July 6, 2010
Starting a Business, Planning for it and Dealing with Change
As anyone who knows about working for or perhaps starting a small business is the degree of change one must deal with. For some people, change is hard to deal with. On a higher level, when you ponder the road that life takes everyone on this always has to be grappled with, and it becomes very troublesome for people who have problems dealing with change on a consistent basis. When you are launching a new venture or managing a longstanding small business you have to come to terms with the fact that in order to survive you have to go with the flow.
The Business Plan
Those who are rigid in their ways need not apply here. In order to grow a business you have to be able to quickly adapt to ever-changing environments. I always have to laugh when I hear about these entrepreneurship courses that people take in college. What is your first assignment or the capstone project for the class? Create a business plan.
That’s right. You spend your time looking at competitive analysis, market research and capital outlays. In essence, you carefully craft a set of rules and procedures in starting a business. You submit your first draft to your professor, and he or she essentially gives you an opinion on how tough it will be for you to survive. And the professor is probably right.
Can You Really Map Your Way to Success?
That is in a nutshell what the inherent problem is of going by the book, or along with a rigidly set business plan. That plan is going to fly out the window the first time you make a sale, the first time you lose a customer and the first time you have to let someone go. There isn’t a “plan” that can teach you how to do this kind of stuff; you have to learn as you go. Of course, if you’re a true entrepreneur, that’s how you’d prefer to have things done: on the fly.
But let’s go back to the college course and a perfectly crafted business plan. There’s a method in that madness in doing this for a grade: you need to find out how viable your best idea in business really is. Can you identify an under served market? Are you prepared to spend hours Googling your competition? Can you take the risks to actually implement and back up what you are saying on paper?
Change is Great!
That’s why in the rules and regulations that befit a university classroom, the best measure of if you can start your own business is to create a business plan. And the point here is not to say that having a plan is bad, just make sure you’re not writing out what you expect to do in any kind of stone, because change will surely be constant in your process ahead.