Starting a Home-Based Financial and Credit Counseling Business

Consumer debt, including credit card debt, has exploded in the USA during recent decades. This trend has been responsible for many people ending up with more debt than they can manage – even before the Great Recession hit this country. Recent years have seen a significant increase in the number of consumers seeking assistance from financial and debt counselors.

Financial and credit counselors provide professional financial advice to consumers who are seeking to manage their finances, improve their credit rating, or reduce and eliminate debt. Some financial counselors may specialize in investment and portfolio advice while others may specialize in credit repair and debt consolidation.

The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports in the occupational projections data that there were more than 208,000 personal financial advisors during 2008. This occupational field is expected to grow by more than 30 percent over the decade from 2008 – 2018. Median annual wages are reported to be “very high” at $69,050. 29.3 percent of personal financial advisers were self-employed in 2008.

Getting Started

Starting a home-based, financial or credit counseling business can vary in complexity based on the state where you live and the type of services that you plan to offer. Regulations governing the financial services industry vary between states and depending on the type of services that are to be offered. For example, some states may require licensing for financial counselors dealing with investments but not for counselors dealing with credit repair and debt elimination. These differences between state requirements can have a significant impact on the financial cost and paperwork that is required to start a home-based, financial or credit counseling business.

Home-based, financial or credit counseling businesses that will not attract frequent customer visits to the office may be easily set up in a back room or spare bedroom. Those businesses that expect to have customers visit the office regularly may consider setting up an office that has a separate entrance from outside, whether this office is in the home or in another building on the property, such as a converted garage.

Marketing

The marketing plan for a home-based, financial or credit counseling business should begin with a clear consideration of what services will be offered and who will be the target customers. This understanding will help in developing a marketing plan that delivers the best results.

Business websites are essential communication tools for many modern businesses. A home-based, financial or credit counseling business can also benefit from a well-designed and well-maintained website. This provides an inexpensive place to communicate with potential and existing customers, and provides a way for customers to find financial or credit counseling businesses in their local area. Perhaps the best part of using a website to market your home-based, financial or credit counseling business is that you can present an image that is just as professional as the image presented by the corporate competition in the same city. The Internet has helped to level the playing field between home-based businesses and their big-business competitors.

Business cards are an important marketing tool when combined with personal conversations, letters, or brochures. Business cards allow any business person, whether home-based or office-based, to share their name, business information, and contact information with anyone in an inexpensive, “take home” format.

Direct mailings, whether post cards or letters, can be effective marketing tools. Mailing lists can be purchased from Internet list brokers like Melissa Data. Mailing lists can be purchased based on a variety of demographic criteria allowing the marketer to build a list that is specific to the target customer demographic.

Advertisements placed in local community newspapers or classified publications can serve to keep your business in front of a large and diverse, local audience. These publications usually offer affordable advertising rates and will typically offer discounts for long-term advertising contracts.

Cautions

Regulations governing the financial and credit counseling business can vary between states, and depending on the type of services being offered. Consult with an attorney if you still have questions after looking into the regulatory and licensing requirements in your state.

Operating a home-based business is not a problem in most areas if the business does not involve frequent truck or customer traffic to the home. Zoning and land-use requirements vary considerably between locations, so be sure to check on applicable zoning laws before starting a home-based business that will bring a lot of customers to the home office.

Conclusion

Starting a home-based, financial or credit counseling business can be a profitable venture for the financially literate entrepreneur.

Things to Consider Before Being Lured into Entrepreneurship

The idea of starting your own business can be quite powerful. Consider all the positives: setting your own schedule, doing something you love, making money for you, taking vacation whenever you want. And, as one business expert put it, “You want to build wealth, not earn a salary.”

Did he say wealth? That sounds nice, too.

All in all, the positives make it sound like being a business owner is a deal you can’t pass up. Who wouldn’t want to do this? After meeting with a so-called business expert, my husband and I thought we could certainly pull off the entrepreneur life. And we have, but not without many heartaches and headaches.

Here are some things you may want to seriously consider before being lured into entrepreneurship.

Paperwork, paperwork, and oh yeah, more paperwork.
Back in the day, my parents owned a business, several in fact, and I was used to seeing them pull out the large check ledger and produce piles of receipts from their many file cabinets. Foolish me, I thought that since most purchases are keyed into a computer today, that there would be no need for all that paperwork. Wrong! At the end of every day, my husband returns home from work and places all of the day’s receipts into a folder. Someone, that person being me, must then key all of those purchases into the laptop. I still hold down a full-time job, but entering all of our business receipts into the computer is really like a second job for me. Don’t be fooled, it is time consuming.

Learning QuickBooks.
Now I do admit that while QuickBooks has been a lifesaver, it was challenging and a little intimidating to learn. Our first business consultant advised us to purchase the software, but was not willing to walk us through the initial setup. So, with fingers crossed, we plunged in and just hoped that the IRS would not need to look at our books, ever!

Waiting for people to pay.
Marketing your business, obtaining clients, and doing the work itself are stressful enough. Top that off with waiting for payment as the bills keep coming in, and you’ve got stress personified. Money is always a sensitive subject in any relationship, but when you’ve done what you consider to be an exceptional job and then wait 60, 90 or even more to see the fruits of that labor, it can cause many arguments and sleepless nights.

Hiring employees or doing it yourself.
My husband and I struggle with this every day. We know how difficult it is to find reliable people. We realize that no one will ever care about our business the way we care about our business, but we also know, more often than not, that my husband cannot complete his jobs alone. For the most part, we bring on day laborers, but even that gets expensive.

How much to charge for your services.
We’ve been in business now for over three years and this continues to be an issue. You don’t want to lose a potential job, but you don’t want to bid too low and not make any money. We calculate and re-calculate and, once the proposal has been submitted, we still question ourselves.

Even with all of these constant struggles, my husband is ultimately happy with the service he is able to provide. We try to keep the business small to avoid dealing with the headaches of workers’ compensation, immigration issues, and all that comes along with that.

Would we do this again? My husband says probably not, even though he continues to encourage me to start my own business. His business has a lot of overhead with very expensive equipment; my business will not. We think my business might be a better fit for us. Only time will tell.

We can say it’s been an adventure and it has certainly tested us on several occasions, but we push forward knowing we made the right decision for us at the time.

SBA Overview

I’ve gotten some questions about financing businesses, so I’d like to take today’s article to provide a brief description of some of the US Small Business Administration’s online information.

In brief, the SBA is a government organization established in 1953. It’s raison d’etre was and is to assist US Americans to start, operate, and expand their businesses. The idea is to promote the growth of small businesses by providing support to entrepreneurs. Their web site, www.sba.gov, includes a great deal of useful information for anyone who owns or is thinking of starting a business.

Financing Your Businesses–This portion of the SBA’s web site goes over some of the details you need to know about their different loan programs, including their eligibility and evaluation criteria for approving loan applications.

Your Local SBA Office–The SBA has local offices around the country where you can receive direct and one-on-one assistance in operating your business. Simply click on your state on the map and you will find listings of the offices located in your state. Most district offices also include information about the services available through them, their missions, and strategies for implementing their goals.

Starting Your Business–This portion of the SBA’s web site explains many of the things you need to know about when starting your business. It includes sections on writing business plans, a Startup Kit, information about Patents and Trademarks, Special Assistance, and Workshops. I highly recommend visiting this site if you are in the start-up stages of your business.

SBA Classroom–Thinking about starting a business? In need of funding? Need some guidance for your business? The SBA Classroom provides a number of online courses you can take that focus on specific needs of the entrepreneur. Course categories include Business Development, Certification, eCommerce,Financing, Procurement, and a Miscellaneous Courses (“Other”) category. Whether you are a single-person operation or are a business-owner with dozens of employees, you will find this page useful.

This is only a sampling of the information available through the SBA. I highly recommend this web site for anyone who operates a business, or who is simply thinking about starting a business. You’ll be certain to find answers to nearly every question you might have about running a business in the US.

Pursuing License Agreements for Inventions: Successfully Securing Royalty Payments for New Products

The information in the subheadings below can help an inventor know how to proceed with obtaining a License Agreement for his invention. It is important however that an inventor first take steps for protecting his invention under a patent pending before offering his invention for licensing. A companion to this article is one titled: “Methods for Licensing Inventions”.

Making a Prototype

When manufacturing/marketing companies are approached with a new product idea by an inventor, they prefer to have a working model or sample-design submitted to them. This is called a “prototype” and an inventor can make the sample himself or if it is a somewhat complicated product, he can have a manufacturing firm or machine shop, sewing factory, etc. put one together for him.

It is better if an inventor is able to produce a prototype on his own if possible because this reduces the chances of early exposure of an invention and will save on the expense of having a prototype made by a manufacturer.

Non-Disclosure Non-Use Agreements

If an inventor has to use an outside source to get a sample (prototype) made, he should have them sign a “Non-Disclosure Non-Use Agreement”, which is an agreement that simply states that upon disclosure of the invention to them, for the purpose of producing a prototype, they agree not to publicly disclose the invention to third parties or to make any further samples of the product for their own use. The inventor has them sign such an agreement so that they do not expose an invention publicly sooner than it is ready to be launched onto the market.

Letterhead and Submission Materials

It is important to look as professional in the efforts to secure a licensee/manufacturer as possible. An inventor needs to have a professional looking letter of request that is sent out to interest companies in seeing a presentation of a product/invention, with a letterhead at the top of it that includes contact information for interested parties.

It is important to put together the best submission materials possible. These type items can include the following:

  • A brochure that describes and highlights an invention
  • a demonstration video
  • a chart that can be pointed to and referred to
  • printed results from any positive test-marketing that has been done

In other words, anything that presents an invention to a reviewing company in the best possible light is a good thing to have with when making a presentation for an invention.

License Agreement Proposal

Most manufacturers that express interest in an invention want the inventor to set their desired terms so that they can make a final consideration before entering into a License Agreement to market an invention. Manufacturers like to see inventors who know what they want out of their invention rather than having an inventor say to them, “Whatever you guys think.” They prefer to have a more detailed proposal placed in front of them so that they can negotiate from that point.

An inventor can find a local attorney to help them compose a License Agreement proposal or they can find one on the internet using a search term such as “sample license agreements,” etc. Once one has a general contract in hand, they can customize it to their liking.

The most likely term/condition that requires some time in negotiating with a licensee is the amount of royalty they will be required to pay on units sold for an invention under a licensing. Royalties paid on inventions can vary but according to some sources, a majority of inventions that are licensed receive a royalty between 2% and 10%.

In Conclusion

These suggestions can help an inventor to generally know how to pursue and prepare a License Agreement but one factor that is also of great importance is an inventor’s ambition. A positive attitude and confidence in pursuing a License Agreement for an invention is a key factor. Inventors who remain confident, ambitious and who don’t give up if they initially fail to interest the companies they first make presentations to, are the ones who succeed in eventually getting their inventions marketed.

Manage Time Wisely While Running a Home Business

Running a business from home can be a difficult task. One primary issue often encountered by owners is time management. How can time be effectively utilized, thus allowing for the most productivity? Knowing several useful tips can provide clarity and assist in simplifying this process. These tips can aid in putting the business owner on a path towards business success.

Prioritize and Organize

Prior to sitting in front of the computer, have a list of goals which need to be accomplished visible at all times. This way it is simple and clear to remain focused on what the initial intent of being on the computer in the first place is. It is easy to get on the computer and decide to do a quick email check, response to a friend or take on some other activity that has been postponed. Distractions can be costly. Know what tasks need to be accomplished, keep the list nearby, and avoid unnecessary surfing of the internet.

 

Perform Like a Factory

Group similar activities together and complete these with efficiency. For example, if a response needs to be provided to someone regarding an email that was received, wait until several emails need a response and do them all at once. Need to run an errand? Get several that need to be completed in the same area and complete them. Performing several tasks at once will put more time back in the day to complete other things.

Hire Help

An assistant may be needed to help process paper work, but perhaps the kids are the ones needing to be entertained. Do some research and find a helper to come in while working for a few hours. It is amazing how much work can get accomplished when undisturbed time is allocated. This can prove to be a winning situation for everyone involved.

Use Technology

Using technology can provide an ideal way to put flexibility in a schedule. If there is wireless internet at home, one can work in the kitchen, bedroom, backyard, front porch or another location that provides peace and comfort. The kids can perform something they enjoy doing, while work tasks ares being completed. Also, many local coffee shops such as Starbucks provide wireless internet access for free.

Time management requires commitment. By taking the necessary steps for proper time management preparation one can increase daily business production. Doing so will allow greater processing methods and enable one to emerge as a well respected, positive role model in the business arena.

Business Plan Basics: How to Craft Your Pitch, Executive Summary and So Much More

There are 5 basic things to understand before your create a business plan: your purpose, your voice, your pitch, your executive summary and your magic.

Your Business Plan’s Purpose

Most people write business plans when they need money. While it’s necessary to show investors that you understand your business and have a plan, the reality is that most money people see it as a necessary evil.

The best reason to write a plan is to answer the key business questions – who, what, when, where, why and how – for your business.

Setting the Tone for Your Business Plan

While the business might be the brainchild of one, two or more, the business plan should be written by one voice. Bring the team together to brainstorm. Throw concepts out and vote them down. But the plan itself should be written by the president or CEO to ensure that it shows focus and clarity.

Your Elevator Pitch

Too often businesses create a lengthy plan then take highlights to create their pitch. The result is a disjointed pitch that is neither effective nor easy to understand. When writing a business plan, you need to define your objectives and create your pitch then expand on that information to create a compelling plan.

What does this mean? Let’s say you have a business idea to develop an application that aggregates data from multiple social networking sites and communicate in multiple virtual venues from a single portal.

Sample pitch: “Over 100 million people use MySpace, over 12 million use Twitter, more than 9 million use Facebook. There are more than 125 major social networking sites with the number of minors reaching into the thousands. Our portal enables users to access and manage identities on all of these from a single location. CPI advertising rates range from ¼ of a cent to ½ of a cent per impression. You do the math.”

Writing the Executive Summary for Your Business Plan

This is your chance to shine. Keep it to one, no more than two pages. Tell them that you get the business of business. What’s that you say? You buy something for $1, sell it for $2 because it fills a void or does it better/cheaper/faster than your “me too” competitor.

Highlight the problem and make your pitch showing why you are the solution of choice; no more, no less. Don’t wax philosophical. Don’t espouse the value of your technology. And don’t quote a ridiculous number of white papers and research studies that mean absolutely nothing. Connect, tease and entice. Make them want you.

Putting Magic into Your Business Plan

In truth the whole package needs a little magic. Not smoke and mirrors but the kind of magic that makes people see your idea as clearly as you do. The kind of magic that resonates and connects. The kind that gets folks thinking. The kind that makes them beg you to tell them more.

That’s it: purpose, voice, pitch, summary and magic. Get those right and the investors will find you.

Creating a Business Card for Freelancers: What Freelancers should look for in their Calling Cards

Business cards are the ultimate signature for any person who works. Here is how freelancers, in particular, can create that unique business card to market themselves.

Designing a business card for a freelancer can be exciting and hard work. It certainly requires a lot of imaginative thought and creative development in order for the freelancer and his or her services to be effectively marketed towards clients. This is different from corporations that have an established brand and logo, as freelancers, especially new ones, have to create the awareness and presence of their services first.

The Freelancer’s Name

The freelancer’s name is essentially the brand name of his or her ‘company,’ which represents him or her. Some freelancers may not choose to do this and set up their own enterprise. But generally, playing upon the freelancer’s name will help get this person out in the market. The name can be turned into a logo or emblem and his or her services can be derived from hir or her name itself. Thus, it is important to have his or her name printed clearly on the business card.

The Colour Scheme

Generally this is a personal choice and the main reason for freelancers choosing their line of career is to be able to express what is uniquely theirs. Freelancers are not bonded with corporations that dictate corporate colours or faux-pas and are therefore free to choose their colour schemes, which may possibly represent their own favourite colours. Of course, some colours look more professional than others, while some may paint the wrong picture of the service.

For example, baby pink and quirky purple may not go down well with a freelance financial auditor but would define a female fashion designer’s service. Similarly, blue and black may suit a general business writer but not a graphic designer’s portfolio. So, it up to the business card designer to gently guide the freelancer towards colours that would represent his or her industry accurately.

The Design Itself

Freelancers need to stand out of the crowd and there is a good thing that there are so many possible designs in the market that will allow them to do that.

Firstly, at best, do not clutter the card with too many graphics or too many fonts. This can be confusing and have an adverse effect on the client. Also, make full use of double-sided cards to reduce the clutter on the card.

Secondly, try to send an interesting message across to the clients. The card can be designed as a ‘teaser,’ enticing clients to contact the freelancer in the future.

Thirdly, design the card horizontally, not vertically, as clients often keep business cards in a horizontal box and flip through them the same way. They will often miss names that are printed vertically across the narrow-top of the card rather than printed broadly across.

The printing material is also important here, but that largely depends on the freelancer’s budget, as many are starting out as new players in the market. However, the better the overall presentation of the card, the higher the chance the card will not be tossed into the dustbin.

Content on the Card

Generally, the freelancer’s name, description (of service) and contact details would be sufficient to make up the content of the card. These three items need to be printed in clear font and in the right colours on the card.

However, freelancers may be anxious to make the best impressions through their calling card, thus, may want to squeeze in as much information as possible on the card. Though this is informative, the card will look cluttered and possibly tacky and desperate for attention.

Try the minimalist approach: providing the potential client with a glimpse of the available services offered by this person. It is possible to make a short and simple list on the back of the card. But if he or she is adamant on including a long list of services and their details, suggest a small marketing brochure to complement the card.

Lastly, do a spell-check before the final print and ask the freelancer for the final approval. Embarrassing spelling errors will just be detrimental to the future of his or her career.

Signing Off

Business cards can be left everywhere, with anyone and is the ultimate signature of the freelancer’s services. It has to look unique, fresh and professional to garner keen interest in the market. Therefore, it is important to look at the details of the card from the freelancer’s name to the overall message and presentation of the card for best results.

Business Etiquette of Spanish Market: Business Culture and Recommended Foreign Market Entry Strategies

The high income Spanish market is one of the most promising and rapidly developing markets of the European Union.

Its business etiquette is a vital issue to study before attempting the foreign market entry.

The major language used in Spanish business circles is Spanish. Though many businessmen speak English, the country’s business culture prescribes using Spanish in correspondence and at personal meetings.

Foreign Market Entry

Government incentives for foreign investors are a favorable feature of the Spanish market.

Madrid and Barcelona are the largest business centers of the Spanish market. Therefore, the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service recommends foreign market entry to be conducted by means of an agent or distributor, or via establishing a local office in one of the two major cities.

Both price and quality are equally important for Spanish business. Other significant issues are customer service, credit terms, and marketing assistance in promoting the goods or services of a foreign exporter.

Highly popular in Spanish business is using a credit for purchasing goods, and banks compete for offering the coverage.

Doing Business in Spain

Though Spanish government welcomes foreign investors, the bureaucracy accompanying the foreign market entry is significant. Since usually Spaniards cannot be found in a hurry, it may take some time and effort to get certain results by the deadline.

Respect to the country’s language, history and traditions is highly valued by the hospitable citizens. As for communication, it is normal for Spaniards to speak fast and interrupt each other.

Business Etiquette

The business culture of the Spanish market is more formal than that of the US. However, there is nothing better for entering the market than a personal meeting. Phone calls, e-mails or other correspondence will not provide such a good effect as personal face-to-face contact. Personal relations is what Spanish business values most of all.

  • Formal clothing is preferred by Spanish businessmen. Usually it is a business suite for women and a suite with a tie for men. In Spain dressing is to reflect business and social status.
  • Business cards are very common, and are expected at personal meetings. They should be either in Spanish, or in two languages – English and Spanish.
  • A handshake is always appropriate at the beginning and at the end of a meeting along with basic courtesy titles: Senor for a man, Senora or Senorita for a woman.
  • Appointments are recommended.
  • Business lunch usually starts at 2 PM, and may last up to 2 hours.
  • Dinner starts at 9:30 PM, and may last till midnight.

General Information

  • Usual business hours are from 9 AM to 6 PM.
  • Banks are open on weekdays, from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM, and sometimes on Saturday mornings.
  • Shopping can be done in department stores from 10 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Saturday. Smaller stores and offices are usually closed between 2 and 4 PM.The official currency is Euro.
  • Visa is not needed for the US citizens to be in Spain for 90 days.

Operating Business Plans to Win in the Downturn: Smart Businesses that Plan Will Thrive During the Recession

Difficult economic times call for extraordinary insight and foresight. Smart business planning can be the key to succeeding, even survival, during the economic downturn.

The purpose of an operating business plan is to guide a company or not-for-profit organization in its day-to-day operations. The hard thinking and the tough decisions that go into a good solid business plan are more important in today’s challenging economic environment than ever before.

An operating business plan transforms carefully thought-out goals and objectives, usually from a previously developed strategic plan, into performance targets and the action plans to accomplish them. The very process of developing a good operating plan can in itself help a company sharpen its direction and focus.

Developed properly, it is an operations road map for the coming year that provides a common set of guidelines to be shared among the company’s leadership and decision makers. (It should be noted, a different kind of business plan is required when approaching lenders and investors for additional capital. It is more detailed and must answer a wider range of questions.)

Pulling together either type of business plan requires a substantial amount of organization and discipline — and hard work. The eight steps below, when developed, become the sections of an annual operating business plan:

  1. Overview

This is a summary, or abstract, of the completed operating plan for the year. It is among the first sections started and always the last one completed.

  1. Mission and Values

Describe what is different, and what will be different, about the company’s operating environment during the term of the business plan, usually one year.

This section should also include a revisit to the question, “what business are we really in?” If that sounds odd, numerous traditional telecommunications companies have disappeared over the past few decades because they failed to realize they were in the communications business, thinking wrongly they were just in the telephone business.

  1. Industry Scan/Risk Analysis

This is a critical section. Here a company must analyze trends affecting the company’s industry and markets, and the key opportunities and risks these present to the company, and what the company must do about them. This means changes to previous business activities, such as what the company will continue to do, what it will do differently, and what it will start doing and stop doing.

  1. Products and Services

This section is a discussion of how the company earns revenue, i.e. its products and services, and how these are delivered and why.

There should also be a comparison of the company’s products and services with competing products and services.

  1. Assets to Profits

Do an inventory of the physical assets such as buildings, inventories, leases, capital equipment, new capital and other resources needed to convert the company’s products and services into revenue.

The focus is on how to make the most efficient use of these assets in order to generate revenues and subsequently, profits.

  1. Operating Priorities

Describe operating priorities for the coming year, changes from past years, and why. What opportunities will present themselves in the coming months and how should the company capitalize on these.

This section should also discuss how operations can be affected by threats, trends, business cycles and other issues, and how will the company deal with them, i.e., capitalize on some, adjust to others, neutralize the rest.

  1. Marketing Plan

Include a summary of the marketing plan, focusing on marketing priorities, and how the company is differentiating itself, and its products and services, from competitors and competing products.

Describe the markets for these, and discuss the marketing strategies and tactical approaches the company is taking/will take.

Include also any issues that may affect the company’s ability to achieve sales and revenue targets, and what is being done about them.

  1. Financial Plan

This should contain a candid assessment of the company’s financial outlook for the coming year. The section is essentially a summary of the budget for the coming year, including capital requirements, revenues and expenses, and earnings.

It should also focus on financial issues related to the coming year’s operating priorities, and include clear financial performance measurements, by month, quarter and for the year.

Project Sponsorship: How to Effectively Champion a Project

The Project Sponsor is more than a figurehead. It is a vital role on a Project and an effective Sponsor can be the difference between success and failure.

To sponsor a project means more than simply putting a name on the business case and turning up to the occasional meeting. Sponsorhip is a fundamental activity and plays a critical role in the eventual success or failure of the project. Many sponsors make the mistake of believing that they don’t need to get involved; that the project shouldn’t take up too much of their time. In fact, the most successful projects have sponsors that understand the importance of their involvement.

The Project Driver

The sponsor of the project is the driver who will push the project forward in the organisation. If the sponsor isn’t active then the project will fail to gather momentum and its priority will begin to slip against other, more important projects. Without support a project will not get the necessary resources; be that time, people or money.

It is the sponsor’s role to foster support for the project within the senior management levels of the organisation. The sponsor should be demonstrating both public and private support and helping all staff understand why this project is so important.

The Project Champion

The sponsor can articulate the business purpose for the project in a few succinct sentences – that’s how well they understand the project! They ensure that the project remains aligned to the strategic goals of the organisation, and through timely involvement ensure that key decisions are made. A project manager is responsible for the running of the project, but ultimately it is the project sponsor who has more power and influence in the organisation and can make things happen.

It is the sponsor who is accountable for the success or failure of the project. This means that the project sponsor will have to make the key project decisions, which are outside the approved boundaries for the project manager. Through an effective working partnership, the project manager supports the project sponsor, ensuring he or she is aware of the key issues on the project and providing them with possible alternatives.

Project Leadership

During times of change, staff look to management for direction, particularly their own manager and also senior managers. The sponsor has the important task of communicating the business purpose for the project and ensuring that the benefits are understood across the organisation.

The project sponsor is a vital role on a project and can make the difference between benefits that are fully realised and benefits that are only partly achieved. Projects need support and must be driven within an organisation. There will always be an extensive portfolio of projects and only those that are most critical will survive. Therefore, it’s is ultimately up to the project sponsor to ensure that the project is given the backing it needs.