An effective business plan can set you off in the right direction however, when your business is not going according to plan it’s time to re-evaluate your actions – and the sooner the better. Look at your business from three angles:
1. Strategically (the macro view):
Have you made the right assumptions about your customers, your competitors, and your market? Did you select the right marketing mix? Is your business model (how you make money) sustainable? You may have answered these questions in your business plan but they need to be tested regularly and changed with new insight.
2. Tactically (the micro view):
The best strategy in the world won’t work if you don’t follow through. Are you executing your plan diligently? Do you consistently work on getting customers with a daily plan and if so, what is it? Are you improving your product or service and getting it to be the best it can be, and how do you know that to be true? Are you managing your cash flow and have a realistic assessment of what is coming in and going out of the business? Do you keep talking to your customers and learn something from them to improve your business?
3. Personally (the introspective view):
Each day is a new day and entrepreneurs in particular need to remind themselves to recommit to the dream of building their businesses. Stay committed to your monthly, weekly and daily goals, and if you don’t have any then that’s a good place to start. Motivation is not something we can pull out of our back pocket every time. In many cases motivation comes after you’ve started doing the very work you don’t want to do (i.e. calling a potential customer, doing your cash flow etc.).
Most businesses need to fine-tune their idea before they really taste success and a business plan is a starting point. Your daily actions are what counts and Life Coach, Laura Berman Fortgang puts it succinctly, “Every day you wake up you have two choices: courage or fear.”
What choices will you make?
Dominik Loncar, CYBF Entrepreneur-in-Residence, firstname.lastname@example.org