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Describe your business

The first thing investors, customers and suppliers will want to know is what your business does exactly.

Be descriptive when telling people. For example, saying you run a camera store isn’t quite as informative as revealing that you run a camera store in downtown Toronto, specializing in top-of-the-range digital cameras and accessories.

Other points you’ll want to mention when explaining your business to people of interest include:

  • Why you decided to start a business and how it was formed
  • Your relevant experience
  • The industry your business belongs to and the major players in that industry
  • Steps you’re taking to get your business off the ground
  • The problem(s) your business will solve or the reasons why consumers will buy your products or services

Lay out your business’ objectives

Objectives will help you to track the success of your business according to your grand plan. Your objectives might set targets for sales, profitability, or even the hours you invest in your business each week.

Your objectives will depend on how you define your business’ successes. They can stretch over 3-12 months (short-term objectives) or 1-3 years (mid-term objectives).


How to set your objectives

When setting your objectives, remember:

  • They must be measurable. By using numbers and dates that state exactly what you’re hoping to achieve and by when. For example, you may have just opened a fast food outlet and have an objective of opening three more branches within two years’ time.
  • If you set too few objectives, you’ll lack a complete picture of your business’ progress. Likewise, too many objectives might make it difficult to focus on what’s most important.

Common business objectives

Your objectives should move you closer to your personal and business goals. For example, a viable short-term objective might be to hire another staff member by the end of the year so you can free up more personal time for yourself.

Some important and fairly common business objectives are:

  • Growth – Most owners want their businesses to grow over time so it’s wise to note down your growth objectives. Growing too slowly could put you out of business, while excessively fast growth might be too much to handle.
  • Maintain a healthy cash flow – In the event of expansion you’ll need cash to move forward. It’s therefore important that you’re able to finance your operations for long-term projects or short-term needs.
  • Productivity – Staying productive is likely to be one of your goals in some shape or form. Specifically, there may be some items you want to purchase over time to increase the production levels of your staff members. For example, a new vehicle to make deliveries more efficient within ten months’ time.
  • Customer service – Set a standard for customer service and aim for you and your staff to achieve and maintain that standard by a certain date.
  • Profitability – You might have an objective of how much you want revenue to stay ahead of costs within your business.
  • Retain staff – Reliable and hardworking staff can be hard to come by, while rehiring is costly and time consuming. What objectives do you have for the coming year around staffing?