If you have a small business, you understand what I mean when I say the future of a business is at stake. Today’s economy has been particularly brutal for small business. There has been an economic tsunami like no other in decades. Home based businesses have suffered the most and small business finance options have dried up. Yet, despite the hardship small business’s are experiencing, there are signs of strength for small business.
One sign of strength for small businesses in an already challenging economy is consumer spending. Small businesses account for almost half of American private employment and nearly half of the gross domestic product, and they face an existential threat from an accelerating recession. Consumer confidence is rebounding, and spending is back on the rise. The end of the first decade of the New Economy, or the end of an era of rapid expansion was followed by a period of stagflation, and consumers saved more money than ever before, some of it finding its way back into the economy. Today’s consumer is cautious and saving is back in the picture.
Consumer confidence is expected to keep rising as business managers learn how to manage their businesses effectively. In fact, the number of small businesses in bankruptcies is less today than it was just a few years ago. That means more stable, well managed companies with good management and good ideas are starting to emerge. That means the future of the economy for small businesses looks rosy indeed.
A second of the rosy economic picture for small business can be seen in the business plans of hundreds of companies that are springing up across the country. As many as two-thirds of these businesses will be classified as startup enterprises, a sign that the economy is finally recovering. That means there is a great deal of opportunity for starting a business in this environment. Whether you want to start small, sell goods, or deliver services, there is a business plan out there for you.
So, how do you start a business that will stand the test of time? The first step in doing so is to create a business plan, which should address not only the present but the future of the economy as well. The business plan will guide you through the planning stages, from selecting your business idea to marketing it to the public. It will outline your business’s goals and objectives, provide financial projections, and explain who you will compete with and what you will need to do or have in order to do that. It is essential for any successful business, but it can be especially important for new businesses.
Even if you think you know what type of business to start and how to run it, having a business plan can help give you more direction in your search for financing and other forms of support. Without a business plan, you may find yourself operating without a plan, or even worse, without much money to operate at all. There are many resources available to new businesses. Small Business Administration grants can give you the money you need to get started and some local chambers of commerce can advise you on other forms of support. In the end, though, having a business plan is really about trusting yourself, knowing your vision and your passion, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and then making an informed decision based on those strengths and weaknesses.
If you want to succeed, small business ideas that work now and in the future will help you to build a stronger economy for the future, but you must first make sure that your business is going to survive in a strong economy. After all, there are some powerful forces in our economy that will continue to push our economy forward and no business is immune from these forces. If you want to secure future success for your business, you need to take a long hard look at how you plan your operations today.
Even if you are certain that your business idea can endure a strong economy, you still need to have a business plan that is proactive and flexible. Small business ideas that work today can be difficult to keep afloat during a slow economy, but a well-conceived business plan can help you weather the storm. When a business owner takes a long hard look at their business, they can come up with small business ideas that work today, but they also have the flexibility to adjust to a changing economy down the road. That flexibility makes a business owner’s small business ideas work today and tomorrow.