How are you feeling about your business? Are you committed to making it work? Or, are you just getting by and your business feels more like a hobby? What is your business model, or to put it quite bluntly, how are you going to make money? What is your plan?
Do you have a business plan?
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Why is a business plan important? It is important because taking the time to make a plan causes you stop and think about key components of a successful business: your product; what you do and why you do it; your ideal customer; your competition; your industry; your projected revenue and expenses; etc. The process of constructing a business plan also gets you to formulate short-term and long-term goals. If you are doing it after being in business for a while, you can use data from what is happening now to project what you want in the future.
During the planning process, you are clarifying:
- Your product offering
- What you do and why (which ties in to your core values, purpose and a mission statement)
- Who is your ideal client and why?
- How are you going to reach them and how often?
- Who is your competition and why?
- What do you charge and how does that relate to the competition?
- How are you different from them? What differentiates you?
- What is the overall climate of your industry and how will you fit in to it?
- What are your revenue projections? What are your expenses?
This is a little overview of things to consider. If you spend some time researching each of these things and putting together a simple plan, you have put a fair amount of thought in to ensuring your future success. There are also low cost ways to get some guidance. The Small Business Administration has a program called SCORE; if you look it up, there are simple business plan templates and the opportunity to have a SCORE mentor in your area go through it with you.
Since it is almost 2018, I wanted to get you thinking about what your business could look like next year and in subsequent years! Happy planning! Have I motivated you? I hope so!