Monday, May 25, 2015

5 Critical Element of Small Business Planning

Beginning your own small business can be quite a daunting task. I applaud anyone that is willing to think outside the box, put in the endless hours of hard work and fully believes in new ideas and methodologies that can eventually lead to a successful and thriving small business.
One of the most crucial steps in becoming "the boss" and creating your own business is the business plan. This critical piece can make or break your professional future. It's the tool that will enable you to clearly see your path and help you navigate any obstacles. Please, please do not take this lightly. Your business plan should become the bible to your business.

  1. Clarity: Your main business idea should be clearly defined and you should be able to succinctly articulate all aspects of your services or products and how you plan to support each component.
  2. Passion: Don't get overwhelmed with the details and mechanical structure of business planning. A wonderful technique is to simply begin with a rough outline and then go back and fill in the sub-components with a bit more detail. Your passion for your new business will take over and items will begin to flow from your mind to your pen (or keyboard.)
  3. Preparation: As indicated within my first paragraph, owning your own business can entail endless hours of hard work in the beginning. As your success grows, you can outsource several aspects or simply hire on some help. But, if you truly have the passion for what you are building and prepare accordingly, it may no longer become merely "work" to you. Create in your mind the commitment and disciplines that are needed to truly succeed.
  4. Investigation: Before purchasing a new vehicle, you may take it to a mechanic and ensure it is a sound investment and will perform as needed. You want to ensure you have dependable and safe transportation, right? Well, the same theory is needed when beginning a new business. Do your homework and investigate the market and the need for what you will be providing. Be able to show market analysis numbers and details on expenses and how profit will be created. Learn how to be different than your competitors and articulate this within your business plan.
  5. Resources: If you are reading this, then you are making wise use of a free resource. This is one very small example of what is available on a long list of resources for small business owners. Seek the knowledge of others that have been there and overcome many of the obstacles that you may see. You will likely learn a few helpful processes that can speed up a few aspects of your business. Don't be afraid to ask questions! There are multitudes of government agencies, business professionals, trade associations and non-profit groups that are willing to help you succeed.
So many new business owners wish to jump directly into what they know or do best and skip the vital step of business planning. The business plan is your roadmap to success. It is your "way ahead" and when completed will not only fuel your passion, but alleviate much unneeded anxiety. Take the time to prepare a solid business plan and don't be afraid to ask for help when needed. You'll be glad you did.
Pj Germain
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