The Perils of Starting a Business Without a Business Plan

Not having a business plan is also one of the common mistakes when starting a business. Your blueprint does not have to be complex and intricate. Identify only the important points. A basic SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) will do. Plan out marketing strategies that are significant to the nature of your business. Establish your short- term goals, as well as long- term ones. Put things in a timeline so you can measure and monitor your progress. However, do not get so tangled up in your business plan. Do not get obsessed with following everything in the plan to the dot. Be flexible and open to possible changes or adjustments you would have to make. Fine-tune as time goes by and as obstacles come up. Most importantly, make sure things actually happen. Your blueprint is only as good as if it is actually concretized.

Focus on the core of your business. Avoid diversifying it in its initial stages of growth. It would be a lot better to have one perfect product or service than having multiple yet mediocre goods.

While planning for your business, do not ever commit the mistake of putting all your finances into it. Keep a separate account for your personal savings and do not use it for the business. Businesses are risks. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t so do not allow yourself to get drained by it all. Yes, you can give it all your efforts, give up a few nights of good sleep just to make sure it runs, but do not invest all your money in it.  As the saying goes, “hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” So just in case your business never goes well and you could not get back the money you invested, at least you still have your savings left.

Despite the risks, you shouldn’t limit your potential and your business’ potential to grow big. Do not feel so overwhelmed about your multinational and giant player competitors. In the case of a companies like CheckMaid or Lyft, there are plenty to choose from. Let’s admit they have the capital to build big offices or stores, hire thousands of employees, etc. However, it does not mean you cannot challenge their existence. As a newcomer, you must double, triple your efforts in catching the attention of the market. That’s a given. However, your more personalized level of care or attention to the customers can be your edge. Your hands on encouragement to your employees can move them to become more devoted to your cause. This can transpire to the kind and level of attention and care they will give to your customers. Once your customers feel special, it wouldn’t be difficult for them to choose you over some big shot company whose business mantra revolves around the money they make. So don’t feel too threatened. You being small and new can actually work to your advantage.

While a few can really hit it off really well in an instant, most businesses actually need time to work and start growing. Do not expect to sell millions of your product in a week. Do not expect loyal customers just after a month. Do not expect your profits to triple within a year. Be realistic. And trust your product. Because you are new to the scene, expect that your first few days or weeks can have zero customer visit or products sold. Don’t despair, but don’t feel complacent, too. Work harder on your marketing strategies. The internet is one of the most powerful and cheapest way to get your word out there so maximize it. Open social networking accounts and get as much people as you can to connect with you. Overcome any shyness because this is the moment, more than ever, when you need to talk to strangers and invite them to check out your product or service. Create a buzz. Have people talk about your business because the word of mouth is a very strong marketing strategy. Do not underestimate its power.

These are just some of the common mistakes and precautions you should know when starting your own business. However, just like the saying, “to each his own,” you will encounter new things and challenges that you could not have prepared for no matter what. The important thing is you do not back down right away in the face of adversity. Do not quit. Just don’t. Things can get pretty disappointing, especially when they do not meet your expectations. However, that’s just how businesses run.