Thursday, October 8, 2015

Organic business planning

     Free daily tips, information, advice and ideas
     to help you better manage your small business

     Business planning is not difficult. You already do business planning all the time. 

     It is all about marketing. It is all about customers/clients. No matter your business, your future depends on them. They are the foundation. 

     Today's customers tell you where you are. Tomorrow's customers tell you where you are headed. A formal business plan puts all this into perspective. And a business plan grows out of those future customers. 

     Figure out who tomorrow's customers will be for your products and services. How many customers can you attract? Turn all this into future sales numbers. So much for your current products and services. 

     Then, figure out what additional products/services you can add. Again, how many customers will these new products/services attract? Turn all this into future sales numbers. So it goes. 

     Examples: You are a chiropractor, and you're getting questions from present clients about the benefits of seeing a massage therapist. You run a restaurant, and you're getting requests for gluten-free preparations. You operate a small print shop, and you're asked for a referral to handle small mailings. You have a yoga studio, and people are asking you to recommend a nutritionist. You are an attorney, and you get a call asking for a recommendation for someone to handle a worker's comp claim. You are a landscaper, but can you build a patio? You can troubleshoot and repair my computer networks, but can you help me with social media? 

     All these examples are clues to possible expansions of small businesses. These clues come from customers/clients looking for products and services to better serve their needs. And they can point the way to your expansion.

     Clues come to you almost daily. Don't dismiss these clues. They are valuable planning initiators. Does the question trigger a possible expansion direction for your business? 

     Expansions can be as simple as adding a new line of products. Or you can decide to go off in a completely new direction. Either way, take a hard look at the market that will support the new direction or the new line. 

     Planning is a way of everyday life. It's organic. It's part of you. You already do the daily stuff. Now it's all about the future market. Turn it into numbers projected into the future, and you have your business plan.

     Don't go all wobbly when you are asked for your business plan. You do it every day. Now, put numbers to tomorrow's market.  

No comments:

Post a Comment