Canadian Pizza Magazine

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Pizza on fire: Planning to succeed


December 2, 2008
By Tom Stankiewicz

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This is one argument that you will always win: having a good business plan is vital for anyone who’s starting a business. It will help you in more than one way and keep you focused on your goals. We all know a few fortunate people who seem to turn to gold anything they touch. All of their business ideas become successful and it seems that nothing will ever turn against them. However, the reality is that most of us are not that lucky and we have to put a lot of thought and planning into making our businesses successful.

This is one argument that you will always win: having a good business plan is vital for anyone who’s starting a business. It will help you in more than one way and keep you focused on your goals. We all know a few fortunate people who seem to turn to gold anything they touch. All of their business ideas become successful and it seems that nothing will ever turn against them. However, the reality is that most of us are not that lucky and we have to put a lot of thought and planning into making our businesses successful.

p30_planning 
 A simple action such as placing an order for supplies is in fact planning ahead.


 

The best advice that anyone can give you and, in fact, the one that you will hear more often than not is to plan ahead. It is a must not to only start a business but to keep it running for as long as you want it. It is okay to take risks but make sure you have a sound plan to go along with it. It will not only help you sleep better at night but it will also keep you on track when things get a bit hectic. And all of us who have some experience already know that things can get crazy for sure.

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Most of us remember the day we met with a small business advisor at a bank to ask about credit options in order to purchase or open a business. An experienced and competent advisor would have asked about the business and its nature. Most importantly you would have heard a question: What is your business plan? I’m sure some of us out there were taken by surprise because all we wanted was some cash to start a business not talk about a business plan. Whether you agree with it or not, he was actually looking out for your best interest ensuring you knew what you were getting into. Just by looking at how many businesses close in their first year of operation, it looks like having a good business plan might not be such a bad idea. After all, it is created to help you; not for somebody else’s benefit.

Some of you may wonder then, what is a good business plan? Does it have to be 50 pages long? Do I need every detail about the business included in it? Well, the answer is not a simple yes or no. It will depend on your organizational and planning skills, your ability to remember every detail that needs to be covered, and even your personality. So for some of us a business plan could be as long as two pages, while for others it will need to be 10 in order to serve its purpose. The important thing to remember is that there is no sense having a plan that you can’t follow or have problems understanding. Since it is your plan, it has to make sense to you before you can present it to anyone else for review and/or feedback.

What else can you do to succeed besides have a business plan? Well, how about doing some research about the industry you plan to join. Ask yourself if there is opportunity for growth or is the industry slowly diminishing? What is being offered out there, what has worked well in the past, what might be changed, what will be your new and fresh perspective? These are important things you should know about before you decide to open a business. And who are the best people to ask for information? That would be all of us who have years of experience running our pizza stores. Simply put, sometimes you need to hear it from the horse’s mouth.

Let’s not forget though that the planning process does not stop once the business is opened. In order to be successful you have to continually plan. The good thing is that most of us do it everyday, it becomes part of running the business and we don’t even think about it because it just comes naturally. A simple action such as placing an order for supplies is in fact planning ahead and when you think about it for a minute you know that your business wouldn’t survive without it. Planning for successful business does not have to be a separate task that you put on your to-do list and worry later on how to complete it. It’s the everyday tasks that you already do anyway. For example, scheduling your staff, getting ready for busy weekends or preparing for a big catering order. Just think about the upcoming Christmas holidays. I’m sure all of us are already planning for that busy time of the year, even if it’s just additional advertising. From my own experience, my advice is to plan, plan, and plan ahead. It will make your life easier and your business more successful.