Do you have a business plan? Business plans are the foundation of a successful business. Without one, you aren’t setting yourself up for success.
Business plan. It’s a word that may get some eye rolls. As a startup or small business owner, the term has probably been mentioned too many times to keep count.
The truth is, though: you need to focus on your business, and it starts with a strong business plan.
Creating one doubles your chances of success.
Plan Ahead, But Not Too Much
Planning is essential to a business plan. Creating a solid plan begins with putting down on paper every aspect of your business.
Writing your business plan involves what you are doing with your company and what you hope to achieve in the future.
Sure, it isn’t the most exciting part of owning a business. And writing down a plan (which is time-consuming) doesn’t sound like something you’d like to do. But once you’ve written it, and written it well, you can go back to the fun aspects of your business.
Nothing is set in stone in the business world. That’s why you should plan your business, but understand changes can happen. Which is why over-planning won’t do you any good.
You must always be ready to adapt when needed. So stay flexible.
Identify an Issue and Solve It
Every successful business offers a solution to a problem. In your industry, what problem are you trying to solve?
Your business plan must include your customers’ problems or needs, and how you can help and solve that problem. In other words, how can you make their life easier?
For instance, Apple is known for innovation. Their products are accessible to the public, easy to use, and simple.
If you’re a tech startup, does your product solve a problem? If it doesn’t, you need to dig deeper, expand your ideas, and maybe even go back to the starting line before moving forward again.
While writing and building your business plan, make sure you focus on a problem in your industry and how you will solve that problem.
But stay true to your company brand. Don’t forget about your mission, values, ideals, and company culture while creating it. It can be easy to get lost in it all. Even if you’re just beginning your journey as a small business or startup, keep those values close to you, and never lose sight of them.
Your values and ideals will help you hire employees such as temps, interns, and short term contractors.
Plus, the more focused you are, the easier it is to build your business plan and the faster you can get back to other parts of your business.
Make your business plan purposeful, and discuss how you can change the world. Not just make money.
What is your biggest business plan obstacle? How did you overcome it?