Charting the Course – Business Plan Development & Research

As it is necessary to understand the direction and strength of the wind, before sailing, one must know the contrary winds in business. Charting a development strategy for a large or small business requires detail information about the competition. Too many entrepreneurs launch out with a dream, but never bring it down to the real world where men, women and children make the decisions “to buy or not to buy.” What are the qualities and flaws of the competitive products or services? Where and how are they sold? What are the prices and discounts? Who sells them? The provider’s reputation, financial strength, history and sales staff provide important clues to the nature of competition a product faces. The best ways to research include:

· Search the Internet for information, critiques, or evaluations of your competitors;
· Purchase the product or service for your personal evaluation;
· Find out what potential consumers think about it;

Getting this information requires a bit of work and research. Visit the competitor, interview their customers, sit in a place where you can observe the operation, and keep records. Who’s buying? What are they buying? At what price? Always look for any wrinkles in the competitor’s operation.

Once you have drawn a picture of the competitor, compare your own business plan to that. What advantage does your business strategy, location, products or services have over the competition? In particular, consider the pricing. Can you compete on price? If your goods are higher in price explain why. You may succeed with higher prices, but there will have to be reasons why people will pay more for your products. The aesthetics of the store, the nature of a guarantee, the skills of the sales staff and other features make be an attraction. How does your business compare to the competition? You want to compose your strategy based on the competition. All of this information will give you a clue to the potential you have of beating the competition. If you can beat the competition you have a better chance of being the business to survive.

How to Think Differently in Business

To hit gold in business, you have to think gold. What is your business all about? How do you intend to maximize profits? Here are tips on how to think different in business:

Think back to the future

Don’t wait till the harsh business storm hits your business; rather, always think of what to do better or next. For example, what are the things you need to put in place to ensure business growth? What stage is your business on the business chart, that is, in areas of development, growth or decline? Is your business vision realistic? What is your current profit margin? What is your intended profit margin? How do you intend to speed up your productivity? Evaluating your business, keeps you prepared for the future.

Believe your ideas are valuable

Always think your glass is half full. Think about possibilities not only about likely constraints. As a business owner, you have to nurture a positive mental attitude; believe things will work out fine. If there are possible risks, device means to avoid or manage them. Risks are unforeseen, but you can plan ahead to avoid or mitigate them. Being positive in business enables you take a chance on yourself, be bold to take calculated risks, and believe you are adding value, even when the numbers say otherwise. That is a way of thinking differently in business.

Dig beyond your current offerings

Do not just view things on the surface. Think intensively and carry out research on other ways your business can benefit your target market. Reflect on the true realities of where your business stands at the moment. What are your business challenges? Classify them and analyse them to see how you can make a difference. Outline your business SWOT analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). Go beyond the surface; be realistic.

Your competitors are watching

Understand your business environment; be familiar with your competitors’ strategies – if you are not, you can bet that your competitors are doing their homework. What resources do they have that surpasses yours? How can you leverage to collaborate and partner to get the necessary resources? What’s the best way to build more goodwill? Do a survey on your business, and be cautious of the events happening in your business environment. It’s business, so be prepared for the competition. Business is about profit making and goodwill, be focused on these objectives.

Create a war-room

Now that you know who your competitors are and understand your type of business. Identify the threats and evaluate them. Compare your business to your closest competitor. Be battle-ready. Draft a graph of your sales and profits. Can your business survive in business storm or in an unstable economy? Figure out what you can do better? What is not working? Are your key employees performing as expected? Carry out a performance appraisal. Take action: pave the way for more business improvements, do some advertisements, up your business game. Remember it is a game of profit, and that should be your aim.

Thump your chest

What makes you outstanding makes you great. Build on your business competence and promote it. Every product or service must have its own uniqueness, that thing that makes it different from others. Device means to make your business goals and objectives unique. Distinctive competence is that special attribute that shows how your business is similar to your competitors, but different in aspects of branding, concept and product offerings.

Business is nothing without profits. A business seed can only grow if the business soil is fertile, and the fertility starts from your business thoughts. Be better by thinking differently.

Corporate Charting – Is a Personal Natal Wheel Valid After the Death of the Founder?

During astrological research last year on the USA as a country and all our presidents, a corporation charting method was adopted that had wider application than originally thought. It can be somewhat time consuming to do a thorough job using this method but is not difficult. The original application was for corporate charting work and could definitely turn out to be an advantage for anyone studying or doing corporate astrology. This technique stems from an older published article but I cannot locate that original article to give the author deserved credit. Apologies. For this article personal research for the corporate example given and references for adopting the technique with the presidential study will be given.

Using the research on the original article it was studied carefully examining the points the author made to verify each activation. The original example was accurate, valid and worked as presented. With a good database of corporate information available, another well-known corporation and its founder were selected that had ample dated events. The original article was used as an instruction manual to apply the theory. It was amazing how well the technique worked on the corporation and founder separately chosen, just as the author said it would.

As with much of my research, once curiosity is satisfied and learning is gleaned from the study, the material was put away. During the presidential research, this old technique came to mind. It had to be re-worked with minor adaptations for a country and presidency rather than founder and corporation, mostly re-labeling of the concepts. The technique worked amazingly well for our evolving country.

As astrologers when we want to view development in individuals we look at important events or milestones in the life of that individual. Dates such as marriage, divorce, accomplishment, accident, surgery, birth of children, or deaths of significant others in the life are examined. If we were doing such work for a non-human entity such as a corporation the dates used would be those of opening of a business, public offerings, stock splits, expansions or contractions, partnership, takeovers, mergers, and various failures or successes. The same is true of the development or milestones in the life of a country. All that is required is the re-labeling mentioned previously. The wheel of a country is the map of a collective of humans operating as one body, a humanity being so to speak. That humanity being’s progressions can show the needs and conditions of that ongoing process, a timeline of sorts.

The original article example was that of a Japanese corporation and its founder. The verifying research (for the validity of the technique) was Walt Disney and his entertainment conglomerate. The presidential research example was that of the USA Virgo Rising wheel and each of the 43 presidents that have held the office of president during our history (Grover Cleveland was president twice).

Whatever is born in a moment of time is imprinted with the energies available at that moment in time and that is true of all beginnings. A map can be cast and read for the intent and the potential and then progressing maps outline the unfolding experience. The two companies described were founded by individuals. They took on lives of their own distinct from their founder but were clearly connected to that founder as ongoing events could be simultaneously seen in both the company and the founder wheels.

A company founder will grow old and eventually die but the corporation as a child of the founder lives on. It may experience new management or ownership, but will continue its own independent life cycle. It was amazing that ongoing corporate events could be seen clearly in the founder’s wheel continuing after the founder’s death. This required suspension of prior judgment that had been based on ignorance of possibility. It also raises an interesting question: how do you continue to map a person who has already passed on? The answer is the same way you mapped that person while alive, no change in technique.

You could extend this concept to regular natal wheels and the relationship between parents and children as an example. Astrologically, a theory should hold up through various applications. Have you ever noticed that events in a spouse’s life can still show up in the other spouse’s wheel even when they are no longer together? You can have activations involving a mother figure even when the natural mother is no longer on this earth plane? Perhaps as a foster or adopted mother, a grandmother, an older woman friend or one who has been cast as an affectionate mother figure. How would you find this? Simply continue regular individual progressions past the portal we call death. Think about this, There is actual activity for a person past death such as funerals, estates, selling or other distribution of property, memorials. Look at what has happened since Michael Jackson’s death. His legacy lives on. The birth wheel of a deceased person is still a map that can illustrate that individual’s experience. Anyone interested in contributing to some research?

The USA as a country requires a slightly different reading. A country is the child of a group of minds such our Founding Fathers. They as a collective attended multiple meetings over a couple of years to formulate and to set into motion what we call our country. That would be similarly true of the formation of any other country. To repeat the concept, a group of people collectively form a governing entity. The USA was born in a moment of time. That entity, the country, takes on its own identity, intent, potential and has ongoing experience and it has its own sky map.

In the USA we elect a leader (president) to a four-year term. Occasionally circumstance and events shorten that term and an elevated, but not directly elected president may be inaugurated. From what I described earlier as an individual founding a corporation, we must make simple adjustments. A group of individuals founded the country and the country became an entity. This non-human entity has needs and requirements and attracts to itself a leader to fulfill those needs. In this adaptation, a comparison must be made between the country and the presidents inaugurated as temporary leaders of the country (eight years is our current maximum). Also, a corporation or a country should have a much longer life than an individual. In this instance the USA is 233 years old at this writing.

The universe is amazing. It provides us with maps of its patterns and continually changing energy and we have known how to read them for thousands of years. It takes a little training and skill to learn to construct and read those maps just as it takes training and skill for any other endeavor. To not use the maps the universe provided is silly, but humanity gets stuck in fear and superstition continually. We fear what we do not understand and we negate anyone else’s efforts relative to what we individually fear. And so, over the centuries, a few brave souls maintained the knowledge and educated succeeding generations. Still all were subject to the fears and superstitions of those who did not possess the skill. Remember the old sayings about if we were meant to fly we would have wings? It took much time and experiment but it did happen. We fly. Flying is neither evil nor demonic it is actually quite convenient. We are now working hard on flying even further into space. The universe is a continually changing map and we are developing the skills to read that map.

As mentioned, the example for the experiment was Walt Disney and his incredible entertainment conglomerate. The conglomerate’s ongoing activity is clearly reflected in the progression of its founder while he was alive and continued past his death. Could it be done? Yes. Does it work? Yes. This comparison was one of the methods adopted for the much larger presidential research. This specific technique could not be simpler, but it does take a little time and effort to do research. It uses standard progressions. Using the Walt Disney research example…

· Set Walt Disney’s personal wheel and the wheel for the beginning of his business.

· Set every chart (natal) that materially affected the company, such as the incorporation, IPO and re-incorporation to name a few.

· Progress Walt Disney’s wheel to each event date to see the connection between his personal energy and corporate events during his living years. Compare progressed to natal and progressed to progressed.

· Progress the Disney business wheel to each important event. Compare progressed to natal and progressed to progressed on each important wheel. All of these charts should be and were connected to each other through close activations.

· Walt Disney did pass on, but his chart remained alive; his wheel continued to work even after his death. Progress his natal wheel as if he were still alive and compare it to the business wheel and the other important wheels for new events that substantially affect the company and its survival.

· Cast new natal wheels as important corporate events make it necessary and incorporate them into the progression procedure.

· There should be connections between the natals, progressed to natals and progressed to progressed for whatever date is applicable. You will find that it did not matter that Walt Disney was no longer on this Earth plane.

Once you have worked your way through this practice project, do the same procedure with corporations and their founders in which you are interested and can access the birth information and activity dates. This technique was employed in the presidential research with the adaptations mentioned and this technique does work well.

For astrologers who want to check out this method, the basic Disney data used for that long ago research is provided below. There are many new Disney dates that can additionally be used. There may be newer or more valid information than what was originally gathered, but this is the data used for that research so many moons ago. Enjoy!

Database:

· Birth of Walt Disney: Dec 5, 1901, 12:35 AM CST, Chicago, Illinois
· Date of Death: Dec 15, 1966
· Mickey Mouse: created in 1928 for a silent cartoon entitled “Plane Crazy” that never debuted
· “Steam Boat Willie”, the first-ever sound cartoon premiered Colony Theatre, New York City, NY, Nov 18, 1928
· “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” premiered Carthay Circle Theater, Los Angeles, CA, Dec 21, 1932
· Walt Disney Company Dec 16, 1929. Hollywood, CA, noonmark
· Walt Disney Company incorporation Sep 30, 1938, Sacramento, CA, noonmark
· Opening of Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Jul 13, 1955, 1:35 PM PDT, Anaheim, CA
· IPO Disney Nov 12, 1957, 10:00 am EST, New York, NY
· Opening of Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL Oct 1, 1971
· Ray Merriman DIS business chart Feb 19, 1987, Wilmington, DE
· Opening of Epcot Center, Orlando, FL on Oct 1, 1982
· Re-Incorporation Disney Jul 28, 1995, 3:45 PM EDT, Dover, DE