Start Here October '22

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76 S T A R T H E R E 2 0 2 2 goal in mind, the next step is to set some milestones along the path to help you see that it is possible. You don't have to know all the steps, but by guesstimating some steps, you will build up the confidence to fully believe your goal is possible. ese mile- stones are crucial to achieving turning point goals. Most people have heard the saying, "I'll believe it when I see it," but the truth is you will only see it once you believe it. e Relationships – As we plan for our future success, we must make sure that we are clear about the relation- ships that our business has or will need with all the stakeholders involved. Henry Ford said, "Coming together is a beginning, staying together is a process, and working together is success." Even if you never plan to have employees, this step is crucial. I believe that success is a team sport. To be successful, you must surround yourself with success, and as Jim Rohn said, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. It would help if you looked at the key stakeholders, vendors, mentors, and other people who will play a role in this plan coming to frui- tion. By defining these roles in our first creation, you make the space to attract those people to your business. To clearly define those other relationships, it is always best to start with yourself. What will your role in the company be when your business has reached that peak idea of success? Without this knowledge, you will not know who to surround yourself with. Marketing Groundwork – Many believe marketing is your Facebook posts, email marketing campaign, or Google Ads campaign. And that belief leads us to a lot of wasted time and money. Marketing is 95% about understanding your ideal customers and doing the work to determine the problem you solve for them. And don't let the word "problem" hold you back, thinking that you have to solve some major world problem. Every day you solve a problem for your customers, which is why they exchange money with you for your products and ser- vices. Pinpoint what the problem is, determine exactly who the ideal customers are, and then those things we believed were marketing are much more manageable. You will know exactly what to say in your Facebook post. e email campaign will reach the right people who need your solution, and the Google Ad will have the right keywords to attract the right customers for your business. Numbers Game – Some may have heard I'm a #Datahipster. Yes, I love a good spreadsheet, but I'm not suggesting you focus on your number to count the beans. We need to ensure we are clear on the numbers surrounding our business as a mea- suring stick or way to know what is working and what is not. As management guru Peter Drucker said, "What gets mea- sured gets managed." You have to keep score for success, which starts with a clear understanding of what it costs you to be in business. Knowing your numbers is always the first step we tackle anytime we have a new member at Our Success Group. Other numbers to plan for are your pricing strategy and the key metrics that will lead you to success. And then the final number that most people forget to manage is your time. When was the last time you did a time study to understand why you are so busy or why you can't seem to get anything done? If you persistently measure, track, update and improve, you are guar- anteed success. With those five items, you have a great start. As you con- tinue to build, grow, and evolve your plan, you can add to the workflow details to improve efficiencies. My view of a business plan will be somewhat unconventional, and some don't like how messy it can look. But planning is the act of creating, and cre- ativity is messy. It is not so much a business plan as a business operation guide always in review. Your business plan should never get pitched to the side and is the tool that guides the way you can operate your business. It becomes the central repository for all the documentation of "is is how company XYZ operates." When you design your business to have concrete values and a well-thought-out process, you won't ever feel like you have worked a day in your life. 3 4 5 Time is Money By Dana Curtis, Biztools What do hotel rooms, dentist chairs, and your business's production equipment have in common? They only make money when they are being used. When your business relies on a piece of equipment to operate, unused inventory is useless inventory. Whether it's a digital printer, router, plasma cutter, embroidery machine, engraver, vinyl cutter, or a McDonald's milkshake machine, it's likely a major part of your business that you can't live without. You rely on it every day, and it's the cornerstone of your business. Find out what you should know when purchasing capital equipment at " When I talk about business planning, it has very little to do with polished SOPs and carefully crafted executive statements. Remember, business planning is the art of working on your business, not always in it."

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