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Photo for Business Insights blog-Quick Way to Create a Startup Action Plan for Your Business

How to Create a Startup Action Plan for Your Business

During the beginning stages of starting a business, one of the most important things you should do is create an effective action plan. Why create an action plan early? Studies reveal that businesses with a startup action plan are more likely to succeed than those without a plan. However, there’s danger in spending too much time on planning—it can be procrastination.

Now, the main purpose for creating an action plan is to help you focus and crystallize your ideas. A well thought out plan can help you decide which steps to take to attain business goals and objectives.

A good action plan involves:

  • Determining what your objectives are
  • Setting measurable and achievable goals
  • Prioritizing tasks
  • A set of clearly defined steps needed to attain your goals and objectives
  • Creating a contingency plan
  • A concrete timetable

Your plan must be rooted in strategy and carefully outline the steps required to grow your enterprise. An action plan will help turn mere thoughts and aspirations into realizable goals.

Brainstorm your plan

The idea behind brainstorming is to help you come up with as many ideas as possible. Ensure that your action plan includes the four important areas, i.e. sales, marketing, operations, market research and administration. The first ideas that come to mind are sometimes the best ones. However, you need to reevaluate your list and pick the most effective and practical ones.

Brainstorming is best done when you are feeling relaxed, unhurried and receptive to unconventional viewpoints.

Include as many different and creative ways to achieve your goals no matter how impractical or unsound your ideas may seem at the moment.

Define your goals

Identify your goals and write them down in list format. Your goals should be prioritized in order of importance.

Focus on realistic, measurable goals

Our achievements begin with goal-setting. Knowing what you really want to accomplished is vital to your personal as well as entrepreneurial success.

Thinking or dreaming big is a good thing, but oftentimes we trip over our big ideas because we fail to lay them out in concrete terms. When we repeat the same ineffective approach to “planning” we are simply moving in circles and not getting anywhere.

By setting measurable and realistic goals, we are much more likely to achieve business growth.

Things you need to define when setting measurable goals:

  • Objectives
  • Resources
  • Time
  • Financing/money

Break it down into baby steps

Don’t overextend yourself but focus on measurable goals and deadline each step. When you take things in smaller increments, it simplifies tasks and makes it easier to measure your progress.

Identify costs

Define the cost of each baby step in terms of money, time and energy. Identify additional resources you will need to achieve each step.

Bridging the gap

Know where you’re at in relation to where you want to be. This will enable you to fully understand how much work still needs to be done to attain your goals. Consider sales volume, customers, profits, revenues. It’s like a bird’s eye view of everything to help you decide whether or not this is the direction you want to take.

Update your plan on a regular basis

The idea is to build on the minor successes you have achieved. Discard strategies that failed and continually make adjustments or introduce improvements to your plan. This will enable you to formulate a new and more educated insight.

Many people don’t like planning. However, when business gets tough, goal setting becomes crucial. Your action plan will facilitate zeroing in on the right information to help you to know what you need to get there.

Photo for Business Insights blog-The Big Day – How to Prepare to Launch Your Business

The Big Day – How to Prepare to Launch Your Business

Once you’ve done all the background work on building your business, it’s time to count down the days until the launch. As the big day draws near, here are the things you need to do to get ready to open your doors.

Test Everything

Far ahead of your launch, make sure that all your systems work. Check all email addresses or other forms of contact. If you have an online store, make sure the shopping cart works. Test all technical aspects of your business so that once your business is open, there won’t be any bumps in the road. Make sure you have your tech support service ready at-hand in case there are problems.

Develop a Launch Plan

Create a marketing plan that’s specifically for your launch. Decide where you’re going to publish what and when. Try to keep a steady stream of content about the launch as you lead up to the day.

Build the Buzz

Starting a month before your business launch, start building the buzz. Let people know that you’re about to launch and give them a taste of what they can expect. Share information on social media. Wherever possible, get people involved. Hold contests or ask for ideas to get your audience interacting with you.

Seek Social Proof

One specific way to build the buzz is to reach out to influencers or experts in your niche and give them a sample of your product or service in exchange for a testimonial. They can tell others the benefits they got from using your offering and you can use this to promote your launch.

Conduct Research

As you get ready to launch, this is a great time to conduct some market research. Give select members of your audience a sneak preview of your business and get their feedback. See if there are any improvements they’d like to see made and tweak ahead of the big day.

Get Your Tracking Systems in Place

Choose the metrics you’ll use to measure your business performance. Get a tracking system in place that involves regular monitoring and occasionally sitting down for a deeper analysis.

Consider an Initial Discount

You might want to consider offering a discount on products and services to celebrate the launching of your business. Offer a bonus, discount, or additional free offer for those who place orders on the first day. Set a limit to add some urgency.

Plan for the Big Day

You need to do more than just plan the pre-launch.  You’ll have to be on-hand to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as planned. There will also be things to do post-launch, like following up with customers, looking for new promotional opportunities, and watching your metrics.

Learn More

Do you have a great business idea that you’re ready to make a reality?  If so, we are offering a full Program that takes you through the process of launching a business step by step. Each Program module has action-steps, so you start setting up your business as you work through the course.  You can find it here.

 

 

 

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