DIY MAN­AGE­MENT

A high per­cent­age of ven­tures fail be­cause they don't have a busi­ness plan, ac­cord­ing to Laura Aveledo, busi­ness plan­ning and in­ter­na­tional trade ad­viser at Small Busi­ness BC, a re­source cen­tre of­fer­ing ser­vices, sup­port and sem­i­nars for en­trepreneurs. Av

BC Business Magazine - - Contents - by Fe­lic­ity Stone

You can’t ex­pect a busi­ness to suc­ceed with­out a plan

1 START WITH A TEM­PLATE

“Most busi­ness plans start with an ex­ec­u­tive sum­mary, and that’s the first thing that peo­ple need to see,” Aveledo says, “but that is done at the end.” A tem­plate should in­clude sec­tions cov­er­ing the busi­ness con­cept; op­er­a­tions (pro­cesses, equip­ment, lo­ca­tion, per­mits, risks); sales and mar­ket­ing (pric­ing, dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion from com­peti­tors, sales meth­ods); man­age­ment (who’s on the team and what they do); and fi­nan­cials (where the money comes from and when, how much fund­ing you need).

2 FRAME YOUR BUSI­NESS CON­CEPT

Out­line what your prod­uct or ser­vice is and how you will pro­vide it. What client pain do you re­solve, and why would cus­tomers want that? Then re­search the de­tails. What are in­dus­try trends, and what are com­peti­tors do­ing? How can you make your prod­uct dif­fer­ent? Who are your clients, how much will they pay, and where do they live? Can you pay your­self a salary, and how much do you need to have in the bank at month’s end? “These are ex­am­ples of ques­tions that you have to ask your­self when you’re start­ing the busi­ness,” Aveledo ex­plains.

5 WRITE THE PLAN

“Now you have the an­swers, you have your goals, so writ­ing down the plan is much eas­ier be­cause you have made sense of things,” Aveledo says. “Be clear. Be pre­cise. Be to the point.” Fol­low the tem­plate, then re­view what you’ve writ­ten. Ask some­one un­fa­mil­iar with your plan to read it to make sure it’s easy to un­der­stand, Aveledo ad­vises, adding that “no en­tre­pre­neur has ever done it alone.”

4 SET GOALS

Ob­jec­tives could be the num­ber of new clients you want to at­tract each quar­ter, sales con­tracts you ex­pect to close per month or weekly likes on so­cial me­dia. You might want to in­sti­tute a qual­ity con­trol pro­gram by a cer­tain month or grow sales by 10 per cent in the next three months. What­ever they are, Aveledo stresses, “your goals should be SMART: spe­cific, mea­sur­able, achiev­able, rel­e­vant and timely.”

3 EVAL­U­ATE OP­TIONS

An­a­lyze the re­sults of your re­search and de­cide what you can fea­si­bly do. “Some­times you know you want to pro­vide a spe­cific prod­uct or ser­vice, and then you find things that [make] you think, ‘These are not for me,’” Aveledo notes. Re­ject ideas if you feel they don’t make sense, be re­al­is­tic, and com­pare al­ter­na­tives.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.