Finding Your Why & Starting A Business Plan

Finding Your Why & Starting A Business Plan

Find your why!

Starting a business is a HUGE undertaking filled with unknowns, especially in these uncertain times so why are you doing it?

If an answer doesn’t immediately spring to mind, we have some tips. Write down what drives you, what your short and long term goals are, what’s in it for you. You don’t need to be out to change the world in order to make a difference. Start with the small day-to-day things that light a fire in your belly and fan-out from there.

By explaining why you care about your business you create an emotional connection with others so that they’ll support your business or organization going forward.

List the problems that you’re hoping to solve, describe your values, and establish what makes you stand out from the competition. You can flesh these out more in your business plan when creating your brand/buyer persona(s), key differentiators, and positioning statement.

Ask yourself:

  1. When am I most happy?
  2. If money didn’t matter, how would I spend my time each day?
  3. What’s important to me?

Every single one of us deserves to wake up inspired to go to work, feel safe while we’re at work, and go home at the day feeling fulfilled by what we do.

Advokate’s Why:

Advokate is on your team, and we believe in you.

Advokate is out to save the world, by giving small, independent businesses a chance to thrive in this world which seems to favor big boxes. We sit on the same side of the table as you and help you figure out how to take that next step in your business, and we can work with any budget. We want to give the power back to the people from the ground up! 

Research

You need to exactly what you are getting into. Look into your industry and find out what the market trends are. Find out the success and failures of similar businesses. What can you do in your business model that’s similar or different?

Analyze your competitors. Check out their website and social media profiles. What is their messaging like? How are they leveraging their social reach to generate sales? Is their design cohesive? Does yours stand out? Don’t be afraid to put your own spin on things.

We live in an information-gathering renaissance. Utilize your local library or campus to find relevant books and up-to-date journals or magazines. Refine your Google search results to inquire about specifics. Attend conferences, workshops and panel discussions. Ask questions, be pro-active and never stop learning!

Marketing strategy

A lot of businesses play catch-up with their marketing. A strategic marketing plan and budget breakdown should be included in your business plan from the get-go. Remember, they are plans so build in flexibility with your ad spend, expectations and goals.

Factors to think of:

  • Social (Targeted ads on Facebook can have a huge reach as can leveraging influencers)
  • Website (Efficiency and consistency across devices)
  • Blog (utilize keywords for improved SEO)
  • Use print media when applicable
  • Email lists. Start building them asap. You can start collecting emails when your business is still just an idea. (Start with your inner circle)
  • Lead magnets are great ways to grab people’s interest, start building trust and an open line of communication.

There are lots of factors that go into a successful and comprehensive business plan but if you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed we hope these tips gave you a solid place to start!

 

Curious about anything you read here?

Let’s chat! advokate.net/date

 

Caitlin Stedman
caitlin@advokate.net

In addition to be Advokate's Operations & Communications Associate, I own the film production company Snarky Aardvark Films, LLC, in Queensbury where I live with my furbaby Vinny. Helping people succeed in a way that aligns with their values is my passion. I enjoy planning and executing anything clients may need to thrive. My work experience is varied but it all centers around community interaction and project management. Being a filmmaker, contracts, invoices and schedules take up a lot of my time but I delve into the creative side as well. My films have allowed me to bring nuanced characters to life while exploring my environment in ways that deeper connect me to my corner of the world.