Planning for success in life and business
19th March 2010
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Planning for success......

As we move forward in 2010 the most successful and profitable businesses will all have one thing in common, they will all have a plan. These businesses will know where they are, where they are going and will have an idea of what they need to do to get there. They will have targets that they will regularly monitor and review and will react and implement change if they need to.

At this point you may be thinking:

I haven’t got time to write a formal plan;


I don’t need to plan, I am the business and I know what I am doing;


We don’t need to have a plan, we are a small family business and are too small for all that formal stuff;


A variety of other things that will stop you from sitting down and simply assessing where you are and where you want to be.

My answer to these statements is easy - ‘running a business without a plan is like getting into a car and driving without any idea of your final destination – you just wouldn’t do it’.

A plan should be seen as the ‘roadmap’ for getting to where you want your business to be and should link where you are now to where you want to be in the future. A plan does not have to be too detailed and should not be more than a couple of pages long. In fact some of the best plans are what we would term a ‘one page plan’ which as the name suggests is only one page long.

Getting your key objectives down on paper will help to cement them in your mind. It will also give you a document that you can refer back to and allow you to easily monitor performance and benchmark where you are, to where you wanted to be.

The benefits of making your plan will far out weigh the time costs of actually making the plan.  Some of the key benefits are:

  • The ability to monitor progress against targets
  • You can identify potential problems and take appropriate action
  • Improve the decision making process, giving you greater control over your business
  • Improve confidence in making key decisions
  • You and your team can focus on clear targets and objectives and stay on course
  • Improve staff motivation, focus, and accountability
  • Improve overall efficiency

Your plan should include:

  • A brief summary of where you are now
  • A brief summary of your key objectives/targets for the future
  • Brief notes of how you are going to get there

Key points to think about are:

  • Key figures such as turnover, staff costs, staff numbers, gross margin etc
  • New and existing products and services
  • Your market position
  • Your current or new/potential customers
  • Your personal objectives
  • Marketing
  • Competition

In order for your plan to be beneficial your targets and objectives need to be measurable in some way. They also need to be achievable and realistic. You need to be honest with yourself – it will be de-motivational for you and your team to set and not achieve un-realistic targets. Furthermore, you will not be able to react if you cannot measure whether or not you are achieving your targets. 

For example, setting the target of having the biggest turnover in the area for your industry is most probably both not realistic and not easily measurable – you can’t easily know what your competitor’s turnover is. However, setting the target of increasing your turnover by 10% over the next 12 months by adding a further 5 key clients to your portfolio is both specific, measurable and can be monitored and easily worked towards.

Your plan should be dynamic and should be reviewed and monitored on a regular basis. This allows you to adapt your strategy and put in place changes where necessary. 

In summary if you have a documented plan you and your team will know what you are aiming for, you can monitor performance, track results and make informed decisions that will help you to move your business forward.

If you would like help writing your ‘one page plan’ or would like to discuss how a plan can help you and your business please get in touch.

Tim Pearce (Director)

Crump Pearce & Co Limited
Chartered Certified Accountants

43 Merstow Green
WR11 4BB

01386 49999

About the Author

Tim P

Member since: 28th January 2011

I am a Chartered Certified Accountant and director of Crump Pearce & Co a local firm of accountants, business advisors and tax consultants.

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