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Tips for developing a 1st quarter business plan

Ohio businesses that are on a calendar fiscal year may be getting ready to wrap up 2014 and start planning for the first quarter of 2015. According to a recent article, there are five items to keep in mind as one develops ideas for a successful 2015.

One step involves identifying specific goals, such as revenue targets. When forming these targets, it is better to be specific. By including monthly sales goals in a plan, a business owner may be able to extrapolate weekly targets, which may help determine marketing strategies. Another step is to do an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This helps every owner stay on top of what is going on in his or her business environment and eliminates the potential for unpleasant surprises down the road.

In addition, some business owners may need to share their responsibilities; success may depend on being able to identify and delegate some duties to experts. An owner might also review past records to get clues about the company strengths that can be exploited and weaknesses that may be addressed. Finally, creating and communicating an action plan helps to assure that the whole team is on the same page. This plan can be used as a road map for staying on track during the quarter.

Just as business planning for the future is essential for a company's success, the appropriate legal structure for an organization can help to limit liabilities and facilitate the growth of the enterprise. When a new company is being established or an existing company is considering changes to its structure, the input from an attorney may be helpful when trying to ensure success and continuity for the business.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Time to Start Planning for 2015 in Your Small Business", Melinda Emerson, September 01, 2014

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