Business plan provides a key road map for your journey

When it comes to effectively planning for that exciting adventure in your life—starting your own first-ever entrepreneurial journey—you get to be in charge of your own destiny.

When it comes to effectively planning for that exciting adventure in your life—starting your own first-ever entrepreneurial journey—you get to be in charge of your own destiny.

Every day is different with new opportunities to explore. And as you begin your journey, there are some key points that you need to consider and act upon to move yourself along that road.

First, I want you to step back and identify if you are passionate about your new venture idea?

For example, a photographer my be passionate about colour, light and capturing moments on film. An entire day with camera in hand does not seem like “work” at all.

It feels, for that photographer, life fulfilling. It is this passion that will get you up at 5 a.m. or give you the energy to work late and on weekends, and forever question yourself for just about anything and everything.

One of the world’s leading authorities on business and success suggests that to be successful, we must work longer and harder and perhaps practice the 40 plus formula—40 hours per week for survival and everything over 40 hours is toward your success. Could you handle that theory?

Simply put, if you have chosen to move forward with a business idea that ignites your “inner flame,” then congratulations my friends, you are on your way.

So, let’s get a bit more specific. An important question that aspiring entrepreneurs—even existing entrepreneurs—should ask themselves early in the venture planning process stage is whether they should prepare a formal business plan. While the entrepreneur may be challenged for time while the venture itself is being developed, there are a number of reasons to develop a business plan.

A thoroughly prepared business plan may provide the necessary direction for encouraging the entrepreneur to evaluate where they may wish to take their newfound venture, and to define what they want to get out of 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 entrepreneurial success.

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

Finally, an aspect of a business plan that to me is critically important is it will aid the communication of the essentials of the entrepreneurial venture, not only to financiers, but also to existing employees (if any), potential employees, suppliers and customers/clients.

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 the path for your entrepreneurial dream machine. You ought to take great advantage of that aid power.

So, let’s agree that authoring your new venture creation 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, this author has personally met and befriended those of a millionaire status who did not originate their entrepreneurial journey with a business plan and yet achieved phenomenal success. Still, those people do possess one today 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 with this statement: “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 times that may lie ahead.” There is unquestionably a strong assertion within the world of entrepreneurship and small business that business planning is an important part of fundamental new venture creation and effective management in increasing the aim of profitability.

While writing the business plan, you may uncover new information about your potential customers that may lead to a new product or service. This occurrence is not uncommon. You will also learn very important information about the apparent trends in your industry area.

A Google search on “Business Plan “ templates may give you a result of 1, 290,000 options.

If this seems overwhelming, then attending a workshop offered by Community Futures, Women’s Enterprise Centre or the Business Development Bank. Our own Okanagan Valley Entrepreneurs Society (www.OVeSociety.org) would also be a helpful step.

As well, most chartered banks have documented information to assist you as would a local chamber of commerce or the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission.

So, let’s get to it, budding Okanagan entrepreneurs out there. Banks, investors, customers and your family, will love you to pieces when you present a “work of art” business plan to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit.

eagleyoung@shaw.ca

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