Implementing Your Business Plan

5 07 2010

Last week we continued talking about turning your Business Plan into an Action Plan.  I had identified that you need more than one plan before you actually go into business, because there is a high likelihood that your first plan will not go exactly as anticipated.  This week we are continuing the discussion on implementing your business plan

Implementing your Business Plan is critical to a strong, successful start to a new home-based business.  Why would you want to take the time to write-up a Business Plan if you had no intention of following it?  Your Business Plan is your initial map for growing your business.  It is always important to refer to your Business Plan, but you should include in your Business plan several alternate plans.  I am often reminded of the shortened quote from a poem by Robert Burns, “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”, and that does seem to be very much the truth when working your own business. 

With all of that in mind, Steve and I developed a back-up Business Plan, and a back-up to the backup plan.  By the time I had submitted my resignation to my “regular” job, we had what we believed many of the bases covered.  Then it all boiled down to scheduling the events, being realistic about which events would be good, and then proceeding to the events.   

In the beginning, we started events with a 10×10 booth space and one table.  As we participated in rallies, we started playing around with our displays so that they became more eye-catching and interesting for people to stop by and look at.  In a rally or really any event, you have to be able to catch a person’s imagination very quickly as they walk by.  If your display is a basic table with some product on top, what is going to cause the potential customer to stop and look at what you have to offer?  This is where marketing really comes into play, which is part of your Business Plan. 

At the various rallies that first year, we kept requesting people’s opinion about our booth and asking them what they were interested in.  The key to successfully growing your business is to identify what your potential customer wants, not what you want to offer your customer.  You have to very quickly let your customer know that you can help them with a particular problem that they are wrestling with.  You do not want them thinking that you are going to force them to purchase the latest and greatest gadget that they will never use.

We did make many mistakes in setting up the displays for the first few months.  We had not gone into detail in the Business Plan what a good display would entail.  Steve and I had different ways to approach customers.  Again, we did not originally include that in our Business Plan.   In the beginning, I had more problems talking with potential customers because I was shy (you wouldn’t know that now, but in the beginning I was terrified to talk to potential customers).  I understood what the products could do to help people, but I was unsure and uncomfortable in effectively presenting that information to the customer.  I stumbled over my tongue a bunch of times.  Initially, Steve had to poke me often to make me talk to people, I was so nervous.  I quickly learned to listen to what customers wanted instead of telling them what I thought they wanted.  After that, it was much easier for me to talk to complete strangers.  I was no longer making a sales pitch, I was offering a solution to a customer’s problem.

We kept referring to our Business Plan before and after each rally, comparing what we had anticipated to what actually occurred and we adjusted the Business Plan accordingly.  By the end of the year, our Business Plan had changed, but we remained successful and continued growing our new business. 

Next week we will talk about what happens when you lose sight of your business plan while working your business…

If you are interested  in starting your own business, please feel free to visit our website at www.hawgwash.net.  We may have a business opportunity that would fit your lifestyle.

Until next week…

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4 responses

12 07 2010
Not Following Your Business Plan « Hawgwash's Blog

[…] week we had continued our discussion about implementing your business plan.   We talked about the challenges of discovering what actually will happen when you move from a […]

25 07 2010
Dan

Hey I was just wandering around the web and found your site, definitely glad I did because it had some of the information I was looking for for a report for school, thanks a mil.

26 07 2010
hawgwash

Glad I could be of some help. Please let me know if you are in need of assistance down the road…

31 08 2010
Failure to Plan « Hawgwash's Blog

[…] you should make a plan for yours also.  In prior posts we talked at length about developing and implementing your business plan, and that is absolutely critical, even if you are entering a business opportunity that others have […]

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