Is Your Business Plan Setting You Up for Success?
How are you feeling about your business? Are you committed to making it work? Or, are you just getting by and your business feels more like a hobby? What is your business model, or to put it quite bluntly, how are you going to make money? What is your plan?
Do you have a business plan?
Why is a business plan important? It is important because taking the time to make a plan causes you stop and think about key components of a successful business: your product; what you do and why you do it; your ideal customer; your competition; your industry; your projected revenue and expenses; etc. The process of constructing a business plan also gets you to formulate short-term and long-term goals. If you are doing it after being in business for a while, you can use data from what is happening now to project what you want in the future.
During the planning process, you are clarifying:
- Your product offering
- What you do and why (which ties in to your core values, purpose and a mission statement)
- Who is your ideal client and why?
- How are you going to reach them and how often?
- Who is your competition and why?
- What do you charge and how does that relate to the competition?
- How are you different from them? What differentiates you?
- What is the overall climate of your industry and how will you fit in to it?
- What are your revenue projections? What are your expenses?
This is a little overview of things to consider. If you spend some time researching each of these things and putting together a simple plan, you have put a fair amount of thought in to ensuring your future success. There are also low cost ways to get some guidance. The Small Business Administration has a program called SCORE; if you look it up, there are simple business plan templates and the opportunity to have a SCORE mentor in your area go through it with you.
Since it is almost 2018, I wanted to get you thinking about what your business could look like next year and in subsequent years! Happy planning! Have I motivated you? I hope so!