It is imperative that small businesses as well as large companies face their competition with the knowledge necessary for success.
Daniel Boone once said “Make sure you are right and then go ahead”. This holds true for starting a business. We have helped hundreds of companies and seen how many people start businesses that were doomed to failure from the beginning. These excited entrepreneurs did not examine the fundamental costs of doing their business and how much work was involved. Once they had done all the preliminaries of starting the business like choosing the business name, establishing the legal company entity, getting a sales license, getting a bank account and building their web site they discovered that their business was not profitable or that it required sacrifices they were not willing to make.
The profitability of your planned business should be considered before you do anything. We recommended a thorough financial analysis to determine profitability by using a spreadsheet. The objective of this tool is to determine your projected cash flow. To do this plug in all your costs of business including cost of goods, taxes, fees, office rental, utilities, and paying yourself. Then estimate your sales by month over the next twelve months. We have provided a Cash Flow Planning Worksheet Template that you can use to start developing your cash flow projections. Include all costs and make your sales projections realistic.
Consider the Cash Flow Planning Worksheet Template as the beginning of your Business Plan. Business plans are very time consuming and laborious documents but a Business Plan is essential to the continued growth of a company. Your business plan does not need to be formal at this point but you should keep all your research and analysis in physical or electronic files (we recommend Word documents). If you follow our recommendations for creating your business you will gradually collect all the information necessary for a Business Plan and it will be easy to assemble them into a functional business plan that you can use to track your business growth and plan for expansion.
Once you have decided that your business can be profitable and you are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to operate it you can proceed with all the details of establishing the company. One of details in establishing a company is the web site. In todays connected world your web site is one of your most important tools in marketing and communicating with your customers. The planning and development of your web site is extremely important and should not be taken lightly.
Establishing a web site is not as simple as hiring a web developer. Web developers, no matter how good, do not know your businesses as well as you do. It is your responsibility to thoroughly understand your business, customers, your competition and how the internet operates. Below are some questions you need to ask before you finish planning your web site.
Understanding Your Customers: Who are your customers? You should develop a persona for your typical customer. How old are they? What is their business or occupation? What are their interests related to you products or services? What keyword phrases do they use when searching for your products or services?
Understanding Your Competition (Competitive Intelligence): How many are there? How much do they sell? How do their products or services compare with yours? What keyword phrases do they use in their web site? Are they using paid advertisement? Are they local, national or international in scope?
The next steps are planning your marketing strategies and planning your web site. We have developed easy to use templates and sample specifications for your marketing plan and web site specification. If you would like access to this information please contact us by email or use our Contact Form.
For more information, on other subjects, contact us at 949 954-0767 or use our Contact Form.