How do you determine if your idea is viable enough to support you and your family? What steps need to be taken before, during, and after launching your business?
Starting a business is a bold undertaking! In fact, only 14% of adults have started or currently own a business of their own. At re-View Business Strategies we applaud your daring and want to make sure you have all of the right information and tools before making such a life changing decision. We will sit down with you and your major stakeholders to determine if your concept has the capability of meeting your stated goals, the best scenario for this to occur, and an effective plan of action. Our team will help alleviate the need for as much “on the job” learning, by providing proven processes, practices, and strategies including:
In December of 2016, I had the pleasure of meeting the McFattens who were looking to start a small business to prepare for their retirement and leave a legacy for their children. After discussing several options ranging from franchising to purchasing an existing business, we decided to build a new concept.
The process from moving an idea or concept to fully opened is lengthy and requires a lot of research. For Simply Ice Cream, the process took ten months. We wanted to share a synopsis of each stage to give a better understanding of the overall progression.
Initial Analysis - During the initial analysis phase, we examined their long-term goals and factors such as the demand for their chosen product, the size of the serviceable markets, their vision and mission, and how they will reach their target audiences. Once we determined there was sufficient proof of concept, we moved into the strategic planning phase.
Strategic Planning - At the inception stage, strategic planning takes on a different application than it would for a company already operating. Instead of the normal short-term and long-term goals for moving a business to its next stage of growth, for a start-up company the strategic planning has more to do with each stage of development from construction through product mix and brand identity.
We began with the business model and all of the components necessary to make each facet work effectively. Next we built a timeline of implementation from choosing the general contractor to delivery of furnishings and fixtures. Finally, we developed strategies for staffing, policies and procedures, corporate culture, and customer service.
Business Plan Development - Traditionally, business plans are used to gain funding. Whether through a bank or investor, the business plan exemplifies the potential owner's understanding of all of the factors that go into building and sustaining a successful business and the strategies that have been put into place to give their company a better than average opportunity to succeed.
In this case, the business plan was used as an empirical document for reference as the business moves through its various stages. Sections like Operations, Competitor Analysis, and the Marketing Plan were essential in defining hiring, training, product mix, the framework for standard operating procedures, and revenue projections.
Market Entry Strategies - The market entry strategies are a direct reflection of the marketing strategies developed in the marketing plan. The identification of the target audiences and their segmentations determined how those markets were best reached and what forms of marketing and advertising were most effective. Digital marketing including social media, outdoor advertising, and press releases played a significant role in building anticipation of the Grand Opening and in maintaining engagement with customers moving forward. Effective Sales Techniques - Just as with the market entry strategy, the sales techniques are directly affected by how well we identified the target audiences. The choice of the logo, packaging, and messaging were built around who we believed were most likely to purchase the products. This also facilitated moving into the various segmentations within the initial audiences to include corporate customers, non-profit organizations, and other strategic partners.
Measurements & Assessments - The importance of the business plan is best exemplified in how the business proceeds against expectations and projections. Measurement and assessments are where corrections are made based on how customer interact with the brand. Whether in policies and procedures or changes in the product mix and advertising strategies, measurement and assessment is where the company grows. An essential part of measurement and assessment is the establishment of key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs represent those areas of the business that are tangible, measureable, and correctable should current strategies prove ineffective. Process Re-engineering - As KPIs are analyzed, there will invariably be a need to re-engineer previous processes. The key will be management's ability to managed the changes from the top down. Major policy changes must be executed by the leadership first and demonstrated to the employees. Now that Simply Ice Cream has passed one year in operations, process changes have been minimal and more around product mix and expanding market share.