Last week we stressed the importance of business planning and gave you some basic ideas of how to go about planning for the future of your business.

This week we will discuss the business planning process in more depth and look at ways that you can properly plan for the survival and growth of your business – all businesses should be completing this process and reviewing it regularly.

Starting a plan for your business requires research.

You will need to research the figures from your previous financial year, do some market research, research your competitors and also research any risks (such as an economic downturn) that might arise during the upcoming financial year.

You need to set clear and achievable goals for your business.

In order to be successful you need to have some idea of what you want to achieve over the year and also set milestone points where you can congratulate yourself and your staff for achievements or you can look further into why you did not reach the milestone in the time allotted.

Your business plan should take in all facets of your business.

You need to clearly set goals for your managers, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for staff and you also need to let them know what is expected of them for the year.

Feedback from your staff is also very important.

There could be a reason that a product is underperforming, maybe demand has decreased, a new product has come onto the market that circumvents your product or there could be quality concerns.

Talk to your staff and get their feedback about products and services and how you can improve as a manager – while also giving them feedback on how they are performing in their role.

Having staff is a two way street – good staff are hard to find and bad staffing decisions can have huge ramifications for your business.

You will need to continually review, revise and update your business plan.

Things will change throughout the year. Market conditions will change, you could have staff changes, you could acquire (or lose) a large client and suppliers could affect your business in a positive or negative way.

There are SO many variables that you need to take into account in your business plan and in the way you run your business.

When you do review your business plan – you can use your expected figures as opposed to your actual figures to see whether or not your outcomes have been positive or negative and then explore the causes further.

You can distribute the plan to staff or you can choose to keep it for management. However, it is important that you make it clear to staff your expectations for the year and let them know how you will handle missed KPIs or reward KPIs and targets that are met.

Think Accountants know business, they understand and encourage planning and they know your business. Contact Paul and his team today to discuss planning for the 19/20 financial year and how you can make the process a useful and successful one.