Decide on Your Survival Plan

So you have decided to leave the stressful nine-to-five. Have you designed a survival plan? Thinking about this a bit before acting can be useful. Not to create anxiety or to procrastinate but to facilitate a strong sense of purpose about your intentions. In discussing with a partner of a banker, it will send a good and positive signal of seriousness and commitment, to know that you have given serious thought to one of the most often overlooked threats to your small business success and its prospects.

Your business will grow or not depending on a lot of different factors, including the overall economic state, the location, specific market needs, hard work, and others. Your survival plan is a map toward defined objectives and timeframes. This plan also considers alternatives, avoiding the need to simply react to events. Many times your original business idea or intent is much different from what evolves. The market realities dictate that you shift and things can be harder or easier as the situation unfolds.

Allocate resources where they will do the most good, leverage your strengths, and focus on building your foundation and important long-term objectives. Organize to track your progress with the measurement of important benchmarks that tell how objectives are evolving against actual performance. Without a plan, you will not know what your needs are and/or whether you are moving in the right direction.

Plan for cash. Profits are not cash, and cash is not available simply because you are operating a business. You spend cash; you do not spend profits.

You have to be aware of what is going on personally and with the business to make sure your survival plan is truly that—a provision for maneuvering through early uncertainties.

Current expenses must be factored into decisions. Building your business base takes time, so ensure you have some bridging money to cover personal expenses during the early months.

Cutting expenses to the bone—lean and mean operating—is typically required, but everything costs money, so be prepared in the event that there are slower-than-anticipated revenues at the start.

While I do not like moonlighting, sometimes a business has to be brought to a certain level with another income in place. If the entrepreneur has, for example, a spouse providing another income, the second income provides a buffer. Without another person on whom to rely, the entrepreneur might have to remain in a formal job while working to develop the new business. If this is necessary, make sure it can be done ethically.

Make the change to being on your own with a strong sense of reality. Resources like your time and money will be scarce. Everything requires time for building so be aware of the inevitable transition that will accompany your decision to move from employment to starting your own business. If you are someone who can be easily discouraged, a structured outline of information, needs, market realities, expectations and alternatives will be helpful. Sometimes it is the confusion that comes without structure that may break your resolve.

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About Alrick Robinson

Alrick Robinson is the Best-Selling Author of The Small Business Survival Guide: Insights into the First Two Years & Business Coach. I invite you to download a FREE Report "7 Signs You Should Explore Running Your Own Business" Plus a Surprise Bonus! at this link - http://eepurl.com/bVHO1. You may also visit my blog at http://smallbusinessmentorja.com/blog where I share small business resources and survival tips weekly.

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