Running your own business is a highly rewarding, but often a risky endeavor. As with anything else, increasing your chances of success begins with preparation. And when it comes to transforming your dream into reality, the key to successfully jump starting your business is simple: plan the work and work the plan.
Whether you are just getting a new business off the ground, expanding the business you have, or purchasing a business, devote plenty of time to planning:
* Begin with a discovery process to confirm the viability of your venture.
* Do your homework.
* Uncover fundamental objectives, insights, opportunities and risks.
* Research the market.
* Examine your offering, market conditions, trends, and the competition.
* Excavate potential problems.
* Outline your goals and objectives.
* Compile the business intelligence you need to create a solid foundation of actionable information to chart your present and future direction.
The next logical step is to develop a plan- -a strategic business plan that functions as a living document to define your objectives, guide your business, and take you from Point A(where you are today) to Point Z (where you would like to be). But remember- -a strategic plan is about more than securing funding- -it is essential to jump starting your business. And once you have written your business plan, follow it up with an action plan that spells out your short and long-term objectives and how you will achieve them.