Planning: Your Greatest Tool in Succeeding as a New Business

Starting a new business is an exciting and empowering prospect, but it’s not without significant challenges along the way. In fact, many entrepreneurs struggle to navigate the hurdles of starting a company, with around 20% of new businesses failing within their first two years. Part of giving your enterprise the best chance of avoiding this trend is to embrace the right tools. 

This isn’t just about utilising technology. Rather, it’s making certain you have the right protocols in place to support your success. As such, one of the most powerful tools to influence your trajectory is a commitment to careful planning.

So let’s take a look at some of the most effective tools that can help your burgeoning startup succeed.

Model Choices

Adopting a business model isn’t something you can just improvise and expect to be able to maintain in the long term. Your choice of model provides the structure for every other aspect of your business, so it’s worth being intentional about how you approach this.

Some of the aspects you need to plan when building a business model include:

  • Consumer Demographics

You need to understand more about your consumers if you’re going to develop a business model they’ll want to engage with. Perform some market research to better understand who is attracted to your product and how they prefer to interact with businesses in your industry. Create a couple of buyer personas and create a business model targeted at these people. This is certainly more efficient than making business model decisions and then having to work harder to entice your demographic to your way of working.

  • Revenue Streams

One of the most important elements to plan is what revenue streams your business model will utilise. Will you be providing a subscription service to your consumers? Are you focusing purely on e-commerce sales or can you provide an omnichannel service in-store and online? You don’t need to stick with only one of these for the entirety of your business’s lifespan. However, making plans in this area early on allows you to focus initially, then build toward careful and considered changes later on.

Risk Assessments

All businesses are subject to a certain amount of risk. Your planning considerations in this area should include:

  • Risk Identification

Identifying the potential risks for your business can be challenging, as you really need to go into fine detail. There will be some hazards that are present for most companies, like cyberthreats and the risk of staff injury. Others may be specific to your geographical area in the form of natural disasters. You should also consider the mistakes new business owners tend to make in their first years of operations. Issues like failing to invest in good technology or expanding too quickly can be as much a risk to your burgeoning company as external factors.

  • Continuity and Recovery

Once you’ve identified the risks, you need to establish some protocols. These will usually involve confirming methods you use to respond to the immediate presence of the risk while minimising disruption to your operations. You also need to plan how you move on from the survival mode of a disaster and back toward your regular or improved service levels. If you have multiple departments, it’s worth getting your department heads involved in this process. They’ll have insights into how hazards could affect their areas of operations and the best ways to handle them.

  • Staff Communication

Communicating your risk protocols to staff is too often overlooked. As front-line workers, they will be instrumental in mitigating and responding to risks. Create accessible documentation that goes into detail about the potential risks and how to address them. All signage and handbooks on the subject have to be produced in simple language and you need to provide avenues for discussions and questions on the subject. Make sure they receive regular training on your risk management procedures and emergency drills.

Investment Priorities

Your startup only has a finite amount of capital. Even if you’ve received a sizable sum from an angel investor, you still need to be responsible and mindful in how you utilize it. As such, it’s important to plan how you’re using your capital in advance. This helps to make sure you don’t put too much pressure on your resources.

Some areas for priority planning include:

  • Technological Tools

No matter what industry you’re operating in, it is likely technology will play an important role in operations. Your priority planning here is likely to revolve around selecting the most appropriate and effective tools for your budget rather than immediately opting for the highest specification possible. Your capital investment here is also likely to include maintenance. Your website will occasionally need to be fixed or updated and your software needs can develop over time. By reviewing and planning your expenditure here, you can avoid depleting your capital and struggling when there are issues later on.

  • Staff Needs

Employees are one of your most important investments. Your choices here not only determine who helps the business function day-to-day but also gain professionals to help you innovate and evolve. However, this is an expensive prospect. You not only need to pay your employees a salary but you should adopt practices to keep your workers happy and loyal. You, therefore, need to plan which staff roles are absolutely necessary at each stage of your growth and invest in the best people available to you. Prioritising here can boost productivity and also prevents turnover.


A solid commitment to planning is one of your most important tools when developing a new startup. Careful consideration when designing your business model can ensure you adopt the right approach to meet your goals. Taking risk assessments seriously means you and your staff are better prepared to navigate various challenges. Remember that mindfully prioritising your capital investments allows you to achieve a healthier return in the long run. There are no guarantees in business, but effective planning is certainly an influencer of your success.