Take Nothing for Granted: Write a Plan! February 13, 2012Business Plan, Business StrategyBusiness PlanMike Mann The market changes rapidly, and you must constantly change with it. You can never take anything for granted, especially what happens within your organization. Your business will never make millions unless you constantly reexamine every process in your company. Never assume that you will be profitable tomorrow because you are profitable today. Get the Right People on Board Your team is crucial, and you cannot succeed without them. Make sure you hire the right people, and make sure that they fit together well. If any member of your team does not buy into the vision of your business, they will hold you back. Motivation is more important than their skill level. Of course they need to have the skills, but they also must want to build your company. They must also be able to follow your lead without always needing to be told what to do. Offering stock options is a great way to find employees who are truly committed. Skilled applicants who are willing to take a lower salary in exchange for stock options will be motivated to help the company succeed. This approach will also help minimize your losses if your business venture fails for some reason. Write a Business Plan No business is going to make millions without a well-prepared plan. Not only do you need to be able to show your plan to investors, but you need to be able to review and revise it constantly. Writing it down can reveal key weaknesses you need to fix. If you do not see any weaknesses as you write it down, look again. Never assume that your plan is the best it can be. Write your plan for investors and not just employees. Keep your plan simple and easy and never assume that your readers know what you are talking about. Make certain that each sentence in your plan can only be interpreted one way. Since each investor will look for different things, your plan must be very detailed but easy to navigate. To help them find what they need, use a lot of headings so that readers know exactly where to look. Try to explain as many things in graphs and charts as you reasonably can. They are much harder to misinterpret than prose, and many investors prefer looking at them to reading anyway. Avoid too many buzzwords and explain any you do use. Execute Your Plan With a good team and a solid plan, you are ready to make millions. Your plan will detail your Standard Operating Procedures and provide your employees with the direction they need. When you put it into action, you may decide that adjustments need to be made. Make sure you write those adjustments down in your plan for your investors and new employees to see. New employees should know exactly how your company works by reading the plan, which will save you on training time. When you choose the right people, write an excellent business plan, and put it into action, you set yourself up for success.