Would you ever go on vacation without a plan or doing some research? Even if you are the type to “just show up and play it by ear”, there is still some indirect planning that goes on behind the scenes. How are you going to get there, how much do you want to spend and where are you going to stay? And the more destinations you go to, the more complicated it gets.
Starting a business is not that different. There are standard questions that need to be answered on subjects like marketing, sales, pricing, financing, personnel and operations.
1. Write it down
A vacation is a very simple example but starting a business is a lot more complicated. By writing it down, your direction and planning becomes clear. If you have a business partner, it also ensures you are both thinking along the same lines. Your business plan becomes your “to do” list for success!
Time is precious so your plan will make sure you spend your time in the right places. After all, the purpose of your business plan is to reach your goals faster!
2. Have your Business Plan reviewed
When you plan your vacation, you may ask others who have been to those areas and get their input on your plan. You are only going to visit this place once in your lifetime so you want to make sure you get the biggest bang for your buck.
It’s the same thing with your business plan. How do you know whether this plan is getting you to your goal in the fastest possible way? Even if you are an experienced business person, you need your plan validated by a professional with experience in a broad range of areas - like a Business Consultant. There is an advantage to having someone from the outside your company give you feedback because they can see things that you may not notice because you are too close to the situation. Plus a Consultant can offer new suggestions that you may not have thought of.
3. Review your Business Plan regularly
Did you ever have your vacation plans disrupted because of weather or maybe an airline strike? Easy, we just move onto Plan B.
It’s the same thing with your business plan. A business will encounter many factors that affect their revenues and costs. It could be a weak economy, a sudden increase in your supplier’s costs or a new competitor. This is why it is so important to review your plan regularly so you can adapt to these changes quickly and logically. Your business needs to also have a Plan B!
If you currently do not have a business plan in place and do not know where to start, contact NCP Consulting to get a free template and guide.