- Assess How Your Home Business Contributed to Your Goals
- Review your Customer Acquisition and Retention Strategies
- Analyze the Financial Numbers of Your Business
- Think of a Backup Plan for Your Business
- Analyze Your Web Analytics
- Prepare Your Mind for New Challenges Ahead
- Assess Your Marketing Strategies
- Make a List of Strategies that Worked
- Check Your Competition
- Develop Your Goals and Strategies for Next Year
- How to Start a Successful Small Business
Think of a Plan B. It is always smart to have a backup plan in place in the event that things do not work out as planned. It is great to be optimistic about things and hope that running the business will go as smoothly as possible. However, things don’t always work accordingly. The strategies you’ve planned may not be working out as expected. Some catastrophe may happen, or someone in your family (or even you) may get sick and you may be unable to work on the business.
As John Mullins and Randy Komisar explain in their book entitled “Getting to Plan B,” uncertainty is the name of the game for new businesses. You just don’t know if your assumptions are correct, and you need to be flexible enough with your plans as you test out your assumptions and see which of your strategies will actually work or not. You need to be able to revise your plans quickly when things are not working as you envision them, or you are seeing bottlenecks you never envisioned before. As the authors explain, “studies show that entrepreneurs who stick slavishly to their Plan A stand a greater chance of failing – and that many successful businesses barely resemble their founders’ original idea.”
To create a backup plan for your business:
- Train yourself to spot mistakes — especially if these are chronic mistakes that you do over and over again. The key is to enable you to become aware of these mistakes in order to stop it from becoming a full-on disaster.
- Recognize that economic forces and laws may be beyond your control. The economy may still be in recession, and economic recovery may take longer than expected. You need to understand what’s happening around so you can better plan for these environmental changes, including making a fundamental change to your business model.
- Line up a list of professional advisors that you can turn to for advice and assistance. You don’t need to hire them now even on a retainer basis, but it is best to have at least the contact information of qualified professionals before a problem crops up. What if you are sued? What if the financing you are expecting suddenly fail to materialize? You need to make a list of financial advisors, accountants or lawyers – possibly recommended by someone you trust and who have stellar reputations.
- Ensure that your work on your computer is backed up. How much of your business will be affected if your computer suddenly dies today or your data is wiped out? Will you be able to get back on your feet immediately, or will you never recover the lost data? Consider using an online or remote backup service or use, or a backup hard drive that you can keep in a second location in the event that your office area suffered some mishap.
- Find a mentor who can help you navigate unexpected and unforeseen business developments. Your business may fall into a tight spot where you have little idea how to deal with and get out from. It may be time to recognize that you need someone else hold your hand, give you the advice you need and help you out of the difficult situation.