By Nikki Viljoen – Viljoen Consulting
After attending my “Starting and Running a Successful Business” workshop, many delegates have asked questions about various issues pertaining to either starting a business or running a business. Over time it has become apparent that there are universal questions that pertain, generically to both.
Let’s unpack them here and see how they impact you as a ‘new’ Entrepreneur or in your established business.
I can’t begin to tell you the number of people who say “I want to run my own business – just a little something to bring the money in!”
What exactly does that mean?
Chances are that if you ask them that particular question they will have no specific answer for you and the reality of course is that such a business is highly unlikely to get started and if by some miracle they got it going, it wouldn’t be too long before it fell over!
Clarity is key! It is essential that you know exactly what it is that you are going to be selling be it product or service.
The reality is that if you don’t know “where” you want to go, you will not be able to work out how to get there.
This clearly pertains to every aspect of the business, from marketing, to sales, administration, operations, HR or projects - the works. Once you know what you want to do it will be easier to do the research to ascertain what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.
Whether you are starting a new business or trying to grow the one that you have, you need to know exactly what you want to do before you can decide exactly how you are going to achieve that.
As with getting clarity on what you want to do, so to do you need a plan to get yourself there.
Business plans are badly underestimated and irrespective of whether you actually need one or not, for funding purposes, it is a good idea to have one.
Writing a proper business plan will ensure that you have worked out a sound strategy for your marketing and branding requirements as well as the calculations on forecasts from both income and expenses.
You will also be forced to look at the cold hard reality of what your costs are, literally before you even earn a cent, providing of course that you actually even sell anything.
A business plan also forces you to investigate and implement an exit strategy at the beginning of your journey before the emotional turmoil of dealing with trying to put together an exit strategy, when you are in the middle of the pain of closing your business down.
Issues around growing the business for sale down the line (or not) can also be tackled here and plans put into place to encompass these.
Remember a Business Plan should be a living, breathing document and it should be updated and tweaked on a regular basis.
Next time we will look at a few more of these points that should be taken into consideration before you even start.
Nikki is an Internal Auditor and Business Administration Specialist who can be contacted on 083 702 8849 or firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.viljoenconsulting.co.za