The key to making a successful business is in the planning. A clear, well-conceived strategy will prepare you for the journey ahead and keep you on track to realise your goals.
Here are 5 essential points to keep in mind:
Creating your business plan
1. Know your industry
Knowledge is power – start a business without doing your research to keep on your the game. Study your industry well and put all of that knowledge into the plan.
2. Recognise the competition
Look at the existing competition in your field. What can you learn from them?
3. Learn the law
From company names, tax and finance, to intellectual property and copyright, you need to know the law if you’re going to stay on the right side of it. If you can’t learn the relevant laws for yourself, get a good solicitor to help you out.
4. Set your goals
Aim high – but be realistic. Ambition and prudence are important. Investors will be looking for the perfect compromise between the two.
5. Plot your course
Map out your journey from beginning to end. You should know exactly where you’re going and how to get there – making it just a matter of staying motivated.
Staying the Course
OK. Your plan was good and the execution better, but just because you’re up and running in business, doesn’t mean it’s time to relax.
Again, here are five tips to keep the momentum going:
1. Now matters
A good business plan will get you to your goal – but look too far ahead and you risk tripping over your own feet. Keep a focus on what’s happening in the here and now. Make sure you’re still on course.
2. Be flexible
If things change beyond your control, then your business plan should too – be prepared to adapt it. That might mean lowering your expectations, or simply finding new efficiencies in response to market conditions.
3. Choose your allies
The greatest evil masterminds in history were scuppered by incompetent henchmen – make sure you have the right team surrounding you, and don’t be too proud to give them some control over day-to-day operations, if you know they can be trusted.
4. Ignore feedback
OK, not ALL feedback, but just because somebody tells you something, it doesn’t make it valuable information, or a reason to alter your plan. If they’re not one of your carefully chosen advisor’s, treat their advice with caution.
5. Keep going
The road may be a little bumpy from time to time, but if you’re on course, draw encouragement from that, and stick to your guns.
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