The short answer is yes. In my opinion, every business needs a business plan. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated, but it needs to exist in a written form. It’s not good enough to have a half-formed idea, you need to get it written down. Clemson University entrepreneurship professor William B. Gartner points out, that with a business plan “You’re two and a half times more likely to get into business, that’s powerful.” Why else would you want a business plan? Let’s take a look.
A business plan is a roadmap for your success. It shows strengths, weaknesses and the potential for your business to do well. This is especially important if there are multiple people involved in the business. How do you know your partner’s idea of success is the same as yours? How can you tell if you all are moving in the same direction? The business plan gives you focus and clarity. It shows you where you want to go and gives a path to get there. Just remember, with business, detours are the rule rather than the exception so be ready for them.
If you are looking for any kind of funding you must have a business plan. I recommend being conservative with your numbers if funding is a goal of your plan. The people loaning out money have been around the block a few times and will know if your calculations are realistic or not. I have helped many businesses that thought they had billion dollar ideas, but the entire market they were entering was barely a tenth of that. Keep the end reader in mind. Would you loan money based off unrealistic numbers?
Understanding Your Market
You really can’t go into business if you don’t know the market. Who is going to buy? Why are they buying from you? How do you stack up against your competitors? These questions are essential and a business plan helps bring them out and sets you up for success.
Over the next few days, I am going to guide you through a business plan. The traditional plan, which is what I will teach, is good for most businesses and is what you want when you plan to get financing. If you need something quick and dirty, use the traditional plan as a basic sketch. Remeber, the more time you spend on your plan the less time you are putting your business on the market. A plan is important but don’t let it be the excuse for not starting.
Some people have not been using LinkedIn the way they should or have been avoiding it. Here are some tips for getting a solid base under you as you use LinkedIn effectively. Just email me if you want my LinkedIn Guide which goes further in-depth on all of this. Jason@Jasonmporter.com
Of course, if you are going to be on LinkedIn you might as well use it to increase your business. We have already talked about how to get noticed but now we will show what to do with that attention. It really depends on your business and what the original purpose of getting on LinkedIn was. Some of these things may not be needed for your business but everyone can benefit from networking so put your 5 minutes of LinkedIn time to good work.
With such a large and powerful platform, I hope it’s obvious why you would want to get noticed on LinkedIn. The primary reason, in my opinion, is to establish yourself as an authority in your particular niche but there are tons of other reasons to stand out. Here are some tips to rise above the rest of the masses on LinkedIn.
I have seen several articles and ads telling me that LinkedIn is the solution to almost any problem a business could have. From a slump in sales to HR nightmares this social media platform can solve it all. Don’t get caught in the trap many small businesses do of believing any social media platform will cure your issues. It probably could help but you need to look at more than just the social media aspect of things. I have heard phrases like “If I only had more followers” as the obvious solution to a problem that goes much deeper in the company. Likes and followers will come if you have a solid product people believe in. If there is a need you are filling then the social media will happen but if you have a poor product or are presenting it poorly then no amount of likes will save your business. Keep this in mind before dumping your hopes on a social media campaign saving you.
The 20th ranked website in the world and the number one business to business (B2B) networking site, LinkedIn is still the top place to go for business purposes. The groups can have great information as well as people publishing content on the site giving out expert advice make it a valuable information source. It’s hard to imagine some people haven’t harnessed the power of this site. This week we will talk about getting more business through LinkedIn and how you can get my LinkedIn best practices guide.
To make a popular YouTube channel you need a few skills at hand. You don’t necessarily need to do it yourself, but you need people who can help you with the skills you don’t have. Here is a list of the 5 things you need to know how to do to keep a steady following on YouTube.