What Should an Entrepreneur Do After Creating a Business Plan
After crafting a comprehensive business plan, entrepreneurs face the crucial phase of transforming their vision into reality. The business plan serves as a roadmap, detailing the direction and aspirations of the venture. However, it’s the subsequent actions that determine its success.
They must approach this phase with a strategic mindset, prioritising tasks and understanding which steps will have the most significant impact.
The implementation stage requires meticulous attention to legal formalities, securing adequate funding, and establishing an operational structure.
Entrepreneurs must ensure that all necessary legal documents are filed, such as business licenses and trademarks. This foundational work sets the stage for the business to operate within the legal framework and avoid future complications.
Building a competent team is also paramount, as it’s virtually impossible for an entrepreneur to handle every aspect of the business alone. Assembling a group of skilled individuals, each contributing their expertise, leads to a more dynamic and effective business model.
Entrepreneurs must also focus on acutely managing resources, which encompasses financial capital, human talent, and technological assets. By effectively overseeing these resources, they can steer their venture towards growth and scalability.
After crafting a business plan, entrepreneurs must thoroughly understand the market landscape. This involves rigorous analysis to position their business strategically and make informed decisions.
Entrepreneurs should conduct detailed research into their direct and indirect competitors. This includes analysing competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, market share, and marketing strategies.
One should compile this information in a structured format, such as a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, to assess competitive positioning effectively.
Target Audience Identification
Identifying and understanding the target audience is crucial for success. Entrepreneurs must clarify who their customers are by gathering data on demographics, buying patterns, and preferences. This can be reflected in customer personas that serve as a representative profile for key audience segments.
Industry Trends Monitoring
Staying abreast of industry trends is essential for maintaining a competitive edge. Entrepreneurs must monitor shifts in consumer behaviour, technological advancements, and regulatory changes that could impact the business. This involves regularly reviewing industry reports and market research to predict future trends and adapt accordingly.
After the creation of a business plan, financial planning becomes a pivotal exercise for an entrepreneur to ensure the sustainability and growth of their business.
Initial Funding Allocation
Allocating initial funding efficiently is critical. An entrepreneur must prioritise start-up expenditures, such as legal fees, licensing, and inventory. They should also reserve a portion of funds for unexpected costs.
Accurate revenue projections aid in setting realistic financial targets. An entrepreneur should consider market trends and historical data, and construct a detailed month-by-month revenue forecast for at least the first year.
Cash Flow Management
Effective cash flow management involves monitoring and regulating the amounts of cash flowing in and out of the business. It’s essential to maintain a liquidity balance that can cover day-to-day operations without hampering investment opportunities.
After developing a business plan, the entrepreneur’s focus shifts to implementing a solid operational strategy. This involves meticulous planning and execution in key operational areas to facilitate efficiency and deliver value to customers.
Supply Chain Development
To ensure the smooth operation of a business, entrepreneurs must establish a robust supply chain. They should carefully select suppliers and determine the most cost-effective and reliable logistics options.
Optimising the supply chain from procurement to inventory management can drive down costs and increase the ability to respond quickly to market demands.
Product or Service Delivery Enhancement
Improvement of product or service delivery is essential for maintaining competitiveness. Entrepreneurs should consider adopting the latest technologies or methodologies such as Just-In-Time (JIT) production or Lean processes to enhance delivery efficiency. Whether it’s refining online order systems or streamlining in-person service flows, tailoring delivery mechanisms to customer needs is key.
Quality Assurance Protocols
Implementing comprehensive quality assurance protocols ensures that products or services meet industry standards and customer expectations. They may need to develop a quality management system that encompasses everything from raw material inspection to post-sale customer service. Monitoring and continuously improving quality can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Marketing and Sales
An entrepreneur must meticulously develop a marketing and sales strategy that will guide how the product meets the market. This includes establishing a brand identity, selecting appropriate marketing channels, and employing effective sales tactics to achieve growth milestones.
Branding and Positioning
In the wake of finalising their business plan, the entrepreneur is tasked with the creation of a compelling brand.
Branding and positioning aim to carve out a unique space within the market. They must define the core attributes of their brand, such as the unique selling proposition (USP) that differentiates the business from its competitors.
Marketing Channels Strategy
A well-defined marketing channels strategy is paramount for delivering the brand message to the target audience. Entrepreneurs must choose the right mix of channels—whether that’s social media, email marketing, SEO, or traditional media—based upon the habits and preferences of their ideal customers.
Their selection should focus on channels that promise the highest return on investment (ROI).
Sales Tactics and Growth Milestones
Effective sales tactics are those that convert prospects into paying customers. Entrepreneurs ought to align their tactics with the identified sales funnel, optimising each stage for conversion.
Additionally, they should also set clear growth milestones to measure the success of their sales strategy, adjusting tactics as necessary to sustain upward trajectory in revenue and market penetration.
Legal and Compliance
Upon finalising a business plan, an entrepreneur enters the critical phase of ensuring legal and compliance matters are thoroughly addressed. This preparatory work lays the foundation for a legally sound business operation.
The first step an entrepreneur must undertake is the registration of the company. This process involves selecting an appropriate business structure, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited company, and registering with Companies House.
The chosen structure will dictate the liabilities and obligations of the business owner(s) and should align with the goals and scale of the enterprise.
Once registered, the business must adhere to tax obligations. This includes the assessment and payment of corporation tax if registering as a limited company. They must also register for VAT if their taxable turnover exceeds the VAT threshold.
Additionally, it’s paramount to maintain accurate records to facilitate annual tax filings and potential audits.
Finally, businesses are required to maintain strict regulatory adherence. This implies remaining compliant with specific industry regulations and standards, which may include health and safety, data protection, and employment law.
It’s crucial for an entrepreneur to understand these regulations, as non-compliance can result in significant penalties or legal issues.
Human Resources Management
After the creation of a business plan, it’s imperative that entrepreneurs focus on the most valuable asset of their company: its people.
Strategic human resources management becomes a cornerstone for aligning the business’s objectives with the needs and potential of its workforce.
Entrepreneurs must develop a hiring plan that supports their business goals. This plan should detail the positions to be filled, the skills required for each role, and the timeline for recruitment. For instance:
- Q1-Q2: Recruitment of key managerial roles.
- Q3: Technical staff to augment product development teams.
- Q4: Sales and customer service representatives to expand market reach.
Effective training programmes ensure employees are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge. This could involve:
- Initial Training: To familiarise new hires with company policies and procedures.
- Ongoing Development: Regular workshops or courses to help staff keep up with industry trends and enhance their skill set.
Performance Evaluation System
A robust performance evaluation system is crucial for assessing employee contributions and fostering improvement. Key components include:
- Clear Objectives: Employees should have defined goals that are aligned with company targets.
- Regular Feedback: Periodic reviews provide opportunities for both praise and constructive feedback.
- Improvement Plans: For those underperforming, targeted plans should be implemented to help them succeed.
After crafting a business plan, entrepreneurs should actively pursue networking to unlock growth opportunities and forge valuable connections within their industry.
An entrepreneur must identify and cultivate strategic partnerships that can be instrumental in business expansion. This involves connecting with potential partners at events or even through social media platforms, to discuss synergies and explore collaborations.
Industry Events Attendance
Attending industry events like conferences and seminars is crucial for entrepreneurs seeking to stay abreast of market trends and to network with peers. It is a direct avenue for establishing one’s presence in the industry and for discovering new business prospects.
Professional Associations Membership
Membership in professional associations offers entrepreneurs a platform for continuous learning and network expansion. It presents an environment to share knowledge, receive support, and gain credibility among industry peers.
Monitoring and Evaluation
After the business plan is in place, entrepreneurs need to set up systems for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of their strategies. These systems are vital for recognising achievements and identifying areas for improvement.
Performance Metrics Tracking
Regular tracking of performance metrics is essential. Entrepreneurs should establish key performance indicators (KPIs) such as revenue growth, customer acquisition costs, and net promoter scores. This allows for real-time assessment and ensures the business remains aligned with its goals.
- Revenue Growth: Evaluate monthly sales figures and compare them to projected revenues.
- Customer Acquisition Costs: Monitor marketing spend relative to the number of customers acquired.
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): Use customer surveys to gauge brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
Periodic operational reviews provide a comprehensive look at the company’s processes. They should examine supply chain efficiency, quality control measures, and staff productivity. This helps in pinpointing operational strengths and weaknesses.
- Supply Chain Efficiency: Assess time taken from order placement to delivery.
- Quality Control: Evaluate the rate of product defects or customer complaints.
- Staff Productivity: Analyse output per employee to manage and optimise the workforce.
Assessing strategic execution is crucial. If the initially set KPIs are not met, entrepreneurs need to pinpoint the causes and adjust their strategies accordingly. This may include altering marketing approaches, adapting product offerings, or revising pricing structures to better meet market demands.
- Marketing: Adapt campaigns based on customer response and market trends.
- Product Offerings: Refine products or services in line with customer feedback.
- Pricing Structures: Adjust pricing to stay competitive and maximise profit margins.