How to Plan for a Thriving Business #startupchats

How to Plan For A Thriving Business

How to Plan For A Thriving BusinessToday I had the honour of serving as an expert on #StartupChats. The event had 55 contributors, 38.5 million impressions, and trended nationally at #6. The Wakelet can be found here.

  1. Planning is everything, especially in business. What questions should entrepreneurs ask themselves to ensure they are building the right foundation for a thriving business? 
    To ensure #entrepreneurs are building the right foundation for a thriving business, they need to not only have a sound business plan that aligns with their purpose, they need to ask if they have the capital, aptitude, resources & resilience to bring it to fruition.
  2. What are the types of plans entrepreneurs should consider adopting for a thriving business? 
    #Entrepreneurs need many plans if they want to succeed, from business plans to operations, marketing, sales, financial, human resources, contingency, etc.
  3. What must be included a plan from the onset, and what tips do you have for entrepreneurs to take their plans to the next level? 
    Business plans contain:
    1 Executive Summary
    2 Company Description
    3 Market Analysis
    4 Competitive Analysis
    5 Management/Organization Structure
    6 Products & Services
    7 Marketing Plan
    8 Sales Strategy
    9 Financials
    10 Funding Ask-Optional
  4. What are the common pitfalls that entrepreneurs make when developing a business plan? 
    Entrepreneurs often create business plans for funders rather than themselves and then stick it away, rather than referring it to monthly to see if monitoring if they’re hitting their projections and adapting as needed.
  5. Beyond the basics of business planning, how can entrepreneurs build a thriving business where they can maintain a healthy lifestyle while improving the lives of their employees, customers and their communities? 
    An entrepreneur who is living a healthy lifestyle schedules time in their calendar to ensure they take breaks, get exercise and do not become a workaholic like me 🙂
  6. What are the most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for entrepreneurs to keep top of mind?
    The most important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for entrepreneurs to watch are located on Profit & Loss (P&L) Reports. Focus on the top 20% of both profit & expense.
  7. What advice do you have for entrepreneurs for operationalizing their planning process? 
    Entrepreneurs operationalizing their planning process need to get real about their weaknesses and insource what they need to accomplish their strategic goals and monitor and measure their work, as they would an employee that works for them.
  8. How can entrepreneurs leverage mentors, advisors, employees and their community to support their planning process?
    In the past, this #entrepreneur has organized a lunch for my mentors, advisors, employees & top clients, to to review and provide insights on my business plans. They thanked me because they got to meet other great people and I got amazing insights!
  9. What tools, technologies or resources are available to support entrepreneurs with business planning? 
    A completed #businessplan can provide you with many tools to help you scale your business — from key messaging to spreadsheets to track your kpis and identify cash flow problems before they happen.A Lean Startup Canvas is my go to business planning goal. It is a 1-page business planning tool that sets out the key information required to evaluate a business model.

    There are many government economic development supports & other organizations that support #smallbusiness #entrepreneurs starting up e.g. @Startup_Canada @BDC_ca @Startup_Canada @BACD_SBEC & BOTs/Chambers both local and specific e.g. @can_wcc & @apbot

  10. How can entrepreneurs leverage real-time data and insights to improve their planning and monitoring processes? 
    Entrepreneurs need to treat their business plans as living plans and review their progress to projections regularly and adjust or pivot when plans don’t work as planned.
  11. What is your final piece of advice for entrepreneurs with regards to planning a thriving business? 
    #Enterpreneurs looking to plan a thriving business might want to check my answers to a previous chat we had on this topic here…

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Sue serves the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) including; Durham Region (Ajax, Brock, Clarington, Oshawa, Pickering, Scugog, Uxbridge, Whitby), Halton Region (Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton, Oakville), Peel Region (Brampton, Caledon, Mississauga), and York Region (Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitchurch–Stouffville) from her home office in Scarborough.