When discussing whether success can be attributed to hard work vs. luck, Thomas Edison once said, “Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.”
Indeed there is a ton of work that goes into running a successful business.
There are also key characteristics that an entrepreneur or leader must possess to be successful such as persistence, confidence and patience.
Success begins with a plan which is one of the most important aspects of running a business, regardless of its size.
Anyone can dream of an amazing new product or project, however without careful planning, both are destined for failure.
One would never set out on a journey to an unknown destination without a roadmap. Planning is the roadmap required for success.
Many small business owners- especially lone rangers, skip the planning process altogether because it can be a very time consuming process which generates zero income in the short-run. The benefits of good planning, however, far outweigh and short-term loss of earnings.
The most important document an entrepreneur must have is a business plan. During the ideation process, a business plan enables the entrepreneur to think analytically about his or her industry and how his or her new business will fit. The exercise of writing the business plan allows its author to understand not only his or her role, but also how the company will differentiate itself among competitors.
Once the business plan is finalized, it serves as the master gauge to answer questions such as:
- How well is the company performing?
- What are the areas for growth and which should be divested?
- Should the company’s vision, mission or any other guiding principles be modified?
- How has the competitive landscape changed?
A business plan can also be an ideal motivational tool because it allows the entrepreneur to see what he or she has actually accomplished. On the other hand, it can also help one ascertain if he or she has drifted off from the original vision which may require realignment back to the original plan or perhaps the business plan itself should be revised. Dale Carnegie himself once said, “Keep your mind open to change all the time. Welcome it. Court it. It is only by examining and reexamining your opinions and ideas that you can progress.”
If you are considering starting your own business, do not skip the business planning step. Its value cannot be understated. Help is available. You can attend a free pre-business workshop on Weds, April 18th from 6 – 9 pm at Temple University’s Fox School of Business and Management. To register, call (215) 204-3856 or send an email to email@example.com.
This post is brought to you by the good folks at Dale Carnegie Training of Philadelphia and Allentown, providers of professional development and management development courses and information in Philadelphia and Allentown. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.
Photo credit: xianrendujia