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Businesses fuel the global economy, make massive undertakings possible, and provide endless opportunities for the masses. Despite their importance, 71 percent of all companies fail within the first ten years, and 87 percent of those failures are a direct result of inexperience or lack of knowledge; there is no limit to the importance of maximal business competence when building a successful company.

Maybe you want to be the world’s next opportunity creator, and you have a brilliant concept that you are itching to execute, but you don’t know where to start; maybe you know exactly what you need to do in order to get your business up and running or you have already opened your doors, and you are seeking that extra knowhow that will give you the edge on your competition. Regardless of where you are in the development of your business, the steps in the action plan provided in this article will have you well on your way to making your business as successful as possible.


ACTION PLAN STEP NUMBER 1: PLAN FOR SUCCESS

When you hear the phrase “Plan for Success,” do not mistake it for a confidence-building motivational saying; while confidence in your ability to succeed is important, it won’t take you much farther than your doorstep without a detailed plan to get business
flowing.

You Like Your Business’ Products, but Does Anyone Else?

The first thing that you need to do is figure out if there is even a viable market for your products or services. If so, where? Be honest, because if people aren’t going to invest in your company’s offerings, or the people willing to buy are halfway across the country, then you should seriously consider either changing what your organization does, or moving. Conduct surveys, create focus groups, do internet research, and check statistics; just make sure you know before you go.

Figure out How Much You Need to Sell

Once you know that people are willing to buy what your business has to offer, you need to know how much of your product that you need to produce and sell for a viable cashflow. In order to do this, you need to determine your potential business expenses, i.e. building costs, equipment costs, taxes, salaries, general asset costs, the cost of the goods/services themselves, and everything else that will cost your company a penny; ignoring these factors will bury your business. $1,000,000 in sales, for instance, might sound great for a brand new business, but if your product has cost a total of $780,000 to produce, and you gave your salespeople a 20% commission ($200,000), that only leaves you with $20,000 in the bank, and you haven’t even started tallying up the cost of your building—or anything else!

ACTION PLAN STEP NUMBER 2: BUILD AN IDENTITY

Now that you know exactly what your business is going to look like, it’s time to let customers know that you have the best products and services in the industry.

Your Team Matters as Much as You Do

Surround yourself with a team of partners and/or employees that can get the job done; it is paramount to your business success, because they are going to be just involved in daily operations as you are, so you want their efforts to be worth every cent that you are investing. In most cases, they are also the people who the customers/clients interact with most often; if your clients don’t like their main point of contact, they won’t like your business, and will never return.

Also, do not make this a static investment. As your business grows, so should the number of employees; if your employees are overwhelmed, then you will be losing out on business, and stressed out workers might walk out on you. When your number of employees expands, so should your hierarchy. To avoid workplace confusion, everyone should have a specific role to play, from management to the floor team.

Market, Market, Market!

People recognize greatness, so your product should speak for itself right? Wrong. In many cases, the best products do not win out due to lack of consumer knowledge, but don’t go blaming the customer for not knowing that your product is ten times more efficient than anyone else’s. Customers are just as busy with their lives as you are with your business; a few informative nudges in the right direction will build your brand. Remember, a brand is how the consumer perceives your business’ offerings, not what you know they can do.

Marketing requires as much initial planning as you did when you created your business plan. You will need to create focus groups, conduct surveys, do research, ect., in order to figure out what people like to see, and where they are looking. It may even behoove you to hire a professional market research team to lay the framework of your marketing plan.

Once you know where and how to market, put out newspaper ads, have graphic designers create your logo, and spend an extra dime on that pretty, professional looking packaging. This will have customers lining up at your front door to see what that commercial you aired was all about.

ACTION PLAN STEP NUMBER 3: TREAT YOUR BUSINESS LIKE A PERSON

Like people, businesses change; the effect of the changes your business undergoes depends on market shifts, and how you react to them. Blockbuster, the video rental company experienced a monumental collapse when they ignored the seismic shift that their industry was undergoing—they literally laughed in the face of the founder of then upstart Netflix when a partnership was proposed. Those same surveys, focus groups, research endeavors, and stat checks should be implemented throughout the life of your company to ensure that it is on the right path toward continued success.

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