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Businesses with a clearly defined plan that provides a roadmap to achieving meaningful goals are more likely to increase their performance and profitability, according to Nexia New Zealand partner Andrew Hastie.
Andrew says business plans should be simple documents that everyone in an organisation can understand and act upon. He describes the best plans as “living documents” that adapt to changing circumstances within a business.
“Too often we get stuck by thinking that we need a huge, overly complex document, and these types of plans go straight into the bottom drawer and are rarely referred to again because they are not user-friendly.
Nexia New Zealand offers strategic business planning as part of its overall accounting and business advisory service offering, or as a standalone service. Andrew examines the financial side of the organisation while also analysing future business and personal goals. An integrated approach ensures that business and personal goals align with the direction of the company.
“I sit down with the business owner, and we do a review of where the business is currently at, along with the future direction of the organisation. We also discuss what success looks like as this is something that is unique to each business.
“We look at where you want the business to be in five, ten, 15 and 20 years. This can also bring up succession planning and personal goals, such as wanting to work a 30-hour week within the next few years.”
Once the initial business plan has been created, Andrew recommends quarterly meetings to review the plan and completed action points while setting up the next set of actions for business owners to work on. This process ensures that time is being spent working “on” the business as opposed to being completely immersed in running the company.
“It is important to make a commitment to working on constantly improving your business to boost strategic performance and to work towards achieving those long-term goals. By breaking larger goals into manageable chunks and creating action points, real progress is made towards achieving business growth and development.”
Andrew says it is a common misconception that business plans serve as an “ambulance at the bottom of the cliff” for organisations that are in strife. He believes that all companies can benefit from business planning, no matter how successful they are now.
“You need to be agile and adaptable to do well in business over the long-term. There are many examples of previously successful companies all over the world that are now obsolete because they missed a vital clue that could have helped them to thrive.
If you would like to start the process of mapping out your business strategy, please speak to your Nexia advisor today!