Write a Business Plan That Works

This is where forward planning can help you.

A colleague once told me that ‘even a bad plan is better than no plan at all’. A bad plan at least shows that you have given some thought to the direction you want to go in.

A good plan takes time and effort, especially the first time you do one and many business owners or operators think they don’t have the time, or don’t see the value in it. But believe me… it is worth the time and effort!

It is an opportunity for you to build solid foundations for your business, based on known facts and these allow you to:

be very accurate in your plans and future projections.
avoid unforeseen pitfalls and crisis situations
spend your money and/or other resources in the most effective way
stay ahead of the market
make the most of every opportunity
be pro active and choose your own course rather than be reactive and follow everyone else
stop wasting time, effort and resources on inefficient processes and more

Good business planning involves:

looking at what you’ve done in the past few years
looking at where you are now
drawing conclusions from the above two points
based on that information determining your objective for the coming year/s
setting key strategies to help achieve the objective

Analysis of Past Performance

In this section of a business plan you look at the past year (or two) to take a good look at what worked and what didn’t. Where you came from is every bit as important as where you are going. You need to look at:

What promotional activities did you run- for example did you have any discount deals, special offers etc?
What worked? What didn’t?
Why did the activities work so well, not so well – find the reasons
Advertising campaigns
(again) What worked? What didn’t?
Why did the campaigns work so well, not so well – find the reasons
What mediums did you use? (ie Newspapers, magazines, radio. List the actual companies you used as you may have used a number of different ones.)
How much did you spend on them?
Which ones generated enquiries and which ones didn’t?
Did you keep track of the enquiries, if so, what were the results?

Keeping statistics on where enquiries come from can help you to use your advertising budget in the most effective way. There’s no point in spending a lot of money on advertising on television, for example, if most of your enquiries come from newspaper ads or word of mouth. Asking customers where they heard about you and keeping a record is the best way of determining advertising effectiveness.

Businesses Don’t Join Networking Groups

Organized networking is not part of a serious sales plan.

There are lots of networking organizations that promise an endless stream of prospects for business but, in fact, organized networking groups such as BNI or 4 Networking are filled with micro businesses and self-employed that cannot deliver significant opportunity for any growing business. These groups can play a role for the very small self-employed business. The problem is that ninety-nine percent of the membership of these organizations only employ the owner – there is no business opportunity! The result is a breakfast meeting filled with struggling businesses desperately looking for a prospect where few or none exist.

Why do real businesses not attend organized networking groups?

Established businesses develop relationships directly with a target business and do not depend on matchmakers or chance meetings at breakfasts or cocktail parties to develop a ‘friendship’ that will later develop into business. Doubt this? You will rarely, if ever, find an established business with more than a half a dozen employees at any organized networking event. An established business has a well-developed sales and marketing plan which provides the plans, resources and tools to sell effectively in the marketplace.

Established businesses do use networking but only with a focused and determined strategy connecting with similar businesses at industry events and business clubs. Even at business clubs such as the London Chamber or the IOD small and large businesses do not mix in the same circles. You can go to every networking event sponsored by the London Chamber and you will never meet the Patron members. The big fish and the small fish are swimming in different tanks!

How do you connect and do business with larger organizations that have the kind of budgets that will allow you to transform your business?

You need to prepare yourself and your business and professionally target larger companies. This means you need to develop the selling skills and strategy to effectively locate, connect and present. Then you need to sell and close the business. If you don’t have these skills then invest and build the knowledge to play in the real game of business!

Various Revenue Streams Keep A Solopreneur Solvent

To construct a fruitful vocation as a Solopreneur expert requires fortitude, strength, ownership of attractive aptitudes and associations with individuals who are willing and ready to allude or support you for paid task assignments. Solopreneur advisors must have an ability for offering, the control to make and seek after business objectives, a skill for enormous picture thinking and executing methodologies and a comprehension of human instinct and inspiration. The capacity to draw in good karma and avoid misfortune helps, as well.

Not very many Solopreneurs can simply “go to the workplace” regular and dig into the typical work. So as to produce the favored measure of business income, we comprehend that making numerous income streams might be fundamental and to make that conceivable, we should perceive the attractiveness of our ranges of abilities, in total and in portions. Too, we should figure out how to bundle, advance and offer our aptitudes and incentive to planned customers.

Consider my income streams, for instance. When asked, in my short structure lift pitch I state that I’m an independently employed outer advisor who gives business methodology and promoting answers for medium size for-benefit and not-revenue driven associations. What that implies as a general rule is that I’ve encouraged vital arranging gatherings at not-revenue driven associations; altered a 100 page true to life book and furthermore filled in as its photograph editorial manager and venture chief; created educational program for a progression of hour and a half deals aptitudes preparing workshops; and occasionally I instruct field-tested strategy composing.

I’ve been lucky enough to routinely win business system advancement or advertising effort assignments, however the truth of the matter is that there are regularly holes and accordingly, I’ve figured out how to branch out and offer fragments of my range of abilities to customers or managers as an approach to keep up my necessary income and, at whatever point conceivable, additionally upgrade my image. As far as I can tell, it’s the capacity to use one’s maybe rarely advanced abilities that help Solopreneurs to make and continue a gainful business adventure.

My companion Adela is a bustling instructive advisor who works with school destined secondary school youngsters and their folks to recognize appropriate universities for the understudy and explore the application procedure. Adela’s business seems, by all accounts, to be flourishing, yet she by the by shows Spanish at a nearby college (she was brought up in Mexico and went to the U.S. to go to Notre Dame University).

Jackie, a companion of numerous years, is the author and chief of a little, full-administration wellness focus that turned out to be extremely fruitful in that exceptionally aggressive market, yet she instructs a wellness class at another exercise center a couple of miles away. Why? Since she gets the chance to watch another style of wellness focus the executives from within, she gets preparing in new wellness procedures that she can assess for incorporation in her very own rec center and she wins a couple of additional dollars every week, something that a mother of four can generally utilize. Some of the time you can get paid to look into the challenge!

My companion Carole flips between independent promoting gigs at innovation organizations and corporate situations in that part. She’s a Lotus alumna who’s additionally worked for tech mammoth EMC, qualifications that direction regard and open entryways in the tech business. In the middle of corporate gigs, Carole goes out alone to create showcasing systems for tech new companies. A few years back, she was offered a situation as chief of advertising at one of those new businesses, yet when the inescapable rearrangement happens, she’ll return Solopreneur life.