Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Where Are You and Where Are You Going With Your Business?

Business Planning - Where are You Going?

In the hustle and bustle of running a business, particularly in those difficult in-fancies  it could be easy to get caught up in the diary dramas and lose sight of what you are doing on the first place. Business Planning is a vital step if you want to run your business, rather than have your business run you.

Business plans can range from details strategic and action orientated documents to the simple one page overview of your top priorities. You need to find the balance between planing and doing, which would depend on the stage your business is that, and the resources you've got available to develop a plan.

Now let's look at some of the key elements of the business planning process:

Business Vision and Goals

The first step is to be clear about your vision.
  • What's your dream for the business
  • How will eventually look
  • What were your role in the business eventually be
  • Will you still be very hands on
  • Or you oversee a successful enterprise the can operate without you, giving you some time to get your life back again
The second step is to determine current position.
  • You need to determine were your business is right now: Financially and Strategically
  • You also clearly need to define what your role currently is
Then Identify actions needed: You need to identify what needs to happen to realize your vision for the business and for your role in it.

Finally with this knowledge you can then set clear goals, which will help you focus on short term activities and the things that need to get done, to move you closer towards achieving your long-term vision.

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Running your Business, rather than it running you

Let mention some key points to run a business properly:
  • Importance of Delegating: If you ever going to enjoy the fruits of your labor, you'd need to be delegating responsibilities to others.
  • Document the procedures in the business: Not only will it help to operate the business while you are not there, it may also highlight any potential problems that you've got with your existing processes.
  • Customer Focus: Clearly defined your customer base. Get to know them well and find out what they really want. Ask them at the point of sale, ask them in follow-up telephone interviews, run focus groups to really understand why they buy from you; and in some cases, possibly more importantly why did they stop buying.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help: This can be the hardest thing for many business owners, to go out and ask for help; But getting expert advice can fast track your business, and get you to where you want to be faster and with a lot less stress.
  • Don't lose sight of your overall objective: Use clear and well-defined goals, to keep your short-term focus aligned with the overall vision.

Business Planning Tips

If you want to run your business, rather than the other way around, it's essential that you do some form of business planning. As a part of this process you need to answer three key questions:
  • First, where is the business right now?
  • Second, where do you want the business to be?
  • Thirdly, what are the steps that you need to take it from where you are now to where you want it to be.

Two ways to create a business plan include:

  • Hire an Expert: A business coach or a consultant, so you can ask questions to determine the key elements of the business plan.
  • Do it Yourself: If you can find the time, there's no reason why you can't use your own experience to develop your business plan.

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