As the old military saying goes, no plan survives contact with the enemy. While most business ventures aren’t quite as risky as going into battle, the same principle applies: No matter how perfect the next business opportunity is, there’s a good chance your business venture won’t go as planned. Here are four key reasons why it’s so rare for a franchise opportunity to stick perfectly to the plan.
Failure to Plan: Of course, the simplest way to have your franchise opportunity not go according to plan is to not have a plan in the first place. It’s possible to get a business off the ground without a detailed plan, but just taking it one day at a time is not the way to succeed. Even a bad plan is better than no plan at all; without that unifying focus, your actions will be haphazard and your business will struggle.
Solution: Choose a time-tested, proven and designed-to-make-money idea.
Unexpected Expenses: The business world isn’t all about money, but money is certainly the doom of a many a business opportunity. Going in with insufficient operating capital is a great way to see your plans change in a hurry. The best way to avoid this issue is to account for all of the costs associated with the business, including both essential and non-essential expenditures, and err on the high side.
Too Much Competition: If a business opportunity looks too good to be true, odds are good that someone else has seen the same opportunity. The emergence of a new competitor is a common reason to deviate from the plan. Offering exactly the same product or service as the competition is a great way to reduce your market, so you’ll need to find a way to make yours different.
New Opportunities: Believe it or not, deviating from the plan isn’t always a bad thing. Some business ventures go off the original rails because the owner sees an opportunity to expand into a new market or launch a new product. Remember, the purpose of a plan is to facilitate your business’ growth, not to hold it back. Don’t turn down emerging opportunities just because you didn’t see them when you laid the foundation.
Not going as planned doesn’t mean a business is doomed to failure; in fact, exploring new opportunities can lead to tremendous growth. Successful owners know that they aren’t in business to execute a specific plan; they’re there to build a thriving company. By all means, plan ahead for your next business opportunity. Just know that most businesses don’t stick to every letter of the plan, and be prepared for the challenges and opportunities that will come with improvising as you go.
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