by Robert Austin May 31, 2017

5 Steps You Might have Left Out of Your Business Plan

We’re in a time that the Pioneer has once again risen. In a game where the average person is collateral to uncontrollable economic climates, quality of life can swing on a pendulum. People across the globe have felt the constraints of stress, from life's grinding gears. Almost 1 billion of these people have found comfort in tobacco-induced substances. This habit has infiltrated cultures across the globe for nearly a century. Creating almost a 500-Billion-dollar industry that shackles and generates wealth off the backs of addiction. Tobacco is one of the leading multi-billion dollar industries that chooses to kill its consumer.

Within the last 12 years’ smokers started to realize the turmoil of a self-crisis and the destructive poison directed towards their own health. Further education with a proven testified smoking alternative is how the vape industry wove into existence. Vaping, which compounded around a community has evolved into a 10-billion-dollar tobacco threatening industry. By changing the mechanics of how nicotine had been ingested also had changed the chemical compound of how it effects the user.

With a global community engaging thousands, advocacy has been on the forefront. Business owners solidifying shops and distribution points assists in the growth of education and commerce based on this safer alternative.  

Pioneers are often the first to landscape an industry born off an imminent need. The vaping community consists of age ranges of no prejudice. While in reflection business owners within the industry can range in the same way. Many of these working-class pioneers, sought to fill a void of specific need which encouraged opportunity. With that said; the premise had become an entrepreneur’s dream. Brilliant ambitious startups that often lacked in much-applied business experience.

We are in an industry that driving numbers can be implied to gaining momentum uphill. As an industry, to avoid an economic obliteration (which results in “Big bank takes little bank”), proper steps need to be taken to forecast a sustainable future. Many business owners within the vape industry have not taken the proper steps to build the foundation of a working business model. You may or may not be familiar with some of these common practices but, our goal is to inform and create awareness. Securing our business relationships based on better protection. Here we will introduce 5 key parts that should be in every business plan.

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Direction – Let’s start with placing an emphasis around our vision. Imagine having the layout of a roadmap. Almost like a GPS, you know where you’re headed, how to get to your destination. What roads to turn on, even how much traffic you may be approaching. You know how long it will take to reach your goal. Having a road map that shows the course of the path to follow. During your business journey, it’s easy to veer off the path. Direction offers vision, within a business plan it’s a grounding foundation that you can reference towards. So even if you veer off you never leave the constructs of the overall course.


Defined Roles – Having definitive roles helps to carve lanes while developing boundaries. Boundaries are not to omit flexibility, evolution or growth. In turn to encompass accountability, responsibility and key point indicators for tasked achievements. This can avoid future confusion as lines become blurred and business begins to boom. Achieving multiple tasks, small businesses often find themselves “winging it”. In companies where many people wear many hats, referencing your defined roles helps to keep structured pillars that resist unnecessary swaying. The mistake companies often make is failing to keep transparent operations within an infrastructure.


Measure Competition – Each business plan should have direction, defined roles, and vision. But, what about how your competition thinks? In The Art of War it says - “if you know your enemy, you know yourself you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” If you know what your competition is doing you have a measuring stick of what you need to achieve. This is one of the most important parts of a business plan. Before launching your company, your competition should have been riddled with R&D. Forecast where you see them in five years and look at what you want to achieve. Look for competitors that have attainable goals for you. Set these goals as your reference card for guidance. It is always better that something becomes looked over rather than overlooked.


Merchandising – To vape businesses that are brick and mortar, supply and inventory are not the only matters for selling to your in-store customers. Understanding the psychology of your customer and how your customer walks down the buyer’s timeline is very important. The mind automatically seeks out consistency and direction. Each customer that walks into a shop maybe on a different path in time, in turn, their purchasing interest may be very different from one another. Acknowledge these subtle signs and create a store that caters to the customers that walk in your shop by getting to know who walks in your shop. Present product sales, advertisements, and services that cater directly to your audience. Have endcaps with products that naturally are add-ons and accessories. Pay close attention to where your customers may wander. Provide promo offers in those areas of the store. Set bundle packages that draw the attention of first-time buyers at your check out. Make sure you create proper labeling and signs that direct traffic. The experience you want to create is helping a customer become informed on your store’s setup on the way to check out. Have them so overly eager that they are excited to repeat this process on a residual basis.



Finance – Budgeting and tracking income can be the largest problem with many vape companies. The over consumption, indulging and excessive spending habits create a huge loss in liquid capital. Saving and building capital based on leverage or retaining true assets can be foreign practices. Additional capital gains and equity diversification should be key plans in your business portfolio. Minimize company risks by creating real financial forecasts. Base these metrics on projected substantial growth in revenue and profit margins. Revenue should be budgeted by allocating percentages towards marketing, operations, warehousing and merchandising. Without having documentation of expectations, you’re just throwing darts in the dark trying to hit a moving target.

No business plan will ever be perfect. As you can't pinpoint an exact number on the unexpected and untested. A business plan does give you a good estimate which creates ballpark figures. Allow yourself to gauge where you should be and when you may be under your target. Build your business plan or revamp the one you have, include our helpful tips. Let us know how our information may work for you. 

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Robert Austin
Robert Austin

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