Thursday, 18 April 2013

Plan To Prosper

From the 'Drop the Monkey Business' column in The Galway Advertiser 18/4/2013 P.105

Preparation is key to succeeding in business, yet not enough is done on a regular bases when it comes to business planning. With so little time to work on the business, most business owners are only working in the business and in turn they lose sight of why they started in the first place. They often wonder why it’s not going to plan.  A very common reason is that there was no plan to begin with.  Many businesses start out as an idea, growing their commercial outings on a wing and a prayer without ever writing a business plan. These businesses, although they may do well, may never meet their true potential as they drive their business without knowing exactly where they are going. When you write a business plan for your future or current business you set precise intentions in place that allow you to track your progress and follow up on goals. You need to establish what's going to happen? When it’s going to happen? How it’s going to happen? And why should it happen?  In truth, you're really just expanding on the ideas in your head, putting them in logical form on paper and making a commitment to work hard on that idea. If you plan to succeed you need to write a business plan and plan to prosper. With so many businesses opening and closing today it’s very important to forecast your desired outcome and get it as near to a real estimate as possible. You need to know exactly where you intend to be with you business when entering the exciting and tough world of commerce, selling, buying, customers, lack of customers, profits and the reality of being responsible for others.
Your business plan is the foundation of your business that will give support and energy to your original idea. It will give you clarity on how you aim to grow the business, how many staff you intend to hire, what kind of assets you’ll need, how much capital you’ll want to raise, who you key customers will be, how you’ll serve them and why you want to be in business. You can use a business plan to grow your existing business and establish a strategy that will allow that plan to move forward at a measureable pace.
As your business grows you need to organise and plan in a professional and fast thinking manner; be strategic. When you think of a new business idea or if you simply wish to focus on your existing business use a plan to establish the right steps to take when starting. Think about what you need to do, what resources you will need, and what you expect to achieve. Develop a plan; don't do it on a wing and a prayer. Do it with the confidence of knowing every single angle has been covered and all foreseeable pitfalls have been accounted for. A business plan is of vital importance if you're going to start a business of any type. It is also an essential tool for established businesses that wish to grow and keep the business in great shape. Great businesses are dynamic; they change and grow. The company's original business plan needs to be revised, as new plans are made. Reassessing the business plan can also help you see what plans have been successfully accomplished, what parts of the plan need tweaking, or what plans should be stopped so that the energy of the company can be refocused on what is actually working. The business plan allows you to put your long term and short-term goals for your business at the best viewpoint so your can achieve attainable objectives and reach your desired outcome. It's not always the plan that’s important; it's the pre-planning, the planning, and re-planning, which all happens in a continuous loop that feeds into the flow of success.

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