Creating a Strategic Plan for Your Business
When you make the choice to start a business, you will need to try to figure out which type of business is right for you. The best way to do that is to be very honest about your resources, gifts, talents and abilities. It is also a great idea to review your vision, your mission and goals for your business before you begin. It can be a difficult choice because so much is at stake, but it’s good to give it some thought and consideration before investing a lot of time and money into a business idea that is wrong for you.
Create a Vision
What type of life do you want to live? Get some old magazines, or if you prefer technology, use PowerPoint to create a vision slide show instead of a vision board. The point is to get down on paper how you want your life and your business to be successful.
Determine Your Budget
How much do you have to make a year to enjoy the lifestyle from your vision board? What type of income will this require? Is it realistic and possible? If it’s realistic, set a deadline for yourself on how long you’ll take to get to that goal. Use that number to help you determine what type of business you will need to start.
Define Your Audience
What types of clients do you want to work with? Who do you want to work for? Who do you want to surround yourself with every day? If you can narrow down the audience that you can create products or services for, then you are on the right path. Are there enough of these people to create a profit? If there are only a couple hundred, how many of them can you attract? Be realistic and understand that you need a large under-served audience for whom to create.
Develop Your Products and Services
Now that you know who you want to work with, make a list of the type of services or products that this audience might need. If you have a smaller audience, you may need to create more offerings for that audience. For example, if you want to earn $100K a year, how many products do you have to sell to create that income? When pricing your products and services, don’t forget to take into account the cost of marketing and doing business.
Consider Your Resources
Resources include people you have access to, connections you’ve made in the past, family, friends, their skill sets, the money in your bank account, and the equipment you already have or that you can get access too. Do you have enough resource and do you have access to more in order to do what you have set out to accomplish?
Write a Business Plan
Finally, take the time to create a business plan. A business plan is different from a strategic plan. A business plan will give you time to sit with the business idea, to ensure it matches your vision, values and ideas. It’s not a waste of time to create a business plan even if you don’t ultimately start that business.
Remember to be honest with what you’re capable of doing. If you don’t like making cold calls, don’t pick a business that requires it. If you hate to speak in public, don’t pick public speaking as your business idea. The closer you can match the business idea with what you love to do, the more likely you are to be successful.
Do you need help developing a strategic plan for your business? Check out my Strategic Business Planning Guide, Workbook and Template that teaches you how to create a strategic business plan step by step.