It is always said “If you Fail to Plan, you Plan to Fail” Success in business comes as a result of planning. You have to have a detailed, written plan that shows what the ultimate goal is, the reason for the goal, and each milestone that must be passed in order to reach your goal.
Basically, consumers are hunkering down to limit spending, save money, conserve resources, and change the way they’ve been living. The major influence on the health of an economy is the psychological state of its consumers. When there exists a broad belief that spending beyond necessity is unwise, people will change their habits and as a result, some businesses will have to close their doors. The economy is molting into a new, leaner animal. Rather than react in desperation to avoid doom, firms should interact with the current situation with innovative and forward thinking actions.
Aside from an overall directional policy for the production, sales effort and profit goals of your product–your basic “travel guide” to business success–the most important purpose your business plan will serve, will be the basis or foundation of any financial proposals you submit. Many entrepreneurs are under the mistaken impression that a business plan is the same as a financial proposal, or that a financial proposal constitutes a business plan. This is just a misunderstanding of the uses of these two separate and different business success aids.
The business plan is a long range “map” to guide your business to the goal you’ve set for it. The plan details the what, why, where, how and when, of your business–the success planning of your company.Your financial proposal is a request for money based upon your business plan–your business history and objectives.Understand the differences. They are closely related, but they are not interchangeable.Writing and putting together a “winning” business plan takes study, research and time, so don’t try to do it all in just one or two days.
I have to do everything I say I’m going to do in my business plan, or I’m a failure. Many Solo Entrepreneurs never start because of this myth-which leaves them feeling that the success of their future business suddenly rides on each stroke of the pen or click of the keyboard!Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Think of your business plan as a roadmap for a trip. Expect to take some detours for road construction. Be flexible enough to take some exciting, unplanned side trips. And don’t be surprised if instead of visiting Mount Rushmore, you decide to go to Yellowstone, if that turns out to meet your vacation goals better!
A good business plan has a nice cover, is at least 40 pages long, must be typed and double-spaced.Business plans intended for investors, such as a bank or venture capitalist, must meet certain requirements that such investors expect.Solo Entrepreneur Reality: As a Solo Entrepreneur, your business plan need only satisfy YOU. It might be scribbled on a napkin, on stickie notes on your wall, or consist of a collage of pictures and captions. It might be all in one document or scattered among several mediums. As long as you know it in your head and heart without having to look at it, and and it is easily accessible to you when you have doubts, that’s all that is necessary.
I don’t need a loan-so I don’t need a business plan.YOU are the investor in your business-and would you invest in the stock of some company without seeing a prospectus?Solo Entrepreneur Reality: Seeing your plan in black and white (or color, if you prefer!), can give a whole new view on the financial viability of your business. If “doing the numbers” seems overwhelming, remember you don’t need fancy spreadsheets. Just lay out a budget that shows where all the money is coming from (and going), and have an accountant review it for additional perspective.
Sometimes it takes a significant event or change in existing conditions for a business to create a written plan. I think it’s safe to say that the state of the economy is a significant change that should prompt business owners to alter the way they’ve been doing things. If you already have a business plan, it’s time to get it out and revise it. Make sure your plan includes answers to these questions:What do I want to accomplish?,What do I have to work with?,How have I done in the past?,What might I do in the future?,What will I do now?,How will I do it?,Is it working?