Regardless of whether it’s a 120 page document or a 4 page ‘Action Plan,’ the point is planning is essential to the successful growth and development of your business, your team, and your long-term future.

When business owners are asked, ‘What are some of the positives about being in business?’ many reply:

Being my own boss, Independence, Financial reward, Greater income, Lifestyle and more free time, Personal satisfaction, A challenge, Building a future, Control.

When asked, “What are some of the negatives about being in business?’ many reply:

Long hours, Stress, Financial risk, Personal risk, Less time for family, Dealing with customers, No holidays, No sick pay, Feeling out of control, Staff, Full responsibility, Tax, Paperwork, Bad debts, Fighting day-to-day fires

Interestingly, the negatives always far outweigh the positives.

Staff and customers almost always land on the negative list, and many business owners also mention a sense of isolation.  This is a situation that must be reversed for you to realise your dreams within your business.  Business planning can help you do that.

Business Planning is designed to MINIMISE the NEGATIVES and MAXIMISE the POSITIVES

A Business plan is designed to help give back to you an experience of all the positive reasons why you went into business. 

The two most critical points you need to know are

  • Where you’re going
  • Where you are now

You need to establish where you’re going which involves identifying say in 2 years’ time, what you want your business to be like.  What kind of turnover, profits, number of staff, location, equipment and resources, debt levels, and so on.  Another important question is, what will you be doing? Will you be still involved on a day-to-day basis, or will you have replaced yourself with a manager? Or perhaps you plan to sell the business by that time. Regardless, what about YOU?

To gain greater clarity on these issues, this can be taken a step further.  What levels of income, profits and lifestyle would you like to achieve from your business? Once you have those issues clear in your mind, it’s time to turn back and review the business.

Now consider what turnover and profit the business needs to be doing to deliver that. What does it need to be like to fulfil your goals? So, rather than you, as the business owner, giving the business all your energy and resources, what returns would you like the business to provide?  From here, the business plan maps out HOW to achieve those goals.  That is, what strategies and ideas will be used in every area of your business to take the business from where it is now to where you want it to be in a certain period of time.  As such, a business plan can provide clarity about your future and the future of your business that most business owners lack.  This can place you ahead of your competitors as well.

A Business Plan maps out where you are now, where you want to be and the strategies to get you there.