You need a business plan. To be successful, in anything, especially a business, you need a plan. The idea of writing a comprehensive business plan can be daunting to people, yet it is imperative to effectively grow your small business. To grow your small business, you need a rock solid business plan.
Why do you need a business plan, you say? You might think, I have a great idea. Everybody will love my idea. I applaud your confidence. Yet, you must be mindful and careful of your short-sightedness. Not everybody likes the same things. Consumer tastes and performances vary wildly. What is a fantastic idea to you may not be of value to somebody else.
Also, there is a lot to understand about running a business and the simple process of sitting down and thinking through it strategically is a valuable exercise. Let me give you a quick example from an area of Long Beach, California where I live. There is an area known as Belmont Shore that contains a strip of shops, coffee houses, restaurants and bars. It is a fun area, often frequented by high foot traffic from the locals and tourists visiting the city. A small shop on this street can have a monthly lease of $10,000+ dollars. This is a pretty big monthly number for a small business and if this is not considered in your plan, you will fail. For example, if you have a slim profit margin, you might need to sell $100,000 worth of items to simply cover all of your expenses.
The overwhelming majority of people enter into their businesses without plan. And, guess what, the majority of small businesses fail. As you need to know where you are going in your life, you need that same vision in your business. A business plan is really a detailed roadmap on how to get there.
Here is a short, but definitely not comprehensive list of what you should consider in your plan. What will you sell and why do people want and need to buy it? Where will you operate? If you have a virtual business, you still need a web-page storefront. Who is your competition and why is your product better? How will you market your products and communicate your better products? Also, who is your market? If you answer ‘everybody’, please reconsider. You cannot cost-effectively advertise to or provide good customer service to all people. Lastly, you must not forget the numbers. Some people are intimated by the financials. If this is you, get help from a consultant, financial advisor, or your accountant.
Do not be intimidated by the process. There are ample resources out there to help you. I encourage you to visit the Small Business Administration at www.SBA.gov for some valuable and cost-free information. There are even basic templates and plans that you can download at no-cost. Also, depending on the specifics of your business and your location, you might have access to free, or extremely low-cost business plan development consulting and training courses. You can also call your local college or review their course catalogue. The investment of your time, energy, and very little money will reap significant rewards.
To effectively grow your small business you need a good business plan. Write a powerful business plan to grow your small business.
Could you use more tips like this to accelerate the growth of your small business? Achievement Thinking is a business growth strategy created by Mark Mikelat, a recognized expert in small business growth. To learn more and connect with Mark Mikelat, follow the Building Aspirations blog at http://www.BuildingAspirations.com/blog for small business marketing tips. Also, you can view his books on Amazon.com. Mark Mikelat, is the founder of Building Aspirations, a marketing firm for small business. http://www.BuildingAspirations.com We want to be your small business success partner.