2018 Business Plan
Get Your Business Off To The Best Start In 2018
It’s time for your 2018 Business Plan.
It’s a brand new year and it’s also the perfect time to reflect on where you’re at as a business and where you would like to be by the end of the year.
A thoughtful business plan is the perfect tool for ensuring your business stays on track both financially and operationally. But it’s surprising how many business owners fail to take the time out to thoroughly plan. It’s too easy sometimes to get caught up in day-to-day operational issues; however, just as you would set aside time in your diary for an important client meeting, so you should diarise time to adequately prepare and plan for the coming year. After all, in the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” In this article we share some tips on how to get your business off to the best possible start in 2018.
Prepare a plan
The first step is to sit down with the key managers or staff members in your business.
If you are a sole trader, sit down with a trusted business advisor or mentor.
Have an honest discussion about how things have gone – what went well last year and what could be improved upon. Brainstorm ideas on what the priorities are for your business in 2018 in terms of target markets, product focus, new services and the customer experience. Try to think beyond the standard factors such as sales, costs and expenses and consider what really drives your business. It could be conversions, page views, clicks, presentations, seminars or other factors. Be as creative as possible in this stage.
Set realistic goals and budgets
This stage is all about narrowing down your focus into realistic and achievable goals and budgets. Make it clear who is responsible for overseeing and achieving each of the goals and set milestones along the way so that you can check on progress throughout the year. The goals should make clear the budgetary or operational requirements needed to ensure completion. After all, if you can’t measure it, then you can’t manage it.
And rather than having a list of 20 goals, why not focus on just a few key priorities which are far more likely to be attainable than a long list. These Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) don’t all have to be financial. You could measure the number of new sales leads, the number of closed sales or your Net Promoter Score performance.
Don’t make the mistake of completing your plan and filing it away as a job done.
Effective business plans are those that are regularly monitored, tweaked and refined in the light of changing economics and marketplaces, otherwise how will you know that you are on track?
At the very least your plan and all the associated budgets should be reviewed on a quarterly basis and modified if needs be. A well-managed business is better equipped to deal with unexpected challenges and unforeseen economic changes.
Keep it short
Finally, a word about length. Some businesses mistakenly believe that to be any good a business plan should be detailed and preferably run into several hundred pages. The opposite is in fact true. The best business plans are those that take a strategic view – individual team and departmental plans can provide the detail. In fact, given that the business plan will be used to guide day-to-day management, it’s a distinct advantage for it be short and concise.
Business planning is all about making sure your resources and priorities are properly managed and organised. Use these tips to get your business off to the best possible start in 2018 or better still get in touch with us here at Generate Accounting. Arrange a complimentary consultation with Generate Accounting today for some expert guidance on setting up robust business planning processes in your company.