Plan For EverythingYou have probably heard this a thousand times or have read it for the umpteenth time. Nonetheless, it has to be said. Most people assume that planning begins and ends with the definition of objectives and goals that business must meet. That is only part of it. There are other parts of planning as well that need to be critically explored for the business venture you want to conjure up to become a reality.
For starters, you need to have a clear understanding of the key reasons for starting a business. To aid in this, you need to ask yourself the why, where, when, who, what and how. You need to establish the true motives, the why. This will inform the key decisions you will make regarding the business. The ‘where’ will help you know the location, while the when the time. You need to know who your business will be catering to. Finally, the how will help you structure your steps to launching.
After you have got down to establishing answers to the above questions, you must determine your competencies. Owning a business will require you to develop a couple of new key skills. You can develop these skills by educating yourself or enrolling a course. The Internet has a whole host of resources that can help you develop the skills you will need to run your business effectively.
Once you have established the key skills you will need to run the business, it is time to focus on the costs. Never make the assumption that you have enough money to keep the business going. The Devil is in the details especially when costs are involved. Many businesses fail because they were careless in taking into account the true costs of running it. You can avoid that fate by sitting down and working out the costs tangible and intangible ones. Tangible ones are those that you pay for the assets and utilities. Intangible ones are those that occur behind the scenes like sudden emergencies. You must take every precaution in coming up with figures for the cost. If you do not, you run the risk of getting overwhelmed by the suddenness of the mounting costs. In extreme cases, you might be compelled to close up shop, bringing an end to owning a profitable business.
In line with cost, you need to consider crafting a strategy when there are zero funds. It sounds like a gloomy possibility but it must be considered. This is in a bid to have a sense of direction lest you find yourself flatfooted. This means a critical look at your sources of income and your savings. Do you have a fallback plan if everything you worked for stops? If you do not, craft one as quickly as possible.
Finally, you need to learn about the legal requirements for establishing a business. There is essential paperwork you need before you can launch a business or risk ending up on the wrong side of the law. For instance, a business permit and tax certificates. Do thorough due diligence to ensure you are in good standing with authorities.
Practice Makes PerfectCongratulations, you have made it past the planning process. It is time to segue into the actual running of the business. Remember: the odds are stacked against you if the current stats about businesses failing within the first three years of operation. That should not discourage you though. Think of it as challenge to be met head on and overcome. It takes work, time and supreme dedication to run a business.
When you are attempting something new like running a business for the first time, there is mix of skittishness and excitement. You need to tamp down these feelings and focus on the task ahead. In your new role as a business owner, you must be ready to keep an open mind and learn from other people. You must look at the businesses in your niche and examine the reasons why they are successful. By learning about what makes them successful, you might appropriate those strategies that have made them successful. Keep an eye on the failures as well. They contain very instructive lessons of what not to do while running a business.
Utilize the power of iteration to grow your business. Iteration is employing a prototype that allows to learn about what works and what does not, in a nutshell. Iteration in this case means, starting small and absorbing the lessons. Do not despise small beginnings because they offer really good lessons at a lower cost than those learned by big companies. Iteration will help you also develop the necessary skills and competencies that you can carry forward as you expand in your chosen field.
Keeping At ItBy now your business is up and running. So what comes next? This is a question that most business owners whose businesses are starting to pick up.
The first thing is to strive to keep a level head always. Most people tend to get carried away by successes in the business. They assume that their job is done and the successes will carry on forever. This simply is not the case. You need to be alive to the fact that the business arena is constantly changing and so must you to survive. When things are going bad, you might wind up getting a little depressed and want to quit. Both good and bad events will have a profound effect on us and our business. It is important to keep a level head always so that you can make informed decisions that will guide your business in the periods that will come. It is not always easy but it must be done. You must make it a practice to make it stick.
Finally, you must always find ways of promoting your business. Do not just stop at your first promotional campaign. Your potential customer’s interest in what you are offering must be stoked constantly. This means coming up with provocative and exciting campaigns that capture their heart and minds. You must strive to always promote your business and never let up in the intensity. There are always new customers to be gained every day.