While it does take a great idea to make a good business the fact is that is just not enough to make it successful. Now that you know what your great idea is, it is time to get down to reality and facts. To begin with it is essential to have a cash-flow forcast that is viable and realistic, do a SWOT analysis and spend on hour or two – not more – reading through a business plan questionnaire, just to make sure you have not overlooked something – otherwise business plans are highly overrated for business start-ups.
There are some basic things that need to be looked into and checked before you are set to start your business. To begin with there is the financing of your small business, like home-, micro-, lifestyle-, mobile-, SME-, SMB-, SOHO-businesses, that is of utmost importance.
Remember one of the main reasons that many small businesses across a globe close down is that they did not anticipate the cash or finance they would require to get their business up and running and give it a fair chance or to put it more plainly – they simply run out of money.
It is important to understand the cash flow in the business and hence you must have an accounting system with integrated cash-flow forecasting in place, that does away with the need to pen down expenses and credits and allows you to go through your financial details in a comprehensive manner.
Is writing a business plan bad? No, but wasting to much time on it is. Ask yourself all the questions critically, but don’t spend hours, days or even weeks on it. I would do a SWOT analysis, SWOTs are:
Strengths: attributes of the business, products or services that are helpful to achieving the objective.
Weaknesses: attributes of the business, products or services that are harmful to achieving the objective.
Opportunities: external conditions that are helpful to achieving the objective.
Threats: external conditions that are harmful to achieving the objective.
I also add a little list of what I want to achieve with my business, no more then five points each. This and your cash-flow forecast should be your constant companion, you need to read and work on these every week to stay focused and see problems coming a long way off.
Next you would need to ensure that your business complies with government regulations. Take into consideration all the practical aspects of running a business and you would have a list of the infrastructure you need to have in place for your business. Having an online office is an excellent way to keep in touch with your office wherever you go.
Proper marketing and image management can ensure that your business has a foothold in the market. Finally you need to pace the development of the company and try to stick by your business goals as far as possible.
Now add some bootstrapping techniques to your small business infrastructure and you could be onto a winner.
UPDATE: I have posted the following question on our forum “ Business Plans – Have you done one?” I would love to hear from you about it.