7 Steps for Crafting the Perfect Business Plan
You probably heard the statistic, "95% of businesses fail within the first 3 years."
And the reason why this happens is because people are still using old-fashioned business plans. They no longer work in 2017. There's a new way of approaching business in the modern era.
You cannot learn how to do it from a college or university either. Most professors have never started a business and will gladly take your start-up money as they teach you from their books.
Our society isn't set up for entrepreneurs (it's obvious when you pay your taxes), but there are some advantages...if you know what you're doing. You must do a lot to override 'the system' and be your own boss.
The only way you can start a real business plan is by doing a whole bunch of free work at first. Eventually, people will realize you and you'll have the confidence to charge for your product/service.
Most people aren't willing to do the 7 steps that I'm recommending, and that's okay. All I can tell you is that there's much more to it if you read between the lines. You'll get my drift as you keep reading.
The 7 Step Solutions for Crafting a Perfect Business Plan:
1. Talk to Leaders in Your Field: Before you do anything, talk to the most successful people in the industry that you are pursuing. You need insight before you begin. Listen for the do's and don'ts. Try to figure out the truth behind what they are saying and form your own opinions based on your discernment.
The way that I did this was by devising a list of 50 people that appeared to be the most influential in my field. I didn't reach all of them, but I did talk to several of them per month. It helped me to learn what kind of person I wanted to be (and didn't want to be).
I created questions beforehand and respected their time. Whether the conversation was 4 minutes or 44 minutes, I diligently took as many notes as possible and learned so much in the process. One guy convinced me that he should be my coach--he was right and I never looked back. Key: Get a mentor.
2. Count the Cost: After you conduct your interviews, you have to decide if this is something that you can do. Too many people begin without knowing if they have what it takes to succeed in their business and that is why they fail. You need to have a 'whatever it takes attitude'.
If you're willing to work 12-14 hour per day everyday for the first 1-3 years, then you may be cut out for being an entrepreneur. If money is more important than the service you'll render, you'll be a massive failure. Money comes to the one who serves best, not to the one who is most desperate for cash.
Count the cost by asking yourself, "Could I really use my gifts to create value in this industry?" If the answer is "No", then you might want to consider waiting or looking into another career. If the answer is "Yes", dive in with passion and never give up.
3. Find Resources (And Get Them): The most important aspect of starting a business is to have the right information. Business education is highly underrated and too many people think they can get by without it.
Take the suggestions that you've received from your phone calls and do more research on the internet. Be willing to get the books, read the articles, click the websites, watch the videos, and attend the conferences. Pay for the services that you need. Don't be cheap.
Without the right knowledge, you can be stumped by your customer or stomped by your competitor. Seek to learn something new everyday and don't get distracted in the process. Also, learn from people in different industries. Real entrepreneurs learn everything from everyone.
4. Develop Standards for Your Business: A foundation for your business can help you create a sustainable life. Be able to develop standards that work for you. If family time is important, make time for them by giving them an hour a day. You've got to create balance in your life.
I started out by using 8 metrics that I wanted to stay focused on each month. Here are a few of them you may want to consider: the number of books you want to read, articles you want to write, speeches you'd like to give, calls you'll want to make, conference you want to attend, etc.
My coaching clients love when I work with them on their plan. I help keep them accountable and expand their thinking. Your standards must challenge you to become better every day. You'll want to get a white board to create the plan. My book, "The Winner's Lifestyle" talks about this extensively.
5. Devise Your Sales And Marketing Plan: Old-fashioned business models are rigid, overly ideal, dull, and untested. They often fail to anticipate change and may close you off to potential opportunities. Worst of all, they make you completely inflexible and inconsistent.
Instead, devise a sale and marketing plan. Marketing: Getting people to come to your business. Sales: Transacting your product/service once they get there. Know the difference between them and get 20 books on each category and become a master at understanding sales and marketing.
You need to market in the year that you're in. Don't market and sell like it's 1995. Act like you're in 2015. If you think "banging the phones" and passing out business cards at networking events will make you sales, you'll be out of luck. Use social media aggressively and get your face out there.
6. Practice Your Sales Pitch: One of the biggest mistakes that people make is not learning how to sell. They depend on building long-term relationships that cost too much, which deprives them of their profits. In fact, not being able to sell is the biggest reason why business owners fail.
Start by talking to your friends, neighbors, family, co-workers, schoolmates, gym buddies, and everyone else you meet. Keep it conversational and listen to the questions or objections that they have. Ask them for feedback and make the necessary adjustments along the way.
When you're by yourself, work on facing those objections. Study up on what you can do to improve your sales pitch and keep honing your skills. If you need more help, find someone who can sell better than you and listen to their pitch. Here's a little secret: Public speaking is a great way to learn how to sell.
7. Create a Target 100 List: Make a list of all of your potential buyers. Think about all of the people in your community. Be sure to remember all of the people in your past. Once you create this list of 100 people or more, give them a call. Only use email if you cannot reach them by phone. Email is a last resort.
Start with the people who like you the most. This will build your confidence in the beginning. Continue to ask for the sale until they hang up. Never give up and keep learning how you can be better. Don't dwell on why people said "No" to you. Also, remember QTIP (Quit Taking it Personally).
Begin by talking to 1-3 people per day, then work your way up to 5-10. Eventually, you'll get into the flow and your sales ratio will grow, but you've got to be persistent. Be sure to ask for referrals from your clients once you deliver on your sale.
Secret: As you build your business by delivering quality service, you will build your brand automatically. Don't put too much thought into creating your brand until your serve a few people successfully. It will come automatically.
If you feel that you are called to start your business, people are waiting for you. There's a lot more that goes into creating a business plan, which you'll learn along the way. Continue to gather knowledge, write your goals down everyday, and take massive action.
Oh, and earn money.