Prepare a business plan for COVID-19 recovery
You probably didn’t factor a global pandemic and national lockdown into your business plan! So now is definitely a good time to revisit your business plan for the next year (If you made a plan in the first place??)
What is a business plan?
Your business plan is a management tool, designed to suit the structure and needs of your particular business. There is not a one-size-fits-all business plan, or a set formula that you have to follow.
Here at Balance we have a long term plan which consists of our overall goals and objectives but every year we prepare a business plan to cover the year ahead. In the plan we tend to cover all aspects of the business including sales, staff, computer software, suppliers and premises. Our starting point, however, is usually to look at last year’s performance (financial and other) and decide what we want to change and where we can improve. We usually start by looking to increase turnover and that leads to questions as to what type of additional turnover we want and that, in turn, determines where we need to look to get it—referrals, cross selling, up selling and marketing. We also look at things that worked well for us last year so that we can build upon those and also what didn’t work well for us so we can eliminate or improve those areas.
After that we look to put together a working plan for the year ahead with tasks and deadlines to follow. The increased turnover may well lead to a requirement for additional staff, equipment or office space so those all have to be factored in to the plan. In the end we have a working business plan that we follow closely, amending and updating as the year progresses—it means that we are no longer working in the dark, aimlessly with no idea of where we are going or when we have got there. It’s amazing how much easier it is to run and grow your business when you have a plan to work to, after all don’t they say—
FAIL TO PLAN=PLAN TO FAIL
When we are preaching to our clients about the benefit of having a business plan, they often say that they are too busy to plan or that they don’t have a formal plan but they keep all of their ideas in their head. The problem here is that if it is in your head then that is probably where it will stay so it is really important to get the plan down on paper (written, computer or whatever). Some clients, however, just can’t be bothered with the hassle of writing paragraphs after paragraph of a planning document so we encourage them to use something called mind mapping—this involves getting all of your ideas and plans down in a diagram or pictorial format instead of a long wordy document. Apparently the human brain finds it easier to follow diagrams like this rather than boring text.
OK so this was a very quick overview of business plans and the need to have one. There is no doubt that you will be better able to manage your business if you have a plan to work to. If you want to talk to us about business plans then please contact us. We can get involved at many different levels to help you have a better business.