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We’ve all heard that saying, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This is especially true in business.
Who has time to plan? For 90 percent of today’s entrepreneurs and business owners, it’s all about scraping by—just doing what it takes to survive day by day.
Profit Coach Susie Carder knows this first hand. Armed with only a high school education, she grew the largest training and development company in the beauty industry and then sold it for millions.
In 1998, Carder was growing her training and development business and wanted to launch an online platform for the beauty industry. Quotes for building the online division quickly added up to over half a million dollars. She didn’t have that kind of money. Cash was tight, and like a lot of business owners, she often found there was more month left at the end of the money.
Carder knew she had to come up with a way to raise funds to build the business. Not knowing exactly where to start, she needed help. So Susie did what she recognized that other smart and successful business owners do – she found a coach to help her put together a business plan so that she could raise the money needed to build her online platform.
It took two years, but Carder raised $1.2 million to launch her online division which she grew into the largest online platform in the beauty industry and one of the top one percent in the nation and top ten percent in the world.
Carder says, “I couldn’t have done that without a really great comprehensive written business plan and an execution plan.”
Today, Susie’s passion is creating the structure and building the team necessary to guide any company through the turbulence and uncertainty of dramatic growth. It’s that passion that has driven Carder to raise millions for herself and her clients by following one simple process that gets radical results.
Ninety-nine percent of Carder’s clients that come to her have successfully started a business, and they’re producing sales. They’re relatively successful, but each one of them never took the time to write out a plan. Carder made a significant difference in their business just by doing that one simple step: putting together a comprehensive business plan.
For Carder, “Clarity is King.” Whether your business is in the bootstrapping phase or it’s time to raise funds for growth, you need a well thought out plan to run and grow a successful business.
Money Attracts Money
The reality is that there comes a point in every business when you’re going to need more money to grow. For some, it’s a hard reality to face.
You know the old saying, “It takes money to make money.” That doesn’t mean it needs to be YOUR money. Susie figured out early on that you can build a successful business by leveraging Other People’s Money (OPM).
A well thought out plan allows you to attract outside investors to raise funds needed to fuel the growth of your business. When your plan includes all the tools, information, and a clearly-defined path to success, it provides investors with confidence in their decision to fund your project. You can also take that plan to a bank to get a loan.
So What’s In A Plan?
According to Carder, a great business plan tells us where your business is going and how you will get there. She breaks it down into sub-plans covering the most critical elements of your business.
The Sales Plan tells us how much we should price things and how many of those things we need to sell to hit our financial objectives.
The Marketing Plan answers important questions like;
Who are we marketing to?
Who’s our ideal client?
Where does our ideal client hang out?
What kind of affiliates am I going to use?
How am I going to track affiliates?
What platforms will I market on?
The Operations Plan defines how you will run your business for growth. It includes an organizational chart identifying the personnel that need to be hired, when personnel will be hired, and how personnel will be paid. A well thought out plan is also a great training tool for new team members because it gives them clarity and purpose for the job they are performing. No more guessing, no more making it up. They can just focus on executing your vision.
The Financial Plan tells us how many units need to be sold to create a profitable business and how much money is left over, giving us that overarching view of what we need financially to make the business grow.
It can be exhausting to have to work in your business one minute then flip around and try to work on your business the next, especially when you are distracted by so many “perceived” opportunities lurking around every corner. A great business plan will enable you to prevent this from happening and will remove distractions from the key objectives. When the next sexy opportunity comes along, your business plan instantly tells you to just say, “No thank you. It’s not in our core plan.”
So… Why haven’t you put the plan together? Is it fear? Is it procrastination? Are you unsure where to start?
Susie Carder has put together a Free 10-Point Business Planning Assessment and Companion Video Training to show you where to Focus FIRST to Generate Greater Revenue, Profits, and Growth in Your Business.
Visit http://www.susiecarder.com/freebizassessment/ to access these free resources that will help you assess your company’s health in 10 mission-critical areas and spot breakdowns before they happen.
Jack Mize is a Best Selling Author, host of Influencers Radio and contributor to Small Business Trendsetters and Business Innovators Magazine covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance and Personal Development.