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  • #979836
    Zava Design
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    Have been on this forum for a little while now, some comments, a lot of reading/observation. It seems pretty clear that the majority of folk starting a small business do not have a business plan, do not have a marketing plan, of any kind. And then they wonder why their business fails!?!

    Why do you think folk risk their time and – often – substantial financial investment without something as basic as this in place??

    #1117576
    MyGreatIdea
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    I really don’t know, and I can’t understand it either :confused:

    Maybe it’s a case of you don’t know what you don’t know?

    Wendy :)

    #1117577
    Greg_M
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    Couple It, post: 132055 wrote:
    Maybe it’s a case of you don’t know what you don’t know?

    Wendy :)

    I reckon this covers a large percentage of it.

    Many people go into business, or being self employed because the have a skill set they can market (in my case it was initially a trade) but being good at something doesn’t necessarily give you the business skills, some survive and learn, others go to the wall and back to conventional employment.

    Some people think being in business is the key to financial success, or a way to escape an occupation they don’t like, they see the immediate perceived benefit but have no idea of the real cost, financially or emotionally.

    Hopefully this forum provides a few clues for those wanting to have a go.

    #1117578
    Divert To Mobile
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    I think in many cases people don’t even know that business plans exist. Let alone how to prepare one.

    Steve

    #1117579
    Shoes2u
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    Sometimes you have to just start somewhere I believe business plans can seem like another barrier to just doing it. I have had several different business ventures over the years a few of them I have lost money on, but I don’t consider the failures as I learnt something everytime.

    Shona

    #1117580
    Drew Kloester
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    In small business you need to be an all-rounder, marketing, taxation, purchasing, setting up distributors, the list goes on and on.
    I can see a business fail long before the owners have even realized, maybe they do better the second time around.
    I have never had a business fail yet, but I have had a few close shaves, which I call learning curves.
    A business Plan is a good start, but they often need constant changing as a business grows there are new issues to consider, many that were never understood initially.
    Regards
    Andrew
    Hotel Products Direct

    #1117581
    Zava Design
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    Maybe it’s a case of you don’t know what you don’t know?

    Why would you start a business without one of the most basic first steps of starting a business? Any business?? It seems a bit like buying a car without first getting your car licence.

    Indeed maybe it would help if, in order to register a business/company name, you have to provide at least a basic business plan along with your address details …etc? But I know, that would be impossible to administer.

    Sometimes you have to just start somewhere I believe business plans can seem like another barrier to just doing it.

    Barrier? Surely a business plan is “business 101”, and exactly the first basic step someone would/should learn once they do some research/read this forum?

    I mean, everyone must know the figures of how many small businesses fail, and thus must want to give their’s every chance to succeed? Surely?

    Anyway, sorry if a pointless piece of discussion, just after reading many of the threads and the lack of knowledge many seem to have of their own business/competitive analysis/target market …etc it just shocked me a little. I’m beginning to see why the majority of small businesses fail. And I’m getting this impression from those who have actually bothered to join this forum. Imagine the many, many others who have not?!?! :(

    #1117582
    Marc D
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    Hi,

    I have found that in many instances, establishing the website for the business covers a lot of what would have been in a traditional business plan. When I sat down to do mine it forced me to answer the who, what, when, where, why questions, pricing, positioning, branding and a lot of other areas that a traditional business plan may have once covered. Things like strategic and marketing planning and cashflow and profit forecasting still needed to be done but the basic premise of the business was answered in building the website.

    Maybe this can be seen as a proxy for a small business business plan. If you are going to spend big bucks then a traditional plan is still appropriate however I am talking about a focus point for those that would have done nothing at all anyway. Possibly a marketing point for some of the web developers out there.

    Marc

    #1117583
    Burgo
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    There are two types of business plans those that you put down on paper and those that are in your head.

    The paper plan is good for getting finance etc and often gives you a direction.
    The plan in the head is flexible if changes as situation arise and decissions need to be instant.
    This is the one most soloists use.
    Business fail because they fail to plan. Then again some business fail even though they have a great paper plan.

    Why is this so ?

    I believe business fail, because the decission maker has made a decission without carefully looking at the alternatives.

    Many of my business associates have never written a business plan, yet they have successful business. There plan is in their head and they are experienced decission makers. When i visit these business associated they always throw me a question or three. They have an oportunity to do something and they have looked at the alternatives. We look at the alternatives to see if there is a more efficient one to base the decission on.

    #1117584
    jon wight
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    I help many businesses write business plans and I can assure its not just the small businesses that need them.

    I have seen many cases where even big businesses have needed a lot of of refocus and help. I have been in situations where I have wondered how that particular business I have been talking to is even still doing business.

    However I think it great that those who do need help and come to a forum such as this make that effort.

    Even though I have 19 years experience in marketing and business I am forever learning and I thank websites such as this one for existing.

    But if you are in a situation where you need a business plan and don’t know where to start call me, contact me or any of the other great people here.

    Regards

    #1117585
    Zava Design
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    Yes, businesses can still fail even if they have a business plan, but I would hazard an educated guess that the ratio of failure without a business plan is far higher.

    And scoping out your requirements and target audience for a website is one small part of an overall business plan, and really is putting the cart before the horse.

    I would compare it to trying to become a designer without any kind of formal design training: The few that do succeed only prove the rule as the vast majority fail because they don’t have the basic structure & knowledge in place on which to fall back on when things don’t go so well.

    #1117586
    TheGoldenGoose
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    So true…

    Although I really love the fact that as business owners who have a little experience behind us, we can assist and mentor these businesses to have a better survival rate.

    We’ve all been at the start at some stage :)

    #1117587
    Zava Design
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    Indeed, which is what makes this issue even more surprising/disappointing to me. You have this resource/forum full of experienced small business owners, and yet there’s not more questions on putting together a business plan, which should be number 2 task of the rank (after the decision to start a small business).

    Obviously some are googling and finding the info (plenty out there), but from the questions/comments I’m reading most aren’t, nor are they asking here.

    #1117588
    tonyk
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    You can have the best business plan in the world, but if you aren’t prepared to put in the effort to execute the details of your plan, then you aren’t going to have a viable venture.

    #1117589
    Zava Design
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    tonyk, post: 132192 wrote:
    You can have the best business plan in the world, but if you aren’t prepared to put in the effort to execute the details of your plan, then you aren’t going to have a viable venture.
    Well yes of course. Much like your business won’t go far if you spend all day in bed sleeping. But there’s not much others can help in that area. Business plans, on the other hand, there’s plenty of help, advice and guides out there, there’s really no excuse apart from – well, there you go – lack of effort and/or thought.
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