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When working in big organisations, with shareholders expecting results or solutions, we would start on the budget for the next financial year in February and then hopefully have that and the marketing plan completed by the end of the financial year.
In a smaller business it is much easier to complete a business and marketing plan in a fraction of the time, but the plans are as important as those created for the big organisations.
When we look at the progress the business is making, year after year, it is important to first of all reflect on the reasons why you went into business in the first place.
The reasons for going into business are numerous, some are;
- do what you want, when you want
- make a fortune
- work your own hours
- be your own boss
- have more spare time to spend with your loved ones
- create an empire
- make money and more money
- the opportunity was given to me
- be able to spend time with the family at dinner and on the weekends
- my dad helped set me up
- I had an idea
- I thought I could do it better than my boss and make more money than he was
The list goes on and on…
For me, I had always dreamt of having my own business, for twenty years it was my goal. Probably a mix of most of the above reasons…
Once I reacquaint myself with why I chose this path in the first place, because lets face it, being in business for ‘you’ isn’t for the faint hearted or for those who prefer the easier life of an employee; I can then get clear on redefining and improving my performance for the next financial year.
One thing that I religiously do at the end of each financial year is review my business performance over the last 12 months and compare that performance against the plan that I had written 12 months ago.
I share with my clients that the starting point for a business plan is setting the not negotiable factors in the plan.
Often in the corporate world, the business plans are created to simply keep the directors and share holders happy but the people who write the plan know full well that there is no chance of achieving what they have spent 5 months working on. They create a plan to keep the share holders happy and to receive a ‘stay of execution’ …
Sometimes it works… sometimes it doesn’t ….
Why do business plans fail?
There is a list of reasons of why a plan is never achieved and here are a few;
- Unrealistic goals set
- Poorly researched information
- Under resourced
- Ineffective leadership and management
- The team aren’t the right team
- The business doesn’t have the technology
- The wrong management team
The worst mistake a business can make when creating the budget for the next year is to not include the team in the budget setting process.
The team must ‘buy’ into the budget and the best way for this to happen, is for them to be involved in the creation of the plan.
How to make a business plan that works;
- Research your clients and the market
- Review who and where the market is trending towards and why
- Create a list of possible scinarios and survey the team on their ideas for consideration, every idea is a good idea!
- Plan a workshop for the team to participate in and give them notice of what will be covered on the agenda
- Depending on the size of your team and the business, you can put aside a half day, full day or even 2 days to discuss the options, select the best course of action and lock away the plan
- At the conclusion of the workshop have everyone sign off on the planned goals and outcomes
- If at the end of the workshop there are a number of tasks that have been assigned to specific people, ensure these are completed in the timeframe agreed.
- If external assistance is required, marketing, management, consulting, lock it in and get it up and implemented so that you are in front of the game instead of chasing your tail, even before the new financial year starts.
- Demonstrate to the team that the ideas they suggested and you have agreed to implement have been taken seriously and are important
- Keep an eye on the plan progress and keep the team involved and informed
If you would like help in creating a business plan that works, but you don’t know where to start, we can help!
At ABC Business Improvement we have or are assisting builders, tradesmen, retailers, restaurants, wholesalers, manufacturers, professional service providers like accountants, lawyers, pharmacists, dentists, importers/ exporters and we can assist you too!
At ABC Business Improvement we will organise a meeting where you will;
– Uncover the challenges you are facing
– Define a path to overcome them
– Create a first step plan to move forward
– Gain a sense of excitement and relief, knowing where you are going
Be one of the first 5 to contact us this week and we will organise a ‘business plans that work’ strategy session today…