You need to know where you are going, to have any idea if you got there.
I love working with SME business owners… they are brave, experts in what they do, and have been led by their PASSION to bring their product or service to others.
This was brought to life even more as I recently attended an Awards evening. Everyone I met and spoke to that night which had their own business, had incredible passion for bringing their vision to life for their customers.
And of course, I have my passion… using my breadth of business experience and knowledge to support other businesses to be successful. I get such a kick out of this. The fundamental starting point to making a business successful is often having a BUSINESS PLAN.
Do you have a business plan? There may be hope. But as we all know hope isn’t a strategy.
Are you thinking …?
- Planning isn’t for me.
- Strategy isn’t for me.
- What the heck is that?
- Why do I need it?
You are twice as likely to grow your business or achieve funding if you have taken the time to write a business plan. That is what all the research says.
Now for the interesting bit. I advocate business plans highly. BUT I also believe in fate, serendipity, and even manifestation. Can polar opposites be linked?
I believe they are intrinsically linked. Linked by ACTIONS.
You may manifest certain aspirations… but your actions enable them to happen.
You may believe fate made things possible but a series of events and actions led you to be there at that time.
In its simplest form a business plan ultimately is just the power of writing something down and saying it out loud to the universe (manifesting it) and working towards making it happen… through actions.
So, if you haven’t got a business plan then perhaps now is the time.
If yours is old and out of date, then redo it.
But most importantly once done, it should be part of your weekly, monthly business monitoring. There is no point spending the time and energy in creating one if you are simply going to file it away till next year and then simply shift all the strategies and action planning across to the following 12 – 24 months as they haven’t happened. The businesses which take ownership of these plans and work towards delivering the strategies are the ones which will grow.
So, what does it include?
It is more than a vision and goals. It links into your current financials and your forecasts. It will evaluate competition, your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. It enables you to:
- Make better decisions.
- Know what resources are needed and by when.
- Give clarity on what needs to be done.
- Understand the wider opportunity for growth.
- Engage your teams.
- Provides a tool to monitor progress.
- Secure investment if required.
I often find businesses confuse the vision, the goals and the action plans.
I recently met with a beauty salon owner. Her goals originally were to create social media, develop a Facebook page, create promotions and so on. As we got under the skin of her business and her vision of what she wanted her business to be and what she wanted to be known for… the lightbulb came on.
Her VISION was to:
“Create a unique environment for her clients to feel special, pampered and have fun.”
Her GOALS were to deliver elements of:
- Customer satisfaction
- Team management
- Product and service development
Under each of these she had a detailed ACTION PLAN. There is no point having a dream, a vision, goals without actions. It is not just a To Do List. It needs the what, who, when and how much. It needs clear milestones, targets and measurements to ensure you track progress. You also need to understand What Can Go Wrong and have plans ready to minimise or prevent these.
Then all the action plans needed to be aligned to ensure there were no conflicts, duplications or challenges between them and to ensure they aligned back up to their goal and ultimately her vision. Once that was done, resource could be allocated, timescales set, priorities defined, and action taken.
Outcome is greater results faster, through planning, decision making, focus and action.
If you would like support on creating your Business Plan or reviewing your current Business Plan and refining it then do get in touch with me, using the Contact Me page.