Business Plans: Disaster Planning

    April 18, 2006

Business plans are a must for any entrepreneurial venture. Every new and existing company should have one.

They are the roadmap to future business success. They can also keep a business on course in the event of a change in the business fortunes.

There are many aspects to the creation of a good business plan, including finances, marketing, sales forecasts, expected expenses, and so on. By carefully assessing all of the details, a strong business plan can be formulated.

A business plan is a requirement for everyone from bankers to venture capitalists. They are also a useful exercise for you, as developing the business plan forces you to look long and hard at your ideas and projections.

Even with a good solid business plan in hand, many potentially successful business people still don’t live their dream of entrepreneurship. Held back by many factors ranging from being unable to secure financing to staffing and production problems, many companies simply don’t get off the ground.

While these difficulties are common to many businesses in general, some barriers are specific to the business person alone. One of these barricades to entrepreneurial success is fear of failure. Thoughts of marketing and sales problems, staffing issues, and changes in financial status and the economy pale in comparison to that trepidation. Fear can stop a new business before it ever gets started into the marketplace.

The business plan can go far to preventing self doubt by providing a guide to the business that is both direct, yet adaptable to changing conditions. Shortages of funds can be worked around through free media publicity, creative promotional ideas, and business blogging. Alternative financing can be used to bring need cash flow into the company. Hiring only the essential personnel and subcontracting the balance of the work to outside contractors, consultants, and virtual assistants can lower labour and wage costs.

The biggest stumbling block for most failed business owners is a lack of confidence in one’s own abilities. That lack of confidence in oneself, and the potential of the organization, can be overcome. While many techniques can be employed to get past the feelings of self doubt, we will consider one method here.

We will ask one question.

What’s the worst that can happen to the business?

Think about that question for a time. Consider what could be the very worst thing that could befall your business, and subsequently, your future. While some of the worst case possibilities are enough to drive anyone away from even attempting entrepreneurship, many if not most, are not. In fact, many potential disasters can be prevented through careful planning. Contingency plans can be put into place for implementation should the nightmares become real.

Simply looking objectively at the worst case scenario can help with the overall business plan. The worst that can happen to a business may not even be that disastrous at all. In fact, many worst case scenarios can be reduced in impact, or even negotiated into workable situations. Every business problem is not the end of the world or the company.

Once you know what is the deepest depth to which your company could sink, the issues involved don’t even look so bad. It’s much easier to work with a known factor than a completely unknown possibility. After all, the worst that can happen to your business, might not be so terrible after all. The fear of disaster is worse than the potential problem itself. Keep in mind that just because a problem could arise in theory, does not mean it will ever appear in practice.

Don’t let fear of failure stand in your way to business success. Let a strong viable business plan, that makes allowances for major problems, guide you and your comany, to achieving all of your business goals.

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Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

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