So you have a great idea about a particular physical or online product or service, but how do you set goals and achieve them?
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail“….Benjamin Franklin
Be careful, don’t get swept away in the emotional high. Examine the marketplace that provides the context for what you’re offering. Are there competitors? How many? How are they performing? Most importantly, do you have a realistic business plan to meet these challenges?
To prepare a plan you must research the process of your product or service.
Maybe you are into drop shipping. If so, where will your product be manufactured? How much will that cost? What hardware do you need to offer this service? Do you need a brick and mortar storefront, a mobile unit, or an online store? How will you effectively market your product?
Find the Right Numbers and Crunch Them
It’s important while considering these questions to analyze and crunch the hard numbers, because numbers cannot lie. Feelings and intuitions, on the other hand, can be misleading.
Find pragmatic but positive people to discuss your idea with. Negative people don’t feel like anything will succeed, so their opinion may not be helpful. At the same time, people with big dreams but little interest in practical details might also give misleading encouragement.
Executive Summary and Description
The opening part of your plan (or your executive summary) will outline what you’re looking for and describe your business in concise terms.
Describe the industry as well as you can so the reader can position your business. It’s important to clearly introduce your business so your reader won’t get lost in the specific details.
Market Strategies and Competitive Analysis
Analyze the market by asking the right questions. How will you enter it and compete with established businesses? What type of clients are you targeting? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors? What barriers will you face when attempting to enter the market?
The answers to these strategic questions will help you map out the necessary activities that you must do.
D&D and O&M
No, D&D does not refer to rolling twelve sided dice and moving small figurines around a fantasy landscape.
D&D stands for Design and Development (if you are into physical products), which entails describing your product and the various stages of its development, including manufacturing, sales, delivery, and implementation.
O&M stands for the Operations and Management component will detail each activity within your business, and how those activities function together.
Now is the time to crunch those numbers. What will your expenses be for materials, labor, management, marketing, and any other miscellaneous areas of business? What are your expected profits over the course of the first year and beyond? This is the section that can make or break your business plan when setting it before a banker or an investor.
Once you’ve assembled your plan, return to your peanut gallery and see what people think. We can often become biased when it comes to our own ideas, so running your proposal in front of new eyes is an excellent way to do a reality check on your thinking.
I hope this article will help you understand the key components of How to Set Goals and Create a Realistic Business Plan as you move forward with your online business.
You may also want to check out the post Three Productivity Strategies To Accomplish More In Your Business
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