Gaping Flaws In Your Business Plan That Require Immediate Action

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If you think that you’ve got your business plan sorted, then think again. Entrepreneurs have a habit of believing that they have got all bases covered, only to later realize they haven’t when disaster strikes. 

As in matters of health, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So if you can get the jump on the gaping flaws in your business plan ahead of time, you’re much more likely to succeed in the long-term. 

But what are these flaws that most founders miss? And how can you address them? 

You Don’t Know How You’ll Scale

Sure, you might have a great product and plenty of talented people on your team, but if you don’t have a plan for how you’ll scale your business, you’ll eventually hit a wall. 

Scaling is more complex than many business owners imagine. If your enterprise is small right now, there’s a good chance that you’re not yet profitable. You need to shift a certain number of units to break even and only then will you start gaining the kind of traction you want. 

Finding scalable solutions, though, is hard. You might, for instance, be doing alright with in-house fulfillment at the moment, but ultimately you need to find a partner who can enable you to shift thousands or perhaps millions of units. 

The same applies to your IT provider and your accountant. They might be great for small quantities of work, but as your business becomes larger and more complex, they could start to fail you. 

You Haven’t Got Your Security In Check

When you first start a business, security is not at the forefront of your mind. The main task is to make money – and fast.

But neglecting to think about commercial alarm systems can land you in hot water. The moment that opportunistic criminals get wind of your business, they’ll start looking for weaknesses. And when they strike, they could take everything, including your data. 

Setting up an alarm and other deterrents, though, is easy. You just budget for the work and then contract it out. There’s usually no need to dedicate significant admin time to it. 

You Don’t Have A People Plan

Startup founders tend to believe that everyone has the same attitude towards their businesses as they do. They assume that regular employees have exceedingly high levels of commitment to the cause and that they will give up their personal lives to see that the company succeeds. 

That’s not how it works in practice, though. Most workers don’t share your enthusiasm for the business. And, unlike you, they’re unwilling to give up their evenings and weekends to ensure that it succeeds. 

What are you supposed to do in this situation? The trick is to have a “people plan.” This document accepts that regular rank and file in your organization don’t have the same kind of commitment to the cause as you do, and spells out how you’ll use them wisely. You don’t want them rage-quitting your startup just as you’re getting going because of long hours or poor conditions.

Expansion Tools For Start-Up Founders

Technology has created tools that can do more than we can imagine. Every entrepreneur needs these tools. But startup founders need them most.

Even though there are lots of premium and expensive tools, start-up founders might not afford them. For this reason, we combined a list of tools that are free or affordable.

From research, companies that used data-analytics tools experienced over four times growth of revenues within one year. Is it possible for startups to be part of the success stories within a year?

Use these tools to expand your online business.

1. Google Analytics: Surprisingly, there have been complains about poor user interface of Google products. Analytics is one of them. For you to make good use from this platform, you have to forget about the interface. And learn to use the tool.

In many cases, it’s not about the platform, but how you use the platform. Google analytics is a tool that helps you understand your customers. So you can analyze data, and do data-driven marketing. With data, small tweaks can make a huge difference. Let’s say you are doing keyword research. You might suspect that your customers are using certain keywords. But you may be wrong. Analytics will reveal the search volume of each keyword. So you can get keywords with low competition and high search volume.

2. Social Media.

From Facebook, Twitter, to Instagram, social media is rapidly shaping the way we do things today. With facebook, advertisers have a cheaper option of running cheaper Ads. Since social media has over 1 Billion active users, businesses have access to a global audience.

There are two primary functions of social media. First, listening to your customers. And then advertising through social media marketing.

If you have are running a B2C business, chances are that customers will use social media to inquire about your products. It can be through direct messages, tweets, or posts that tag you. Startup founders need social media managers to respond to every query. Additionally, you need to write Ads that convert, and target your specific audience. While today’s business operations are done digitally, it’s still a good idea to keep some well designed company letterhead in stock for the old fashion way of customer communications.

3. Email: email marketing is one of the most convenient ways a businesses can use to close deals. Startup founders need to understand the buyer’s  journey. Startups should have a website. Usually a niche website or an ecommerce website. Be sure to use a website you can monetize. The website will have a blog section that keeps the customer aware about your product, and how it solves their problem. You can then make lead magnets to capture emails and other important information about your prospects. From there, you’ll have permission to ask your customers whether you should send them promotional emails. That’s where email marketing begins. If you have a list of 30,000 prospects and a $500 product, you can make $300,000. That works if you meet the average conversion rate of 2.78%. And this can be done over a period of one year.

Infusionsoft: Infusionsoft is a software that allows one to personalize their marketing campaigns. The software has automated workflows, payment integrations like Paypal and credit cards. Startup founders can use Infusionsoft for businesses.

For you to expand, you need to know the power of FREE. So infusionsoft allows you to influence a customer by giving a free product. It can be a webinar, guide, report, or a book. Thereafter, you’ll have the customer’s information. And with this information, you can do marketing segmentation. Just grouping your email list based on certain metrics.

Asana: What was the last time you worked in a team? How were the results? Asana is a project management platform that allows one to assign tasks to team members. One can follow on deadlines, get reminders, and even attach relevant files. Begin by planning, prioritizing, and setting reasonable deadlines.

To-Do lists work. And Asana will definitely help you do that.  Start-ups can find their desired plans from it’s main website.

Salesforce.

Startups can also expand by maintaining their customer relationships. Salesforce is a dynamic platform that will assist you to do that. Salesforce offers training to people who can be administrators, developers and consultants. One can make ecommerce apps on the cloud platform.

Woocommerce: WordPress ecommerce allows startups to sell products online. Startups can do drop shipping using the Woocommerce plugin on wordpress. It’s affordable and scalable. Startups won’t worry about the availability of stock. So besides selling your products through Woocommerce, you can use leverage to expand your business.

Here are a few factors to consider when selecting the tools you use. Because not all tools work for all types of businesses.

  • Your budget. Make sure that the tool you are paying for is affordable, and only takes a small fraction of your profits.
  • When using project management tools, make sure you hit deadlines. Also, do not forget to track results.
  • Type of business. For instance, Woocommerce only works for businesses that sell products. So it helps startups sell products online.

Over 53% of businesses use these tools to expand their businesses. And they can’t be wrong. Startup founders should consider using any of these to expand their businesses.