When I went into business, there was always the debate on whether I would make it past a certain threshold. Then I met someone more established, who later became my mentor, who told me that debate would always be there as long as I was planning to grow.
Years later, it made sense. A growing entrepreneur is always thinking of different ways to grow the brand, and in turn faces new challenges.
This is important because many entrepreneurs find a solid source of income and tend to relax. But with business, you shouldn’t ever get comfortable.
The next wave is always aligning itself, so it’s wise to be in the middle of it when it happens.
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The big question, then, is how important is a business plan? If you’re a close friend of mine, you’ll notice I always have an A6 book with me and a pen. The collaborative efforts of planning and execution should be side by side. But you need to start with a good plan so the execution brings great results.
Business plans help define goals and achieve them. So with that said, there are some critical considerations you need to think about while developing a business plan.
1. The goals
My brand development planning is sometimes so big that it scares me. But then a while back, I read somewhere that if your dream isn’t big enough to scare you, then you should dream again.
You should never settle for average. But most of the interactions I have had are pretty much the same: people recycle ideas and don’t adjust them to resonate with the next wave.
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The problem with an average dream is that it won’t stand the test of time. If you’re really at an evolution kind of perspective, then big is the only way to go.
The research I did revealed that most of us are afraid to fail. A while back I did an article on why it is important to fail. Let’s break it down: If you’re operating on a playing field that is familiar, then your chances of failing are minimal. This also means that you won’t get new results.
They say you can’t be doing the same thing and expecting different results. So the moment you engage a big idea, then many of us fail. But always take that as a lesson. The beauty with this is that you learn first-hand, and the next time you try again, you’ll approach the goal and vision with more confidence because you have a better understanding of what you are getting yourself into.
So set your goals in intervals of short term, mid-term and long term. And give them dates so you have a deadline you’re working towards.
I usually set deadlines and dates, and that helped with my album launch and all the other big projects I have tackled.
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2. The vision
Before anything, you need to define your vision and start from there. After I started my first companies, my vision either got blurry or I had to make adjustments, which is okay.
Sometimes we beat ourselves up for taking a wrong turn, yet we might stumble on our true destiny along the way.
The vision gives you a clear mission, which gives your staff a proper guideline. But remember that not everyone who works with you is in the vision.
3. The selling point
They say it is good to work on your weaknesses, but it is better to put more energy into your strengths.
The moment you identify your selling point, you are in business. Is it your charm, the product/service, or the team? That thing you always say when recommending a restaurant, an airline, an artiste or a clothing company? That’s the selling point. The selling point provides a unique feature that sets you apart from the rest.
4. The profile
A good fisherman will concentrate on a certain fish and fishing point so that he maximises on his fishing capacity.
In the same way, it is important to know your consumer and market. The moment you have identified their patterns, you can sell your product or service in a way that resonates.
What this means is your customer will feel special and when that happens, the environment for organic marketing takes place.
All the best with your planning, but while doing that, be aggressive with the execution so that you don’t fail with a great plan.
The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.