There are many factors that make a business succeed or fail. Starting a business comes with a lot of risk, 90% of businesses fail within the first 3 years of their existence. This means that 9 out of 10 ideas will not exist no matter how much time and energy was invested in preparation to launch the idea.
There are 5 steps that are essential to ensure that your business will survive and thrive. I will discuss one of them here in this blog post and I will talk about all the five steps on my upcoming webinar on Sunday, August 6th at 11 am GMT (3 pm GST). Make sure to register for the webinar and I will take you through the 5 essential steps to start and grow a successful business.
The first step is to ensure that you have a detailed and well thought out plan before starting out as well as on a yearly basis. Here are a few suggestions for you to use when working on the planning:
1- Business Model Canvas
This is one of my favorite tools as it is simple and easy to use. You can make changes on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis.
The BMC is a 9 module table, illustrated in one page in which you can use to think about all the various parts of your business. The 9 modules include: Customer Segment, Value Proposition, Key Recourses and others. I will explain the BMC in more detail during the webinar and you can have a glimpse of the concept on this website.
This is a tool you can share with your team and get their opinions on each of the sections as well.
2 – Business Plan
This is more of a traditional way of working on your planning. The Business Plan can be 2 pages or 40 pages depending on how complicated your concept is and how much research you have already done. In the early years of my business, I made the mistake of hiring an agency to write my Business Plan for me,and although I received a 30 pages detailed plan, it was not my own words, and my ideas so I never ended up using it.
Although no one follows the Business Plan 100% as the market is changing constantly, we learn from our customers and pivot along the way, it’s the thought process that matters, and creating a business plan brings with it a clarity that no one but you can do.
There are many business plan templates available on Google. You can just search for “Business Plan Template” and use the one that you like the most. The majority of Business Plans have the following sections in common:
1) Cover page
2) Table of content
3) Executive summary
4) Business description
5) The marketing plan
6) Competitive analysis
7) Company and management summary
8) Financial factors
9) Supporting documents and appendices
A business plan is used usually for long-term plans and goals of the company. It basically illustrates the overall strategy and the route that company is on. It’s also used for external purposes specially when you are looking for investors.
3 – Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is another great way to ensure that the company reaches its overall goals and objectives. Strategic Planning is an internal process and unlike Business Plan, you don’t need to share it with external parties.
Most companies do their strategic planning a minimum of 3 months prior to their budgeting year. For instance, if your budgeting starts in January, you need to do the strategic planning in September or October. It’s recommended to dedicate one or two days for the process, somewhere outside of the office space. Some companies take their employees on a retreat, somewhere in nature where creativity is more easily triggered.
The Strategic Planning Components usually consist of the following:
3) Goals and Objectives
5) Tactics and Tasks
All of the above 3 tools are needed for your business and each of them serve a different purpose. There is a saying that failing to plan is planning to fail. I will talk about the all 5 steps to start and grow your business in my webinar, make sure to reserve your seat and join me on August 6th. Your business survival may depend on these 5 steps.
I will be live on Facebook on Thursday, August 3rd 11 AM GMT (3 pm Dubai) to talk more about the topic and answer your questions. Follow me on Facebook and I will see you live soon! https://www.facebook.com/monatavassoli