2010 was a year of challenges and change.  Across the globe we saw natural disasters, conflicts, and troubled economies.  All of this created challenges for companies and businesses who found themselves reacting to circumstances outside their control.

Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote that “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”.  While life has proven that thought to be true, all of us would be remiss not to seize the opportunity to use the lessons learned in 2010 to develop solid planning and foundations for our businesses.

While every new challenge presents itself in a different fashion, if you consider the following, you can develop an internal plan to succeed under almost any circumstances:

*  What is the exact purpose of your business? (Not your public relations mission statement but a clear and honest declaration of why your business should exist and how it will make money.)

*  What do you need to meet that purpose?

*  How do you ensure delivery of the highest quality service or product that is your purpose for business? (Set a quality standard which will allow your product or service to exceed all others on the market.)

*  How much will it cost you to fulfill this purpose to the highest quality standard?

*  How do you market your purpose to the public in order to convince them that you are the best company for them to do business with. (What approach will gain their interest?)

*  How much do you charge for this product or service? (You’re in business to make money-don’t forget it or feel bad for being compensated for providing an excellent service or product.)

*  How will you fund your business or company on a day-to-day basis or in times of unforeseen challenges? (Alternative Funding Options can help you with that.)