Plan for Success

A business had been in start-up phase for about 3 months and the business owner had great ideas and high hopes. Then he ran into cash flow problems. The URL to the website provides an error message. His primary means of selling product is no longer functional.
I keep wondering what happened to the confident young man who was sampling his product and received rave reviews from the sampling population. Was he afraid of success or did he determine that any additional cash he would have to put in the business wasn’t worth the investment? Or did he realize he didn’t have the time needed to dedicate to the business.

Whatever his reasons, his story is very common. Cash flow can be the demise of any business. Every great idea needs a plan. While a formal and lengthy business plan is optimal, a short one with key information can help a new business plan for success. Before embarking on a business venture it is wise to answer a few key questions. If you are considering starting a business answer the following questions:
1. What steps do I need to take to get my product or service ready for sale?
2. How much of my time will it take to get the product or service ready to sell?
3. What is the selling price for the product or service? How does this compare to the competitor prices?
4. How many units or hours/projects do I expect to sell?
5. Where do I find buyers and how do I attract them to my product or service?
6. Do I need others to help me? How much do I pay them and how often?
7. How much cash am I willing to invest in this business?
8. What is my exit strategy, if any?

A little planning goes a long way. Even if you don’t have time or the desire to write a formal business plan, answering a few questions can give you an idea what you need to commit with regard to time and money. Good luck!

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