Starting a Business
Increase Your Chances For Success
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Look, when you start a business there are many steps and it is a multi-faceted, but it is as easy as Plan it – Work your plan – measure your activity and success. That’s it, a three step plan. Lets look at these three steps individually.
Every business plan has some key components to it. The key to the business plan is to make sure you get insights into the business you want to start. Most businesses fail withing the first 5 years of being in business. The reason is that most fail to plan, most fail to really look into the what it’s going to take to succeed. Most fail to understand their profit model. If you take a few hours to really look into the details of the business you’re getting into, it will help secure your chances for success.
A good business plan will answer the following:
- Details about your business entity such as what it’s going to be called, what legal structure it will use and why, what the name is going to be, the domain name for the website, where it’s going to be located and why. Who makes up your team? What’s their experience? Why them?
- It will detail what’s happening in the industry. It will pinpoint opportunities, threats/risks, strengths and weakness of the industry.
- It will study the competitive landscape. Who are your competitors? Where are they at? Who is their target market? What’s their pricing structure? What is their marketing message? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- In your marketing marketing plan, it will identify your niche / your message to the market. It will identify your target market and their demographics. It will identify your strengths and weaknesses. It will also identify opportunities and risks for your business as you launch into the market. It will identify the products you will offer, your pricing structure, your packaging strategy, and your overall position in the market as well as your marketing strategy.
- It will detail your sales strategy. Will you sell face to face, online, by mail, via telephone? Why? What is your sales cycle? What products or services can you up sell? Are you selling to a CEO, a President of the Company, a Department Manager? Who’s going to be managing your sales department? What are the qualifications of your Sales Representatives? How will you train them?
- How will your business operate? What does the organizational chart look like? How many departments will you have? Who will manage them?
- What do you expect your financial statements to look like for the next three years? What will be your profit or your losses following start up? What will be your startup cost? What debt and what assets will you acquire? How will your cash be flowing in and out of your business?
This is a basic structure of business plan content. There are many questions to ask and answer. The more you can think about, the better and more powerful your business plan will be. Don’t be afraid to end up with a 50 page or 100 page document. This document really helps you gain insights about the future and helps you think about potential risks and how you will respond when you confront them. In this case, for sure, more is better.
Work Your Plan
You planned the development of your business and how your business should be performing by working your financial statements for the first three years. You worked out your marketing and your sales plans. You planned who your were going to hire, where you were going to be located. You know every detail of your business. Now go do it. Create checklists for yourself. Read your business plan often and make sure you don’t leave anything undone. I tell my clients that if it works on paper, all you have to do is fulfill the details and everything should work out unless there is a major shift in the market or industry. Everything is possible, but the more detailed you fulfill the targets of your business plan, the greater the chances of success.
Measure and Track Your Success
Track it as often as possible. I personally track my business numbers weekly. Some of my clients, such as restaurants and other retail establishments, track their businesses hourly. Make sure you are on track to reach your goals. If you surpass them, adjust the numbers in your business plan. Never settle for less, or even where you are at. Keep the business moving forward… unless settling where you are or downsizing is what you want. All is viable in a business plan. Whatever you want, just plan it, work the plan, and measure your position. Adjust as necessary.
A Little More to Think About
In addition, you need to think about policies and procedures as separate documents. These are just as important as a business plan because they give you insights to how your business will operate.
What are the policies of the company? What is flexible law and what is not? What holidays do they have off? How do they accumulate days off? How will you discipline employees that break these policies? How will you educate your employees on these policies and make sure they remember them?
How will your business operate? What does the organizational chart look like? How many departments will you have? What are the job descriptions? What are people expected to do? How will you measure their success? How will you train them? How will you support them? Who will manage them?
This surely is a lot to think about. As you get your business started, you have to answer many questions and prepare for as much as you can. It may seem overwhelming, but there is so much support for you. Remember to look into our FREE and paid classes and you never have to do this alone because we do offer consulting and accountability coaching. Whatever you do, I wish you much success and congratulations for venturing in to the world on entreprenuerialism!