“Going into business without a business plan is like going on a mountain trek without a map or GPS support – you’ll eventually get lost and starve!” – Kevin J. Donaldson
Research has found that the four most common reasons why small businesses fail have a direct or indirect link to a lack of vision and business planning.
Businesses don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan……….
For many business owners, finding the time to create a business plan can seem impossible! Spending the majority of a day planning for the future may not seem as ‘urgent’ compared to other jobs on their long to-do lists, however it is ‘important’. Often, owners kid themselves into thinking a rough idea in their minds is comparable to a structured business plan.
A business plan is a formal document with GOALS! It has to cover strategies that need implementing to achieve these goals and the time frame within which these goals need to be achieved. Now, although that may seem tedious and time-consuming, making the time to reflect on what’s working and what isn’t can be the difference between survival and closure.
In business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, that’s why it’s important to take at least one day out a quarter to reflect and plan out the best strategies to grow your business over the next 12 weeks.
Planning is pivotal to any business throughout its existence. Every prosperous business regularly reviews its business plan to ensure it continues to meet its needs. It's sensible to review current performance on a regular basis and identify the most likely strategies for growth.
Did you know? A study on accountability found that if you commit to do something to yourself, there is only a 3% likelihood you will do it. If you commit to a spouse that increases to 11%! However, if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed to, like a business coach, you will increase your chance of success by up to 97%.
How can consistent planning help you with Time?
Focus your efforts on the ‘important’ things not just the ‘urgent’ things. Identify the activities that you should focus on, along with the ones you should ignore. It challenges the role of habitual activities and allows you to regain control of your environment and external demands, rather than allow them to control you. By filtering out “busy” activities that provide minimal value to long term goals, you free up time for things that matter.
Urgent means that a task requires immediate attention. These are the to-do's that shout “Now!” Urgent tasks put us in a reactive mode, one marked by a defensive, negative, hurried, and narrowly-focused mindset. Important tasks are things that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals.
How can consistent help you with your Team?
Your team needs to know what the goal is for the business. The team also needs to know the overall objective if they are to aim at achieving results.
This all starts with the owner's Vision and this is the central aim for the team. From the Vision- a Mission Statement is created and the Goals and framework of how these are to be achieved come from these. By setting goals the business gains direction, purpose, and momentum.
The common goal must be Inspiring and engaging to act as a driving force encouraging owner and team in their daily activities.
Working toward common goals together raises morale, increases trust among the ranks and empowers work culture. Employees invest themselves more deeply in the goal-setting process and find meaning in their achievements. Morale increases when staff get brought in on the goal-setting process.
How can consistent planning help you with Money?
Research shows that companies who have a business plan are more likely to increase profit than those who don’t.
There are four key areas that can help drive profitability. These are reducing costs, increasing revenues, increasing productivity, and increasing efficiency all of these require planning.
Businesses are 42% more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down as this not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but doing so plays a part in motivating you to complete the tasks necessary for your success.
Your chances of success can be optimized by adopting a continuous and frequent business planning cycle that keeps the plan up-to-date. If you regularly assess your performance against the plans and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives. It can also signpost where and why you're going astray. Many businesses choose to assess progress every three or six months.
Business planning should be seen as an investment, devoting upfront time and resources will reap benefits far in excess of the initial investment. So if you lack the expertise or time, then seek help. Often a few days’ work can make a huge impact on the next 3 – 5 years of a business.
One of our programmes, GrowthCLUB specifically focuses on organizing a tailored business plan for the quarter ahead. If you are keen on experiencing all the benefits of structured 90 day planning with your peers, find out more here. Or simply contact us.