Getting Your Ducks in a Row
So, you’ve got a dream… now what? First, we suggest you compile your initial ideas. Jot them down, type them out or collect the notes you’ve already made into one file… or pile.
One of the first steps in starting a business is putting together a business plan. This isn’t just a formality because you’ll need to open a line of credit or get a loan. When you write out your plans, you are organizing your idea and creating a purpose which you can follow. So, if you haven’t done so already, think about what you want your business to accomplish.
What is your vision? – Think of your vision this way… What are you building? What do want your business to look like in 1, 3, 5 and 10 years? And be sure to include the type of business, product &/or services you’re offering, as well as a description of your customers.
What is your mission? – Why does your business exist?
What are your objectives? – What results will you measure? We’d suggest listing roughly 6 goals that your business will need to achieve in order to be successful.
What are your strategies? – How will you build and manage your business? We suggest listing and describing roughly 6 things your business will need to do extremely well over time to be successful.
What are your plans? – What work needs to be done? List roughly 6 specific growth tasks that need to be completed successfully within the next 12 months in order to implement the strategies you listed above.
Now, take your piles and arrange your initial ideas into groups. Image/branding, business system/functions, products/services offered, money/finances, legal documents, etc. Then, set up file folders for each group. This will help you organize the different aspects of your business that you’ll need to focus on. It will also prepare a logical gathering place for new materials, ideas and/or notes you come up with along the way.
Once you’ve come up with your business plan, you can begin focusing on your ideal business structure, your name, your website, image, contact info, business cards, banking and bookkeeping, marketing, customer ordering systems, production, etc. Don’t worry, it seems like a lot to think about, but if you keep your plans organized appropriately, it’ll easily fall into place… and if you ever need help, you know who to call.
Just keep taking one step at a time, continue dreaming and visualizing, and before you know it you’ll hit the ground running… and you’ll be organized with purpose!
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