Are Business Plans Still Worth The Time & Effort?
While a robust business plan is considered essential in any business, sadly not every entrepreneur sees the need for one.
We regularly come across business owners who haven’t got a business plan.
Some are complacent, assuming that their dedication, passion and optimism is sufficient to get them where they want to be. Many claim they’re far too busy. Others are reluctant to physically write their goals down in a business plan; fearing that if they do, they’ll put themselves under immense pressure and encourage failure.
There are dozens of articles online claiming that business plans are outdated or irrelevant; but thankfully, not everyone agrees with that statement.
What’s The Secret To Success?
Today’s most successful entrepreneurs have one major thing in common. They’ve learnt to appreciate the value of dedicating as much time to working ‘ON’ their business (setting realistic goals and strategies) as they do ‘IN’ their business (actually doing the job and carrying out their day-to-day activities).
A business plan is, and always has been, an important strategic tool for every entrepreneur. A tool that forces them to focus on the specific steps necessary to make their business ideas succeed. A tool that makes them accountable for setting both short-term and long-term objectives; and to be able to modify said objectives depending on their circumstances.
And let’s not assume that this is just an activity reserved for start-up businesses.
Business planning is an ongoing activity that should be reviewed and updated regularly, or at least whenever there is a change in the business’ circumstances.
For example when companies:
• acquire a huge new account
• take a hit from a significantly large bad debt
• take on a business development manager or key member of staff
• acquire some new technology that helps them to work smarter, not harder
Having a great business idea is no longer enough. Even the most sensational business ideas can be totally useless if you don’t take time out to research, formulate, execute and implement a strategic plan to make your business idea work.
Value Added Service
At BWP Inspire we want to see all of our clients succeed in business; which is why we offer them preferential access to our business planning service.
This service encourages them to take a step back from the day to day workings of their businesses and focus on the things that are needed to help them grow, at a pace that is right for them.
We focus on a variety of areas, and get them to think about:
• The purpose of their business.
Are they looking for world domination, or are they looking to build the business to a level where it becomes attractive to investors? Are they looking to franchise? Do they have plans for retirement?
• Whether or not they have realistic and measurable goals.
They might know where they currently are in business, but do they know how to get where they need to be? Do they have a realistic, robust strategy in place to help them to achieve their goals?
• Do they frequently review their plans?
Business frequently change direction or diversify. Markets change, policies change, staffing levels can fluctuate. All of these external influences can have an effect on a business’ aims and aspirations.
All of this culminates in the development of an easy to follow single-page business plan that then acts as a guide for them and their teams to focus on key areas of their business and successfully implement the necessary changes.
Andrew Nelson and Anthony Bonney
from inSurge Limited, a Manchester based B2B marketing agency, have recently gone through this very process with us. They told us:
“We knew that if we were going to get this business right, we needed to start with a clear plan.
“Having gone through this process with Steve, we now have a framework for how we want to run and grow inSurge. We have laid out a plan and have made ourselves accountable for its delivery.
“This business plan has given us the confidence and motivation to create the business we want.”
If you’d like more details on our business planning service, why not give us a call, or pop in for a cuppa.