The benefits of business planning in 2019

March 15, 2019

Do you have a current Business Plan? Have you set realistic, measurable goals with clear strategies to achieve them? Do you regularly review your goals and have someone to hold you accountable?

Today’s business environment is continually changing, so having some clarity about where you want to head, and what strategies or actions you will implement to get there, is essential. 

The foundation for any business planning process is not only understanding your business but also understanding what motivates or drives you as a business owner.

Asking the right questions early in the business planning phase is critical to developing a plan that will deliver the results that you require.

1: What do you want from your business?
What are your drivers for being in business? What are your business goals and your personal goals? Remember your business is there to serve you; not the other way around.  Think about your ideal hours of work, holidays, and cash flow. Now consider how many hours you currently work, how many holidays you’ve had in the last year, and how much profit you are making. 

These are fundamental questions for any business owner; the key for any successful planning process is having a clear understanding of where you want to be in the future.

2: Where is your business right now?
You need to know this before you can develop your roadmap to where you want to be. It might seem obvious, but you need to know where you are at the moment before you can even start to think about where you’re heading.

3: How do you plan on getting from A to B?
A Business Plan provides direction, it’s the roadmap that shows you how to get from A) where you are as a business to B) where you want to go (business/personal goals). A good road map will ensure you don’t drive around in circles; it will give you clarity about where you want to go.

4: Are you measuring/tracking your performance?
How are you travelling, are you going to get to your destination? You need to be measuring your performance.  Whatever the top 5 performance metrics are for you, they MUST be captured and reported regularly.  It’s essential that you focus on a small number of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s); the top 5 will generally drive most of your business improvement.

5: Is anyone holding you accountable?
Who is the best person to help you create your Business Plan and make sure you do what you said you’d do as a result of that plan?  The person must be independent, and they must hold you accountable to the plan. You want someone who will ask the hard questions when goals are not achieved. Experience has taught us that the soft approach does not work.

Planning for success in 2019

We believe in the age-old saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail”.  In business, this starts with a good Business Plan. Every business needs a plan that guides them each week; a plan needs to be clear, concise and updated regularly. A Business Plan needs to be where it can be seen on a day to day basis and available to measure actual performance. Think about where you could make minor adjustments to improve your bottom line or give you the lifestyle that you want from owning your own business. Business Plans don’t only focus on the numbers; they also allow analysis of non-financial metrics such as business culture, staff performance and market opportunities.

Whether you are looking for financial improvements such as higher margins, improvement in cash wastage, reduction in debt, or non-financial which could include a plan for retirement, aligning staff to organisational goals, creating a better working environment or improving sustainability, a Business Plan will help achieve this. An investment in a sound Business Plan will not only provide you with direction but will benefit the overall performance of the business; the key is to take ownership of the Business Plan and drive its success.

Supporting your business

At Nexia New Zealand we pride ourselves on the value our business advisory services can add to your business. Our business planning workshops will provide clarity about what you want from your business this year and beyond. This clarity ensures that you will have articulated, measurable and achievable goals for the year, and the next 90 days that will drive the business where you want it to go.

A Business Plan isn’t any good without quality execution, so our quarterly coaching will provide accountability and keep you on task, ensuring you get what you want out of your business.

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