Small Business Plans – Top Tips

One piece of advice that is given to people regardless of the type of business or industry they want to get into is to create, and stick to, a business plan. Your business plan helps keep you on track, organized, and gives you written goals to work toward as you make decisions for your business.

When writing business plans, many people focus on the long-term, and write plans that span five years, or even longer. However, your plan can be shorter. You can write 30 60 90 day business plans to give you short-term goals for your business and help you to be more successful.

Regardless of the length of time your business plan covers, there are key elements in plans that make it comprehensive and successful.

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Writing a Business Plan Part 5 – Competition

What kind of competition do you have for your donut business? How does your business and your product measure up to theirs? Evaluate what your competition does so you can copy what works for them and discard what does not. In other words, learn from those who are trying to get your customers. How do competitors define the product (donuts) in your area? How much market share does each have?

In the competitive analysis of your business plan you will want to look at donut businesses similar to yours including national chains that also operate storefront businesses. If you operate a trailer and move between fairs and festivals your competition is not necessarily other donut businesses (although those count too) but those next to you selling other vending items. Granted, it will be difficult to research these other businesses on wheels before hand. When you get to a fair and set up observe everything the other vendors do that attracts customers and everything they do that has no effect.

Also consider how likely other competitors may enter the market at a later date. Investors will want you to research how saturated the market is and what the barriers are to people who want to make donuts like you do. Do not let your emotion get in the way of your analysis. It is easy to assume that your product will be superior to everybody else’s, but there is much more to consider. Taste, size, price, and service are all important things to look at but are only part of the picture. Try to learn the internal business practices behind the scenes to gage the strength of your competition. Are they creative, motivated, and financially secure? Do they have high employee turnover? These are keys to success as well.

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What Makes For a Good Health Club Business Plan?

What makes for a good health club business plan is the same things that make for any good business plan, which just a few differences. The most important thing to remember in any plan, though, is that having A plan is better than having NO plan at all, even if the plan is a little hazy, to start. This can always be corrected down the road. What’s a fact, though, is that businesses that start out with no written plan often go down to defeat within their first three years.

Business plans are like narrative stories. They’ll have a beginning, then a middle, and then an end which will lead to a new beginning. This goes on in what’s called a continuous planning cycle. And no health club plan succeeds well without having a mission, vision and goals, not only for the business but also for its customers.

Like any good plan, a health club’s will address every traditional business metric or benchmark which helps to gauge success. These can include funding sources and short-to-long term planning horizons. Keep in mind that the farther out a horizon is, the more flexible the intermediate steps need to be in getting to that far off destination.

» Read more: What Makes For a Good Health Club Business Plan?