Four curveballs your business plan should prepare for
Preparing a business plan can be both nerve-wracking and exciting. Before you start jotting down ideas, you will need to ponder on what can go wrong. Here are some curveballs that your business may run into, and how to manage them effectively.
Any business, especially an up and coming one, will run into issues. While you can’t predict the future or prevent every obstacle, you can set up a business first aid kit whereby if an issue arises, there’s a strategy to solve it and move on. A first aid kit is a contingency plan that needs to detail:
- The chain of command when something goes wrong
- The procedure for when certain problems happen
- A detailed list of everyone’s responsibilities and contact details
- Possible solutions and back-up plans
- A correct and up-to-date insurance plan
A business will no doubt run into snags when they have to deal with competition. It’s a part of any business’s strategy to research and prepare for how to counteract the competition fairly. Your main priority should be to devise strategies to market your business and product in a way that will stand out from the competition. While this is easier said than done, the legwork can be done in the business planning stage. Appraise your main competitors and seek out their weak points. Perhaps they have less than perfect customer service or their product is marketed at a target group that excludes others. Whatever the case, you can always find ways to stand out.
A disorganised work force
The last thing you want when your business is up and running, is for any confusion regarding tasks and responsibilities amongst your staff. Nowadays, people are expected to do more than what is required and a business in its fledging stages no doubt has unforeseen tasks you’ll need to attend to, but it’s helpful to give each person an outline of what is expected of them. A simple solution is making sure you sit and write down every single employee’s job description and responsibilities before you open for business. That way, once you’re all ready to go, everyone knows what they need to do and can settle into their roles. If you can, make sure to add in any explanations or resources to get your employees familiar with their roles.
Running out of money
Starting a business is already a capital-draining endeavour, so odds are there are going to be moments when you will be in need of additional cash. While drawing up your business plan, be incredibly strict and realistic about what money will be needed, if you have it and how you will get it if you don’t. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much will the business need before it becomes self-sustaining?
- At what point will it become profitable?
- What are the business’s most essential needs?
Now that you have prepared as much as you can for the curveballs, remember that every new venture is actually an adventure that you should embrace and enjoy!