What makes it tick to survive in business, – not only survive but succeed and grow, is a subject matter for deeper analysis, within the vast arena of strategic and successful business planning. A large number of small business start-up strategies, have been postulated, but some of these are extremely useful in the planning process and offer the right keys to survive and grow in business.
Most entrepreneurs seem to make the start with a highly fanciful idea that has germinated in their minds, – ideas are welcome and undeniably the crux of any good business plan. What one needs is the precautionary steps to determine whether the idea meets a few practical requirements – if the new product/service is a clear step ahead of the others, if it will solve a prevailing issue/need better, plus if it will expand on the user circle directly or indirectly.
An in-depth analysis of the functioning of small businesses seems to provide some clear directions for survival and growth, the first being the power of the planning process, and the second the all important influx rate of capital to meet the bare minimum needs, as spelled out in the business plans. Very often businesses, which have survived for five years or more, have invariably shown marked strengths in both of the above.
Pulse of the market: Top in the order of importance, successful business planning requires measuring the real pulse of the market, as against complicated mathematical projections/estimates of sales and numbers. What one needs is the practical insight into whether the products cover a gap in an existing market, or the affordability of the targets, or even whether the customer has the right perceptions about the product.
The idea concept: Successful home based businesses also have to capitalize on the impetus from new ideas by reorienting their strategies to use them (ideas) effectively. Ideas and solutions should trigger positive customer response by establishing solutions, or by infusing recurring demand, in effect improving the customer’s perception of contentment and satisfaction.
Business plans and Finances: Businesses that survive and also grow seem to have a strong armory comprising of a well-conceived dynamic business plan and the right mix of schemes for capital funding and financial inputs. While the business plan acts as the forerunner for the business, including the finances, an integrated outlook based on internal and external performances should ensure the proper environment for the successful functioning of the business. A plethora of funding agencies coming from governmental/non governmental sectors, chambers of commerce and trade associations offer various types of financial support to business enterprises, in the form of grants/loans and so on. What is needed is the right combination of financial planning with effective business strategies to meet what the business needs at the appropriate stages of start-up, development, manufacturing or marketing.
Core competencies: An innovative idea/product, coupled with a receptive market situation may not be enough for a business to survive, except when sufficiently equipped with the basic core abilities/competencies in terms of consistency in production, supply, the right mix of skills for buying, making and selling, apart from others.
Mentors: Successful entrepreneurs are not born, but made. Very often businesses that survive and grow, are run by entrepreneurs who are able to acquire the right solutions at the right time for many of their problems. Taking the clues from previous successes is an art, and successful business plans need to adopt from proven models, and tailor them to suit the individual business. Again, when entrepreneurs do not have the necessary skills, in special disciplines, the right thing would be to use the services of a consultant, or advisor or even locate a mentor, who could guide and support with their expertise on some critical areas, identify the plus and the minus and help him/her in the tools and techniques of successful business planning and ultimately continued successes in business.
Last but not least it is absolutely necessary to understand that adequate time and effort is allowed for planning, at the time of starting the business (formative stage), which is none else than the hard core of successful business planning.