Business Planning Q&A

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Brad Lyons added an answer to this question
Brad Lyons

Brad Lyons, Consultant at

Top 10%
The skip tracing industry I have found to be pretty seasonal. My solution for this was to create another industry related product. I created an online skip tracing course and started promoting it. I have found that the industry tends to go through cycles. At times clients want to outsource then all of ...  Continue Reading
Steven Freeman added an answer to this question
Steven Freeman

Steven Freeman at

Top 10%

For small businesses 100 page plan documents full of fluff and not a lot of real accountable substance are few and far between.

From what I have seen even a 1 page plan which is actively followed, monitored and updated every 3 - 6 months is very now and worth its weight in gold.

A practical approach I have more recently incorporated is best summarised as follows:

Plan quarterly

Prepare weekly

Act daily.

Rebecca Carroll-Bell added an answer to this question
Rebecca Carroll-Bell

Rebecca Carroll-Bell at

Great question Jef.

Like the others I have a bunch of new ideas to translate into packages and services for my current and potential clients.

The big, practical challenge and goal for me in 2016 is to ask for the work - because if I don't ask, the answer will always be 'No'.

Jef Lippiatt

, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Exactly keep after it and be ready to disarm the "No". Don't over due pushing to turn a no into a yes, but always thank people for their time. Also, try to turn the "No" into a "Not right now" or "Not yet". Let them know you'll check back in with them (perhaps in 3 to 6 months or whatever is comfortable). Let them know if they think of any questions to ask that they can follow up with you on their own schedule later on.

Brian Le Mon added an answer to this question
Brian Le Mon

Brian Le Mon, Principal at

Top 10%
@Hatty Bell Many successful companies start off with Me-too offerings. The same service as a competitor or the same product range.
Make your competitive advantage something that customers are needing or wanting but not getting from your competitors. Take The Iconic as an example. You could argue ...  Continue Reading
Hatty Bell

, Team at

Thanks @Brian Le Mon super helpful! 

Jef Lippiatt added an answer to this question
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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Top 10%
Always assume everything will change. Business is complex like solving an intricate algebra problem. Getting one variable figured out doesn’t necessarily give you the solution immediately. It is important to understand that you can have great resources, research and still produce things that don’t ...  Continue Reading
Hatty Bell

, Team at

Customer is key @Jef Lippiatt ! Great insight

Marc Shaffer added an answer to this question
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Marc Shaffer

Marc Shaffer, CEO at

Top 20%

Don't take your eyes off the long game.  As with most things, this too shall pass.  Even if you can't follow-up on everything you want to do, plan for it so you are ready as things ease.

Hatty Bell

, Team at

Love this @Marc Shaffer ! Thanks for the insight

Beau Ushay added an answer to this question
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Beau Ushay

Beau Ushay, Owned Media & Marketing Specialist at

Top 10%

Rather than trying to predict what the future will look like, the smart money instead focuses on what won't change.

Double down on learning what your customers want, how you best solve their problem and think about the elements of that which will still be present in a post-COVID world.

Hatty Bell

, Team at

This is a brilliant perspective! Any trends you're seeing?

Beau Ushay

, Owned Media & Marketing Specialist at

The main trend we're seeing is that businesses are jumping feet-first into tech and digital transformation, feeling they need to be hyper-agile when they haven't really thought through the problem, first. 

The general sentiment is there will be a lot of unwinding of technology solutions in 2021 and beyond, as companies realise they rushed into spending big on tech and haven't actually solved their own problem.

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Shane Van De Vorstenbosch added an answer to this question
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Shane Van De Vorstenbosch

Shane Van De Vorstenbosch, Director at

There are times when they are essential, especially when dealing with finances. Banks and investors love them.  Likewise if you are thinking of selling your business.

For small businesses, they are of limited use. It is worth going through the topics in a business plan to make sure you could ...  Continue Reading
Gill Walker added an answer to this question
Gill Walker

Gill Walker, Owner Director, Principal CRM Business Consultant at

Continued - the cost of an employee is roughly three times their wage or salary - and this number should be used.

If you are talking about your profit, what are your costs in providing the services and subtract this from revenue.  Again, use the real cost of employees, not the eage cost.

Stuart Reynolds added an answer to this question
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Stuart Reynolds

Stuart Reynolds, Partner at

We work with lots of startups, and as a starting point, I want to mention that it *is* important to have a business plan in some form or other. 

But as some of the other responses have mentioned, the first step is to think about why you need and/ or want one. Begin with the end in mind, as ...  Continue Reading