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Planning for Success in 2012 or Crossing Your Fingers?

by Alan Briggs on 8th March 2012

Are you planning for success or business failure? I am asking because we are now heading into spring and for some businesses those green shoots are starting to appear.

Naturally as spring approaches people start to think about their plans for the future; already the TV and advertising campaigns for Easter started in January. But just stop for a moment! Let me tell you about a frightening picture that I am seeing.

Even in the days of a strong economy, when I have the first initial session with a client one of the first few questions that I ask business owners or directors is “can you show me your business plan”?  In many cases they say they don’t have one or don’t see the need for one. Even if they do have a plan, often out comes a dusty document that they have not looked at since they started up in business.

I then ask, “by the way where are you going for your holiday” ?  Then they tell me where, when and if pressed how they are travelling, the cost and intend to pay for the break.

Now let’s think sensibly about this. These people are seriously saying that they put more planning into what they are doing for their two week annual holiday than the other 50 weeks activity, their livelihood, their security and ultimately the money that actually pays for those two weeks!

So what about you?

I know that some of you will say, “I can’t plan my business is too fluid” or “things change so my plan will be out of date.” does this sound familiar?

I can tell you, in the twenty years that I have been helping businesses to survive and grow, I have never found a business that is unable to plan for the future.

So what are we actually talking about here? a huge document like ‘War and Peace’?  No of course not what’s needed is a simple, concise document.

Do you have a written business plan narrative that contains:

A clear written vision for the next 3 years and beyond with clear measurable objectives and targets. supported by a SWOT and PESTLE analysis.

A marketing plan (supported by good market and competitor research) with clear measurable objectives and targets.

A financial plan including a Sales forecast, Cash Flow forecast and a Profit and Loss forecast with forecast and actual performance tracked.

A people and resources plan.

All of these should be living documents that change and reflect the dynamic business world that we now operate in.

If you haven’t got this in place then you are effectively working blind. There’s an old adage that comes to mind, what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done.

Of course I can help you to put all of this in place and ensure that you just importantly implement the plan using either my start up programme options, Launch Pad or or if you are running an existing business and want to really make 2012 a year for business success, my Evolve Programme  is designed just for you! If you have a high growth business then my Excite Programme will make sure that you grow rapidly and avoid the pitfalls.

The real questions that you should ask yourself are, do you want your business to survive 2012 and just how successful do you want to be?

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