First, let’s look at all those things you have to do.
Creating and Updating your Business plan, Fine Tuning Business Model, Designing Products/Services,
Performing Services, Identifying Customers, Marketing to Customers, Servicing Customers, Performing Customer Service,
Manufacturing Products, Creating New Innovations, Developing New Products, Decreasing Operating Costs
Building Out Your Store, Managing Logistics, Managing Your Service Providers, Finding Retailers or Resellers,
Managing Your Brand, Protecting Intellectual Property
Following the Competition, Outmaneuvering the Competition, Taking on Risk & Opportunity Cost,
Hiring Employees , Managing Employees, Training Employees, Investing Money
Whew! That is a plateful! This information is definitely not meant to discourage you from starting a business, or continuing to develop one you have. The earlier you consider all the elements, the better and more complete your business plan will be. You will not be blindsided by new work as you open and develop your business.
Your business plan is your first effort at organizing your resources, your objectives, your methods, and the pace at which you will be developing your business. It shows you your strengths, your weaknesses and your missing pieces. The business plan is a living document that starts with your questions and evolves to include your answers for every element in your business.
As you develop your business plan, you will see how many of the things you have to do fall into categories grouped around functions of the business or functions that support the business. One thing you will begin to see is that not all of these things must be done at once. If your initial product does not find a market, you may not have the opportunity to develop new products.
Intellectual property may be the foundation of your business, or it may not emerge until you have operated the business for several years. Here, you can begin to set priorities of importance and sequence.
One important thing to realize is that you can handle all of these things much better, if you have a plan for them before your have to do them. Sudden requirements suddenly increase your personal work load, create business crises and leave a legacy of
inefficient, expensive processes.
Planning these actions is important, doing them is even more important, but do not forget how important documenting them is. Documenting how you do something (I would recommend anything that takes more than 5 minutes) lets you solve a problem
once. Procedures are terrific time savers and following them will result in money savings.
One solution to the terrific versatility that is demanded of an entrepreneur is to buy a business that is already operating, profitable, and thoroughly documented. Business brokers can assist you in finding a business, doing your due diligence and buying the
business. I would recommend my friend Russell Owens of Coffee Owens in Colorado. They represent clients across
the country, have extensive experience, and provide personalized service.
Another solution is to be awarded a franchise. A franchise offers a complete, successful business plan that has been implemented by many franchisees. In the franchise plan you will find documented processes that cover everything from opening in the morning to selecting a location and building out your store. My friend, Lee Thomas, can provide you will great information about owning and operating franchises.
For those who have a great idea and the “fire in the belly” for an individual startup, my next blog will feature PERCENTAGES. I will blog about the real “80/20 rule”, the nonsense of 110%, 80% failures in 5 years and other targets of opportunity.