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A tool that is often underutilized by business owners is a business plan says Edmonton bookkeeping. And while it can be an extremely helpful document in helping an entrepreneur achieve their business goals. Studies have also shown that not nearly enough entrepreneurs are actually using a business plan to help them achieve these goals.

Industry Canada did a study to find out how Canadian entrepreneurs were at succeeding in business. What they found, was that even though 15% of Canadian entrepreneurs failed in their first year of business. 30% failed by Year too, and half of all Canadian entrepreneurs failed by year five.

When they asked the failed entrepreneurs to write essays on why they failed. 42% of the failed entrepreneurs said that not being able to find enough customers to sell their products and services to. was the number one reason why they were unsuccessful.

That is most likely not because they had a great business plan that didn’t work. But more likely that they had a business plan that they didn’t use says Edmonton bookkeeping. Or, they simply didn’t have a business plan at all. Impacting their ability to generate revenue in their business.

Although there are several very important parts of the business plan. An often-overlooked part is a differentiating factor between an entrepreneur’s business and its competitors. This is very important to figure out. So that’s an entrepreneur can figure out what Market segment bacon has by opening their business. And attracting clients based on being unique in areas that are being under-serviced by the current business.

These differentiating factors that can come from a wide variety of areas in an entrepreneur’s business. From the customers, the service, to the quality and features of the products that they sell. They might have a great or a strategic location. That makes doing business them easy.

A differentiating factor could even be state-of-the-art facilities, equipment, and software. That will allow the business owner to do things that no other entrepreneurs can do. They might even say that the payment methods or the terms that they have are especially beneficial. Because it’s currently not being done in their industry. So they are setting themselves apart from the competition.

Even the marketing and branding that an entrepreneur uses can set themselves apart from their competition. Because if they have a branding that is particularly unique. Or if they are able to be remembered by customers because of their branding. This can be a definite benefit to the business.

And finally, convenience and customer service is extremely important. Because if customers get treated exceptionally well there no matter what the other businesses offer, they often are very loyal to the businesses that treat them well.

Out of all of the differentiating factors that an entrepreneur might have says Edmonton bookkeeping. They should narrow it down to three that they are going to do exceptionally well. So that when they do a track to their ideal and likely customers. They will be able to floor them with how well they provide that service.

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Many entrepreneurs should start using a business plan to help them grow their business says Edmonton bookkeeping. Because while some entrepreneurs create their business plan in order to obtain financing. Once they get their loan they put their business plan on a shelf. And forget it exists.

A business plan is an important way for an entrepreneur to crystallize their business goals. Because often, an entrepreneur has a vague idea of what they want their business to look like. But without putting actual goals on that idea. And specifying exactly what they want that to look like. Can make it very difficult for an entrepreneur to achieve what they’re vague idea of success is.

Also, Edmonton bookkeeping says that if a business owner does not really have a defined idea of what they want their business to look like. It can be very difficult to know what they need to do every day and their business to achieve that goal. And that can end up with an entrepreneur working 12-hour days extremely hard. But not getting any closer to achieving success.

The business plan not only should have cash flow projections, and a financial plan. But also, a marketing plan that specifies the differentiating factors between an entrepreneur’s business and their competition. The reason why it’s important to define differentiating factors.

Is because the differentiating factors are going to be what attracts ideal and likely customers to their business instead of their competition. And can help an entrepreneur creates a defined identity for themselves.

However, it might be very difficult for an entrepreneur to understand how they are different from their competition. Or what exactly a differentiating factor in their business can be. They might think that it has to be this great big way that they are changing the industry. But Edmonton bookkeeping says it can be smaller things, that business owner might not initially consider.

Something such as the years of experience that an entrepreneur has can be the differentiating factor. If an entrepreneur is brand new in business, but they have 30 years of experience in the industry that they are in. That might be more impactful than a business that has been around for 30 years but has new management that only has 5 years in the industry.

Along with their longevity in the industry, the entrepreneur’s qualifications, training and education are considered differentiating factors. As well as the qualifications, training, and education of their staff as well. If an entrepreneur has been in the industry for a long time, they might have a beatable reputation, have established relationships, or could even continue to have contracts but now under the name of their business.

All of these things, although they might seem small or inconsequential to a business owner. Could be the differentiating factors between themselves and their competition. Which could be an important selling feature for their ideal customer. This is why it’s important for an entrepreneur to go through this exercise before they complete their business plan says Edmonton bookkeeping.