If you’re a new entrepreneur, it’s difficult to know where your blind spots are. You do want to soften your learning curve as much as possible so you can achieve success and replicate it. You’re looking for a flexible formula to turn your efforts into income and in order to create and then implement a plan, you need an organized approach. This is why having a working operation plan for your business is the key to fiscal success. Avoid the two year business trap that many fall into. More than half of new businesses end before their 2nd birthday. Take 10 minutes on this checklist to see if you are on the right track and then reference it to make necessary adjustments. We shall be there to guide you when you need Your EmailYour Name Your Phone Number1. Do You Know Where You’re Going? Your business crush has end-game vision. They know where they are going and use it as a goalpost to track their progress. Don’t feel silly: write it down and develop it over time if necessary. Working out a Mission and Value Statement can help.2. Workshop Your Ideal Customer When you created your business, who did you envision needing it? Yet again, write it down. Start a binder or a file on your computer and create one or several customer profiles that describe who you are trying to reach. Include their problems and how your product or service solves them. Whenever a campaign or project falls short, go back to this and see if you’re drifting off base.3. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch If you had to describe what sets your business apart from competitors in under a minute, could you do it? This concept is called an Elevator Pitch and your business heros nail it. Think of this as a sound byte for media or a way to begin at an investors meeting. Boil what makes you different and valuable down to a sticky syrup they’re sure to remember.4. Does Anyone Care About Your Message? What is your message and is anyone responding? If you are speaking to your ideal prospect, are they picking up what you’re putting down? Do you have a clear sense of branding that weaves through every business communication? Start with your mission statement and then write a new sentence or two that describes what you most want to communicate to your customers. Once you put it out there, if no one responds, try to get some feedback and keep tweaking.6. How Is Your Rolodex? Do you keep track of your prospects, frequent engagers, or repeat customers? What about people you’ve called on who weren’t ready or people who bounced out of your website but engage with you on social media? Review and reach back out to people on a regular basis. Try to come up with something new that they value to offer them. These people are already a warmer market than customers you haven’t met yet. This one includes using your email list to your advantage to stay in customers’ line of vision.6.Are You Pushing The Follow-Up? Stay on top of all follow up appointments and try to get a second date with all of your business contacts and customers. For instance, if your paper company frequently sells to the same law firm, reach out every 3 months to see if they need more stock paper. You could prompt an early purchase. This also goes for appointments after estimates and following up with those who take advantage of initial free consultations.7. How Is Your Customer Service? Do you have a strategy for talking to customers and business contacts? Think about this before engaging in conversation whenever you can. For instance, asking a potential customer several questions they can answer ‘yes’ to often puts them in a more positive state of mind for you to try to close. If someone calls your customer service line with a question, assist them and try to close them!8. Does Your Closing Strategy Define Value Clearly? Can you describe how well you will meet a customer or investor’s need to the point where they feel foolish to walk away? Demonstrating value in a clear and convincing way makes business easier. Nobody wants to hear your sales pitch, they want to know how what you have affects their life!9. Are You Getting Referrals? Ask where your new customers are coming from. If you aren’t getting referrals from other customers, try to build a better customer service strategy. Your existing customer base can create a business boom when they’re so happy they tell their friends.10. Do you believe you’re a winner? Stay positive in the face of adversity and try to keep having fun. While it’s important to know when something is truly not working, ideas often take time and refinement to succeed. Approach your business like a joyride where you’re in full, confident control. Your confidence and positivity will be boosted naturally when you’re supported by a cohesive plan.