It’s always good to be appreciative, respectful and happy for the success of others, but it’s also very sweet to achieve our goals and experience success ourselves!
Just like every destination worth the trip, it’s a great idea to have a “road map” to guide the way. Today we’re accustomed to using technology such as GPS to tell us the “turn by turn” directions. This is definitely a good thing, but in business, it’s well worth taking the time to do a good ‘ole fashioned business overview and plan.
We’ve all heard the clichés like “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail”, so we don’t really need to go there. A good plan is just that, a good plan. And like the old “A Team” (showing my age here on this one), “I love it when a plan comes together!”
In this blog entry are a summary of the key components to a sound and viable “workable” business plan. This can be (and I highly recommend that you start out this way) -a ONE PAGE BUSINESS PLAN! Yep, I said it; a one pager. This is the summary, you can always expand it later. You really don’t need to get bogged down with a 50 page leather-bound plan that will serve as a bookend on your library shelf.
Before you begin the draft our your plan, ask yourself some key questions: Remember, it’s your business and your plan, so go ahead, be totally honest with yourself! Write what you want, but remember to write. A business plan not written is only a wish (sorry, another cliché there).
The Best place to begin, … is at the beginning!
- Why does my business exist?
- What is my product or service?
- Who, or where is my market?
- How will I reach my market?
- How will I tell my story?
- What obstacles or challenges will I likely face?
When I started the business or purchased the business, what was I thinking? (seriously now)
WHAT IS MY VISION OF AND FOR THE BUSINESS?
Now you’re ready to put some meat on your plan!
Here are the key components to your ultimate GPS working business plan for achieving your desired goals and success in the coming year:
1. DEFINE YOUR MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE BUSINESS.
What is my mission, or purpose with this business?
2. ESTABLISH YOUR BENCHMARK GOALS AND MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENTS:
What are my goals for this year, next year, 3 years, or 5 years from now. Do I still see (envision) myself owning this business, selling, retiring, … or what?
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? (WIIFM)
Define clearly what you want from the business, how you will get it and when. Look as far in the future as you can, then come back to the present for your strategy.
The key to a working business plan is for it to be real to you and for it to be what you believe in. If not, then IT IS A WASTE OF TIME, INK AND PAPER!
3. DEFINE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE. HOW AND TO WHOM YOU’LL DELIVER IT.
- What is it you are selling?
- Why do people buy it, and from you?
- Who are your competitors?
- What are they doing that is better than you?
- What do you do better than they?
- How can you position yourself uniquely?
4. OTHER KEY COMPONENTS TO CONSIDER:
You can be as brief or detailed as you want, but remember… start simple!
- Market Analysis
- Business Strategy Revenue Model
- Product or Service Strategy
- Internet Strategy
- Communications systems and strategy
- Risk management
- Management team
- Present situation
- Financial Plan
- Capital requirements
- Strategic alliances
- Exit/Payback Strategy
COMMIT TODAY TO GET STARTED! After all, it is your plan for success!
Take 30 min.’s to an hour a day over the next 5 business days to draft your plan. (Preferably start in the morning before you get into the battle of the day and lose focus!)
Good luck and continued success!
- The Basics of a Business Plan: Women24 (businessregistrationoffice.com)