Before the economy went to pot and the stock market fell off of the face of the earth starting a successful business was difficult. With individuals and business cutting back on spending it has gotten worse. Today more than ever before it is a tough time to start up a successful business.
It has never been more important than today to have a plan in place for your business. When people hear the words “Business Plan” there is emotional turmoil present in their facial expressions. Many individuals are petrified at the thought that they need to sit down and write a business plan.
Believe it or not it is not that bad (once you know what to put into one). Whether you are just getting started or you have an existing business you will want to make sure that you have a business plan in place. Every business plan will start off with these things:
A Mission Statement – Is a written statement that defines the purpose of a company. It will include things such as the organizations goals and a general direction for the company. Usually mission statements are only a few sentences long. They are meant to be clear, concise and to the point.
The Companies Description – What will be your legal structure (corporation, LLC, Partnership, etc.)? What is the company’s history (when and where did they start operating)? What are your startup plans, when and where will you operate your business?
Your Customer – Who are you trying to market your products to? What is your market niche (you will need to define it, this is critical)? It’s easy to say that you want to sell to everyone but you should hone your market in to specific demographics. It could be by age (25 to 40), sex (female), homeowners (yes), parents of 5 to 12 year olds (yes), that live in a certain part of the country (Atlanta). OK you get the idea, you may not have these restrictions or you may have more, it is your business so define what it is going to be.
Your Products – Once you have defined your customer it is time to make sure the produce matches them. If you are selling senior housing and you are marketing it to people 20 to 40 instead of marketing it to the 55 plus age group you are wasting your money and will probably be out of business shortly.
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are entire books written to the subject, go to the local library or bookstore and look into some of the.
Strategy Based Profits TIP: – The takeaway here should be that you need a plan and you need it sooner rather than later.
Robert J. Roy