How to write a business plan when you’re not clairvoyant

There are so many unknowns at the moment. Your business plan for this year is probably as much use as a chocolate teapot in guiding your business through this challenging time. But how are you going to navigate your way out of the Corona pit if you don’t have a route map?

1.Start with your personal objectives.

Are these still the same? Many business owners are enjoying the time with family or not having to endure a commute. Do you still want what you did before?

We use a Balanced 10 Scorecard to look at 10 different aspects of our clients’ lives. Business and Finance are only two of the things that we believe need to be balanced in your life.

2. Business objectives.

With your new personal objectives where do you now see your business in 5 years time? Will you still need premises? Will you invest in software to increase productivity and save that precious time? This is your destination. It is common to set this out in financial terms.

3. 3 month plan

Just as you can’t drive a long distance in one go it is wise to plan stops along the way to take a break, stretch your legs, and make sure that you’re still heading in the right direction. A 3 month plan (or 90 days or 12 weeks) is a good period with a foreseeable timeline.

4. Where are you now?

Evaluate where you are now. What is working and what isn’t? What will take you towards your destination? What do you need to start doing and what should you stop? What can you change now and what will need to wait until we are able to live and work with the virus safely under control?

5. Action plan

How fast can you travel the route? Map out your detailed actions for the next 3 months. Think about what you need to do in terms of people, marketing, systems and products/services.

Each action should have a specific deadline and a person responsible. If it’s a longer term project then only include the actions which need to be taken in the next 3 months. The way to eat an elephant is one mouthful at a time.

6. Review

At the end of each quarter take time to review your progress. Celebrate your successes and learn from anything that didn’t go so well. Do you need to update your overall plan?

7. Reset

Reset your plan and actions for the next 3 months and you’ll gradually get closer to your 5 year goals for your business and personal life.

We can help you to keep track along the way with regular management accounts, business plans and advice. We also run our monthly FLYBY reviews so that you can book on each quarter to get help with points 6 and 7.

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