A Roadmap for Success
Launching and sustaining a healthy retail pet business requires building and updating a comprehensive plan.
Launching a business is one of the most important, life-altering decisions you’ll ever make. And while passion plays a significant role in the formation of any business, especially in the pet industry, it’s not enough to achieve your goals.
For that, you will need a solid plan. According to Dun & Bradstreet, the primary cause of failure in business is lack of planning. Why settle for what may be a costly trial-and-error approach, when there is a better way? Business owners who achieve the greatest, sustained success have written plans.
There are two types of plans: For launching a new business, customize a classic business plan; to grow an existing business, write a strategic plan. These plans are absolutely essential to your success. Research proves it.
The purpose of your plans is to ensure that you have fully thought through your venture based on your vision and mission. Writing thorough and meaningful plans requires significant market research.
Optimistic and eager to launch their businesses, entrepreneurs often consider business and strategic plans to be too time consuming, unnecessary and an annoyance. Assessing entrepreneurial skills often takes a back seat in the hurry to get their dreams under way. Although they may possess a positive attitude, conviction and some basic business skills, entrepreneurs may lack the business acumen required to launch and sustain their venture.
For those who are launching a new business, doing market research in preparation for writing your plan helps to assess feasibility as well as to determine if the opportunity is financially worthwhile. A business won’t survive if it doesn’t identify its target audience or solve its problems, yet many are launched on a whim.
Do the needs of the target audience match the company’s proposed product and/or service? What about differentiation and unique selling proposition? What’s in it for someone to buy? Responses to these questions often reveal unfounded assumptions that can shatter the chances for success.
In preparation for researching and writing your business and strategic plans, there are important foundations for a planned approach. I have four foundations for building your roadmap:
• The 6 “Knows”
• Consumer Relevancy
• Entrepreneurial Skills
• 14 “P”s for Planning
As a certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach, I can’t help mentioning an article by Jay Conrad Levinson, the ‘Father of Guerrilla Marketing,’ entitled: “20 Traits of a Guerrilla Entrepreneur.” We’ll touch on a few traits in my seminar.
Pet professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners are witnessing unprecedented, rapid changes in the pet industry. Whether a company is a startup or an established business, identify and leverage strengths and opportunities. To achieve goals and profitability, first create a business plan, and then update your strategic plan on a regular schedule. A successful, sustainable, profit-driven pet business is within your reach.
Vicki Lynne Morgan is a marketing and sales professional who has been involved in the pet industry for over 35 years.