You can’t plan for every eventuality, but you can plan to withstand shocks. Having a business plan and following our 3-Step Annual Business Plan Process will help you make your business as robust as possible, should such a shock occur.
Planning is about influencing the things you can influence, while taking account of the things you can’t. The latter are risks or opportunities that may or may never eventuate.
By changing the things you can change, you can position yourself to take advantage of opportunities should they arise, or mitigate risks that might flow.
An Annual Business Plan is a practical document, but it needs to guided by the high-level, strategic goals you have for your business.
As I’ve said in other blogs, a three- to five-year Strategic Plan can be written on the back of an envelope, if that’s your style, but it needs to clearly show your people (and your financiers!) where your business is today, and where you want it to be in the future.
Some things to include in a Strategic Plan are:
- What business lines we’re focusing on
- What markets we’re looking at
- What product range we’re looking at
- Where we’re going
- How we intend to get there over a defined period.
The Annual Business Plan will then say righto, within that context, how am I going to operate for the next 12 months?
- What’s going to be my operational focus?
- What’s going to be my financial focus?
- What’s going to be my risk focus?
- What’s going to be my people management focus?
This Annual Business Plan should be in the minds of your whole team. If they’re meeting on a monthly basis as a management team, or as supervisors, the meeting should refer to elements of the Plan, because that is the context point around why they’re doing what they’re doing.
If you are interested in seeking business planning support, contact the team at JPAbusiness on 02 6360 0360 for a confidential, obligation-free discussion.
James Price has over 30 years' experience in providing strategic, commercial and financial advice to Australian and international business clients. James' blogs provide business advice for aspiring and current small to mid-sized business owners, operators and managers.