What happens if your business plan doesn’t work?

Time to Evaluate card in hands of businessman

You spent several months planning your business. But since implementation, you’ve noticed that you are not getting the results you had hoped. What do you do?   Consider that plans don’t always come together. If this happens you need to be decisive and take action immediately.   First of all, you need to investigate why your plan doesn’t seem to be working. Here are five factors to consider:

  1. Seasonality can play a very big role in the success of your plan. If you look at the different seasons and consider buying patterns of people, you can see how it’s possible to generate sales.  Most people realize January and February are very slow sale months in the retail sector. But, January and February could be very good months for personal trainers and diet centres.  When looking at your plan, make sure you consider whether seasons plays a role in sales.

  1. Trends Do you know the current trends in your industry? In January of this year, the Globe and Mail newspaper published an article about big stories to watch in 2016.  The article covered trends in six key areas of the Canadian economy. The article said  2016 was going to be a fast-paced year and the weak Canadian dollar might increase import prices.  This is just one example of why it’s important to research the trends in Canada, Ontario and your city or town, because trends are always changing. Becoming more aware of trends can help you make better business decisions. Remember, knowledge and research is power.
  1. Target markets – Are you targeting the right market? It’s important to research your target market before starting to promote your product or service.  If you didn’t, this could be a big factor why you’re not making any sales.  It‘s important to talk to your customers and consider having informal discussions with potential customers.   Don’t be shy when it comes to planning and researching your business.  If you don’t have a target market, you’re likely wasting your money trying to sell products or services to clients who aren’t interested.
  1. The Budget – Did you set enough money aside to market your product or service? There are a lot of free online budget tools you can utilize, but not everything is free.  It’s important to plan where you are going to spend your money to create visibility for your product or service.  Advertising is your communication link to customers, and if you don’t have enough money to advertise, you need to reconsider your budget.
  1. When is it time to stop and count up the costs? It’s a good thing to keep a positive attitude; but, it’s also good to keep things realistic and viable.  Some people don’t know when it’s time to close down their business and  find themselves in debt with nothing to show for it.  Set realistic goals and objectives and if they are not met then it’s time to stop.

The most important thing to remember is that you should always believe in yourself and keep mind that every business has good s and bad times.  You should prepare for both and always have a plan in place.  As the saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and don’t be afraid to try new opportunities.

One of the goals of the Small Business Enterprise Centre is to empower small and medium-sized businesses and provide the right tools and mindset to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311 1-866-442-5866 or by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca. You can visit us online at halton.ca/smallbusiness, or in person at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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