10 Steps of Small Business Planning

Small business is hard work, I have said this many times and I will continue to say it. For complete success in a small business, it may take 10 years hard work, a lot of courage and a lot of patience.

You don’t need to only be at the beginning of your small business to look at these steps. At any stage of the small business process, you can improve what you are doing and make the changes that can lead you in the right direction.

The overnight successes that you hear of are not as common as some would let you think. So when you are planning for your small business you cannot plan that you will have an overnight success. Instead, you must plan that this success may take 2 to 5 years.

What can you do to ensure that your small business heads along a road towards success?

  • Make sure that you only spend time and money on the things that will grow your business in the direction that you want. Ask yourself – Will this grow my business? What are the results that I am expecting? Do I need to do it right now?
  • How much of your own money are you investing? Will this be enough if it takes longer than you expect to grow your business – and it will take longer than you expect! Do you have access to more funds if it does take longer or will your business have to close?
  • Know your ideal client, who are they and why will they buy from you! How is your product or service going to benefit their life and existence? How are you going to tell them about your product or service? How are you going to keep them coming back for more?
  • Is your target market large enough and defined enough to grow your business over its lifetime? Have you done enough research into this area?
  • Who are your key competitors? How long have they been in business? Make sure they are businesses of similar size with similar offerings so you are comparing correctly.
  • Spend money on things that will make you money. Your website, for example, needs to be a priority if that is how you plan to make sales and grow your business.
  • Keep on top of your cash flow, as this is the lifeblood of any business. If your cash flow fails so too will your business so learn how to manage this well!
  • Don’t let your weaknesses as a business owner harm your business. Know your weaknesses and get help for them. Hire, outsource or do whatever you need to so that you cover any of the areas that you struggle in. For example, if you know nothing about social media, learn or outsource it.
  • Are you a good listener? Your customers will tell you what they want and what they need. There is no point trying to sell them anything different to that.
  • Can you change and adapt if things aren’t working the way that you had originally planned? Small business has to be flexible and to bend and grow with what the market is demanding.

Small business planning is a constant and evolving practice. You don’t just do it at the beginning and then never again and with or without success you need to keep looking at what you are doing and see how you can be doing it better.

What are your plans for your small business?

How can you ensure you will survive for the long haul?

Are you a good listener who is able to grow and to adapt over time?

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If you need help growing and adapting your small business, contact Kelly @ My Sassy Business.