Turning Business Plans into Action Plans-Part 2

28 06 2010

Last week we continued talking about moving from a Business Plan to an Action Plan.  We talked about how I went from researching the Waterless Technology business opportunity to working the opportunity for income and profit.  This was one of the most exciting and frightening times of my life.  Here I was planning on quitting my job, one I had been working at for over 12 years and going into a business for myself, but not by myself.  I was scared beyond belief, but also looking forward to the challenge of turning all the business theories into action. 

We did not just have one plan of attack on working the Waterless Business once I quit my job.  We had identified several options on where the business would go once I started working it full-time.  Our primary plan was to travel the country, following the motorcycle rally circuit most of the year in order to demonstrate the product, detail motorcycles and promote the business. 

Booth at Arkansas HOG Rally

This basic Business Plan had worked for Steve for several years, and our plan was to develop the rally schedule and include larger rallies along with larger booth space in order to gain a bigger foot-print and better profits.  We created a basic budget for maximum amounts to spend on booth space at a rally and also factored in the costs of getting to and from the rallies.  As we were growing, we identified how many individual units of product we must sell before we cleared our booth and travel expenses.  We also started looking at numbers of attendees and started some statistical tracking of the various events to determine if they were a reasonable risk.

We made sure to identify in both the Business and Action Plans that all rallies are risky.  You can predict several items, like attendance, but you cannot predict weather, or local economic conditions.  You can guesstimate rally attendance based on past rally performances; you can talk to other vendors to determine if they have participated in this particular event in the past and if it was profitable for them.  Not all, actually, many will not give you a straight answer so the next best question if you are unsure if this particular rally will be good for you is to find out how many vendors there will be and how many are there for the first time.  We get nervous if we found a rally where the majority of vendors were there for the first time.  Unless it is the first year for a particular rally, you should not have more than 25% new vendors.  If you have more than that number of new vendors, you need to start asking serious questions about why there are so few returning vendors or why there are so many new vendors.  There may be legitimate reasons for both, but these are questions that need to be asked of the promoter or any vendors if you can contact them.  Another very important question to ask is how many vendors will be at the event and if any of them are offer the same type of products and services you have to offer. 

There is no greater disappointment and frustration as arriving at a rally to discover that there are several other vendors who also offer similar or identical products or services as you.  Unless the rally or event pulls in hundreds of thousands of participants, there is a high likelihood that your profits will suffer as duplication of products and services increases.   Luckily, not many people are involved in promoting Waterless Technology Cleaning products at many motorcycle rallies

Until next week…

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