Nine Habits for a Successful Business – Part 2

“Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit, and you reap a character.”

Charles Reade (1814-1884)

The 9 habits we have incorporated into Golden Mailer’s business model have proven very beneficial in achieving a level of sustainability in a very competitive market place. Here, again, are the 9 habits we presented in Part 1 of these series:

Know Your Market & What Your Customer Wants

Develop a Mission Statement and Business Plan

Create a Repeatable, Scalable Business Organization

Develop a Culture of Discipline

Be Professional

Be Consistent & Follow Through

Stay on Top of Profits & Cash Flow

Keep Your Employees Involved

Adapt to Changes

Part two focuses upon the development of a mission statement a business plan, which is “habit” number two.

Develop a Mission Statement and a Business Plan

Every successful business has a business plan, but, before you can develop such a plan, you need a statement of purpose or mission. The significance of such a statement may seem obvious, but too often business owners forget to identify the core values that will lead to success, such as, always add value to your customers’ experience or share your vision with customers. This is sometimes done with a motto, such as, “Put the Law on Your Side” or “I Guarantee It!”. To develop an effective business plan you must first be able to clearly state why you want to start your business and what you expect to achieve by establishing such a venture. Of course, once you have established a mission statement, you can begin the demanding work required to draft your business plan, which should contain the following elements:

  • A description of the business, and your vision for the business, which will include your goals and how you will achieve them;

  • A task plan and staffing needs;

  • An analysis of potential problems and how you plan to solve them;

  • A financial plan, which includes: capital equipment and supply list, balance sheet, income statement, cash flow analysis, sales forecast, and expense statement;

  • An analysis of your competition;

  • A description of your marketing, advertising, and promotional activities; and,

  • A description of how you plan to manage the company’s growth.

An essential aspect of this planning effort is to carefully study and describe how you will avoid overexpansion of your company. A common mistake, not realized until it is too late, is confusing fast growth, rather than controlled expansion, as success. This error in judgment has, too frequently, lead to many early business failures. Plan your business to grow, but at a pace consistent with income earned and within your ability to cover expenses. To achieve this objective follow the example of the next habit.

Your commercial endeavors will only be enhanced if you approach the development a business plan and your mission statement in a serious manner. By discovering the purpose of your business and creating a plan that addresses the critical elements that offers the best opportunity of survival are the habits that will lead to your success.

Speaking of a mission statement and a business plan, we’d love for you to share your thoughts on the following questions

  • How have you used a business plan to start your company?

  • What elements of your business plan have you found to be most useful?

  • What were some of the major changes you have had to make to your business plan?

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