Some people believe that only business start-ups need funding and that only large companies need business plans. But the truth is that every business needs a ‘blueprint’ – not just for the benefit of potential investors, but so that the people who work in the business can have a clear idea of its direction, and can commit to a plan.
Did you know? Approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month. Eight out of ten of them will fail within the first 18 months.
A business plan is a written description of business’s present and future. It is a document that describes goals and strategies you plan to implement to achieve your objectives. This will vary depending on your business life stage, industry and ultimate goals. The importance of a good business plan can not be overstated when you are starting up in business.
Here are five steps to achieving colossal success by mapping out not just your business plan, but also your network of possible advocates who will get you from where you are right now to where you want to go!
1. Write out goals. This is the reason why business plans as we know them are important. They enable us to map out our vision, mission and end game. If a complicated business plan is not your cup of tea, simply write out your goals on a sheet of paper. This will enable you to move on to the next key.
2. Mobilize your contacts. With your goals memorialized in writing, now it’s time to mobilize your troops. For each goal written make a list of people that you know and those you need to know to accomplish the vision. For example, let’s say you are starting a cake bakery. You will need customers, a bakery supply vendor, marketing team and other businesses you may want to partner with. Utilize every tool you have to start mapping the network. Facebook and LinkedIn are invaluable for doing this.
3. Build relationships. A large percentage of the network of people that you will need to tap into is not yet available to you. This requires further digging into your network to find people who can create a bridge to the relationships you need to accomplish your vision. Map out a strategy for connecting to and building relationships with people who you need to know. Where do these people spend their time? What volunteer organizations are they involved with? What networking groups?
4. Offer help. Now that you have mapped out an army of possible advocates, it’s time to put yourself in a position to tap into the resources that these people have available. Don’t go straight for the ask. Always give first.
Take your network list and reach out to each person on it, one at a time, and offer to help them. Find out what they need in their life or business and be ready, willing and able to help. Give to those on your network list with zero expectation that they will help you down the road. Not only will you realize phenomenal results, but you will soon find that your network begins to expand tenfold.
5. Share your vision. The last, but certainly not least, important key to maximizing your entrepreneurial success is to share your vision. Your new business plan, which incorporates your network of advocates, will require you to have regular and ongoing contact with a vast array of people. As you offer to help each member of your network achieve their goals, make sure to share your vision for your own business. Again, some in your network will offer no support to your business, and that’s OK. However, many will go out of their way to find ways to help your business thrive.
When putting together a successful business plan for the year ahead, that all important “context” can take many forms.
Tim Fargo once wrote that: “Good intentions might sound nice, but it’s positive actions that matter.” In business plans we need to shift from intentions to actions. We need to create not a list of predictions, but the source of objectives and actions. Moving from static business plans to dynamic ones is the best thing that we can do.
Documentation process may be horribly tedious and frustrating. That’s why do not hesitate to contact a good, experienced Business Law lawyer to help you with your legal issues. You may find many experienced and qualified lawyers on Legal Bistro, to help you with your case.