Imagine leaving your house tomorrow without having a destination in mind.
Or perhaps you do have a destination in mind, but you’ve no way of getting there. No mode of transport. No map. Would you ever do this in real life? Probably not.
But many business owners effectively are doing this by not having a business plan and strategy in place. If this sounds familiar, there is no better time to change!
What is a Business Plan?
Simply put, your business plan is the formal statement of your business goals and your plans for attaining these. Your plan may also contain background information about the business.
Done properly, your business plan clearly maps out the future of your company and informs you how to get there. Think of it as the sat nav for your business.
Many business owners neglect their business plan, seeing it perhaps as a difficult task, or something that is unnecessary unless they’re seeking funding.
It’s true that potential investors and lenders will expect to see a business plan, but there are many reasons for having one in place.
The Benefits of a Business Plan
1) It’s Easier to Keep to your Long-Term Strategy
As business owners, we sometimes get lost in the daily routine and distracted by interruptions. Having a business plan to refer to helps us to keep our long term goals and priorities in mind.
2) Your Short-Term Business Objectives will be Clear
A good plan will include smaller specific and achievable goals that are relevant to your long-term strategy. These could be things such as launching a new product, or gaining a certain number of followers on social media. Measurable tasks will help you to define your success objectively, and meeting these smaller milestones will ultimately contribute to your long-term strategy for success.
3) You Will Have Time to Make Changes
A business plan is a living document and, although it maps out expectations, it can’t predict the future with complete accuracy. It’s important to monitor your progress and proactively correct the course of your business as needed. If you’re tracking your results, and measuring these against your expectations, you’ll have plenty of warning if things aren’t going to plan. You have the chance to make any changes needed and avoid potential problems.
4) Financial Benefits
Your business plan will help you to plan and manage your finances. Taking the time to set realistic financial goals and to monitor these, will help to ensure that your business meets its potential. You will also have the financial information that you need when making decisions such as hiring staff, changing prices or moving premises. This knowledge will help you to make better, more-informed choices that contribute to the long-term strategy. The business plan is a vital piece of information when seeking loans and investments.
5) HR Benefits
A business plan will help to clarify individual responsibilities within the business. Results can be measured against expectations, and this information is invaluable for conducting staff reviews. A business plan will also help you to decide when it’s necessary to hire staff, and how their role will help your company to grow and prosper.
How Do I Create a Business Plan and Strategy?
A business plan isn’t necessarily a weighty formal document. In fact, it should be readily accessible and easily understood. There are plenty of free templates available on the Internet.
For some smaller businesses, the business plan could be as simple as a mixture of lists and tables to record the information.
However, there is value in taking the time to carefully review your strategy and to develop a refreshable document to propel your business forward. An outside perspective, particularly an impartial financial one, can also be beneficial.
I work with clients to systematically assess the performance of their business, helping them to understand key issues, how they interconnect and identify practical steps to solve them. I also help to develop the cash flow projections and business models which will help take your business forward.
A review can include the complete business, individual functions and /or specific projects. They are tailored to your specific requirements and usually takes between just 2-7 days, dependent on the scope of the review. In challenging economic times it’s critical to have a grip on the finances of the business. Managing cash-flow, looking for cost reductions, understanding the performance of the different parts of the organisation or planning ahead are all vital.
At Horus Consulting we help businesses like yours in all aspects of financial reporting, planning and analysis. Most significantly Horus will link these different aspects together to show how to drive the performance of your business and your teams. Once the actions and priorities have been agreed Horus can also fully support the team to deliver any agreed projects and deliver the benefits.
Together we can programme the sat nav and you can drive your business forward.