A year and a half since Covid-19 arrived and interrupted all of our lives, individuals who saw an opportunity in the pandemic to realize their long-held entrepreneurial ambitions are now facing the tricky reality of turning their dreams into financial success. A sound business plan is key to solving this riddle. Even if you did the heavy lifting of drafting one before launching your venture, now is a good time to revise. After all, the experience gained from this early phase provides valuable information that will help right the wrongs of your initial plan. Whether this is your first business plan or first revision, the following four tips provide valuable touchstones to ensure you remain on track.
1. Determine or Re-Determine Your Purpose
Two different but equally important things are implied here.
First, you need to invest time in articulating (and periodically updating) your business’s core values and purpose. Without doing so, you lack the sort of compass needed to navigate decision-making at all levels.
Second, especially after more than a year’s experience, you need to identify where each team member excels and organize their role such that it centers purpose-driven work that produces results reflective of their strengths. In initial planning this is a speculative task; however, with experience, it is wise to structure it around a formal assessment. Sit down with your team and evaluate habits, beliefs, values, and capability in consideration of how each members’ unique skills can meet your business’s varying needs.
2. (Re)build Your Model
A business plan answers the “why” of your venture while a business model addresses the “how.” Depending on the nature of your enterprise, this might involve hiring, pricing, sales, expenses, and growth. As experience brings the particulars of your business into view, your model needs to be re-assessed. Upon revising your model, you need to loop back and refine your business plan and, over time, repeat this cycle as you learn and grow.
3. Track Your Target Market
Like every sound investment, a successful business tracks its market, identifying trends and developing sectors and recalibrating so that its marketing and services are always on point. The only sure way to attract your desired customers is to ensure your services are catered to their desires. In 2021 this means investing in technology-driven solutions which provide you the data needed to anticipate market demands and personalize your product.
4. Optimize Your Capacities
In the early stages of developing a business, it is tempting to pinch pennies and try to handle all aspects on your own. Inevitably, in doing so you fall short for lack of expertise and misdirect your energy away from what you are best trained to do. Unless your venture is an accounting firm, you likely lack the nuanced knowledge needed to draft a robust financial plan. Likewise, without estate planning expertise, you cannot implement an adequate business succession plan. Spreading yourself too thin restricts your ability to do your best work and, especially early on, your very best work is what is needed for commercial success.
To learn more about drafting a sound business plan, do not hesitate to reach out to the experts at the Deliberato Law Center either by calling our office at (216) 341-3413 or writing us using the contact form on our website.