Happy New Year! 2016 has arrived and with that it’s time to review your wins from last year, make your resolutions, and set out your plan to take your business to where you want it to be by the end of 2016.
Businesses around the country are finally starting to feel the effects of our economies return to growth. When setting out your plan for this year, we cannot stress how important it is to ensure that you are ready to take advantage of the recovery, and have the resources available to capitalise on the opportunities it will bring your way.
If you are unsure of where to start, or need a more structured environment outside the office to develop your plan, you can give your business a head start and join us at our 2016 Business Planning Workshop Thursday 14th January. Click here for more information.
If you are putting off creating a business plan and think it’s too hard or unnecessary, here are some key benefits to business planning which may help you change your mind:
1. A Business Plan will keep you on strategy
Goals cannot be achieved without a clearly defined strategy. However, it can be hard to stick to strategy once we get back into the daily routine and interruptions of running a business. Use your business plan to help summarise the main points of your strategy as a reminder to help you stay on track for achieving your end goals.
2. Your Business objectives will be clear
Every business and its team members need set objectives to strive towards in order to grow and develop. Use your plan to define and manage specific measurable objectives like number of leads, sales conversions, margins or new product launches. Define your success in objective terms.
3. Your educated guesses will be better
Use your plan to refine your educated guesses and carry out some more detailed research and analysis about things like potential market, sales, costs of sales, sales drivers, lead processing and business processes.
4. Priorities will make more sense
Aside from the strategy, there are also priorities for other factors of your business like growth, management and financial health to consider. Use your plan to set the groundwork for these, and then to revise as the business evolves.
5. You’ll understand interdependencies
Use a plan to keep track of what needs to happen and in what order. For example, if you have to time a product release to match a testing schedule or marketing to match a release, your business plan can be invaluable in keeping you organised and on track.
6. Set milestones to keep you on track
Use a business plan to keep track of dates and deadlines in one place. This is valuable even for the one-person business and vital for teams. Celebrating milestones achieved will bring momentum to you and your team and a desire to achieve again.
7. It will help you delegate
If working less hours is one of your resolutions for 2016, your business plan is the ideal place to set out your key objectives, delegate responsibility and clarify who on your team is responsible for what. Every important task should have one person in charge.
8. Managing team members and tracking results will be easy
Including your team in your business plan will help ensure everyone in the business is working towards a common goal. Each individual will know their role in achieving this goal and can be held accountable for it.
9. You can better plan and manage cash flow
No business can afford to mismanage cash. A cash flow plan is a great way to tie together estimates on sales, costs, expenses, assets you need to buy and debts you have to pay.
10. Course corrections will keep your business on track for success
Having a business plan gives you a way to be proactive — not reactive — about business. Don’t wait for things to happen. Plan them. Follow up by tracking the results and making course corrections along the way to keep you on track.
Once you have your plan in place you will have a clear picture of your business and direction it is going to take in 2016. Make sure to review it regularly and make adjustments as necessary, and then watch your business take off in 2016.
Join us on Thursday 14th January, at our 2016 Business Planning Workshop, when we will help you develop your winning plan for 2016. Click here to avail of our early bird special offer.