My dishwasher acts crazy.
I bought it brand new in 2004 when I purchased my townhome and just last year had to get it repaired; but, it still acts crazy.
My silverware always has spots on it no matter what kind of detergent I use and my glasses sometimes have this greasy film all over them. I know. That’s nasty, right?
I figured out that if I place my laptop on the counter, I can catch up on shows that I never get to watch while doing something that doesn’t particularly bring me joy.
Thankfully, almost every network allows you to see the full episodes of their shows online. Isn’t that wonderful?
My fave is ABC’s SHARK TANK.
I love that show so much that I actually feel neglected when it ends.
I’m like, “No, it can’t be over already. It was so good. Where did the time go?”
Well, this past Saturday, I let the breakfast and lunch dishes pile up so that I would have some “time” to spend in the kitchen. I wanted to stay right there in the zone watching Shark Tank, and boy was I glad that I did.
On Friday, (episode 306), only one company received support from one of the Sharks, GoGo Gear. Two female baby boomers created some very stylish, fully protective motorcycle attire that one could actually wear in a corporate office atmosphere. They came up with this business idea because both had to wear suits to their corporate jobs and expressed how riding a motorcycle to work in protective gear had been a challenge. They had invested $400,000 of their own money and had just a little over $100,000 left.
Needless to say, Daymond John, the branding expert, fashion mogul and founder of FUBU, was the shark they really wanted and he was also the shark that happily took the bait with 65% ownership of their company after every other shark said, “….And for that reason, I’m out! (Gotta love it.)
But this post is not about those ladies and their “success.”
This post is about why all of the other sharks refused to partake in not only their deal, but every other deal on this episode.
It was disheartening to watch very zealous entrepreneurs get on a national television show in front of extremely wealthy investors, so obviously unprepared.
None of them came to the table with legitimate explanations of their funding needs, financials or a marketing and sales strategy that seemed profitable.
Mark Cuban, the billionaire media and sports mogul and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, said the most striking thing to the GoGo Gear owners.
He said unbelievably they had come in there without having “a direct strategy for profitability and growth.”
Interestingly, the business owners seemed stunned as if they could not believe that investors would expect to know “the numbers” and how those numbers were projected to grow.
The Preeminent Problem with Many Small Business Entrepreneurs
Mark’s statement struck a chord with me because it is a preeminent problem for so many small business entrepreneurs–young and old, start-up and been up.
For some reason, too many small business owners go in business and “stay in business” without a direct strategy for how they are going to generate money and how they are going to grow their businesses. Yet, they wonder why they are simultaneously sooo busy and sooo broke….sooo passionate and sooo broke….sooo gifted and talented, and still sooo broke.
I guess they expect to “wing it” and still get results OR just make plans as they merrily roll along; and, honestly, it is just sad.
Deliverance Is Nigh
So, guess what? If you have been that kind of small business owner and you haven’t already done so– it is time to get your “direct strategy for profitability and growth” together and it is time to do it, now.
I mean stop everything else that you are doing in your business and put this at the top of the list.
Beloved Small Business Owners, it is time for clarity, direction, decency, and order.
So, here we go.
Putting Your Strategy in Place
To excel in today’s market, no matter your niche; you must have a powerful business strategy. It must be a well-thought-out plan that provides direction and allows you to measure results on an ongoing basis. It is called a business plan-yes, an old fashioned business plan.
It should have the following components:
- Executive Summary
- Market Analysis
- Company Description
- Organization and Management
- Marketing and Sales Strategies
- Service or Product Line
- Funding Needs
It does not have to be written as if you have an MBA, but should be written in a language that you understand. Why? Because it is your blueprint for the house (your business) that you are building and if you, the builder, cannot interpret or comprehend the blueprint, well….your house will never be built and if it is built, it certainly will not stand.
Creating the Business Plan with Support
(1) Palo Alto Business Plan Pro by Tim Berry (#1 Best-Selling Planning Software).
- Standard Edition ($99.95)—helps you create a complete plan for a new business.
- Premier Edition ($159.95)—helps you create a complete plan, as well as get funding and manage your business
(2) Association of Small Business Development Centers—Go to www.asbdc-us.org to find a location in your area.
(3) Consulting by Cheryl Isaac—Go to www.adifferentbusiness.com. Cheryl helps start-up businesses develop business plans with no stress and her husband, Kendall Isaac is the attorney on board who helps you decide what kind of legal entity your business should be, the legal contracts you should use, as well as laws regarding employer/employee relationships. (She is excellent at what she does, personal reference from me.)
The Transformation Is in the Planning
So, as you place your business plan at the very top of your “To GET Done List”, moving towards creating a “direct strategy for profitability and growth”, remember, the real transformation comes from the process of planning, not the plan. Maybe that will provide some solace as you get started.
I encourage you to be a wise steward of what you have been given and do what is necessary to change your financial landscape and the ultimate outcome of your business.
And, if you ever decide to go on SHARK TANK your presentation will be so divine that they will all shout, “How can I get in?”