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Young: The importance of planning for entrepreneurs

By JOEL YOUNG
September 3, 2013 · Updated 12:05 PM
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Today I want to share some insight into the importance of effectively planning for that exciting adventure in your life —starting your first entrepreneurial journey.

Guess what? You get to be in charge of your own destiny. Every day is different with new opportunities for you to explore.  And, as you begin your journey, there are some key points that you need to consider and act upon to get you along your road.

Take a few moments to look at each one listed in this column and seek what each one may mean to you, and how they may help turn your dreams into your entrepreneurial reality.

First of all, step back and identify if you have become passionate about your new venture.

Simply put, if you have chosen to move forward with a business idea that ignites your fire within then congratulations you are on the way.

An important question that both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs should ask themselves early in the planning process is whether they should prepare a formal business plan.

There are a number of reasons to develop a business plan.

First, a thoroughly prepared plan may provide the necessary direction by encouraging you to evaluatewhere they want to take the new venture, and define what you want to receive from its implementation.

Second, a business plan provides a structure—a road map as I like to call it—to an entrepreneur’s thinking process by making certain they have considered the most important determinants for their new venture’s future success.

Thirdly, it may help you think about the future.  For instance, a business plan can assist in developing a response to any competition they may be facing in their perceived marketplace.

Finally, a business plan will aid the communication of the essentials of the venture, not only to financiers but also to potential employees, suppliers, customers your family and loved ones.

Let’s face it, a carefully crafted business plan can be used to elicit the reactions and recommendations of others to aid and inspire you to greatness along your path

So having a business plan is one of the most important things you will do in the entrepreneurial world.

Yes, the importance of such preparation has been debated over and over again. And yes, I have met millionaires who did not start with a business plan and still achieved phenomenal success.

But hey do have one to-day to maintain, enhance and teach others that success is geared to proper, effective planning.

The editors of Profit magazine sometime ago commented in favour of business planning thusly: “ You won’t get everything right the first time around, but the very act of planning—knowing your products and services and analyzing your markets—will help you anticipate problems and opportunities and see you through the rough and joyful times that lie ahead.”

To this very day, there remains this strong assertion within the world of entrepreneurship and small business.

Business planning is a worthwhile activity and an important part of fundamental new venture creation and effective management in increasing the aim for profitability.

While crafting your plan, you may uncover new information about your customers that may lead to a new product or service.

This occurrence is not uncommon as new discovery can alter the road about to be travelled.

A Google search  of business plan templates may give you a million options. If this seems overwhelming then attending a workshop may be the right answer through the resources available here in the Okanagan from the province or the federal government.

Community Futures, Accelerate Okanagan, the Women’s Enterprise Centre and our own Okanagan Entrepreneurs Society and many of our  educational institutions will be able to assist you in this regard.

Also, check in with the educational co-ordinators of your communities as they will have the contact information for such training resources.

Most chartered banks have documentation regarding business plans to share as have many chambers of commerce.

So, get to it, budding Okanagan  entrepreneurs.

Banks, investors, customers, community and your family will love you to pieces when you present a work of art business plan that presents your fire within.