So, you built a business plan. And are you checking it regularly?
In this article, I would cove one of the subjects that we all know we should be doing. And that’s around planning now, specifically, our business plan.
Now, you might be in a position where you don’t have a business plan, and you’re making it up as you go along. But things seem to be going okay. But you’re not quite sure because you do not measure against anything. Or possibly you’re in a position where you’ve got a business plan. And you created it four or five years ago, but you haven’t checked it recently. And, you don’t know if you’re working to that plan, or to a new idea that you’ve been devising on the go, as you’ve been running your business.
Possibly you might be in a position where you have a plan; you’re working with this plan. But frequently the plan bears no resemblance to what you do with your business on a day to day basis. And therefore, you may very well feel a bit confused, and you don’t know which way you’re going to turn next to make it work for you. Maybe your in a place where your business plan is beautifully constructed, and you know exactly what you are doing on a day to day basis. You know, what’s happening in the month ahead, the year ahead, and you have already got your longer-term vision mapped out for the future, and you are working that plan.
You’re not only working to that business plan, but if and when something slightly different to that plan does come along you’re ahead of the game, and able to re-plan early, to allow for those changes.
You’re already working out all the different scenarios. You already have everything in hand.
Now, also imagine the business is working beautifully. And in fact, you are lucky enough to be in the position where you don’t need to be physically in the business all the time. This happy situation is occurring because you’re probably actively looking at the measurements and analytics that your business is giving back to you. So you can quickly check it against your business plan, and know immediately when you need to step in and make a change, and also when you need to leave it to run itself. This is the power of having a business plan. It’s the power of having something there that works for you.
There are different types of business plans, depending on what it is that you’re going to be doing for your business. Some business plans are such a large scale is going to be something to do with your whole team, the things that you’re objectively trying to do as a broader organisation.
Some business plans are more tactical in nature, some are short term plans, to cover things like projects or initiatives. Some may be related to trying to get a new product or service out, or something that even plans to make you more money. Then you’ve also got another kind of business plan, one which you might be used to secure investment From a bank, investor or a venture capitalist. Or you might be using it in the way of being able to secure the lease on your property, for your expansion plans in your head.
And all these different plans have different kinds of characteristics and require different levels of information. Therefore you need to make sure that when you’re creating your plan, you are creating with the right audience in mind. Because a business plan you might want to show to the bank manager is probably going to be different from the business plan you would show to an investor. And, those business plans will be modified from the one you will be using on a day to day basis to make sure your business is working.
And this comes down to others focusing on different things, they’will be looking for their perspective and from a bank’s position, they want to make sure they’re gonna be able to get their money back, with their return on top. With an investor, they may be looking for what their exit strategy is going to be, and how are you going to be able to guarantee a good return on investments coming back to them. And, what have you in place just in case something does go wrong. Maybee these business plans will also show how credible you as a person because it will be you as an individual they are investing in!
As for yourself, inevitably, when running and planning for your business, you have probably many other things to take into consideration. You may be looking at it from a perspective of what resources you need, personnel resources, potentially equipment requirements. Or the goods and materials that you need to create your products or services. All these aspects should be included in your business plan. So you know, as you start to expand, you can tell the difference between your variable cost your stepped costs, and your fixed expenses. So you can make the most of what you’ve got inside your business.
All these planning aspects need to be rounded off and thought about, because, if you’re not going to plan today for your future, when are you going to prepare for it.
Because if you’re not planning your own destiny, then you just fit into somebody else’s plan. And that means you’re missing out on the opportunities of today, tomorrow and the future and how you can make your business work even better.
So I challenge you to go out and have a look Your business plan, make sure it’s up to date and make sure is relevant. And if it isn’t, then get it up to date fast.
As the old proverb says, If you fail to prepare, you better prepared to fail.