“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Do you want to know the direction you’re heading in? Then business planning is what you want.
Business Planning Key Elements
Your business plan is a living document. Setting out your Vision & Strategy, your target market, your strengths and weaknesses. The business environment changes constantly resulting in your plan changing.
As a living document your business plan grows and changes. Creating a business plan and then letting it gather dust on the shelf, begs the question…why bother?
Keeping your business updated and refreshed is not only excellent practise, it is revitalising for you, the business owner.
Linking your business plan and financial forecasts is a great idea. Having an integrated management accounting system to feed into your financial forecasting is an even better idea.
As you shift your operations to take advantage of the new opportunities that emerge, as they do, re-do your business plan. Doing this can show even more opportunities. Reviewing your SWOT analysis as new opportunities emerge creates a wider awareness of what’s possible.
Be realistic, keep it prudent and plausible. Over-promise and under deliver and you will head in the wrong direction. Setting smaller steps towards achieving your goals builds motivation and momentum as you arrive at each milestone. Setting your milestones too far apart can impact negatively on your motivation.