Your business plan plays a vital part in getting business success. Furthermore it not only helps you navigate an uncertain business landscape it can help reduce the risk of it all going wrong.
First of all planning is a mindset approach to your business. The plan captures in words and numbers the results of some clear thinking and likely outcomes of our business journey.
Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
Above all planning shows that you have considered the many risks in our business journey. It also shows how you are going to deal with risk and ultimately achieve your aspirations.
Above all I want to mention 5 things to think about when you’re putting your plan together.
Most noteworthy map out your vision, values and mission statement. The cultural and behavioural framework of your business is shaped by your business vison and values.
Certainly your vision statement is a high-level statement from which strategic objectives and targets are then derived. Likewise it typically defines your businesses aspirations in areas like customer service, engagement with staff, external stakeholders and social responsibility. Values are those things that we believe to be important, which we expect to be met and respected.
Hence your mission statement is your calling card to the outside world. It states the main direction and purpose of your business. Likewise it is the foundation for your business planning process. It determines the standards at which your business aspires, to be now and in the future. Certainly a mission statement is not a bland promotional tool; it needs to be simple, concise and memorable.
Similarly figure out your critical success factors and objectives
Every business has Critical Success Factors (CSFs). Consequently CSFs are the cause of your success. They highlight those areas in which you need to perform best if you are to achieve overall success and achieve your SMART objectives.
CSFs for a retailer would typically be having the right product mix, availability, pricing and effective marketing. As a result attracting more customers.
Objectives are normally described as SMART:
Example Objectives could be:
Growing turnover by 10% next year
Break-even sales £5,000 per month
Your marketing plan. If you want to upset a marketer, then tell them that marketing is just about advertising and social media. Once they recover, they will tell you that marketing is much more than that.
Hence before finalising your marketing plan, you need to do some analytical work.
Businesses should decide what current and future client needs are, trends, customer pain points, potential products and services.
Likewise identify who your competitors are. Similarly assess their strengths and weaknesses. Identify any potential duplication of services, and “collaborations”.
First of all this will include your marketing objectives, product and service offerings. Similarly pricing strategies, promotion, time scale and what resources are needed to make it work.
Hence every plan needs to be translated into what that means in financial terms. Because those financial outcomes are typically expressed through three key statements. Above all these measure financial performance, strength, and liquidity.
The three statements are profit and loss statement; balance sheet and cash flow. When preparing these you need to stress test them. Furthermore subject them to what-if scenarios also sensitivity analysis.
This part of the plan looks at putting the plan into practice, checking and reacting to its progress.
Above all this shows how your business will meet its objectives. Furthermore the time scales involved, who does what and any identified risks. As a result you will be able to manage those risks
Most noteworthy there is a general rule of management that says you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Therefore you need clues/milestones to identify if you are progressing on your journey. As a result measure what is important subsequently CSFs help you decide this and figure out Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Finally you need to measure and manage your performance. Hence judge how you are doing and how the plan is going. As a result KPIs should normally be a blend of numbers (quantitative) and non-numbers (qualitative). Consequently targets can be set and progress measured against these. Therefore any variations against these targets prompts investigation and ultimately take action to rectify the situation.
Thanks for reading this blog and we hope you’ve enjoyed it.
Contact us if you have any questions on how to plan your business or any other business queries you may have. We can have a cup of (virtual or real) coffee, biscuit and a chat to see how we can help you.
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