Simple Tips, Smart Ideas Book Summary - Simple Tips, Smart Ideas Book explained in key points
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Simple Tips, Smart Ideas summary

Erica Wolfe-Murray

Build a bigger, better business

4.3 (141 ratings)
23 mins
Table of Contents

    Simple Tips, Smart Ideas
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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Your business plan should evolve along with your business.

    Architects don’t draw detailed plans for their buildings, only to throw them away once construction has started. Teachers don’t outline their curriculums at the start of the year, only to never glance at them again.

    So why do so many small business owners put effort into creating business plans, then let those plans languish on their hard drives? Why don’t they revisit their business blueprint after their new enterprise has got off the ground?

    The key message here is: Your business plan should evolve along with your business.

    Instead, if you’re a small business owner, you should think of your business plan as a business map: a document that grows and changes with your business. Let’s talk about how to make one.

    First, you need to set aside some time to bring your whole team together. Get a big sheet of paper and divide it into two halves: one side titled internal, the other external.

    Use the internal section to pull together information about your team’s background, passions, skills, and talents. The more you can write in this section, the better. You’re after a portrait of your team that reflects more than just their professional personas.

    Next, ask your colleagues to list all their past clients. Members of your team should drill right down to all clients they’ve ever served – including those who your colleagues encountered in after-school jobs and volunteer roles.

    Then, ask your team members to list what services they’ve been paid for, to the same level of detail. You might be surprised by overlaps or synergies that arise. Right there, you’ll have pointers to potential new markets for your business.

    Next up comes the external section. Here, describe your position in the market, and analyze your main competition. If possible, anticipate new market trends – as a small business, you have the agility to ride any trends that play to your strengths.

    Finally, chart recent developments in your business, including both positives and negatives. You want to be looking at the last 18 months or so.

    If you’ve followed this blueprint thoroughly, your end product will be far more than a business plan. It will be a totally unique map of your skills, talents, experiences, strengths, challenges, networks, and so much more. It will show you what your company – and only your company – can offer.

    And most importantly, it shouldn’t be forgotten! Make time to revisit and revise your map throughout the year.

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    What is Simple Tips, Smart Ideas about?

    Simple Tips, Smart Ideas (2019) is a guide for small businesses that delivers on the promise of its title. Erica Wolfe-Murray distills cutting-edge industry knowledge on business growth, savvy marketing, and sustainable innovation into a range of easy-to-follow tips and ideas, all geared toward businesses that skew more boutique than behemoth. 

    Who should read Simple Tips, Smart Ideas?

    • Small business owners in need of a boost
    • Employees dreaming of creating their own start-up
    • Anyone who wants to turn a profit from their side-hustle

    About the Author

    Erica Wolfe-Murray is a big name in small business. Other productivity and innovation experts focus on large brands and corporate conglomerates, but Wolfe-Murray’s passion and expertise lie in translating key concepts in business and marketing for small companies and shoestring start-ups. As well as being an author, marketing expert, and management consultant, Wolfe-Murray owns a media company and is the director of a tax app for freelancers.

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