Starting your own business can be a scary endeavor. Even if you have a great product or service that is ready to hit the market, there is still a large amount of uncertainty that lies ahead.
Between statistics that show 50 percent of businesses fail in the first five years to people asking for your elevator pitch and more, a seemingly large amount of pressure can be placed on your shoulders.
This is especially true if you don’t even know where to begin.
That’s why formulating a solid business plan is one of the most important things you, a budding business owner, can do before pressing forward into your particular industry. There’s just one secret that a lot of people don’t know:
It’s not really that hard.
The Starting Line
A lot of what goes into starting a business relies upon your vision, your definition of success and the specific actions that you know you have to take to make your vision a reality.
In the Business is ART book, a 12-step process is laid out that covers the creation and implementation of your business vision. These steps enable you to make a self-assessment of your business and your goals.
Let’s say you’ve got an idea for a product to sell or service to provide, which is fantastic, but how do you separate yourself from every other business within the same industry? What makes your business different from the competition? This is a vital step to take before you begin establishing your business plan.
You also have to take into account what your business goals are. Yes, you want to make money and grow your business, but that is too broad of a definition of success. Your vision entails the specific goals that you have laid out for yourself and how you will achieve them.
The Beginning Steps
Now it’s time to get to the specifics. The acronym ART stands for:
Since you have already looked deep within yourself and articulated a vision, it’s time to lay out the steps that you will take to get there. Remember, you need to be as specific as possible when creating a plan.
Try to organize your business into sections such as production, employment, service, marketing, and evaluation. This will be particularly helpful if you are looking for lenders or investors, as they will want to see this plan laid out before they put money into your company.
Finally, remember that it is important to evolve as you go. This is where refinement and tracking come into the picture. As a business owner, you have to be able to track your successes and failures. That way you can understand what is working for you and refine what is not.
Learn as Much as You Can
The longer you run a business, the more lessons you will learn. Many of these lessons can be found in Business is ART. The book contains everything you need to know about getting your business off the ground and keeping it successful in the years to come. A Business Plan template is includes as a free download on our “Freebies” page.