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Starting a new business is an exciting, but often overwhelming process. Entrepreneurs must create a business plan to lay the foundation for their venture. But what comes next? Many struggle to put that plan into action. In this article, we will explore the critical steps that entrepreneurs like you need to take after creating a business plan. And provide advice and examples for specific situations and industries. We will also discuss best practices for follow-ups to ensure that your business plan succeeds.
Table of Contents
- Why Entrepreneurs Struggle with Getting Their Business Plan Started
- Important Steps for an Entrepreneur to Take Right After Making a Business Plan.
- What are the Most Critical Steps Entrepreneurs Should Take First?
- What Business Plan Steps Have Lower Priority?
- Key Elements of Business Plan Execution
- How to Get Your Entrepreneural Business Plan in Motion
- Examples for Specific Entrepreneural Situations and Industries
- How to Make Your Business Plan Succeed
- What Must an Entrepreneur do After Creating a Business Plan: Special Situations
- What Not to do When Executing Your Business Plan
- Best Practices for Follow-Ups
Why Entrepreneurs Struggle with Getting Their Business Plan Started
Entrepreneurs can struggle to put their business plan into action for several reasons. Firstly, they may lack the necessary experience or skills to execute their plan. Additionally, entrepreneurs may face obstacles such as a lack of funding or a limited network.
Finally, fear of failure can hold entrepreneurs back from taking the necessary steps to make their business a success. However, it is crucial to understand that these struggles are normal and can be overcome with the right mindset and approach.
Important Steps for an Entrepreneur to Take Right After Making a Business Plan.
After creating a business plan, entrepreneurs need to take several critical steps to turn their vision into a reality. These include:
Refine your plan: Once you have created a business plan, it’s essential to review and refine it to ensure that it aligns with your goals and values. Make sure your plan is practical, measurable, and achievable.
Establish a legal structure: Choose a legal structure for your business, such as an LLC or corporation, and register your company with your state or local government.
Secure funding: Identify potential sources of funding for your business, such as investors or small business loans. Consider working with a financial advisor to develop a financial plan that aligns with your goals.
What are the Most Critical Steps Entrepreneurs Should Take First?
By following the 80/20 rule, entrepreneurs can focus their energy on the easy steps that involve only 20% effort but yield 80% effectiveness of their business plan. By prioritizing critical steps first and delaying lower priority tasks, entrepreneurs can ensure that they are using their resources effectively and efficiently.
After creating a business plan, it is essential to prioritize tasks based on their importance and potential impact on the business. Here are some of the critical steps an entrepreneur should take first:
Secure funding: Without adequate funding, it will be difficult to execute the business plan effectively. Therefore, entrepreneurs should prioritize securing funding through loans, investors, or other sources.
Hire key personnel: Entrepreneurs should hire key personnel, such as a CFO, CMO, or COO, who will help them implement the business plan effectively.
Develop a minimum viable product (MVP): Developing an MVP will enable entrepreneurs to test the market and receive feedback on their product or service.
What Business Plan Steps Have Lower Priority?
On the other hand, some steps have a lower priority and can be delayed until the business is established. For example:
Developing a brand identity: While it’s important to have a brand identity, it can wait until after the business is established.
Building a large team: Hiring a large team can wait until the business grows and requires additional staff.
Conducting market research: Although market research is important, it can be done at a later stage when the business has established a foothold in the market.
Key Elements of Business Plan Execution
Business plan execution involves putting the plan into action, monitoring progress, and making adjustments as necessary. Here are some key elements that entrepreneurs should consider to execute their business plans effectively:
Clear objectives and goals: Business objectives should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). They should be aligned with the overall business plan and should guide decision-making.
Accountability and responsibility: Assigning tasks to specific individuals or teams with clear roles and responsibilities is crucial to ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.
Effective communication: Communication is vital to the success of any business. Entrepreneurs should ensure that all team members are kept up-to-date on progress and that everyone is working towards the same goals.
Performance monitoring and reporting: Monitoring the progress of the business plan is essential to ensure that the plan is on track and to make any necessary adjustments. Regular performance reporting can help entrepreneurs identify potential issues before they become significant problems.
Flexibility and adaptability: The business environment is constantly changing, and entrepreneurs should be prepared to adapt to new circumstances. A successful business plan should be flexible enough to respond to changes in the market or internal factors.
Risk management: Every business plan carries risks, and entrepreneurs should develop contingency plans to mitigate these risks. Risk management should be an integral part of the business plan execution process.
By focusing on these key elements, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of successfully executing their business plan. These elements help ensure that everyone involved in the business is working towards the same goals and that there is accountability and performance monitoring to track progress and identify areas that need improvement.
How to Get Your Entrepreneural Business Plan in Motion
To get your business plan in motion, start by creating a timeline with specific milestones and deadlines. Break down your plan into smaller, manageable tasks and set realistic timelines for each one.
Identify the resources and budget you’ll need to execute your plan. Determine which tasks can be completed in-house and which ones will require outside help.
Delegate responsibilities to team members who have the skills and expertise needed to accomplish specific tasks. Make sure everyone understands their role in the plan’s execution and has the necessary resources to complete their tasks.
Finally, monitor your progress regularly and make adjustments as needed. Keep track of your successes and challenges. Be willing to adapt your plan as circumstances change. Celebrate your accomplishments along the way. And stay focused on your ultimate goal.
Examples for Specific Entrepreneural Situations and Industries
Here are the steps for an entrepreneur to take after they have their business plan ready based on three example situations.
Example Situation 1: A New Restaurant Opening
Develop a menu and hire a chef, source high-quality ingredients, and establish relationships with suppliers and vendors.
Design a visually appealing and welcoming restaurant interior, hire staff and train them to provide excellent customer service.
Create a marketing plan to promote the restaurant and attract new customers, including social media, email marketing, and promotions.
Example Situation 2: A Software Development Startup
Identify target customers and their needs, develop a minimum viable product (MVP), and test it with a focus group.
Establish a pricing model, create a sales strategy, and hire a sales team.
Invest in branding and create a website to showcase the software and its features, including case studies and testimonials.
Example Situation 3: A Fashion Boutique
Identify target customers and their fashion preferences, source high-quality clothing and accessories, and develop relationships with vendors.
Create a visually appealing and inviting boutique interior, hire staff and train them to provide excellent customer service.
Develop a marketing plan to promote the boutique, including social media, email marketing, and in-store events.
How to Make Your Business Plan Succeed
To make your business plan succeed, you need to focus on the execution of your plan. Keep yourself and your team motivated and accountable by setting clear goals and deadlines.
Be willing to adapt your plan as needed and make changes based on feedback from customers and market trends. Stay informed about your industry and competition. Also be willing to pivot your strategy if necessary.
Stay organized and prioritize tasks based on their level of importance and impact on your overall goals. Maintain open communication with your team and stakeholders. Be willing to seek help and advice from mentors and experts in your field.
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What Must an Entrepreneur do After Creating a Business Plan: Special Situations
While a solid business plan can serve as a roadmap for entrepreneurial success, sometimes unexpected challenges arise that require additional support and resources. For example, if your business requires specialized knowledge or expertise, you may need to seek out consultants or mentors who can provide valuable insights and guidance.
Alternatively, if funding is a concern, you may need to explore alternative sources of capital or consider seeking out investors who share your vision and goals.
Another important consideration is the need for ongoing education and skill development. As your business evolves and grows, you may need to acquire new skills or knowledge in areas such as marketing, finance, or operations. To address this, it can be helpful to seek out workshops, training programs, or online courses. These can help you stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.
What Not to do When Executing Your Business Plan
While there are many factors that can contribute to entrepreneurial success, there are also several common mistakes that can derail progress and hinder growth. One of the biggest pitfalls is trying to do too much too soon. It’s essential to remain focused and prioritize the most critical steps to avoid spreading yourself too thin or neglecting critical tasks.
Another mistake to avoid is failing to set realistic expectations. While it’s important to dream big and aim high, it’s also important to be honest about your limitations and resources. By setting achievable goals and benchmarks, you can build momentum and celebrate incremental successes along the way.
Best Practices for Follow-Ups
Following up regularly is crucial to ensure that your business plan stays on track and achieves the desired outcomes. This can involve setting milestones, conducting regular performance reviews, and soliciting feedback from customers and other stakeholders. It can also be helpful to establish a system for tracking progress and staying organized.
Finally, it’s important to stay engaged with your industry and community, and to seek out opportunities to network and collaborate with peers and mentors. By building a strong support system and staying connected to your audience and market, you can ensure that your business remains relevant and responsive to changing trends and needs.
Creating a business plan is only the first step towards building a successful business. But what should an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan? To put your plan into action and achieve your goals, you must prioritize and execute the most critical steps first.
Stay organized and adaptable. Seek guidance and support from mentors and experts when needed. Remember to stay focused on your goals and maintain open communication with your team. Be willing to make changes and adjustments as needed.
By following these steps, you can set yourself and your business up for success and turn your dreams into a reality. Remember, the road to success is not always easy, but with hard work, determination, and the right strategy, anything is possible. Good luck on your entrepreneurial journey!
Shaun Mendonsa, PhD is an influencing expert and pharmaceutical development leader. He writes on the topics of influence and persuasion, and develops next generation drugs in human pharma by advising international pharmaceutical CROs and CMOs. He can be reached at [email protected].
Business Plan, Business Communication, Decision Making, Entrepreneur
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