As the year is nearing a close, now is a great time to take stock of your business and your financial and emotional investment.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself. How are you feeling about your business lately? Are you committed to making it work and to have a really successful endeavor? Are you passionate about it? Or, are you just getting by and your business feels more like a hobby?
If your business is truly a venture of passion, then you need to ask yourself: What is your business model or quite bluntly, how are you going to make money? Do you have a business plan?
Why Is a Business Plan Important?
I am often asked, why is your business plan so important? Why? Because taking the time to make a plan forces you stop and think about the all key components – everything that contributes to a successful business.
Writing it down, especially as you are first starting out, is important because it helps you determine if all of the areas of your business are aligned. And if not, find solutions early. The plan also gives you a reason to focus on those key components and to think long and hard about each one.
Find Clarity in a Plan
During the planning process, you are clarifying:
- Your product offering
- What you do and why (which ties in to your values, purpose, and mission statement)
- Who your ideal client is and why
- How you are going to reach them and how often you intend to reach out
- Who your repeat clients are and how you will keep them coming back
- Who you are competing with and why you consider them in your competitive set
- What you will charge for your service or product, and how that relates to your competition
- How you differ from your competitors and what differentiates you
- The overall business climate for your industry and how you fit in to it – how are you different?
- Your projected revenue, expenses and growth
This is just an overview of the many things you should consider as you think about taking your business to the next level. Spend some time researching each of these items and put together a simple plan to start. The amount of thought you put in will ensure your future success!