Helping you plan, start and grow your business
Invest in Planning Before Investing Dollars
Planning is underrated! Evaluating an opportunity on paper can save time, money and frustration for entrepreneurs who seek to start a new business or expand an existing one.
Planning does not have to be overwhelming. Here are three examples where planning can be very effective:
o Industry conferences can be well worth the cost, but they can also be a huge disappointment and waste of resources. To make attendance worthwhile, do the following in advance: scout out relevant educational sessions, set up meetings with current or prospective contacts, and make travel reservations far enough ahead to take advantage of discounts. One of my former employers always reviewed my conference schedule in advance, ensuring that I was making the most of the investment – and, teaching me how to do so in the process.
o New employees need to contribute more to the business than their total cost of employment. Prior to hiring, develop a thorough job description, detailing the contributions required by each individual. Research employment costs, including regular pay, the cost of temporary help during employee vacations (if needed), Social Security FICA contributions (i.e., 7.65%) and employee benefits (e.g., health insurance). Satisfy yourself that the total contribution exceeds the total cost, even if some of the contributions are difficult to precisely quantify (e.g., less stress for you).
o New equipment can enhance productivity – or not. A visit to an operation where the same equipment is currently installed allows you to ask questions and get feedback that is more balanced than what the manufacturer may be willing to provide. A local restauranteur visited a friend in a different area of the food service industry – a nursing home. Her friend demonstrated the pros and cons of various new food preparation machines, helping her focus limited investment dollars more effectively in a new restaurant.
Planning is a starting point. Once we have proven to ourselves that an investment is worthy – it is time to act!
Until we meet again,
The Entrepreneur’s Friend