Starting a new business venture is both thrilling and frightening. Many of us aspire to create a successful and satisfying company, that customer’s will value and respect. That is the thrill of the adventure, but we also hear about the business failures. We are told the top reasons businesses fail are:
- Insufficient Capital
- Poor Management / Leadership
- Failure to properly Plan
- Unprofitable Business Model
- No unique Value over Competitors
- Failure to Adapt (Technology, Customer Demand, Economy, etc.)
Every article we read includes a similar list but always in a different order. Regardless, the one thing they all have in common is “Improper Planning”. We need to “Think it Thru“ our business and focus on all the different aspects before we launch.
I liken this experience to taking a journey into the unknown. I think to myself, what would I do if I were about to travel to an unfamiliar country? Would I just hop on a plane, with a suitcase full of randomly selected clothing and a one-way ticket?
As exciting as that sounds I like being a little more prepared. I’d select a time of year when the weather is optimal at my destination. I’d try to schedule my trip during off-season – I hate crowds. I’d study the country and select special places to visit that interest me. I’d study the transportation options so jumping from town to town would be easy and fun. I’d understand the country’s economic and currency situation so I could have the right money in my pocket and be able to tip appropriately for optimal service. Happy waiter, happy diner!
All this seems elementary, my dear Watson, but many people jump on the plane to destination “Entrepreneurship” without ever thinking thru the travel arrangements. They end up in the Antarctic with a Bikini and Flip-flops! Whoops and Burr!
Planning is a vital step towards creating a new business venture. You think through the pros and cons. You consider the enormity of the effort. You consider your resources, such as time, money, and expertise. “Do I have the time to dedicate to starting a new business?” “Do I have the financial where-with-all to fund the enterprise?” “Do I have the expertise or skills to support this initiative?” These are all good questions that you should ask yourself before taking on a significant business venture.
With any business start-up, questions are best answered through the more formal process of business planning. This effort forces you to focus on the questions and provide answers in a constructive manner. It makes you face your fears, think through your dreams, and ponder the what-if scenarios. It helps you pack your suitcase.