Early in my entrepreneurial adventure, I had attended a conference where I spoke to the speaker about my own business plans. When we were done he handed me his marketing book. Inside the cover it read: Christine … Be Remarkable! Those words have stuck with me ever since and not only represent my own goal but my wish for other small business owners as well.
I know the power those words have and how much they can mean to a new entrepreneur. My mission is to help all entrepreneurs to feel remarkable every day in their business.
As a small business owner you have to wear many hats. The key to making all those hats work for you is in having a plan in place … specifically a business plan.
Now please do not shudder and stop reading … I have a way to make it painless! The real value of a business plan is the process you go through to complete it. Unless you are going for a bank loan or something like that, you do not need a large, formal plan … what you do need is a roadmap for success. I think this version sounds much more manageable and less scary. A roadmap is just going to guide you through your set up and then show you what goals you have for the next year or so. You can always change the roadmap as you go because your goals and visions are sure to change as well.
Start by asking yourself 3 things:
1.) Where are you now?
2.) Where do you want to go?
3.) How do you get there?
Once you have thought of the answers to these questions you can move on. Make sure before you move on though that you have the answers sorted out in your head and written down on paper to refer back to at any time through your entrepreneurial journey.
Decide on your business concept:
· How many people do you want to serve?
· What service / product will you provide and how?
· What sales do you expect your first year?
· What are your objectives, your mission and your keys to success?
· Who is your competition and how do you compare to them? What will you do differently?
Now you need to define each area of your operation and create systems around each one. You will be amazed how in the short time it takes you to put together systems you can streamline your business and everything will run smoothly.
Do not forget to keep an eye on your cash flow. Make sure you pay attention to how much will be required to keep your business not just start it up. So many entrepreneurs go into business with the focus on how much they actually need … be sure to write out your monthly expenses as well to maintain so you know what you need to bring in to be successful and take care of all the expenses while still making a profit.
Marketing is a big help … without it you have no customers! Decide who you are selling to and how you are going to reach them. There are various ways to market such as in person (networking events, meetings, etc.) and online (social media, blogs, advertisements, etc.)
This is just the beginning of your business plan. Think about your concept, brainstorm answers to what's listed here and have fun. This will help you to go step by step so you do not get overwhelmed! And remember … Have fun! This is the business of your dreams, your roadmap should reflect that!
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