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.

“I recommend a maximum of one to two pages which includes clear action points to help move the business forward.”

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.

“Having a comprehensive business plan in place with clear well-defined goals will drive an organisation forward and maximise business success.”

What is in it for me?
  • An independent, external evaluation of your current business situation and a practical plan to help you achieve business success.
  • A clear direction, strategic goals, and focus for your organisation.
  • Accountability through regular meetings held throughout the year and ongoing actions to complete.
  • Increased profitability and business performance through strategic decision making.
  • Tying business and personal goals together to achieve the best results.
  • Succession planning to ensure the future of your business.
 Success stories
  • A business with high stock levels received practical and realistic advice on how to reduce stock levels and was able to achieve their goal.
  • A business owner who had all the processes and operations in his head was able to transfer this knowledge into a simple plan that enabled him to pass his expertise and experience onto other staff so that the first steps towards a succession plan could be put into motion.

If you would like to start the process of mapping out your business strategy, please speak to your Nexia advisor today!

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