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Category - Business Planning

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1
Start A Helicopter View Business Plan
2
What A Business Plan Can Do For You
3
Don’t Forget To Plan For Contingencies
4
Clean Up Your Business While You’re Quiet
5
How Much Time Do I Need To Prepare A Business Plan?

Start A Helicopter View Business Plan

If you own a small business, you need a business plan.

If you haven’t got one, it can only because you haven’t realised what benefits they can bring you, or you think you haven’t got time.

Look, I can’t fool you – it will take some time to follow a good business plan process to write your business plan.

But it is an investment in time in your business because the process will not only reveal some real truths about your business, it will clarify your way forward.

Want to build a business you can be proud of?

If so, you can’t just head off on your merry way and hope for the best, even if you think you have a clear idea of the type of business you want to build.

Just as you can’t head off on a vacation without knowing where you want to go and what you want to do there, you can’t build your business into one that you can be proud of if you don’t know what would make you proud of it and how to put it together to get there.

Lack of time is only an excuse.

You can find the time if you thought it had value.

So how about spending a couple of hours with me and let’s go through and put together a simple helicopter view of your business plan?

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What A Business Plan Can Do For You

If you own a small business, then if you haven’t already prepared a business plan, you will have heard of them.

If you have not prepared your business plan, it’s probably because you can’t see what it can do for you.

You may think your business is too small, or that you can manage everything within the time you have, or that you can’t look too far ahead because it’s unpredictable.

You may think that it’s too much bother – you know what you want to do and you’ll just take small steps until you can afford the time or money to aim bigger.

In response to that, let me ask you this: whether you have only just started the business, or if you have been in business for a while, is the direction and progress of your business:

  • going exactly where you wanted to go and there have been no missteps or missed opportunities; and
  • proceeding in a time-scale that is how you want to progress, not too slowly for what you want and not so fast that you are overwhelmed?

I believe if you are truthful, you would have to say that often, you are overwhelmed, that sometimes you are frustrated you can’t grow faster, and sometimes, you wish you were able to make decisions about what to do next faster.

Well, if you did answer honestly, then you should be interested in why a business plan can benefit your situation.

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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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