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The Basics of a Solid Business Plan

A solid business plan starts with a solid idea.  The best plans are those that are tried and true.  Examples of these are all around us.  They include large franchise organizations (Jack-in-the-Box) through mom and pop shops.  Everything from the local greeting card shop, to corner groceries, to franchise food shops are some of the best ideas.  Copying these are clear options.  I admire those who create new ideas.  I am flattered when someone copies one of mine.  Copying a success is an excellent choice, especially when you are passionate about someone else’s success.

In all cases, the main process for a solid business plan is writing it out.  Keeping it in your head, on post it notes, or on the back of an envelope is a direct trail to failure.  Clearly defining outcomes you expect in every phase of your business need to be written.  As Stephen R. Covey says, “Begin with the End in Mind.”  This is great advice in everything we do, especially when it comes to describing a solid business plan.

Some might say that it is difficult to describe what ‘the end’ might look like.  I agree.  We need to set goals that are flexible to the point that they give us direction, so that we can evaluate them with regularity.  Each day, as part of our business practice, setting three high value activities on our path to success will allow us to achieve.  Prior to sitting down this morning to create this article, I asked myself, “What three high value activities will I do today to realize my financial goal?”  Writing this article is one of those high value activities.  The outcome that comes from this article is when it is published in The Blend Magazine (www.thebelndmagazine.com) I receive worldwide recognition and high website ratings in a Google search.  The high ranking gives me credibility when a prospect is considering hiring me.

Beyond the basics mentioned above, passion is a key to a solid business plan.  It can be called commitment, your drive, and some might look at the solid business plan as “I have to do this to keep food on my table.”  It all works for a time.  Over the long haul passion will get you beyond the finish line every time.  Each entrepreneur experiences some sort of remorse or let down when it comes to doing business.  It is inevitable.  In every case we are dealing with people, transportation, cost of doing business, etc.  All are variables that will add unwanted stress.  Knowing that for the most part you love what you deliver, will get you past the stress.

Building a team of professional advisors will also lead to a solid business plan.  People will pay you to do what you do best when you pay people to do what they do best!  When it comes to website design hire a web site designer.  Have your bookkeeping done by a professional.  Use a tax professional to file your taxes.  Find a business attorney to create your entity and pay them a retainer to be your business counsel.  Many of us will attempt to do these things ourselves.  We then learn the hard way by discovering a mistake has been made, we are sued, or fined.

Open your mind to constant change.  After more than 20 years in business I often remind myself to keep fresh.  My favorite example is Ollie (his real name.)  He is one of the first realtors to become a franchise owner with Century 21in the 1960’s.  He is a Past California State Senator.  In his seventies, eighties, and now 90 years young he knows more about the computer then people 20 and 30 years his junior.  When I was in my early 20’s, fresh out of college, I went to work for 3M Company.  On my first day I was given a new desk, a new chair, a new file cabinet, and a new work table.  I asked my new boss, “Why?”  His response, “Your mind is as fresh as can be today.  In 20 years your thoughts will be staid and stale.  Your ideas will be established.  We want to encourage you to be fresh.”  I keep that in mind every day.  That is what allows me to create a solid business plan daily!

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started IntegritY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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