In this episode of The Small Business Show, we will be discussing the art of creating a solid business plan with Melinda Emerson, America’s number one small business expert, CEO of Quintessence Group, and Best-selling Author.
To set your business up for success, it’s essential to plan 12 months before launching. During this time, you should conduct thorough research, speak with the right people, save money and most importantly understand your target audience. The first step in creating a successful business plan is to identify the purpose behind your venture. This should stem from your values and mission.
The next crucial aspect to consider is how you will finance your business. Banks tend not to lend money to startups; hence most startups are funded using personal savings. After that, you need to determine how your business will operate. You must assess your current skills against the skills required to run a successful business. Emerson also recommends that some individuals may need to work for a similar business before launching their own to gain a clear understanding of their plan.
Lastly, you need to have a well-thought-out marketing strategy that targets your ideal customer. You must understand where they go for information and what they like and then build your marketing plan accordingly. According to Emerson, “If you can’t differentiate your business from your competitors, then your potential customer will likely go towards a bigger brand.” Entrepreneurs should also prioritize their sales projections realistically – aiming for a 20-25% increase can help develop their budget on an annual, quarterly and monthly basis.
“You really want to think about how you will specially serve this customer.” – Melinda Emerson