Most people merely think of launching a business and chicken out. There are too many details to figure out;
so most entrepreneurs stop early in the process because they believe they don’t have the skills it takes to make it as a successful small business owner.
In reality, nearly everyone has what it takes to build a thriving business — all you need is a great idea, adequate capital, and creativity.
The thing many people lack is the determination, patience, and ability to effectively plan. It’s very easy and common to become overwhelmed in those initial stages of starting a business. The key to making it happen is to develop a plan to help guide you along the way.
1.) Go beyond the business plan.
Planning carefully before launching a new business is not limited to preparing a business plan, says Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of the Entrepreneurship Lab at Pace University in New York City.
“While preparing a business plan is generally a valuable exercise, there are other ways to plan carefully,” he says. Bachenheimer recommends three planning methods.
- The Apprentice Model: Gaining direct industry experience, as the founders of Tender Greens did.
- The Hired-Gun Approach: Partnering with experts who have in-depth knowledge and experience.
- The Ultra-Lean School of Hard Knocks Tactic: Figuring out a way to rapidly test and refine your model at a very reasonable cost.
While writing a business plan is certainly helpful, the real value is not in having the finished product in hand, but rather in the process of researching and thinking about your business in a systematic way, according to Victor Kwegyir, founder and CEO of Vike Invest, a U.K.-based business consultancy.
“The act of planning helps you to think things through thoroughly, study and research if you are not sure of the facts and look at your ideas critically,” he says.