New Year's Plans for Your Business - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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January 22, 2019

New Year's Plans for Your Business

The New Year is here, and with it comes thoughts of New Year’s resolutions. As a business owner, your resolutions may be less about your waistline and more about your bottom line. If you are looking to make 2019 the year of success for your business, you need a business plan. A well-written business plan will serve as a road map to your success this year, helping you succeed at reaching your goals one step at a time.

What Is a Business Plan?

A business plan is simply a tool to help a business owner identify objectives and create a road map to reach them. It offers specific steps to attain both short- and long-term objectives. It also forces you to take time to think through your goals. As an entrepreneur, you may have a tendency to have grand ideas that sound great, but when you break them down step-by-step, they fall flat. The business plan forces you to do this, analyze your potential results, and decide which steps to take to help you truly find success.

Why a Business Plan Is Critical This Year

Why do you need a business plan in the New Year? Here are some of the reasons:

Business Plans Protect Your Business from Failure

According to statistics from the Small Business Administration, 21.5 percent of all small businesses will fail within the first year of operation. Sadly, an additional 32.8 percent will fail within two years. By five years, over half have fallen victim to failure, and after the ten-year mark, around two-thirds have completely failed.

Why is this? Many of these businesses fail because they lack a business plan. A business plan is a tool that helps business owners visualize and accomplish their goals. It outlines the under-serviced or unmet need that the business’s service or product will meet, then provides a road map for meeting that need well. It identifies problems and creates potential solutions. It outlines the costs of a business’s endeavors and the strategies needed to manage those costs and the business’s deadlines well.

Business Plans Fuel Your Actions and Ambitions

A business plan will help you manage your business so it can grow and thrive. It outlines how to do this day-to-day and also from the year’s beginning through the year's end. It gives you a standard to measure your success, so you can make changes throughout the year to achieve your goals more effectively.

Business Plans Communicate Your Value to Others

Not only can business plans direct your operations, but they can also communicate to others that you have a business that brings value to the table. If your plans include expansion, which will require money from a financing partner, this is an important tool. A business plan that is well-thought-out shows your potential investors that you know what you are doing and have a clear path to reach your goals.

With a clear business plan, you can communicate your value to investors and attract the right financing. A well-written business plan will include figures and statistics, with data to back them up, that helps you look more legitimate to potential investors. Even if you are still considered a startup, the fact that you have crunched the numbers and have a plan for financial success will make you increasingly attractive.

Similarly, your business plan can communicate your company’s value to other types of potential partners. From vendors to executive-level employees, you need the right people on your side to make your business successful, and your business plan is a tool to help you achieve that. If your New Year’s plans include a desire to attract new partners, make sure your business plan is ready to showcase your plans well.

Business Plans Point Out Potential Problems

No one wants to think negatively about their business, but if you can't spot potential problems before they develop, you’re going to struggle. A business plan shows you exactly where potential problems are, so you can address them before they turn into an issue that derails your success. A business plan can also help you address potential pitfalls before you approach investors, so your investment proposal becomes even more solid.

Business Plans Focus Your Efforts

Every entrepreneur can use help with focusing, and a business plan does just that. It gives you a filter through which to view decision, focusing your choices on those that will help you reach your predetermined goals. It helps focus your day-to-day actions to be in line with your goals. It clearly defines where your business is now and where you want it to be in the future, so you can take the right steps to accomplish your goals. When you have days or weeks where you feel as if you are floundering, you can refer to that business plan to get you back on track.

Business Plans Are Constantly Changing

As you prepare your business plan for the New Year, make sure to keep the document a fluid one. While it should be carefully thought out based on your current needs and goals, remember that business plans are constantly changing. What you need and want now for your business may change in a few months, so be willing to re-visit your business plan to make the necessary adjustments. It is a guide and road map, but it is not set in stone.

Your business is your life’s work, and it deserves the right road map to find success. That road map is a business plan. If you’d like to learn more about professions that enable you to serve wholeheartedly and faithfully in your life’s work or want to learn more about a biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to chat with you. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your education goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email web@geneva.edu.