5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Creating A Business Plan

5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Creating A Business Plan

When it comes to getting your small business off the ground, one of the biggest steps you’ll need to do first is create a business plan. Of course, while it is important to include necessary elements in your business plan, it is equally important that you do not commit any of the following mistakes:

1) Procrastinating

Unfortunately, most business owners tend to put off creating their business plan until it’s absolutely necessary, only creating one when an investor or bank asks for a copy. Don’t wait until the last minute. Take the time to plan for both the present and the future, and you’ll find that your efforts will go a long way toward your business success.

2) Being too vague

Avoid talking nonsense and being too vague with your business objectives and goals. Identify specific dates, milestones, budgets, and management responsibilities. If you’re trying to avoid revealing confidential material, then you may want to show interested parties your executive summary first, and then possibly ask them to sign a non-disclosure or non-compete agreement if they want to see more.

3) Being too detailed

Keep it clear and concise. When creating a business plan, remember not to get weighed down by too many details. Focus on the key elements of your business, and keep the technical information to a bare minimum. If you really must discuss the particulars, do so in a later section like an appendix.

4) Conducting inadequate research

It’s essential that your business plan be backed up by research. Ensure that numbers, statistics, and charts substantiate all your projections and assumptions. Also, double-check that your research isn’t dated, or you may just discredit the work you’ve done so far.

5) Claiming your business has no competition

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when creating a business plan is failing to acknowledge the fact that you have any competition. From the very beginning, list the other players in the industry, and identify how you can best compete with them. All businesses have competitors, whether in a direct or indirect form.

5 Tips to Building an Online Presence for Your Small Business

5 Tips to Building an Online PresenceStudies show that approximately 80% of consumers use the World Wide Web to locate products and businesses online. These numbers give small and mid-sized businesses a reason to seriously think about getting on the Internet. Building an online presence for your small business can seem like an overwhelming and daunting task. Where do you even start? Well here are some simple tips to get started on building an online presence:

1) Make a plan.

Building an online presence becomes a lot easier if, from the start, you are able to identify what you want to achieve. Incorporate online goals in your business plan. Who is your target market online and how do you reach them? What do you want to get out of your going online? Set traffic projections and social media goals.

2) Determine your media outlets.

There are dozens of social media sites out there—but don’t feel pressured to create an account for every single media outlet online. Do some research and stick to one or two accounts. Facebook allows you to easily connect with your customers, while Twitter makes it easy to chat with customers, colleagues, and other individuals in the industry. Hold contests or giveaways on your page and customers will definitely keep their eye on you.

3) Always choose quality over quantity.

Yes, you want to establish brand recall, but that doesn’t mean you need to post a dozen messages a day. If you don’t have anything compelling or interesting to share with your followers, then don’t share it.

4) Blog.

Establish confidence and trust in your customers by incorporating a blog into your website and posting regularly. Share your expertise by writing about what you know. Increase your online business credibility by offering your readers free, useful information and tips. Take the opportunity to show your customers that you and your company are approachable, knowledgeable, and active!

5) Keep it consistent.

It may be difficult to set aside time each day to work on building your online presence, so do your best to make it a habit. Schedule a particular time each day to go online, chat with your customers and reply to their queries.

Of course, there are many more things you can do to help out. Building an online presence takes a lot of time, effort and consistency. Work hard and your determination and discipline will pay off!

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