Probably the most important aspect of any business, more important than your budget or your employees or even your hard work is having a good plan. You can have the best idea in the world, an unlimited budget, and top-tier MIT and Harvard level talent, but it just won’t matter if you don’t have a plan.
Namely, a company without a business plan is like a ship without a map or compass – the only way you’re gonna reach your destination is by sheer luck. We understand that you can’t plan out everything, and that stepping into the unknown is just part of the fun. However, there is a point where you simply must figure out what you’re going to do, otherwise you’ll end up in trouble. For this reason we have written up this little article that is supposed to help you out. Read on to understand what you need to do in order to set up the best business strategy for your small business.
Get some research under your belt
First of all, sit down, get a pad and paper out, and do your homework. You need to analyse your product, the marketplace you’re placing said product, your audience, what the competitions is like, what certificate, licences, and regulations you need to be aware of…Anything from seeing what kind of financing options you have, to getting the right paperwork done – you need to cover your bases.
Namely, you want to do everything by the book and not get blindsided by a penalty or even a cease and desist letter just because you forgot to get a licenses. And of course, by understanding the market and the entire economic environment you are in, you will much more easily be able to actually write a quality business plan that is based in reality.
What is your vision
In order to have a plan, you need to have a vision, a destination, something to move towards. Your business plan needs to serve as a kind of map that helps you reach a specific destination. It helps you avoid various bumps in the road and keeps you focused. But, in order to actually use it, you need to have destination to go to.
So, try to figure out what it is you exactly want in the next year or ten. Do you want to branch out as soon as possible, or to dominate the local market? Are you planning of going international, or staying where you are? Are you interested in creating something new and unique every couple of years, or do you want to perfect the services and goods you already have on offer?
Take marketing into consideration
Don’t forget about marketing as well. It’s not just enough to get at good website, set up some proper SEO options and getting your name out there. You need to have a plan on how you will approach the market, how will you introduce your product. What kind of contracts will you enter, what will your brand look like?
Next, marketing also includes your reputation. For example, you want to attract the right employees as well. If somebody sees a bunch of lawsuits revolving around psychological injury in the workplace, you won’t really get the best employees you want. It also won’t impress many business partners and clients if you mistreat your people.
A big part of crating your business strategy is organizing the structure of your company. This essentially means who is in charge of what, and what percentage of shares do people in your company have. What will be your part of the work? What are your tasks and activities, and what kind of work will your employees have to do? How many managers will there be? How many people will work for you, what kind of insurance policy are you going to get?
These are all very important aspects of running any business. You need to know who does what, for how long, and when. Of course, at first you need to do everything. However, as time goes on, you can delegate more and more work, and focus on the things only you can do.
Leave room for innovation
We spoke about structure and planning here, but what we neglected to mention is innovation. Namely, you need to leave some room for lateral thinking, for considering ideas outside of the box. Live some room for error, don’t be too stiff when writing your goals down. They should be exact, but also flexible. You may write down what kind of equipment or software you want to get in 3 months’ time, but be ready to change it up if something more suitable shows up.
Developing a good business strategy is vital to your success. Sit down, do your homework, and analyze the market. Leave some room for innovation, organize your company structure and get a clear idea on who does what and when. Always keep your vision in the back of your mind, and remember to write up a good marketing strategy as well.
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