Many people only dream of building a business empire; others dare the consequences and take the leap into the business world. Statistics reveal that 90% of all businesses started to fail in their first five years. Of these failed businesses, 80% were failures right from day one. They fail even before launching because the business was poorly planned. This reminds me of a quote from my mentor:
“A successful business is created before there is a business.” – Rich Dad
For your business to be successful, it has to be strategically planned correctly from the very scratch. It’s just like building a house; you must first plan the structural design before ever embarking on laying the foundation. The same is applicable to starting a business. Below are seven steps to planning a business that wins:
Plan a business that can grow with or without you
The first step to planning a business that wins is to make sure the business is modeled to grow with or without you. This is actually where most new entrepreneurs miss it; they build a business around themselves. They start a business to run it themselves; they cherish the idea of being your own boss and doing things their own way.
But building a business with you as the sole proprietor is a poorly planned business and it will not stand the test of time. The point I am trying to emphasize is this; you must design a business that will not lean solely on your shoulders.
Create a business that will be driven by your vision
The next step is to plan a business that will be driven by your visions and aspirations. Today, I see businesses without future plans and visions. In the process of designing your business, you must set target milestones to achieve. You must set five year and ten year goals for your business.
But formulating a vision for your business is not as important as making sure that this business of yours is driven by the vision. Your employees, team and the entire system of your business must share in the pursuit of your visions.
Create a business that will be bounded by your core values
The third step is to design a business that will be bounded by your core values. Your core belief and values must be instilled in your business. I will drive home my point with the following examples; Sam Walton believed in taking care of his employees and he made it his company’s core value. That’s why Wal-Mart implements a profit sharing plan with its employees.
Debbi Fields, during her early start up years was reputed to dispose over $500 worth of cookies because of its poor quality. Debbi has a reputation for insistence on quality even if it means a reduction in profit margin. Quality was her core value and that’s why her company’s motto goes: “Good enough never is.”
Now that’s for Debbi Fields and Sam Walton, what about you? Is your company bounded by your core beliefs and values? If yes, then make sure it is included in your business plan.
Plan a business that will constantly increase its customer’s value
Customers are insatiable and their wants are endless. So it’s up to you to design your business in such a way that it will always increase its customer’s value. Your business must continuously strive to give the customers the best of service. Take a look at Apple Computers; they have grown an army of loyal customers because of their ability to satisfy their customers by constantly offering them technological innovation.
Create a business that will be led by a strong team
Another important key to business success is to plan your business to be powered by a strong team. One entrepreneurial rule of thumb is this; you must hire people smarter than you. If you are the smartest on your team, your business is doomed.
Just take a look at how Microsoft Corporation has been driven forward by their management and team of computer wizards. If you take the pain to build a formidable business team, then your business will undergo positive leaps.
Plan a business that will be a good corporate citizen
Most entrepreneurs don’t put into consideration their corporate social responsibility when designing their business. But every good and successful entrepreneur put into consideration his society when designing his or her business. As an entrepreneur, you must factor in your community in your business plan and also figure out how your business will positively impact the surrounding environment.
For instance; if you intend starting a mining business or any business that occasionally results in environmental degradation, then you must plan that business to also give back to the environment as a mark of being a good corporate citizen.
Create a business that will help you achieve your primary aim
Be you an employee, entrepreneur, student or unemployed; we all have personal aspirations and goals. Just as our goals are different; so also are our paths to achieving them different. As an entrepreneur, you have to design your business to fall in line with your primary aim. You must factor in a way to use your business as a leverage to achieve some or all of your primary aim.
No matter what your primary aim is; you must find a way to leverage your business in pursuing that aim of yours. So when designing a business, make sure your personal aims and objectives are also considered.
In conclusion, I believe I have been able to pass an entrepreneurial lesson across. Always bear in mind that properly designing a business before starting it will reduce the likelihood of failure. As a final note, i leave you with this quote:
“A successful business is created before there is a business.“ – Rich Dad
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