How To Start a Successful Business, Here’s the Plan!
American Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
“The future belongs to those that prepare for it”
What that means to me is that if you want to be successful at something, say, establishing a business, you have to prepare for it. One way to prepare for launching a successful business is to develop a realistic, aggressive yet flexible plan to achieve your goals. Follow these steps and you too can have a great plan to help you succeed in business!
My wife and I started our business, Woody Things, through the Etsy.com online marketplace. Raquel and I have learned the ropes and run a profitable business through Etsy, and in an effort to assist other owners (or those aspiring to open their own shop) in remaining profitable, we have written this article as part of a detailed series showcasing some of the industry leading practices to help you achieve continued success.
Lets get down to brass tacks by taking the following steps!
Begin Planning, Create an Outline:
Remember this is only a PLAN, which will undoubtedly change as time progresses. Taking the time to plan ahead will enable you to prepare for challenges you may face ahead. Here are some suggestions of what to include in your plan outline.
- Who will be part of the business?
- What will be goal/mission/objective of the business?
- When do you expect to begin operations?
- Where will the business operate?
- How will the business operate?
- What is your Exit Strategy?
Draft Assigned Responsibilities and Shop Policies
Drafting assigned responsibilities, or which title does what, is important as it will help you identify your future staff requirements. Specifically, who will do what.
Develop a marketing plan
Next step is to develop a marketing plan. This is an exciting time, as you have the knowledge of what’s necessary to launch your successful business and likely can picture the day-to-day dealings of your business.
But before you launch and start raking in those Benjamins ($), ensure you have a defined market. Who are you selling to? What are the demographics? What is their income? Where do they live? How do the make their buying decisions (online vs. print vs. television)?
Once you have a definition of your market (an example can be Business persons, ages 18-35, earning $35-60k annually, city dwellers) the next step is to conduct a detailed review of the market (Market Research) in which you wish to operate.
Positioning, Who’s on Top?
Positioning relates to how you want your company to be viewed. Positioning is the place the product or service will occupy in the hearts or minds f the customers in relation to your competitors. Some examples include lowest price, uniqueness, all-natural, most luxurious, etc. Think about Walmart, what descriptions come to mind when you think of the retail Superstore? How about BMW or Mercedes-Benz. It is never too early to start thinking about your company and its brand positioning.
Develop a Sustainable Pricing Strategy
In order to develop a sustainable pricing strategy you must first understand the different pricing strategies available. Three of the most popular pricing strategies are
Related: How to Price Your Products
Execute the plan!
Congrats! The hard part is behind you. By now you have created a sound plan that takes you from where you are now, to where you want to be. Understanding that plans are living documents, subject to continuous improvement, take your newly created plan and put it into action. By breaking down the plan into small, measurable and tangible sections you can create sound objectives that enable you to reach your overall goal.
I’d like to hear from you, what do you think about this article? Do you have any additional tips to share?
If you like what you’ve read, please ‘like’, share and offer your comments.