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Category - Business Planning

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Don’t Forget To Plan For Contingencies
2
Clean Up Your Business While You’re Quiet
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How Much Time Do I Need To Prepare A Business Plan?
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Action Planning
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Driven From Goal To Strategy

Don’t Forget To Plan For Contingencies

If one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that you can’t predict the unpredictable!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about planning.

That’s why I preach about how small businesses need to prepare business plans. I write about marketing plans. If your small business was beginning to grow I’d be talking to you about strategic plans and risk management plans!

No, what I’m saying is that you must continue your planning habit and prepare your plans for your business so that you can look ahead, understand what might happen, and decide what you will do to take advantage of opportunities while mitigating the threats.

However, while you are doing this, your process needs to also understand that your plans must include contingencies.

This means identifying different, possible contingencies or scenarios.

You can certainly identify multiple scenarios and then plan for each eventuality, but I think that’s taking the attempt to recognise uncertainty a little too far!

The most practical way of planning for contingencies is to identify the most likely scenario (given what you know right now), identify a likely worst-case scenario, and identify a likely best-case scenario.

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Clean Up Your Business While You’re Quiet

OK, so it’s early January; you’re still full from the celebratory food and drink, and you may not have opened your business in the New Year yet.

Even when you open this or next week, maybe because of the usual holiday period and a little virus it will be a bit quiet in these first few weeks.

Well, instead of doing nothing, how about taking advantage of this and cleaning up some things in and around your business? Now is a great time to tidy up inefficiencies, catch up on some administration, finish those new ideas you have, and make plans for the future.

Here are some of the things you can do around and in your business when it’s quiet.

First, you can sit quietly over the next couple of days and prepare your business plan for the coming year.

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How Much Time Do I Need To Prepare A Business Plan?

My work is advising small businesses on growth strategies.

Most of these small businesses turn over several hundred thousand dollars to 4 or 5 million dollars in sales and employ anything from zero to 10 or 20 people.

They are not huge.

At this size, they don’t have a lot of spare capacity and they tell me that while they want to get organised, while they want to plan ahead and be clear about their business direction, while they understand how a business plan can clarify their daily confusion about what to do next, they are worried they don’t have the time and capacity to take on the task of business planning.

So the obvious question I’m asked is how much time do you need to prepare your own business plan?

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Action Planning

Planning in your business could be part of an ongoing planning cycle.

In a small business, many parts of this planning cycle overlap – just because your business is probably not as complex as large businesses.

However, in any planning cycle, eventually, the rubber has to hit the road and people have to do the detailed, tactical work to implement strategies and achieve audacious goals.

The way we translate big visions, ambitious goals and inspiring strategies to getting the work done is to cascade the plans into Action Plans.

What are Action Plans, and how do we create them?

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Driven From Goal To Strategy

When you are preparing your Business Plan, you should have articulated a clear and well-defined, measurable vision, and then sought to understand where you stand right now so that you can identify the gaps between where you are and where you want to go.

The process of business planning should take you from having a clear picture of what you want to achieve, through understanding your current capacity and capability to do this, and then finding strategies to actually achieve this.

That journey involves setting some clear goals and then setting strategies that align to reaching those goals.

How do you do this?

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