave the applications flowing in for about a week before starting to review them turned out to be a mistake, but it also helped because ...

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An essential part of launching a business and ensuring its survival is understanding the market. I f you're putting together a business plan you need to do your market research to help with the planning process and also to prove to investors that your idea is viable. If you’re considering entering a new market you need to know what you're getting yourself into and whether it makes sense to take the leap.

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A hammer that you buy then store in the garage will not be useful until you actually pick it up and drive a nail into something. Any time someone starts a business or needs to get funding the first thing they do is put together a business plan. While this is a sound first step, just like buying a hammer if you want to build something, a lot of the time the business plan ends up being completely useless because it’s all a lie or it’s never actually used.

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As an employer or manager you can sometimes get frustrated by the poor writing skills of your staff, but before coming down too hard on them ask yourself if you’re doing the right things to nurture good writing within your organisation. A lot of time is spent getting clarification or correcting errors in written communications such as emails, proposal, reports, etc. and this can cost a company a lot of money (I talk more about this in a previous post on the cost of bad writing).

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I'm just going to tell it like it is, business writing can be boring... it doesn't have to be though. Reading business plans, proposals, reports, etc. probably isn't the most exciting part of a person's day but there are things that you as the writer can do to break the tedium and make the task at least marginally more enjoyable.

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Textiquette (Text Etiquette)

21 February 2020

Texting business contacts is still a bit of a grey area for some. Building a network is a key aspect of the professional world but because of the somewhat intimate nature of texting the lines between personal and business, being friendly and professional can become blurry. So how do you navigate these fuzzy communication grounds? Be mindful of your content.

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