While sitting in my bookstore, I regularly get visitors that start a conversation on all kinds of topics. Fortunately, I love the company, and hopefully the business, and I usually have something to add to the discussion. But quite often, it is about a business idea that they may have. I share whatever thoughts that I have, ask pointed questions to get them thinking, and even give them some direction of what steps they should be pursuing.
Boy! I would love to get paid for the thousands of hours of free advice I give. Sometimes, too many of my hours are consumed doing this. It’s not their problem – but mine. In fact, for this very reason I developed several seminars that I give periodically: Getting Started In Retail, Author Workshop, and Reclaiming Black Wall Street are a few. This helps me to find a way to cut to the chase and offer my seminar to see if they are really serious about the moving forward.
But my main advice, although cliche, is that you need to sit yourself down and write a business plan. Even if you don’t follow the many templates that you can find, just put your ideas into writing. Just jotting things down will force you to fill in gaps when you re-read what you wrote. The gaps will force you to research, ask more questions to the appropriate authorities, or alert you of training you might need about your planned industry, product or service.
Even if you already started a business, reviewing your plan and updating your way forward should be done regularly. In fact, I added consulting and seminars to my business plan years after I started the bookstore. I review and revise my plan almost yearly.
Although I am talking about a business plan, you can do the same with your life plan – re-look what is next, how to get there and who or what can help you get there or who or what is hindering you from getting there and make the necessary changes. It’s the beginning of a new year. This is the perfect time to do it.