Is your business plan collecting dust?

Banks require one to loan you money, accountants recommend them, and business owners think (or know) they need them; but are you getting any value from your Business Plan, and do you really need one?

A professional business plan covers the following; an executive summary; company description; services overview; marketing plan; operational plan; and a financial plan. A good business plan will focus the purpose of the business and links the owner’s vision for the business to the actual operations in the business.

A business plan is important, a vision map is crucial if you want to grow your business. The ‘vision map’ should depict where you want the business to be in 3 to 5 years time; the business plan should map the steps to get you there.

Our role is to help business owners to clarify the vision for their business and identify the key priorities for the next twelve months . Often just having someone to talk through these areas is a valuable experience for the business owner, just to help them path a clear direction.

The types of questions every business owner should ask

  • Why am I in business
  • How profitable is my business now
  • How profitable do I want it to be
  • What turnover do I currently have and need
  • What type of clients will I have
  • How will I secure those clients
  • How many staff will I require
  • What will be different about the staff I have now and those I will need in 3 years time
  • What processes and IT will the business need to deliver these outcomes, and
  • What is my exit strategy

By helping business owner’s work through these questions and more, we are able to understand what is important to them and develop the vision map with them. This allows you to prioritise the key requirements in the business from the right employees to processes aligned with client outcomes and financial outcomes leading to the achievement of your vision for your business.

In our experience, business plans (if there is one) are too often shelved in the back office never to be seen again. If your plan is ‘out of action’ then it is time to see an adviser to help you get clarity around why you are in business and what you need to put in place to you achieve your true aspirations.

[Written by Nicole Florisson; As published in “In Business Tasmania” on 31st January 2011]