Why would I want a Business Plan?

time to transform my businessMany clients ask why they should invest all the time, effort and angst creating a Business Plan when it usually ends up in a drawer, sitting on a shelf gathering dust or as a doorstop to keep the office door open.

It’s a great question particularly when most financial institutions require and many business books say a business plans should be a multi-page document filled with ‘Strategic Objectives’, ‘cash flow projections’, ‘marketing positioning’ and a whole heap of gobbledygook that scares the bejeezuz out of us because we don’t really understand what we are supposed to do.

I like to help my clients simplify this whole process and suggest they look at a business plan in the same way they would regard an itinerary for an overseas holiday. With an itinerary we first we decide our destination. Next we work out the stops along the way, then we work out our budget and lastly we bring together everything we need to have a great time.

If we use this analogy for our Business Plan we more easily create a fluid working document that enables both you and the people around you to KNOW where you are going and why you are going there – as I said before, a bit like the itinerary you use when heading off on a trip.

So how do you go about creating YOUR Business Plan?

First and foremost, it is really important to write down a really clear picture of what your business is going to look like in the future – your destination. What kind of premises will you operate from, what kinds of clients will you see, do you have more than one location and if so where are they located, how much money do you generate in the business and how much do you keep for yourself. Allow your heart to guide you in this vision of your future.

Next, write down how you intend to attract the clients you are choosing to work with – think about the places they are likely to congregate, the magazines they read and the types of information they would be keen to hear about. This will form the basis of your marketing, advertising and promotional activity.

Next, have a think about the money side of your business – how much is coming in, what are your expenses and then work out how much is left over – your budget and cash flow.

Next, think about how you will treat your clients, what sorts of files you will have to keep and how you will manage your business. You may use computer systems like MYOB or QuickBooks for your accounts. Even if you are not comfortable with technology, you will still require some sort of manual filing and reporting system to understand and control what is happening with the money in your business.

Once you have done these things – you have actually created a business plan.

The last trick is to keep your Business Plan handy and to use it as a barometer for decide what you do next.

Naturally, new opportunities will arise, so refer to your plan and check to see if they fit with your overall business direction. If they do, include them in your plan. If not discard them and stay focused on your intended direction.

Lastly, we recommend that you find a good business coach or mentor to help you along the way. In our experience, they can save you hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars by directing you into promotions and or time saving tools that are proven to work.

If you would like a handy template to guide you through this process simply request one through the Contact page on my website – www.TransformYourBusiness.com.au and I’ll happily send you one.