Surely the answer’s obvious, right?
You implement your business plan.
But what if you’re a virgin entrepreneur?
And the question “what must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan” is a new one for you?
Well, if “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” It makes sense to assume that you could walk off a financial cliff if you start off on the wrong foot!
Fortunately, the answer to our question isn’t that difficult.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started; the secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain.
Sure, every business plan’s different, but the goal’s the same.
To make money, not lose it.
We’ll help you implement your business plan using logical steps that work for every business.
But first, it helps to know why you wrote your business plan in the first place:
What is the purpose of writing a business plan?
Put that question into Google, and you’ll find hundreds of answers, all using different terminologies and wordplay but meaning the same thing.
Your business plan’s purpose is to clarify the what, why, where, when, who, and how much.
I hate ambiguity, so let’s break them down:
What – What’s your business idea?
Why– Why is it viable?
Where – Where will you source and sell it?
When – When will you start trading, pass the break-even point, and turn a profit?
Who – Who will you sell it to?
How Much – What’s it going to cost to start trading and continue trading?
If you don’t have these answers, you’re taking a leap of faith without a parachute. Because your business plan’s other purpose is to remove 99% of doubt, proving (as much as is realistically possible), you’re onto a sure thing,
If you need help answering those questions, check out this one page business plan model.
Once you know you’re what, why, where, when, who, and how much. You’re ready to put your business into action:
Start researching and identify an opportunity!
I added this subheading to the post because you’ll find it when you search this subject online.
It’s stupid advice.
Because if you haven’t already identified an opportunity, researched its viability, your target audience, competition, marketing channels, and strategies, now’s not the time to do it.
It’s the equivalent of saying:
I’ll check my parachute after I’ve landed! – I’ll ask if the dog bites after I pet him! – I’ll fill the car up after it’s run out of gas!
It’s not logical.
And no successful entrepreneur ever started a business before doing their research.
Let’s leave the illogical behind and focus on the logical steps you should take:
1. File the Right Paperwork
Ah, paperwork, every entrepreneur’s least favorite way of wasting precious time, but it’s got to be done, and now is the time to do it.
So, what do you need to file?
The answers depend on your business type and location. You can find what you need on your state’s website and learn about business licenses and permits from the small business association.
Paperwork you might need to file
- Register your business name
- Register a business structure
- Request Tax ID number
- Apply for permits and licenses
Now’s also the time to think about getting a suitable level of insurance because shit can happen!
We’ve all heard about the power of positive thinking, so do you have an entrepreneurial mindset
2. Open your mind for business
Paperwork filed, time to open your doors. Well, psychologically speaking anyway.
Odds are you’re not yet ready to open your actual shop doors or launch your e-commerce store. But now’s when you must adjust your mindset from business plan to business can.
Flick on the lights, brew the coffee, whatever it is you want to do, start being it.
Your first step is, stop saying I want to be an entrepreneur and start saying I am an entrepreneur.
And most entrepreneurs need someone realistic with numbers:
3. Hire the best financial management team you can afford
As an entrepreneur, you’re legally obliged to manage your accounts and keep a detailed financial record, also known as a financial paper trail.
Start by opening a business account; it makes tracking debits and credits an awful lot more straightforward; you’ll need an EIN to open one. Also, no two banks are the same, trust me. So, research services, rates, and customer support before opening one.
The team you’ll need depends on your business structure and how you’re trading:
Suppose you’re a Soul-proprietorship and trading locally. In that case, all you’ll need is a debit and credit spreadsheet, a folder for receipts, and a good bookkeeper.
However, if you’ve registered as an LLC (limited liability company), an LLP (limited liability partnership), or an S or C corps. You’ll need an accountant who understands your business model, Nexus state taxes if selling in other states, and foreign tax and VAT requirements if trading overseas.
It’s all too easy to let taxes and legal requirements get on top of you, resulting in fines. And in the worst-case scenario, having your business entity revoked. Put what’s required in place before you start trading and keep track of every expenditure so you can offset them against your end-of-year tax bill.
OK, your next step is where you make your idea a reality:
4. Create a minimum viable product
If you’re bringing a new product or service to market, don’t let perfection stop you from starting your business and turning a profit.
Speed is often of the essence when evolving from the business plan stage to bringing your business idea to market. A minimum viable product is a bare-bones version of what your ideal product or service will eventually be.
I’m not suggesting that you knock up an inadequate version just to make a buck. Your minimum viable product should have all the required features to make it a success.
What we’re talking about here is getting your business up and running. Because the best way to learn what needs to be changed or improved is by selling and listening to your target audience. And you can only do that when you have a product to sell.
While on the subject of selling, there’s one thing every new entrepreneur needs to understand. Consumers don’t buy products; they buy brands and the solutions their products provide.
And your next step is creating a brand that convinces people your business is the one they can trust to do it:
5. Develop your brand around your audience
If developing a brand leaves you feeling a little overwhelmed, I get it.
Most entrepreneurs felt the same way when they first started. Still, it’s the entrepreneurs who put the time and effort into learning how to develop a brand that usually dominate their marketplace.
Developing a successful brand is like painting with numbers; you just need to know where to focus your energy and budget. So, your brand engages and connects with your target audience’s emotions.
To find those numbers, approach your branding as telling a story your audience can relate to.
Using content such as video, pictures, and words that reflect who they are. And colors and shapes that make your brand memorable. Removing any doubt they might have about trusting your business to solve their problems and meet their needs.
Once you have your branding sorted, you need somewhere to put it.
I’m talking about location, location, location:
6. Choose the right business location
Physical or digital business, it matters not.
Have you noticed how all the top brands are at eye height in your local superstore, and the cost-saving ones are on the bottom shelf?
Or how sugary treats are always by the cash register, in reach of your kid’s hands?
Obviously, it’s not by chance.
The lesson here is to choose a location that supports your business and where your target audience goes to buy your product or service.
The brick-and-mortar business model:
When Ray Croc took over McDonald’s, he understood the importance of location and convenience.
When searching for a location, ensure it’s where your target audience would expect to find your service.
Consider footfall, also called passing trade. The more people who need your product/service and pass your store, the better your chances of making a sale.
And choose a location with convenient parking, as convenience is often the deciding factor when consumers shop.
The online business model:
You determine your location based on your business model. For example, if you’re selling your own or white label products, a website or a reseller site like Amazon and eBay would be the perfect location.
Themes and hosting now come into play. Choose a website theme that supports your business needs and allows for expansion. And a host that ensures you’ll be online 99% of the time.
You can also choose social media as your location. The key here is to find the platform your target audience uses most to source and buy what you’re offering. Then establish yourself as the go-to-authority by posting relevant content and images.
Here’s another humdinger you’ll find online when searching for “what must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan.
Try Different Marketing Strategies.
Sure, if you want to waste your start-up budget investing in unproven marketing strategies, go do it!
But I’ll tell you now, it’s lazy and unhelpful advice.
What you need is a proven marketing strategy:
7. Use proven marketing strategies
Your business plan research should have confirmed your ideal marketing strategies.
Such as a competitor analysis, confirming which marketing channels your competitors use. And audience research in the way of a buyer persona, telling you their demographics and the platforms they most frequently use.
Your marketing strategies holy trinity:
When you have your research results, turning them into a powerful money-making machine is as easy as one, two, three.
Proven marketing platforms – Your proven marketing platform is the one your target audience is on. You’ll find it by asking yourself (where would I go to buy my product)? And researching where your competitors are selling.
Helpful marketing tools – You can use marketing tools to help promote your products and services on your website and social media channels. And others that help you run your business efficiently. Giving you more time to focus on acquiring new leads.
An engaging marketing strategy – When you use engagement marketing, you build a relationship with your target audience, rather than flashing soulless ads in front of them. Use strategic content based on your customer’s needs to engage them and create meaningful interactions so they’ll remember your business.
Have you thought about who you might need to take your business to the next level?
Because we all need a little help now and then!
8. Hire the right team
Every entrepreneur, you included, needs a team to help elevate their business plan from paper to reality.
Even sole proprietorships require outside help, such as web design, suppliers, and the odd subcontractor.
Suppose you’re running a sizeable physical corporation or a global eCommerce business model. In that case, your employee requirements could amount to – accountants, lawyers, sales staff, a marketing team, skilled tradespeople, freight forwarders, and cleaners etc!
Yep, if you’re not careful, your wage bill could quickly outpace your profit.
And creating a team of professionals to help you manage your business, so you can focus on landing clients takes time. It’s why you must find the right people first time around.
“You need the right people with you, not the best people” – Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.
What Jack’s saying is, only hire people who are as passionate as you are. That might sound a little wistful, but passion attracts people with passion.
If you hire the right team, it instantly gives you a greater chance of success. Only hire those who have a skill base that your business needs. This ensures those business segments that you lack knowledge in are run to their highest potential.
There’s one more piece of the (what an entrepreneur must do after creating a business plan) jigsaw.
Let’s bring this home by listening to those who already know what you need to learn:
9. Start networking and learn from the experts
Sure, it’s wise to learn from our mistakes, but it’s cheaper to learn from others.
Entrepreneurs have many things in common, vision, passion, determination, and an eagerness to learn. But one trait we all have is our love for helping other entrepreneurs.
Find people in your industry who’ve been where you are now, reach out to them, and listen closely to what they have to say.
Join local business groups, social media communities, ask questions on Quora, or shout from your rooftop (you might want to ignore that one).
The point is, learn from other people’s successes, as it’ll help you succeed.
What are you waiting for?
Too many people talk about what they’re going to do, then give up before taking action.
It’s why they work for that small percentage who turn their words into action.
And the quicker you implement your business plan, the sooner you’ll be employing them.
Now’s the time.
Be a doer, not a talker.