So, own up, is your business plan up to date?

Many business owners we meet do have a business plan, but it’s not actually helping them to understand and grow their business. That’s because, usually, it’s a glossy document put together in the early days, that contains some big projections in the hopes of securing a loan from the bank.

What that’s not doing is communicating to you the short and long-term goals for the business or offering a realistic strategy to actually reach them. Going through a real process of strategic planning will help you get to know yourself and your business. Plus, neuroscientists have proved that people who get their goals down in written form are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish them…

So where do we start?

Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time, or 10?

Thinking about the future and deciding what your long-term objectives are is the first step.

If your objectives are financial, then a good place to start is to look at your management information.

If you have no other methods of measuring performance, then using reliable monthly management accounts as the basis for discussion will be your best starting point. Management accounts will help you understand your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) – i.e. the financial indicators that you should be measuring and monitoring regularly in order to make those big decisions.

Have a look at our blog that explains in a little more detail what ‘management accounts’ are, and why you need them.

With your financial information to guide you, and your long-term objectives in mind, you can look at each area of your business and how it is functioning today. From there, you can write down all of the ideas and changes you’d like to implement in order to achieve the objectives you set out.

So, what about short term goals?

For very new businesses, short-term may mean a month. For others it could mean a year. Short-term goals are likely to be far more specific than long-term goals.

New businesses are much better at this sort of stuff than mature ones. They have enthusiasm, but perhaps more importantly, they don’t have the baggage – the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset, or the fear that change is somehow an admittance that they’ve been getting it wrong all these years. We all have to adapt in order to survive!

It is well known that there are only four ways to grow a business:

  • Increase the number of good customers
  • Increase the transaction frequency
  • Increase the average transaction value
  • Improve your business processes and the efficiency of your people

If you are going to achieve the five-year goals that you have set yourself, focusing on these areas must be a fundamental part of your short-term plans. Running through each of these points should lead you to ask several questions of yourself, your business and its processes.

But it’s hard sometimes to have the information, the original dream, the current reality, and the ideas for change floating around in your head, and to get it all onto paper whilst you’re still in the midst of business – taking phone calls, getting roped into meetings, dealing with that customer problem.

What you really need, is to stop reading this, get out of the office and starting writing.

Break free from all of those distractions for one day and book yourself into an A4G Strategic Planning Day. You’ll spend one-to-one time with an A4G Adviser, where you’ll:

  • Delve into your vision of the future of your business
  • Identify where the business is today
  • Have a fresh review of your products and services
  • Consider the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers
  • Evaluate your systems and procedures
  • Review your own role in the business
  • Discover changes that need to be made for profitable growth
  • Consolidate the plan to make it happen!

We’ve laid out typical costs here, but for a more tailored quote, based on your requirements, it’s best that we have a chat.

Register your interest on the form below, and we’ll be in touch!

Want to find out more?

Call us on (01474) 853856 and we will put you in contact with one of our advisers, or send us an enquiry by clicking below.

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