Planning Your Small Business Success Journey – Six Steps to a Dynamite Action Plan

You are considering starting a small business. Most startups fail. So why should it be any different for you? Any strategist will tell you that there are many factors that contribute to the success or failure of an endeavor, but the only factor that guarantees failure is the lack of a realistic detailed plan of action.

Step 1: Set realistic and specific goals

The key to knowing what goals are realistic and specific is experience. In an established company, the past provides the clue. With a franchise, the franchisor can help you set realistic and specific goals based on years of experience in the industry. A lot of research is required for an independent startup. Talk to other businesses in the area you’re considering opening your business in. Talk to other entrepreneurs in your industry. You’ll want to ask about customer traffic, revenue, and costs. Then set your goals in each specific area.

Step 2: Identify activities, resources and responsibilities

I know it worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams, but in the real world nobody comes unless you build it. You need to educate your customers about what you are doing and why they should be patronizing you. In many startups, you need to entice your first customers with couponing and special events. Identify the specific marketing and sales activities that attract your customers. Keep a detailed list of all resources available in your area, such as signage, media, and public relations. Outsource what you can. Set if necessary. Do it yourself if you have to. Have a detailed list of responsibilities for each activity and hold your contractors, your employees, and yourself accountable.

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Step 3: Define your schedule

Their schedule is often closely related to capitalization. Industries have proven standards for profitability. A house painter can be profitable in 6 months, but it takes a restaurant 3 years to be profitable. If you’re considering investing your life savings and need to be profitable in the first month to get your mortgage, find a cheaper business to open. Plan your course carefully.

Step 4: Make contingency plans for other possible outcomes

General George Patton once said, “Every plan is perfect until the first shot is fired.” What is your contingency if you get a different result than what you planned? If you’re running a sale and expecting 20 sales of a particular item, what’s your plan if you’re selling 10? What if 30 people want something special? Always have a plan to liquidate surplus with minimal or no losses or get more product quickly when needed. If you’ve done your marketing right, people will show up wanting to do business with you. Don’t disappoint her. If there is a device that is critical to your business, such as B. a brewery in a coffee shop, you should know where your backup is located. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have another one in the closet, but you do have a relationship with your repair service so you can rent one within the hour.

Step 5: Merge your action plan with your schedule

Each plan must be linked to a realistic and concrete timeline. In Step 4, you set a timeline to achieve the overall goal you identified in Step 1. Now set specific milestones linked to the activities you identified in Step 2. These can be represented graphically using project management software, or a simple outline will suffice. Just make sure you have identified which tasks need to be identified first before others can be started. Think these through carefully. It makes sense to build from the bottom up, but don’t lay your carpet until your roof is finished.

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Step 6: Delegate, monitor and evaluate

Starting a startup is a daunting task. Oftentimes, first-time entrepreneurs overdo it and burn out. Then they find someone to hand the reins to while they focus on what they enjoy most. This is called management by abdication and usually ends in disaster. To implement the plan, the entrepreneur must focus on delegation, monitoring and evaluation. This will get the job done faster without burning out the owner.

Entrepreneurship is hard work and high risk. Why are so many trying? Because nothing is as rewarding as building a business that can run without you and provide you with financial security for a lifetime. It may seem that the odds are slim for the first-time entrepreneur, but a good detailed plan of action goes a long way in leveling the playing field.