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  • Writer's pictureEmily Inman

A bad business plan can do more harm than good....

Most business plans I get to see are pretty useless for the business owner.

They’re slapped together at the prospect of a last minute bank meeting or just because the business thinks it should have one.

I'll see a stab in the dark turnover and profit figure, with no understanding of how that figure will be achieved. The figures are usually so far off, that the plan loses any of its meaning very quickly.

It usually explains at length how great the business is and how amazing the services are and maybe there will be a few mentions of random marketing strategies, and you’ll usually find a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis in there too. It all sounds very fancy, and could be a great sales document but does it really help anyone who’s working in the business, or making any real impact in the performance of the business?

However, I also get to see some amazing business plans in action, and in these cases the company, the owners and its team members are thriving.

But what’s the difference?

A good business plan clearly articulates the “vision” of the owner. A good business planning session really gets to the route of your “why” and how you want to design and build your business.

A good plan is reversed engineered to ensure that it is designed to make sure that it delivers on the personal goals of all directors. This means that we work with you to uncover your personal goals (e.g. wanting to maintain an income of £250k and upgrading from a £750k house to a £1m house) and working backwards from that to find out how much sales, marketing and project work your company actually needs to deliver in order to achieve those goals.

It’s quite often the case that a director doesn’t want to focus on business growth but might be wanting to have more time away from the business whilst maintaining profitability.

In both cases the relevant direction and vision of the company will be clearly articulated in the plan, making sure everyone is on the same page. From here we can then devise strategies to achieve the vision.

There will then be clear annual targets that are broken down into easy to follow shorter targets and clear next steps that the directors need to take.

All of this clearly and simply articulated on one easy to follow page.

This plan is a REALLY important working document for the directors to follow and share with their teams, and not just a last minute sales document to present to the bankers.

It eliminates two of the greatest business enemies; overwhelm and procrastination.

If you need help with your business planning, please call 01708 203003 or email to book in for a complimentary proactive accounting meeting.

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