I don’t know anyone who actually likes business planning, including me!
The little fact most people don’t realize is that business owners who actually take the time to plan their business reach success faster than those who don’t plan… and they earn more!
It really isn’t as difficult as you might think once you know the process. Just don’t NOT do it!!
A business plan is a living document which defines your business goals, and explains why and how you’ll reach them. You’ll define why you are the person to do this business, and you’ll also document your competition, and how you are different from them. A business plan should cover everything from A to Z in the entirety of your business idea, but I have a shortcut for you. This document should be updated every year as your business grows.
Your initial business plan is used as a guideline that you update for the new year. First you’ll review and assess how you did in the current year. Use my step-by-step worksheet – it’s a simple process and won’t take much of your time.
The next step is to define how you will fix things to work better, and what new products and services you plan to implement to grow your business.
Using business planning, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that prevent cleaning businesses from succeeding.
1) Forgetting an important legal step — When you start a business there are various legal steps you must take from buying a business license to ensuring that the zoning laws in your neighborhood allow for a home business. Writing out a business plan ensures that you cover all these bases by identifying them and then creating a checklist to ensure that you cover each area.
2) Not knowing about various requirements — What kind of insurance, if any, do you need? Do you need contractors or employees? Can you meet all the requirements of your business to fulfill your clients expectations? Where are you going to get your supplies and equipment? How do you file your business name?
Going through the motions of writing a business plan helps you realize what you need and helps you discover how to fill that need through research.
3) Misunderstanding your tax consequences — So many people start a businesses as a solopreneur without knowing or even checking into how to track and pay taxes. They make many assumptions without actually knowing.
A business is not something you make assumptions about, if you don’t know something, especially when it comes to taxes and legal requirements find out – hire a professional if you need to. The process of creating a business plan will force you to identify the questions, and answer them.
4) Failing to identify obstacles — People who do not create business plans may never consider possible obstacles that may reveal themselves later in the business cycle. They will operate like firefighters, putting out fires as they arise instead of preventing fires before they start.
How will your business grow? How will you provide new services? How will your business remain successful over time?
The business plan seeks to answer these questions.
Without a plan, you’ll end up juggling all these issues while trying to service your clients. These issues get in the way of your reaching success and could affect the quality of your work.
Why risk it?
The best way to avoid pitfalls in your business is to start from the beginning and write a business plan. Even if you write just a one page business plan covering the most important components of a good plan, you’ll at least address issues that may arise.
If a “business plan” just sounds too complicated to you, get started with my Goal Planning Worksheet. It’s short, simple, and sure to get the ideas flowing.
The Components of a Business Plan
Executive Summary — A one or two line summary about your business plan. This is written last but it is put first.
Company Overview — Who is your company, what does it do, and how will it be classified, i.e. sole proprietorship, Inc, etc. What products and services will you offer and why are you qualified to do so.
Business Environment — Within your own industry who is your competition and how will you compete against them? Also, how is the overall environment conducive to your business’ profitability?
Company Description — What makes your company unique, and how will you manage your business. What technology will you use to operative, distribute, and finance services?
Company Strategy — What is your plan for growth? How will you market your products / services? If you plan to build your business big, then sell, you should include that here.
Financial Review — Where are you today with finances, and how will you collect money, what will you do with that money after you collect it? What is your budget?
Action Plan — The exact steps you will take to follow through on your plans in order to meet your goals. This is the time you use your overall strategy to create tasks that must be done each day. You don’t have to include all the details, but a good overview should be documented.
Inside each of these components can be a variety of other aspects and subheadings. Try writing at least two or three sentences about each element to start. Then go back and see if what you wrote causes other questions to arise and then answer those. By doing so, you’ll avoid many of the common pitfalls to starting a residential cleaning business.
If I have impressed the importance of planning your business to have the success you want, then you just might be ready for my planning system. It will show you how to plan your year so you can go about the business of servicing your clients.
Join my House Cleaning Business Mastermind group and get answers to your questions and issues!