According to a recent blog post by Forbes: less than half of all small businesses will survive past their first five years. Why? Well, there are many factors that can play into why a small business might fail. The company might not have had the proper knowledge base on its market, poor business administration, failed to me to meet its customer needs, poor customer service, or an under-performing chief financial officer.
In short, the businesses that failed were at a disadvantage from the get-go because their business plan did not equip them to properly handle the challenges that all small businesses face. A business plan is the most vital factor in the creation and maintenance of a business. So, here are a few tips to help you create your best possible business plan.
Research Your Niche Market
It might seem obvious that you should ensure that there is a need for your business before investing in creating it, but a surprising amount of businesses fail to make it off the runway for exactly this reason. In fact, this is the number one contributor to the high rate of failures among startups. It doesn’t matter how amazing your marketing is or how cool the product looks. If there is no need for your product, then that product is going to fail.
Make sure to avoid the perils of would-be entrepreneurs who refused to do market research before putting all their eggs in one basket. If your “million-dollar idea” turns out to be not so unique upon further research, don’t fret. You can now move on to your next idea while feeling happy that you have saved your self thousands (or millions) of wasted dollars.
Hire the Right CFO
According to a recent study by the National Small Business Association, over a quarter of all small businesses struggle to aggregate the cash flow needed to properly operate their business. This is why small business owners need to pay special attention to who occupies all chief executive officer positions, but especially their CFO position. Many people speak about the importance of the CFO role but what is a CFO, and why are they important to business owners who want to formulate a good business plan?
A good CFO with years of experience is an invaluable asset to have when creating your business plan. You want someone with seasoned communication skills that can understand your financial statements and explain them simply. The role of the CFO is to be a chief operating officer and at the same time, a trusted advisor. They are also able to act as a financial manager and help provide you with CFO reports and financial planning that will help you avoid some of those fatal mistakes we discussed earlier. They can help you make strategic decisions about investments, marketing, and staffing that provide real financial results.
When hiring, all senior managers should be excellent candidates, but the financial officer is especially valuable because they are able to help you create a business plan that will set you up for success for years to come.
Keep Customer Experience in Mind
Many business owners get so excited about creating their products or services that they forget to consider what kind of customer journey they are creating. For most businesses, call centers are an afterthought. This leaves them with a great product, but no way to ensure a great customer experience. Nowadays, communicating with your customers consists of so much more than a phone call. You must be prepared to interact with your customers via live chat, voice call, SMS, mobile apps, and social media. The best way to handle this wide range of communication channels, you should incorporate an omni channel contact center into your business model.
Omnichannel contact centers help eliminate the misinformation and repetitive information customers often have to suffer through when businesses don’t properly invest in their digital channels of communication. Including an omnichannel contact center solution in your business plan is crucial because it helps set your business up for further success after the initial launch of your company.
An Omnichannel customer experience feels effortless for your customer. They are able to get the information they need quickly and in a manner that lets them know how valuable their business is. This makes the customer feel important and can increase customer loyalty.