22 Şubat 2008 Cuma


Let's continue working through the business plan. Remember that this is a very high-level overview; your actual plan will need a lot more attention to detail than I can present here. Last week, we left off with your competitors and potential fusion marketing partners. Well begin there and continue.

What buying criteria are important to your target audience? How will you position this business to take best advantage of those buying criteria? Can you define your niche narrowly enough to reduce or even eliminate competition?

How many people will you need to hire and when? How much will you pay them? Will you offer commissions on sales or other perks? Do you have clear job descriptions and an expandable organization chart? What special experience and/or certifications does each person need? How will you minimize employee turnover? Have you budgeted for payroll services, payroll taxes, workmens compensation insurance, etc?

How will your sales grow over time? How many units and dollars do you plan to move? What are you basing these assumptions on and why did you choose these particular sales levels and growth pattern? How does this forecast tie into your market analysis, niche position, target audience, fusion marketing partners, competitors, etc? What has to happen to meet your goals? What are the risks and how can you mitigate them?

What is your marketing plan? The plan itself need be only 7-sentences long (the 7-sentence Guerrilla Marketing plan). Do you have a marketing calendar that will track your efforts and results month by moth so you can pick the winning marketing methods and ditch the rest? What specific step by step process will you use to convert members of your target audience into leads, prospects, customers, clients, and referral sources? Where are the weaknesses and risks in this plan and how will you mitigate them?

Will you have an online presence? What will that look like? Will your Web site be for sales, information, or both? How will you create and maintain this site and any other online tools? Where do these tools fit into your overall marketing plan? If you will be handling sensitive information such as credit card numbers, do you have adequate protections in place? Are you sure? How?

Who are you? What makes you qualified to run this business? What skills, experience, degrees, certifications, etc. do you bring to the table? How about your partners? Why did you select the partners you did? What weaknesses or gaps exist in knowledge or abilities and how will you cover those? What outside professionals (coaches, consultants, etc.) do you need and why?

How much startup funding do you need? Where will you get it from? How will you obtain it? How did you arrive at your figures? What is your breakeven point, and what assumptions did you use to calculate that milestone? What economic, regulatory, political, or other risks exist and how can you mitigate them? How much revenue do you need to achieve break-even and when will that occur?

What will your cash flow look like from month to month? Why? What if it doesnt? What expenses will you have, both fixed (rent, insurance, etc.) and variable (cost of purchasing inventory, utilities, etc.)? Do your projected financial ratios match the typical range for your industry?

How will you actually implement your plan? What concrete steps must happen and in which order? How will you handle delays and unexpected obstacles? How will you handle unexpected opportunities? Will you be able to tell opportunities from diversions? How? What if youre wrong in any one of your assumptions? Do you have any sort of fallback or safety net? If not, why not? If so, can you count on it at need?
This should keep you busy. Well wrap up the business planning next week and move on to talking about retail environments and making a shop appealing to customers. Dont have a retail shop? Most of this will apply to you as well. Meanwhile, if youve done your homework from the beginning of this article series, your business plan should be coming together fairly easily. I hope you know me well enough by now to know that I always look for the ease.

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