This article is part 3 of a 20 part series of business tips from James, Davis and Associates. These tips are designed to help you do better in business. Be sure to return each week to check out each new tip as it is published. If you would rather read all the tips at one time, you may click here to purchase a beautiful full color e-book that containing all twenty tips.
Many entrepreneurs do not understand the role a business plan should play in their business operations. Some entrepreneurs think a business plan is not needed. Others think they are needed only to get the business running and then can be thrown in the trash. Smart entrepreneurs know that the best business plans are living breathing documents. They know to create a business plan when they start the business and then keep it updated as long as the business is open and running.
What is a Business Plan?
A well-executed business plan contains several sections:
- Personnel and organization
- Marketing information
- Current financial information
- Financial projections
Purpose statement, executive summary, and business information
Each of these sections is important to a business and should be completed. You must know the reason you went into business and be able to state your purpose quickly, succinctly, and with enthusiasm. You must have the resumes for key business parties readily at hand in case you need them for a potential venture in the future. Business information such as the products and services you provide, location(s), and office hours are important pieces of information to keep readily available to share with others including new employees.
Personnel and Organization
An entrepreneur must have a clear understanding of the personnel needed to make her business run successfully and efficiently. The organization of a business, who reports to whom, when, and why is information that should be clearly laid out and easily understood by all. If an entrepreneur plans this out before business begins and updates this information as the business changes the business will be benefitted greatly.
Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services. A business needs to market itself in order to bring in new business. Marketing can also be used to continue or build goodwill with existing customers. A business must have a plan for marketing its good and services. In the modern business environment, marketing must include traditional marketing methods and the use of social media platforms. Marketing efforts should not be stagnant but should adapt with the times as needed.
Current Financial Information
Current financial information should always be at an entrepreneurs fingertips. The financial status that existed at the start of a business will be vastly different from the financial status of that same business six months, a year, and even further down the road. An entrepreneur must as stated in Tip#2 of this series, keep her mind on her money and her money on her mind. update your business plan’s current financial condition section on a regular basis so that the information is always current and relevant.
Financial projections are important because a smart entrepreneurs must plan for the future of the business. Planning for the future includes making educated predictions about the future finances of the business. You must update plans for the business’ finances’ on a regular basis. Paying attention to the finances for the business is an important task that should not be put off or avoided.
If you created a business plan when you started your business, excellent! Now make sure you update it on a regular basis. Never forget that your business plan is a living breathing thing and should be treated that way. No living thing thrives if it is ignored and not tended to on a regular basis. If you did not create a business plan when you started your business, no problem. You can create one now and update it on a regular basis from here on out. A business plan is a powerful tool for an entrepreneur, make sure your business toolbox is not missing this important tool.
If you need help to create a business plan for your business, click here to check out our series on how to create a business plan.
The following is the complete list of 20 Business Tips from James, Davis and Associates. Articles that have been completed are hyperlinked. Check back later if an article you want in the series has not yet been published. In the alternative, you may click here to be directed to a page where you will be able to purchase an ebook containing the entire 20 tips.
- Create a plan to keep your business going if you get sick.
- Pay attention to where the money comes from for your business.
- Read, review, and revise your business plan on a regular basis.
- ABL – Always Be Learning better ways to run your business.
- Update your technology as needed to remain productive.
- Update employee manuals to include job descriptions.
- Look for ways for your business to contribute to the community.
- Participate in career days at local middle and high schools.
- Communicate with fellow entrepreneurs on a regular basis.
- Never forget your business is a role model for other entrepreneurs.
- Make sure your business looks inviting and not chaotic.
- Clients will look for you on social media so put your best foot forward there.
- Do not dismiss customer complaints without objectively seeing if they are valid.
- Look for ways to improve customer service.
- Pay employees a fair wage and expect good quality work.
- Make sure you know every job needed in your business.
- Look for ways to give your employees rewards for increased productivity.
- Make sure the posts on your social media channels help your business.
- Obey all the relevant local, state, and federal laws.
- In business be old fashioned, let your word be your bond.