Author: Annette Cotter. Director. Cotter Consulting
We all work hard in our businesses and make the best decisions we can with the resources available. But how often do we stop & reflect and plan the business journey to be smarter, strategic and more profitable? To do lists are great and absolutely essential to keep things on track, delegate and share details and provide structure to the work processes but are your everyday tasks aligned with the big picture of your business? Do they fit your overall goal for your business? Do your business goals with feed into your personal goals and help support each other to make you happy, heathy & satisfied with the directions & choices you are making?
Taking time to plan your goals and align your business objectives helps you stay focused, your team engaged and results happen.
So what are we talking about here? What’s the answer? A roadmap for your business, a business plan… Whether it’s as lengthy as a bible or a simple flowchart any plans, is better than no plan.
Where do I start you ask? At the end, I say… With the results you want to achieve – a profit goal, number of clients or whatever your measurements and idea of success may be…
What customers or clients will deliver your results? Are they your current customer? Or do you need to go out & find them? So, how you do find them, communicate with them and let them know all about what you have to offer – this becomes your strategy and marketing action plan to deliver your results.
Next? Do you need to modify or change the operational components of your business to deliver these results / or communicate with this customer? Do you need more or less staff or resources or a bigger factory or – you see where we’re I’m going here so think about the operational aspects of your business that you need to deliver your success plan and then add your strategies and actions.
What else is important to your business? What keeps you awake at night? Do these issues, concerns or weaknesses need to be considered also? Add them in, plan the actions to overcome or minimise these issues and use them to your advantage or better deal with them when they arise. You don’t want any surprises that will take your eye of the ball and distract you for your core business goal.
Speaking of goals, that’s the next the component to consider off your business plan- what’s your goal, your big picture, your pie in the sky dream for your business? Is it 5 or 15 years in the making, is it achievable and is it realistic? Timely? SMART? Does it have any $ involved? Does it fit your overall business and results that we’ve already discussed? Does it sit well in your gut and feel right?… For you, your family, your team and business conduct?
By answering all the above Qs and thinking through the actions required to deliver to those results… congratulations – you’ve formed your business plan! Yep, it’s that easy! No thousand word document or ring binding required…document it all in a logical flowchart and start working on your achieving your goals, delivering on results and keeping that customer coming back for more.
Of course, you can add fancy graphs, spreadsheets and pretty pictures…
But please don’t be overwhelmed by the business plan process, it is an effective tool to help deliver these best results you can for your business growth into the future.