“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Sadly, this is exactly where so many first-time entrepreneurs find themselves. They know they want to own their own business, they have a passion they want to share or they simply see it as the way to get rich. Whatever the case, they have their eyes firmly fixed on the idea that they want to own their own business and be their own boss.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
So many times, this is exactly where the dream dies, because people have no idea how to move forward. In some cases though, the dream does move on but without a plan or preparation. Often, people think that simply latching on to the “latest and greatest” thing will insure success while they figure out the nuts and bolts of owning a business. Maybe, you’ll open that restaurant? Everyone loves your cooking, and you’ve seen every episode of “Restaurant Impossible” on the Food Network… Or, How about a lawn service? How hard could that be? I’ve been mowing yards since I was 12.
It sounds easy, when you’re having the discussion in your head. Then reality sets in. What type of company do I want to form? What are the start-up costs? Do people even want what I’m selling? Do I need permits? These questions, and a thousand more need to be answered BEFORE you open your doors, failure in any one of these areas could doom you before you really get started.
“When you anticipate adversity, you can then plan for adversity. You may never gain control of it, but you can keep it from controlling you.”
–T Jay Taylor
The “simple” answer to this problem lies with a well written and well thought out business plan. First, a business plan can help you to understand your market, or even if there is one…you can get a feel for your competition and what your industry standards are. Second, it will give you an idea of the costs and potential rewards associated with your field. Finally, it can help you secure financing, give you the basic information to formulate a marketing plan, and help you to establish reasonable short-term goals to achieve your long-term aims.
“The best laid schemes o’ mice and men often go awry.”
There is never a guarantee to success, and the creation of a business plan is no exception. But what it does do is guarantee that you have an accurate picture of the road before you. It allows you to take your wish and turn it into a goal with a plan for success. Preparing for and anticipating the various pitfalls that may lie before you is crucial in being able to adjust when surprises do occur. Your business plan provides you a focal point to build around by keeping you focused on your long-term aims as short-term goals change and adjust.
The question for you now is: Where does this road start? Do you know the right questions to ask for your business plan or where to find the answers? Sit down with an accountant or business consultant that can guide and mentor you through the process. The time, money and preparation spent now, can go a long way to achieving your goals and avoiding adversity. If you have questions or need help creating or fine tuning a business plan please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Copyright 2014 Christi Rains, President, Alpha Omega Consulting & Bookkeeping, LLC www.aobookkeeping.com