The big picture, the details and you flexibility
Once you have defined your idea and business concept, you should take the next step for making it happen. In the current competitive business environment, to create and follow a detailed business plan is mandatory.
The right business plan should allow you to stay true to your business idea and help you to focus on the details. It should also offer room for flexibility, so you will be able to zoom in and out on the vital aspects of your enterprise as your business grows.
Many fledgling entrepreneurs manage to get specific elements of their new business figured out very nicely but neglect other aspects that can jeopardize the entire effort. A successful entrepreneur cannot become so entranced with a grand vision that quality is neglected, or so consumed with details that the competition is ignored and strategic or marketing blunders are made.
Regularly make quick assessment of your business plan by revisiting these three rules:
First, you always need to keep in mind where you are going, your future. You need a long-term plan for how you are going to get from where you are to where you want to be. You need to separate the future into manageable sections and plan each in detail.
Next, you need to evaluate the broad landscape in which your business will operate: your competition, larger social and economic trends, issues related to suppliers and manufacturing that you must contend with but that you cannot always control.
Finally, from time to time you need to examine the finest details to deeply understand the mechanics and nuances of your business.
By embarking on new experiences and adventures, you should aim to understand as much as you can about how things are made and how things work, especially when you discover a system or method that sets a standard for excellence.
You must come to love all the key elements of your new business so that you can build a solid, well-designed operation. You need to perfectly understand the little details that make your business idea viable when you are developing your vision statement and your business plan.
Your vision statement should be a clear, concise description of exactly what you intend to offer to your customers, emphasizing the special qualities you can bring to this business.
A brief, but informative description should convey the what, how, and why of your business but also speak to its aspirations, target market, and quality. They urge consumer’s appetite to find out more. It is important to describe your business consistently and confidently when talking to all sorts of people.
Depending on your type of business, it may also pay to develop a richly illustrated brochure early on that includes your company’s inspirational mission but also speaks to the quality and content of your products. This type of brochure can be especially effective to take to customer meetings and to provide to all of your employees so they thoroughly understand where your company is going and what it stands for.
Make a business plan
If you don’t read a recipe thoroughly and assemble all of my ingredients first, then the result very well could be a disaster. Therefore, have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. You never want to begin a recipe only to realize halfway through that you don’t have one of the key components.
In business, you don’t follow a recipe; instead, you need to formulate a well-researched business plan. Such a plan will help you assemble the information and strategies necessary to organize and build your company. There are many resources to get you started, most of which can be accessed online.
After you’ve done some initial research, share the first draft of your plan with people who can help you refine it: family, friends, mentors, other business people, as well as accounting and legal professionals.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
Many successful entrepreneurs never wrote a business plan when they started. However, do not naively forge ahead without one. Writing a good business plan forces you to think realistically about what you are stepping into and will clarify what kind of help you need to find. For example, if you are confused with financing issues, you could speak to someone at your local Chamber of Commerce about where to find a reliable accountant, or you can ask the commercial loan officer at your bank what factors they take into account before extending credit. If your business involves turning a homemade item into a manufactured product, thoroughly research your manufacturing options and perhaps hire a manufacturing agent.
Here is the important point to remember: You can become so easily fixated on the attractive or most enjoyable elements of your plan that you overlook some of the more mundane but important details that will make your business work. Asking people for help will give you valuable perspective.
Remember: have all of your ingredients in place, ready to go, before you start. And never lose sight of the big picture, the scope, the structure, and the details of your business.
Take time to save money
The way to invest wisely in your business is to consult with a good accountant and a good lawyer to discuss what it is you wish to accomplish. Outside recommendations about procedural and developmental decisions can really aid a budding entrepreneur.
Do not become one of the successful entrepreneurs who learned that lesson the hard way.
There are three must-haves: a great lawyer, a great accountant, and an insurance policy. You most probably will not be able to hire such experts to work with you from day one, but you surely will be able to afford consultations when need it. Otherwise, you may lose money making bad decisions and this could cost you more than to get the best advice upfront.
Whether you are starting out or building on your business venture, this counsel is worth remembering. Losing money at the start because of wrong calculations could discourage you from forging ahead.
Never make a big decision without sleeping on it, whether it is a hiring decision or a strategic decision. A lot of entrepreneurs think a day is too long to wait. But then you wake up a day or two later and regret a decision, you will spend just as much time undoing it. Especially if you are an emotional decision-maker, you will never regret taking a little more time to think.