Whether you are running a small business or looking to set up a new venture, it’s crucial that you have a clear and simple strategy to which you strictly adhere.
This 5 point action plan should be constantly referred to as to make sure you’re on the right track towards hitting the goals you initially had in mind when starting your company.
It’s easy to be distracted and veer off course as a small business owner into areas you never set out to go.
Make sure your target never leaves your sight with this 5 point small business action plan:
From the outset you should continually remind you and your team of your focus.
Who is your target market?
How does your product or service solve the problems of that target audience?
What’s your USP that sets you apart from competitors in your niche?
Keep it simple and make sure you and your team can recall these answers without even thinking!
Once your focus is drilled into you and your staff member’s brains, you need to make a game-plan. What tactics will make your company win?
Tactics are essentially the choices you make and these choices are related to anything from your pricing, promotion and launch dates to whether you will focus on website improvements or offline marketing.
Your tactics will fall under 3 key areas – finances, product/service and marketing. It’s important to have an idea of how you will approach each area and that you look after each section.
Of course there will be a huge amount of choices to be made when it comes to these sort of decisions and it will be ongoing. However, by planning it out initially you will stand yourself in good stead for future crucial calls.
3. Plan for Cash Flow
As we all know, the cash flow for an SME can often be turbulent, stop-start and leave you feeling suicidal one week and like Richard Branson the next!
Predicting your future often seems like an impossible task but forecasting for potential spikes or drops in cash flow can save you a lot of headache.
Naturally, if you are pushing a strong marketing campaign, for example, and traffic to your website and conversions/leads are increasing rapidly then you need a procedure in place to cater for this surge.
One example of a crisis management solution is the utilisation of a call answering service such as Answer-4u. Our call handling agents will make sure that every single call you receive is dealt with in a professional and friendly manner, allowing you to get on with running your business.
As a small business, you should never bank on a client to be as reliable and timely in payments as you hope they would be. Be prepared!
Whilst having an ideological focus and strategy in place when it comes to core decision making is important, creating certified milestones that gage your progress is vital too.
Whether it’s as simple as task deadlines and responsibilities or analysing your budget to check that you’re on course, milestones are crucial.
What is the best measure of success for your start-up?
Set KPI’s that are relevant to your business rather than generic metrics that don’t have any real world value.
5. Regular Reviews
How do your results measure to the milestones set and focus/tactics decided at the start of your campaign? Was your crisis management solution effective in handling cash flow?
Reviewing and auditing your results is great in assessing how far you have come as a business as well as offering insights into where you can improve.
As a leader, nothing gives you more respect from colleagues than hitting goals that you have all decided on previously. Show your team everything – results, positives, negatives and the implications. Clarity can be a huge morale booster.